As vacation rental managers, you have numerous hats to wear in order to be successful. Consequently, in this winter issue, we decided to shift the focus away from OTAs and towards the internal functions within vacation rental management companies. While there are still major changes occurring among the mammoth OTA booking channels, as industry veteran George Volsky is famous for saying, “This industry is still about cleaning toilets and taking care of the screaming guests.”
In the pages that follow, you will read about guest reviews, organizational structure, vacation rental safety, increasing repeat business, following up with leads, and building an in-house laundry facility. You will also find a series of website marketing articles to help increase your online visibility and convert more visits into bookings.
We had the privilege of interviewing one of the industry’s first vacation rental management company founders, Rae Sloane Cox, who started Sloane Realty Vacations in 1955, and is a true pioneer in the industry. We also sat down with Steve Milo, founder and managing director at Vacation Rental Pros, who has recently acquired several large property management companies and is rapidly extending his footprint across the US.
Additionally, there are some new things going on at VRM Intel. Here at VRM Intel, we launched a new website, created a job board for our industry, began hosting VRM Intel Live! events across the country, and started building a reporting tool called VI Reports which provides unbiased competitive market reports to help VRMs make fact-based revenue management and marketing decisions (You can read more about this tool on page 89).
While doing this, we observed a noteworthy shift in the way in which technology providers are internally viewing your data. While some are continuing to provide you with high levels of data protection and choice in whom you wish to work with, some large software providers (one in particular) are beginning to limit those options and start collecting your data within their larger platform to help homeowners and hotels compete with your properties. As we move forward in 2017, I believe we will see an important conversation arise about vacation rental software companies and their agendas regarding your customer and booking data. Stay tuned.