Lodging Update May 31st 2017
By Wm. May
Published: 05/31/17 Topics: Comments: -
I am writing to let you know that the world is changing and fast.
No, not on the level of earth shaking war and peace and human rights, but in our own little area of endeavor, that being Inns, Resorts and Vacation Rentals.
The past two decades have been a whirlwind of constant change. It started with the arrival of the Internet. Amazing really to think how new the world wide web is. (Do we still call it that?) But lately the change is down right crazy.
People have rented private cabins, condos and vacation rentals for centuries, but the internet made it possible to find, inspect and rent places far from home with more confidence that what we think we will get will indeed be what we wanted.
Since then, web designs have become big and beautiful with accurate photos and lots of them. Properties can be very fully described. Guests can check exact bed configurations, see the home on maps and check prices and fees for anytime of the year. Best of all they can book and pay online instantly.
But in recent years, our industry has been grabbed by the throat by major corporations bent on Taking an ever bigger piece of the pie, the lodging income.
Oddly we do not see this as a hinderance, but rather as an opportunity. We have been preparing for this for a decade, by melding the greatest technological skills with wonderful employees and partners to provide the most comprehensive lodging services.
No one can match it.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Lodging is one of the industries most affected by the dominance of the Internet. Here are things you may not know about lodging today.
Distribution - The secret to advertising has always been to get a message in front of the most people with the greatest frequency. Many managers list on VRBO, AirBnB and maybe Tripadvisor, but those will not fill homes. So we post ads on hundreds of websites, in addition to those big websites.
Synchronization - Years ago we built our own XML technology to distribute rates, dates, photos and details to all the big websites. We integrate channel managers to synchronize data to hundreds of other websites, and are the only people who do that to both hotel and vacation rental websites. It is tricky, but our clients do get more bookings.
Blind Ads - Expedia, owner of Homeaway and owner of VRBO has recently removed phone numbers, links and even property names from two million listings. Along with AirBnB and others, they demand advertisers talk with guests only through their selfish closed dashboard systems.
Instant Bookings - Last week Homeaway stopped taking flat-fee listings, and now demand a commission on every booking. Plus, last year they began adding a "service fee" on top of it all. It makes our job harder, but we take the challenge because our competitors won't invest the time to do it and our clients win.
Instant Response - Those big websites now downgrade listings from managers who do not respond to inquiries quickly, even all night, even at 3am. Other managers lament, but we now staff reservations 24/7 for inquiries, emails and chat, with phones open every day of the year, with after-hours support for property services.
Dynamic Rates - Our secret S2D2 system adjusts rates for Seasonality and Strategy, but are also Study and Distribution. Rates are higher in summer, on holidays and weekends while lower in slow times. Rates go up and down repeatedly to attract more guests, at highest rates, for maximum owner net income. Its part algorithm, part human intervention.
Rate Push - A decade ago we created the HelpBook.me software to integrate back-office reservations, sales, accounting and administration with real-time control of websites, rentals and rates. We are the only managers who can send different rates to different websites in order to offset their ever increasing fees.
Supply & Demand - Industry pundits debate whether the growth in available homes and inns has become greater than the growing number of guests. Rent-by-owners and other managers can not keep up with all these changes. We see them cutting rates, so we counter-act those with more advertising, service and strategy.
Good News - What seems like bad news, is actually a bonus. We don’t win every sale or book every guest, but we are doing better than others. By staying ahead of the pack, we can promise better income for owners along with attentive onsite services.
Our confidential technology and diligent dedicates staff make it possible. If you are not using our services, you are losing money.
Author: Wm. May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0546 – 05/31/17
Sponsor: Vortex Organization – We train quality people to help run unique Inns, Resorts and Vacation Rental Management companies, in an industry that has been a webby net of technology combined with good old fashioned property, guest and owner services. – VortexManagers.com
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