Barefoot Technologies Blog- Vacation Rental Industry News

Mike Todd

Recent Posts

Barefoot Focus: Short-Term Rental Advocacy

Posted by Mike Todd on Jan 11, 2017 3:46:56 PM

In November I attended the VRM Intel conference in Destin and came away with a new-found interest.  Advocacy for Short-Term Rentals (STR).  Most of the participants attending were from Florida and in attendance was Dennis Hanks, Executive Director of Florida VRMA.  I listened to Dennis and others talk passionately about being united and taking action in the fight for fair legislation and representation for the STR industry.    This really inspired me and I felt that I wanted to get a bit more informed to see how I might be able contribute to the cause.  Keep in mind my perspective is a little different in the fact that I am coming from the Vendor side of the business.  However, my livelihood is indirectly affected by VRM’s being able navigate the many hurdles of running a successful business which includes Short Term Rental Regulations.  I also recently moved to Asheville, NC, which has a STR ban within the city limits.  

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Tags: Vacation Rental Management Legislation

AllI want for Christmas are New Owner Contracts

Posted by Mike Todd on Dec 14, 2016 2:31:30 PM

I have recently been talking to property managers about things that are concerning to them and one that keeps standing out is Owner Acquisition.  With the larger companies like Vacasa and Wyndham acquiring Vacation Rental Companies and large numbers of vacation rental properties it can seem a daunting task for independent Vacation Rental Managers to compete in an ever changing market.  Property Managers are also facing the challenging task of owners trying and in many cases succeeding in self managing their properties through VRBO or AirBnB.  The other area that makes this industry challenging is the competition property managers have against other property management companies.

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Do You Have a Winning Team?

Posted by Mike Todd on Nov 9, 2016 6:53:36 PM

It finally happened.  The date: November 3rd, 2016 at approximately 12:45 am.  The Chicago Cubs won a World Series for the first time since 1908, the first time in 108 years.  I am one of many (until recently) long suffering Cub fans that have endured years of disappointment and the moniker of lovable losers.  There have been years of moderate success, but most of us by now know that the Cubs had not been to the World Series since 1945.  A 71 year absence that legend has it was the result of a curse.  And what was this curse?  It was because at the last World Series in 1945 in the beloved Wrigley Field a patron (and local business owner) was made to leave Wrigley Field because he had a live goat with him.  When he was told to leave he put a curse on the Cubs stating that they would never be in a World Series ever again. 

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Did Your Vacation Rental Management Business Have a Successful Season?

Posted by Mike Todd on Sep 10, 2016 12:26:30 PM

Now that the summer season is officially over for most property and vacation rental management companies, it is common to take a brief step back and assess the season that seems to fly by quicker and quicker each year.  (I mean wasn’t it just Memorial Day like three weeks ago?) 

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Running a Lean and Efficient Vacation Rental Business

Posted by Mike Todd on Aug 8, 2016 4:00:18 PM

I love the Olympics and in the true spirit of competition let’s talk about the Vacation Rental Industry.  As the Vacation Rental Industry grows so does the competition.  From the Vacation Rental (VR) Company perspective the competition is fierce.  There is competition to attract new and returning guests, competition to attract the best properties and home owners, competition to attract and keep great employees, competition against hotels, competition against marketing channels (VRBO, Airbnb, etc.…). 

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Tags: Vacation Rental Industry

What Is Your Plan for the Shoulder Season?

Posted by Mike Todd on Jul 14, 2016 10:26:49 AM

I know that most Vacation Rental and Property Management Companies are just starting to get into their summer (and possibly busiest) season.  Working long hours, trying to keep customers happy, getting the most out of employees, and overall just trying to keep your head above water.  So why should you start thinking about the shoulder season?  Because the people that are renting out your properties now and visiting your website are the ones that are going to come back in the off season.

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Suggestions for Cost Effective Vacation Rental Upgrades

Posted by Mike Todd on Jun 8, 2016 2:10:21 PM

We all know the Vacation Rental Industry is competitive especially in your specific market.  It then gets more competitive between the properties within your management company.  Unit owners are demanding that their unit be rented, but they don’t realize the 1970’s wall to wall lime green shag carpets and dark paneling with the low popcorn textured ceiling aren’t in style anymore.  I realize that my example is probably an exaggeration, but there are plenty of properties out there that are dated and in need of some TLC.  Getting owners to realize this is another story and getting them to invest in their investment can be challenging.  Some upgrades that can be offered to owners are not too financially painful and usually can be accomplished in the offseason. 

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Your Rental Gold Mine... Repeat Vacation Rental Guests

Posted by Mike Todd on May 12, 2016 2:23:14 PM

I was speaking with some potential clients at the VRMA conference in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago and one of them mentioned that they only get about 15% of their business from repeat guests (sometimes called unicorns). I was shocked to hear that. This then sparked my curiosity and I started to ask vacation rental managers what percentage of their business come from repeat guests.  More times than not it seemed that the managers I spoke with all felt that they were missing opportunities by not focusing more on the guests that had already stayed with them.
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Millennial Work and Spending Habits Impact the Vacation Rental Industry

Posted by Mike Todd on Apr 21, 2016 4:41:15 PM

I attended the Mountain Travel Symposium in Keystone, CO the week of April 4th.  There were many great presentations and interesting things to hear about in the mountain resort industry and the vacation rental industry, but one presentation stood out to me. The sharing economy and millennials.  As you can imagine the ramifications that come with this are deep, but I wanted to take a closer look at how this generation impacts the workforce.

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Social Media Complaints and Vacation Rental Management

Posted by Mike Todd on Apr 6, 2016 6:22:42 PM

Being in the service industry we all know how important your paying guests are to your business.  Barefoot also recognizes that our clients are much more than Property Managers in fact we recognize that our clients are Vacation Managers.  With that distinction of being a Vacation Manager a lot of responsibility comes with helping to provide an amazing experience and create long lasting memories for families and friends.  In most cases people that stay in a vacation home have planned and saved for that very special trip for a very long time.  Expectations are very high and that is why it is important for all Vacation Managers to have a plan in place to handle social media complaints. 

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