VRMA

    2019 International Conference Program 

    VIEW DAILY SCHEDULES


    The International Conference program provides attendees the opportunity to hear from vacation rental managers, leading supplier and vendor representatives, subject matter experts, and motivational speakers – all under one roof! Whether you are new to the industry or are a seasoned professional, there is something for everyone to learn at the VRMA International Conference.

    Learn more about our general sessions and concurrent sessions by clicking on the icons below!

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    Check out all of our breakouts sessions, as well as our new featured content for 2019:

    • Fireside Chat Series with Simon Lehmann: A series of breakout session discussions hosted by industry expert, Simon Lehmann, will include conversations with industry leaders including:
        • Olivier Gremillon, Vice President of Global Segments, Booking.com
        • Jeff Hurst, Chief Commercial Officer, Vrbo
        • Clara Liang, Airbnb
        • Carl Shepherd, Founder, HomeAway
    • VRM Roundtable Series: With focused topics such as Property Management Software and revenue management, these facilitated open-forum discussions will provide ample opportunity for vacation rental managers to discuss pertinent industry issues, share best practices, and learn from each other’s experiences.
    • VRMA Path to Leadership: On Sunday, October 13 at 4:00 PM, join VRMA Leadership Development Committee Chairs Steve Milo (VTrips) and Lucy Kawaihalau (Kauai Vacation Rentals) as they discuss what it means to volunteer with VRMA, how to get involved, and what they are looking for in prospective board members. This session will offer opportunities for Q&A with our LDC chairs and current board members. Come prepared to learn about VRMA volunteerism and with questions for VRMA’s leadership!


    Business Strategy


    Strategies and Lessons Learned by Property Managers and OTAs

    Track: Business Strategy
    Presented by Tim Cafferty, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services; Sarah Bradford, Winter Park Lodging Company; Steve Milo, VTrips; Gianbattista Vespucci, Booking.com; Clara Liang, Airbnb; Jeff Hurst, Vrbo and Darik Eaton, Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals

    Sarah Bradford and Tim Cafferty are the hosts of the popular vacation rental podcast "Sarah and T." Sarah and Tim will moderate a fast paced panel discussion made up of property managers and OTA executives. We expect the interaction between top OTA executives and savvy property managers to be lively and educational for the attendees. Find out the pitfalls and the benefits of dealing with On line travel agents. Learn how to be more effective in your use of the services, and be a more effective manager after attending this session.


    VRMB Roundtable with Matt Landau 

    Track: Business Strategy
    Presented by
    Matt Landau, VRMB

    Industry steward Matt Landau hosts one of his interactive roundtable discussions harnessing the "collective wisdom" of the crowd. Based on a hot-seat style consulting practice, Landau showcases 10 property managers each with a single and profound challenge inhibiting their growth. Landau then aims to unravel and resolve each challenge with the help of the attendees in the room. Interactive, fast, controversial. This session is not for the feint of heart.


    Property Manager Roundtable

    Track: Business Strategy
    Presented by Sharon K. Walker, Walker Luxury Vacation Rentals and Jennifer Frankenstein-Harris, GreatOceanCondos.com

    In this session without vendors, Property Managers get to speak freely among themselves on important topics including software systems, technology platforms, marketing channels, regulations and much more. Sharon Walker and Jennifer Frankenstein-Harris will moderate this roundtable in a manner that facilitates an exchange of multiple topics.


    Women Leading the Way in the Hospitality Industry

    Track: Business Strategy
    Presented by Susan Blizzard, Blizzard Internet Marketing, A RedAwning Group Brand; Maureen Regan, Seaside Vacation Rentals

    The hospitality industry continues to evolve, and we are increasingly seeing women at the helm. Join this panel session moderated by Airbnb and comprised of female leaders across the industry. Through storytelling, data trends and lively discussion, we’ll discuss the emerging story of women becoming a powerful force within the hospitality industry.


    Doing More With Less: How to Reduce Your Management Overhead

    Track: Business Strategy
    Presented by Andy Morris, Seattle Vacation Home and Lynne Morris, Seattle Vacation Home

    This session will encourage vacation rental managers to think about how to manage lean by operating efficiently. It will focus on productivity; how to get more output from fewer inputs, including people, systems, and capital. We will deliver value in this session by illustrating concrete ways in which we have gained productivity, including via our guest registration form, text communications, canned replies, virtual assistants, streamlined emails, strategic hiring, and more. We will share specific guidance on how to implement 8-10 different practices, with the intention that every attendee will walk away planning to implement one or more techniques.


    Social Impact: Are You Overlooking a Bottom Line Investment?

    Track: Business Strategy
    Presented by Carole Lynn Sharoff, Atlantic Vacation Homes; Margot Schmorak, Hostfully; Heleena Sideris, Park City Lodging, Inc. and Lynn Thurston, Watersound Management

    Businesses today are expected to operate in ways that are good for the economy, the environment, and the community. Studies show that socially responsible companies often outperform their peers.

    Vacation rental companies are some of the most locally connected, caring businesses we know. And yet, a randomly selected, geographically stratified analysis of 130 VRMA member websites from around the world revealed a startling finding. Only 4 companies (3 percent) mentioned anything at all on their websites about engaging in socially responsible initiatives. This is puzzling. Are VRMA members engaged in socially responsible initiatives and not promoting them or are they not supporting social, environmental and community initiatives?

    Attendees will learn why it makes sense from a business perspective to engage in socially responsible initiatives and market the results. They will learn how to select initiatives that strategically align with Smart Tourism Destination Management Practices that are tailored to the specific location where they manage vacation rentals. They will also learn how to tell the story of their social impact initiatives to City Counsellors who are contemplating rental restrictions, existing and prospective employees who want to work for a purpose-driven company, and guests who want to support companies whose values closely align with their own.

    This session will incorporate audience polling and online Q&As. Speakers from three vacation rental companies will share their social impact initiatives and what they learned from them. Attendees will leave with an example of a ready-made template they can use to share their social impact stories.


    How to Get More Direct Bookings: Plain and Simple

    Track: Business Strategy
    Presented by Brise Carpenter, NAVIS; Kim Balsama, Bennington Properties LLC and Bob Kissell, Village Realty Holdings, LLC

    Working with third party booking sites, dealing with a competitive market that’s constantly evolving and trying to gain repeat guests isn’t easy. Gain insights into strategies that work to bring in more direct bookings and get those repeat guests to come directly to you! Hear directly from VR leaders, Bob Kissell of Village Realty and Kim Balsama of Bennington Properties successful strategies that work to bring you more booking from the right guests.


    Connecting Your People Strategy to Your Business Strategy

    Track: Business Strategy
    Presented by Corey Christman, Center For Victory

    Talent optimization is a different way for people to understand how people fit into a broader business strategy and optimize the output and productivity of people to achieve amazing results. To connect our people strategy to our business strategy, we must explore the four-step model of diagnose, design, hire and inspire. Talent optimization is the bridge between business strategy and business results


    Vrbo Leadership Fireside Chat: Building a Customer Centric Company
    (Sponsored Session)

    Track: Business Strategy
    Presented by Peter Andrews, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience and Service, Vrbo and John Suzuki, Global Evangelist and Ombudsman, Vrbo

    Actioning on customer insights to drive strategic investments is the key to building products, services, and features that add value in the competitive global landscape of vacation rentals. Join Peter Andrews, the Senior Vice President of Customer Experience and Service and John Suzuki, Global Product Evangelist for a wide ranging conversation on how putting the customer first is a key strategic priority at Vrbo. Take away insights on how to collect and action on customer feedback at scale, and how property managers can build stronger relationships with account managers to grow their businesses. 


    Conference Takeaways with Sarah and T

    Track: Business Strategy
    Presented by Tim Cafferty, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services and Sarah Bradford, Winter Park Lodging Company

    For the 3rd year in a row, Sarah and T will present "Conference Takeaways with Sarah and T." This session will occur just before the closing general session of the conference and invites attendees to to share with others what items they have learned at this conference, and what they plan on putting into action when they get home. The conference session will be broadcast as a follow up podcast within a few days, following the conference.


    Finance and Legal Operations

     
    M&A in the Vacation Rental Space: Opportunities and Pitfalls

    Track: Finance and Legal Operations
    Presented by Cliff Johnson, Rented.com and Amber Knight, Rented.com

    As the industry is changing, managers are growing increasingly concerned about ensuring that they have a good understanding of the value of their business and an exit strategy for when they want to retire. Ensuring that buyers and sellers both end up happy on every side of an acquisition takes careful planning and collaboration between parties to ensure that the employees, home owners, and guests are all treated well while both parties end up with the results they hoped for in the transaction. This session will examine three core things:

    1. How to determine the value of your business or businesses that you want to purchase or merge with.
    2. How to improve the value of your business
    3. How to integrate a purchase or merger into an existing business while ensuring all stakeholders are happy


    How to Generate a Meaningful Profit: A Vacation Rental Manager's Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your Business

    Track: Finance and Legal Operations
    Presented by Ben Edwards, Weatherby Consulting, LLC

    Is your business generating a meaningful profit? This session will outline the tangible techniques to increase your company's profit, identify key metrics necessary measure your operation and ensure your business is on a sustainable track.


    Contract Bloopers and How to Avoid Them

    Track: Finance and Legal Operations
    Presented by Lisa Jurinka, Vacasa and Bryan Geon, Vacasa

    During this presentation, Vacasa’s Chief Legal Officer Lisa Jurinka and Senior Corporate Counsel Bryan Geon will present guidelines for creating legal contracts, detailing both the do’s and the don’ts for audience members. The two tenured law professionals will share case studies that demonstrate best legal practices for vacation rental management, along with tips and tricks related to guest agreements, homeowner contracts, and beyond.


    Guest Relations


    Luxury Guest Experiences: Technology vs. Hands-on Services

    Track: Guest Relations
    Presented by Sharon K Walker, Walker Luxury Vacation Rentals and Geoff Gaberino, Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals

    What makes a truly great guest experience in 2019? Is it the hands-on services or the technology that guests have come to expect? What combination makes a successful guest experience? In this session you will learn how to provide excellent guest interaction utilizing both technology resources and personal dialogue. We will discuss several ways to connect and communicate with guests to optimize the guest experience. You will learn how to connect with guests where they are, in the middle of the need for both service and technology. We will also review the owner experience regarding technology and human interaction. You will learn to manage client and guest interactions gracefully, fully capitalizing on the best of both worlds.


    Human Touch in a Digital Workflow

    Track: Guest Relations
    Presented by Andy McNulty, Touch Stay and Tyann Marcink, VRMastered

    Creating a completely hands-off, digital workflow with your guests seems genius at first, but it may backfire. Humans need human touch, whether it be by voice, smile, handshake, or a handwritten note. Whilst hosting and managing as efficiently as possible is an absolute must, technology can sometimes interfere with the need for human exchanges. We'll reveal findings from data that we have been collecting over the last year that shows the majority of guests crave a particular type of human interaction. We'll also share examples of how to incorporate human touch in your digital workflow easily and reasonably while increasing your ROI.


    The Hospitality Masterclass: How to Deliver the Best Guest Experience and Increase Your Revenue

    Track: Guest Relations
    Presented by Thibault Masson, Booking.com; Ian Ackland, Booking.com; Pierre Becerril, Transparent Intelligence, Inc.; and Alex Nigg, Properly 

    A panel discussion with representatives speaking about the untapped opportunities in the Vacation Rental industry starting from a 'traditional' hospitality point of view. Topics will include: revenue management tips, how to deliver the best possibile guest experience and how to make your listings as attractive as possibile for different types of guests. This is specifically recommended for anyone new in the Industry or willing to take their properties to the next level.


    The Heart of Hospitality: 5 Pillars of Hospitality Excellence

    Track: Guest Relations
    Presented by Doug Kennedy, Kennedy Training Network

    This session encourages VR leaders to re-focus their guest services teams on five essential fundamentals of hospitality excellence, presented as “5 Pillars,” that create positive guest vacation experiences resulting in return bookings and social media promoters. With the lodging industry’s current obsession with technology and automation, participants learn that in the end it’s the human engagement that a company’s people deliver that makes the biggest difference. This is especially true in the VR space where multiple rental companies offer homes that look basically the same and that are located in the same building or development.


    Human Resources

     
    Workforce Development 2020 and Beyond

    Track: Human Resources
    Presented by Sue Jones, MBA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, HR4VR

    When was the last time you updated your staffing model? Reviewing your recruitment strategies for limited labor pools while addressing the continuous challenge to attract, engage and retain top talent is critical. Scanning the environment is key to understanding the employment climate. The labor market is changing, unemployment is at a 50-year low and while there are jobs available, there is not a skilled workforce to fill them. Learn how to remain competitive in this new era focusing on retraining and reskilling your current workforce. Your best employees are “made” not “found."


    Develop an Extraordinary Company Culture to Recruit and Retain Top Talent in the Current Job Market

    Track: Human Resources
    Presented by Lisa Gibbs Meadows, Coconut Condos and Angela Leone, Coconut Condos

    Learn how to improve and take your company culture to an extraordinary level by implementing strategies to attract and retain top talent. Gain freedom to pursue other areas of growth and passion all the while seeing your business bottom line increase.


    Stop Doing It Yourself!

    Track: Human Resources
    Presented by Sue Jones, MBA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, HR4VR

    Increase your managerial effectiveness by learning when to direct, when to delegate and when to develop your team member. Do you often find yourself saying, “It is easier to do myself?" If so, ask yourself why? Is it because: Only you can do the work? Are you having trouble finding time to train or mentor others? Or, are you afraid because you don’t trust your team member to handle it correctly? Attend this session to learn how to increase your management skill set with directing, delegating and developing your team.  P.S. - don’t delegate this opportunity to someone else to attend!


    How Diversity & Inclusion Impacts Every Aspect of Your Business

    Track: Human Resources
    Presented by Michelle Williams, Atlantic Vacation Homes and Carole Lynn Sharoff, Atlantic Vacation Homes

    This session will examine growing a diverse business from within and will also look at the role of diversity in the greater ecosystem of your business: in your customer base, supplier base, and throughout the industry.


    International


    Where Demand Meets Supply: Unlock New Opportunities from Global Travelers' Trends

    Track: International
    Presented by Alessandro Pacilio, Booking.com B.V.

    What are the travel trends worldwide? What do our mutual guests need? What do they fear? How different are the travelers between different regions or segments? How I can adjust my business to make the most of the guest needs based on these insights? In this session you will get answers to these and questions to help you make the most of the latest trends and opportunities.


    Get More International Visitors and Serve Them Better

    Track: International
    Presented by Eric Bordier, VR Partnership

    International visitors are a fast growing target for vacation rental companies. More than 20% of tourists in Hawaii come from Japan. More than 1/3rd of Airbnb guests in the U.S. come from abroad and 79% of vacation rental travelers to Italy are not native English speakers.

    In this session, attendees will get practical advice on how to assess the potential for their company, decide which countries and languages they should target. Then how to advertise to them, get their bookings and serve them efficiently. Finally, a discussion on how we could all do better together with the help of suppliers to overcome the language hurdles will close out the session.


    Marketing Yourself: DMO Best Practices with Discover Puerto Rico: How to Maxmimize the Innovative Strategies Offered by Destination Management Organizations

    Track: International
    Presented by Alma Bair, Paradise Villas and Vacations, LLC; Leah Chandler, Discover Puerto Rico; Bettina Garibaldi, Ketchum and Nate Huff, Miles Partnership

    Join this session for vacation rental managers to find out how you can maximize offerings and increase growth. Representatives from Discover Puerto Rico, its marketing partners, and vacation rental managers will discuss efficiencies, publicity and marketing strategies, success they’ve experienced, and how to get there.

    Leah Chandler, Discover Puerto Rico CMO, will discuss what DMOs do/have to offer, including what the Discover Puerto Rico DMO has implemented on the Island and the success it has seen, with the destination now thriving. The audience will see new content the DMO has launched, which is centered around experiences. As VR companies are the connection to having such experiences, the opener will then segue into an educational panel on how VR companies can utilize tools provided to them by DMOs, or implement learnings from the discussion.

    Discussion will then be shared by Nate Huf, SVP at Miles Partnership, who has created and facilitated the tools implemented by Discover Puerto Rico for VR managers (such as Google Business initiatives, utilizing events calendars to drive business and marketing opportunities for VR managers). He will be joined by Bettina Garibaldi, SVP at Ketchum, who will provide insights centered around how VR managers can approach earned media, influencer relations & FAM trips, demonstrating how media & influencers are featuring rentals in their coverage/posts. Alma Bair, General Manager at Paradise Villas and Vacations, LLC, will speak on the impact these tools and tactics have had on her VR business.

    The session will provide ample opportunity for Q&A from the audience to further understand how to implement these tools, with or without the assistance of a DMO.


    Marketing


    Improve Your Marketing Mix Today and Dare to Succeed with Niche Websites

    Track: Marketing
    Presented by Vanessa de Souza Lage, Rentals United

    Co-founder of channel manager Rentals United, Vanessa will reveal the top niche websites that are making bookings for her clients worldwide. Apart from the stats, we’ll also look at case studies and the ideal marketing mix. Vanessa will reveal tips and tricks in managing your calendars and availability to make the most out of the (often much cheaper!) niche websites. This is a top lesson in distribution not-to-be-missed!


    Video Marketing: How To Stand Out In The Virtual Crowd

    Track: Marketing
    Presented by Matt Ward, Breakthrough Champion

    Have you ever considered video marketing as a way to connect with your current and potential guests? Within the next year, over 80% of content consumed on the internet will be video. Matt will show attendees the reasons why creating one to one personalized video is an effective and simple way to connect. Matt will give examples of designs, content, and types of videos that work well to really create a unique message for the viewer. During this interactive presentation, attendees will understand how to incorporate video into their vacation rental business. Attendees will walk away with a clear strategy to find the right target and goal in order to create a video that will be remembered and stand out in the virtual crowd.


    19 Must Have Marketing Tactics for 2019

    Track: Marketing
    Presented by Steve Milo, VTrips

    Steve Milo, CEO of VTrips, presents 19 must have marketing tactics for 2019. From website optimization, customer contact tips to drive more profitable repeat guests, SEO strategies to drive more free search, Paid Google ad word tips, strategies for voice search and more, this session explores concepts for property managers to drive higher revenue, lower costs and more repeat guest business. The goal of this session is to create awareness of alternative marketing strategies to improve incremental revenue, customer retention and reduce dependency on any one marketing source.


    Cost Per Acquisition and How to Choose the Channels to Invest In

    Track: Marketing
    Presented by Maria Genevieve Lancaste, Tybee Vacation Rental 

    This session will describe the ways Tybee Vacation Rentals has evaluated and analyzed it various sales and marketing channels and the costs associated with securing leads and conversions. In particular, the cost and return of direct versus online channels, and comparing the cost of TVR Website versus OTAs. At the end of the session each participant will receive an Excel Workbook that can be used to develop and analyze their channels' Cost of Acquisition.


    Master Every Stage of the Booking Funnel: Creative Ways to Drive Revenue Throughout the Travelers’ Journey 

    Track: Marketing
    Presented by Peter Scott, Bluetent; Maslin Seal, Village Realty Holdings LLC; Dawn Kane, Maui Condo and Home, LLC; Dru Brown, The Vacation Company; Sharon K Walker, Walker Luxury Vacation Rentals and Ned Lucks, Bluetent

    Are you capturing every traveler who enters your booking funnel? If not, it’s time to get creative! In this interactive panel discussion, you will discover insightful strategies – from professional vacation rental managers, consultants, and a digital marketing agency – for driving revenue through four stages of the travelers’ journey. We’ll address getting found online by inbound travelers with robust, informative web pages; nurturing travelers by building your brand; converting lookers into bookers with powerful website content; and retargeting past guests with post-departure emails. The presentation will include multiple real life examples and case studies to enhance the learning experience and spark the imagination.


    Google 2020: What to Expect and How to Make Sure You're Ready!

    Track: Marketing
    Presented by Matt Bare, Q4Launch

    Google is constantly on the move and with 50% of direct bookings originating as Google searches, it's critical to make sure you are keeping up to date! In this session we'll do a brief review of what changes Google made in 2019 and then dive into what changes we're expecting in 2020!<br />We'll take these predictions and break them down into actionable steps vacation rental managers can start taking to be prepared for what's next from Google! We'll be exploring both the organic and paid advertising side of Google and explaining things in an easy to understand, non techno-geek kinda way.


    Social Media Marketing to Millennials and GenZ

    Track: Marketing
    Presented by Jennifer Mangold, Vrbo; Andreas King-Geovanis, Sextant Stays and Eric Anderson, Stay Alfred 

    With more than 3 billion active users spending, on average, more than 115 minutes on social media each day, the ability to reach consumers is tremendous. For those in the travel industry, the opportunity to turn those users into customers cannot be ignored -- one survey found that 52 percent of users said their friend’s photos inspired travel plans, and 76 percent post their vacation photos to social networks.

    But how can property managers take advantage of the reach and influence of social media? In this session, Vrbo’s senior manager of social media marketing and Andreas King-Genovais of Sextant Stays and Eric Anderson of StayAlfred will share practical tips and strategies for more effective social media marketing.

    Attendees will learn about the power of visuals, effective storytelling, digital guestbooks, how to promote the best-performing posts and effective ways for engaging travelers.


    Part 1: Making your Mark(eting): Strategies That Get You Notice

    Track: Marketing
    Presented by Paul Hanak, InterCoastal Net Designs and Vanessa Humes, InterCoastal Net Designs

    Join InterCoastal Net Designs for our part 1 & part 2 series at VRMA International. As a follow up series to ICND’s successful presentation at the VRWS, “Girl, Fix Your Website” - Part 1 will focus on how to strategically market your vacation rental website to bring in traffic. We’ll focus on external pathways to get quality visitors to your website that drive bookings, the do’s and don’ts of these tactics, and how you can do it no matter what size staff and resources you have. This includes competing with the OTAs. You first need traffic before you can make direct bookings.


    Part 2: Take Your Website to the Next Level - Proven Tactics

    Track: Marketing
    Presented by Paul Hanak, InterCoastal Net Designs and Vanessa Humes, InterCoastal Net Designs

    Got traffic now? But no bookings? Welcome to the club. Not all traffic converts. In fact, the industry average is around 0.35% of all visitors directly book on your website. But that can be helped! Join Vanessa and Paul as they go over proven tactics that bring in more direct bookings by applying certain important, conversion-focused elements to your website. As a follow up to Part 1, this presentation will take a deep dive into your website and what it needs to convert visitors into lifelong customers. Traffic is half of the battle, but if your website is not user-friendly, you may lose business.


    Real Talk About Reviews

    Track: Marketing
    Presented by Unji Udeshi, Vrbo; Keith Breon, Vacasa and Adam Mott, Siesta Key Luxury Rental Properties

    Great reviews (or lack of them) can make or break your listing. This session will deep dive into research and insights about reviews and how they influence travelers’ decision to book properties. You’ll hear from Vrbo on the user experience testing and design that goes into developing their platform review tools to be as frictionless for travelers and partners as possible. You’ll also hear from Vacasa’s Keith Breon and Adam Mott of Siesta Key Luxury Rental Properties on how they’ve optimized their business to prioritize collecting and responding to traveler reviews.


    Developing a Thought Leadership Strategy to Support Marketing and Advocacy

    Track: Marketing
    Presented by Jessica Gillingham, Adobe PR 

    In this practical session, property managers will learn what a Thought Leadership strategy is and how to develop one for their business. A carefully considered Thought Leadership strategy can be a very effective mechanism for supporting businesses with marketing, public relations and advocacy work. Being considered a Thought Leader often means that you become the ‘go to’ source for the media and are then in a position to be considered a voice for advocacy and regulation issues in your area.”


    Owner Relations


    Owners for Life: A Blueprint for Successful Onboarding

    Track: Owner Relations
    Presented by Heather Bayer, Cottagelink Rental Management

    Getting a new owner is cause for celebration but it often happens at the busiest time of the year when the primary goal is to get the place booked. The new owner may be happy with the income but if they haven’t been on-boarded and nurtured, they may not feel valued and part of the PM ‘family’. This makes them, and the property manager, vulnerable for a consolidator to move in and make a better offer.

    This session identifies the 3 most common owner types and helps managers create a framework for an on-boarding programme that will build confidence, loyalty and retention.


    A Guide to VRM's Largest Asset - Owner Acquisition

    Track: Owner Relations
    Presented by April Burns, InterCoastal Net Designs; Terry Moore, Outer Banks Blue; Mike Harrington, Carolina Retreats; Mike Alsko, Coastal Home and Villas and Kim Hermon, Big Bear Vacations

    Property Owners may just be one of your largest assets as a Vacation Rental Manager. If you’re stuck on ways to engage with owners, market to owners and turn owners into lifelong customers - join our presentation! April Burns of InterCoastal Net Designs will moderate this session as we gather insight from seasoned vacation rental professionals: Mike Harrington of Topsail Realty, Terry Moore of Outer Banks Blue, Kim Hermon of Big Bear Vacations and Mike Alsko of Coastal Home and Villas. The first step is getting owners to your website and familiarizing them with your brand. The key is converting owners into customers, learn from these industry professionals that service different niche markets throughout the United States.

    Revenue Management and Data


    Data is King: Navigating Revenue Management for Vacation Rentals 

    Track: Revenue Management and Data
    Presented by
    Andrew McConnell, Rented; Scott Shatford, AirDNA and Matt Renner, TRACK

    Take a deep dive into revenue management and its increasing importance to the vacation rental industry. This team of experts will answer your questions around this critical topic, such as the type of data you should be tracking and where it’s available (including demand, property, website and analytics and OTA data) and how to operationalize this information.


    Using Dynamic Pricing and Operational Data to Make Better Business Decisions 

    Track: Revenue Management and Data
    Presented by Scott Leggatt, Local Social, Inc. and Ian McHenry, Beyond Pricing

    Data is everywhere; learning how to harness and properly utilize the right industry analytics and metrics can be the primary differentiator in growing your business. Learn from industry experts about what trends they are seeing in business intelligence, how companies are leveraging different tools to make smarter choices, and how property managers should be looking at their data.


    Inside National and Mountain Private Accommodations Trends and the Impact on Property Managers 

    Track: Revenue Management and Data
    Presented by Tom Foley, SVP Business Operations and Analytics, Inntopia; Pete Comeau, Senior Vice President, Operations and Strategy, Phocuswright
    Sponsored by Mountain Travel Symposium, Inntopia, and Phocuswright

    In this town hall style session, executives from Phocuswright and Inntopia will share marketplace data and trends to help anticipate your performance against your competitors. The session will set start by looking at the macro trends that are impacting the private accommodation market nationally. Speakers will explore how U.S. travelers are searching for, shopping, and choosing accommodations for their vacations, and ultimately dig into micro data and trends impacting mountain destination lodging marketplace and performance.


    Human vs. Machine: Where Does Human Invention Outperform Automation in Vacation Rental Revenue Management and What is the Best Solution for You?

    Track: Revenue Management and Data
    Presented by Cliff Johnson, Rented.com; Jason Sprenkle, 360 Blue and Scott Breon, Vacasa

    The last hour of the session will be a breakout session that focuses on helping you develop a strategic plan for improving your current revenue management strategy. This will start with taking a sample property from your inventory, benchmarking your performance to the market, analyzing the opportunities to improve the performance of that property through a variety of factors including improved pricing strategy, marketing strategy, operational performance such as volume and quality of reviews, and operational policies such as minimum stays, cancellation policies and operational fees. The exercise will allow you to take the learnings from a single property or a few properties depending on the depth of the analysis you perform within your group and apply it to the rest of your portfolio. The exercise will also reveal which if any products and services available in the industry are a good fit for your company based on your market, inventory type and the skills available on your team.


    Sales


    From 0-500 Properties in 5 Years: Simple Techniques We Used to Grow Our Inventory That You Can Implement in Your Business Today

    Track: Sales
    Presented by CJ Stam, Southern Comfort Cabin Rentals and Brooke Pfautz, Vintory

    In this session, property managers will take a deep dive into successful inventory growth practices you can implement today. We’ll show you how you can create a lead factory that revives tired tactics, such as direct mail campaigns that actually work; implements new inbound marketing pipelines, like lead magnets with proper landing pages; and unlocks referral flows from gatekeepers like real estate agents and developers. You’ll also get effective sales presentation and collateral tools to convert this new influx of leads into signed property management contracts, as well as technology recommendations to help automate and optimize every piece of your new sales system. This is a must-attend session for anyone looking to grow their inventory!


    Building a Strong Relationship Building Sales Team

    Track: Sales
    Presented by Ali Cammelletti, Cammelletti Consulting LLC

    From creating the foundation of a healthy minded sales team to continued sales education weekly and monthly. The presentation will include understanding how to set the stage for a strong team, building trust in the team, focusing on training hard vs soft skills and the importance of continued training.


    Technology

     

    Amazon, Technology, and Vacation Rentals: What’s Next?  

    Track: Technology
    Presented by Matt Nunn, Alexa for Hospitality, Amazon and Jung Lee, Alexa for Hospitality, Amazon

    Are you up-to-date on what's next in vacation rental technology? Are you interested in learning more about what Amazon will be doing in this space? Join Amazon Alexa for Hospitality to learn about new technology options that enhance both the guest experience and the efficiency of property managers. Attendees will learn how they can leverage technology, find cost savings, improve owner relations, enhance the guest experience, and compete on a more level playing field with other lodging options.  Join this exciting new session and learn what's next! 


    Paving the Way to a Successful Software Transition

    Track: Technology
    Presented by Edward Ulmer, MR, Barefoot Technologies Corp; Claiborne Yarbrough, Barefoot Technology Corp; Betsy Taylor, Streamline Vacation Rental Software; Michael Hill, Virtual Resort Manager; Jeff Pilson, Rental Network Software Corporation; Grant Fawcett, CiiRUSS Vacation Rental Software and Nancy Tuttle, HomeAway V12.Net

    Join this panel discussion hosted by members of the software community with decades of experience to help you successfully navigate the path of changing software. This unique perspective will come from their viewpoint based on years in the industry and feature the top items that you should consider during the process.

    This panel will cover:

    • Accounting Department – At the top of the list is having your accounting team involved in every aspect of the software selection. Every financial transaction whether it be through reservations, work orders or cleaning has a direct impact on how your business is setup and what the result is, and your Accounting team needs to have input in those decisions.
    • Consultation Questionnaire – At the beginning of the process, gain input from each department to see their most important items, in the order of importance. Work as a team to set your priorities and ask the tough questions during the sales process.
    • Teamwork – Make sure you have right people in your organization working towards the same goal and finish projects on time. Installations can be come stalled if there are not enough people to complete the tasks at hand.
    • Expectations – Set a realistic timeframe for the installation process – only you know how fast your staff can work. Be mindful of the time of year -- if you are a summer resort, you don’t want to miss deadlines because your busy season starts.

    The unique value proposition for this panel of software providers is that we are delivering clients ALL THE TIME, not just once every ten years. We will be open and honest with our deep experience to help those who are considering making a vacation rental software change


    Technology and Operations: A Winning Combination

    Track: Technology
    Presented by Bob Milne, Vacasa; Sean Miller, Point Central; Jeremiah Gall, Breezeway; David Krauss, Noise Aware and Anne de Ridder, Vacasa

    Incorporating technology into operations enables businesses to lower costs, standardize processes and enhance quality. In doing so, organizations are empowered to then focus on creating increased value for homeowners and guests.

    During this panel, Vacasa COO Bob Milne will guide a conversation between executives about how technology improves operations in the vacation rental industry. They will discuss a variety of tools, from housekeeping apps, to security cameras, to noise monitoring solutions, to electronic locks. Attendees will walk away with ideas about how to better integrate technology into their business and will learn what specific types of solutions are proven to be effective.


    Smart Home Implementation

    Track: Technology
    Presented by Sean Miller, PointCentral; Bob Milne, Vacasa; Steve Milo, VTrips; Brandon Ezra, Grand Welcome and Laik Le Pera, Village Realty

    Sean will lead the panel on technology and the improvements that it brings to the day to day operations of the vacation rental manager. The panel will be tasked with talking through the changes technology has presented to how they work with guests, home owners and competition within their locations. This session will be dedicated to helping the attendees learn more about streamlining their business and the decisions they have to make ahead of implementing technology into their companies.


    Learn to Talk Tech in One Easy Session: 20 Tech Terms Translated: What Common VR Tech Phrases Mean and How to Use Them in Everyday Conversation

    Track: Technology
    Presented by Jason Hahn, JANIIS, Inc. and Scott Leggat, Local Social, Inc.

    Have you ever been standing in a group of people talking about tech, and been grasping at context clues to figure out what on earth they’re talking about? Or have you purchased technology, only to feel duped when you realize it doesn’t *actually* do what you understood it would do? You’re not the only one! In this fun-filled, "no judgements allowed" interactive session, we will break down 20 commonly used vacation rental technology terms, explain what you need to know about them, and how they affect your business. Walk out of this session feeling tech literate, and comfortable holding a conversation about vacation rental technology with anyone. Spoiler alert: volunteers should brush up on their Jeopardy skills!


    Property Management Software Execs Talk the Tech that's Powering the Future of the Short Term Rental Industry

    Track: Technology
    Presented by Amiad Soto, Guesty; B.J. Shell, Vrbo; Grant Fawcett, Ciirus, and Brett Parry, Streamline

    Hear from the 4 widest-used property management systems worldwide on one stage where they provide insights into the future of property management, and offer predictions on where the market will go next. Audience members will not only gain insight into how such platforms can help them streamline the complex operational needs of their businesses, but will better understand how the world of STRs has resulted in the need for platforms that help manage such businesses effectively. Whether it be task automation, payment processing, or tools that streamline communication between PMs and guests, attendees will walk away better understanding why PMS's are ultimately facilitating guest-centric experiences while acting as consolidators in today's fragmented ecosystem.<br />


    Beaches, Biometrics and Bots: The Future of Travel

    Track: Technology
    Presented by Casey Comeau, Vrbo; John Banczak, TurnKey Vacation Rentals and Tobias Wann, OYO Vacation Homes

    From voice-based search to AI-powered customer service, technology will accelerate changes to the traveler experience as consumer behavior continues to evolve.

    Already, travelers can take a virtual tour of a vacation home, book their flight with their voice, and use their augmented reality to locate the key lockbox - so what’s next?

    Join leaders from Vrbo, Turnkey and OYO Vacation Homes for a discussion about the technologies changing travel, how smart home technology will shift from delightful to expected and today’s trends that will influence the traveler of the future.


    Technology Trends in VR That are Worth Watching & Fads to Avoid

    Track: Technology
    Presented by Jack Newkirk, NAVIS

    Get a breakdown of the trends that are taking over the VR industry with momentum and staying power, plus our insights into the fads that will be gone tomorrow. You’ll walk away with an outlook for the remainder of 2019, and beyond.

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