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Complaints, Compliments and Compassion

By William May
Published: 11/19/09 Topics: Comments: -

For a number of years our company has donated vacation rental home use to a wonderful group called OutdoorsForAll.org (Formerly SkiForAll.org). Their mission is to enrich the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities through outdoor recreation.

OFA takes handicapped folks to destinations and into sports they could never imagine otherwise. Blind kids go skiing, the wheelchair bound go biking. The offer horseback riding, hiking, swimming, canoeing, rafting, water skiing and more.

The first time they stayed with us they brought a dozen kids to a ski area. It made us feel good to help, but we were disappointed when the housekeepers found that the beds had not been slept. A bit alarmed we placed a quick phone call to the organization apologizing because we didn't want them to think they could not use the beds.

We were greeted with boisterous laughter. "Oh you don't understand do you?" said the director. "These kids are mostly bed bound so staying in a big bed in a luxurious home is not an adventure." She explained. "But sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor by a fireplace is a thrilling experience for them. They could hardly sleep." We smiled and felt better.

If you want to make yourself feel great today, click here to make a donation to the Ski For All Organization.

Besides wonderful groups like Outdoors For All, we sometimes have guests that require special assistance.

Recently one such guest complained that we could not provide her with a wheel chair condo during her stay - even though she failed to request one when booking. She complained her condo wasn't actually on the beach, even though it was as close or closer than every other accommodation in town.

Never the less, she went home and THREE MONTHS later demanded a full refund, complained to every agency and media (who bought her trumped up story without corroboration) and then demanded a full refund for the week long vacation she received.

Businesses are often maligned for being callous or uncaring. That is unfortunate because businesses are nothing more than people; people who care about every guest and work diligently to satisfy them.

Our staff and affiliates were crest-fallen when that guest complained. But should they be?

Their actions went beyond the call of duty. Instead of sulking about one person who seemed to be asking for far more than she ordered, they need to focus on the hundreds of thousands who appreciate their lodging, noticed how clean the linens are, appreciate the comfortable furniture, relax at the pools, use the fully furnished kitchens and offer those little compliments everyone needs in life.

We need to judge our own compassion by those who appreciate it, but keep working for those pesky people as well. You know we will.

P.S. A good thing came out of this incident. We sponsored and our not-for-profit trade association - the Vacation Rental Industry Association (www.VRIA.org) formed a donation program where owners can announce their giving to charitable causes. See VacationRentalAngels.com

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P.S. Coming Soon. The VacationRentalAngels.com program sponsored by the Vacation Rental Industry Association. Where owners can announce their donations to charitable causes.

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Author: William May – Volunteer, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0128 – 11/19/09

Complaints, Compliments and Compassion

By William May
Published: 11/18/09 Topics: Comments: -

She wanted to go to the beach. It was to be a special trip with her daughter who had special needs. Larger homes were her preference, but a plain ocean front condo was her budget. She asked for a first floor home and a vendor to provide oxygen. Read more

Everything Robert Fulgham Learned in Kindergarten

By William May
Published: 11/01/09 Topics: Comments: -

I stumbled onto an Internet posting the other day that told me it has been twenty years since Robert Fulgham wrote "Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten". Read more

Seeing your Name in Print

By William May
Published: 10/01/09 Topics: Comments: -

Sometimes it is nice to see your name in the media and sometimes it is not. As the volunteer Director of the Vacation Rental Industry Association (VRIA) I receive calls from media all over the country. Speaking with most reporters reminds me of sitting in Journalism class while pursuing my college Read more

Remembering the "Thank You" Game

By William May
Published: 09/01/09 Topics: Comments: -

Surprises are great. And thank you's are best. In an industry like property management that requires attention to detail, constant supervision and reconciliation of occasionally conflicting goals between guests and owners it is too easy to forget the little personal things that make life worth liv Read more

Ocean Shores and Westport are Beaches Like No Other

By William May
Published: 08/01/09 Topics: Comments: -

A truth in advertising disclaimer is required first. Although I haven't lived in the area in almost 40 years, I must admit that I did grew up in several towns on the Washington Coast. Up until 4th grade the town of Raymond was where my parents lived and, you know how that goes, so did me. After th Read more

Owners Who Kill The Messenger. And Managers who help them.

By William May
Published: 07/01/09 Topics: Comments: -

The stinging effect on vacation rentals and vacation rental managers through out the US due to today's economy is having a effects that none of us can do anything about. The loss of demand is bad enough but now some managers are receiving those proverbial calls from owners who want to kill the me Read more

FlipKey Flips Misses the Point of Fairness.

By Ronald Wallace Lea
Published: 05/24/09 Topics: Comments: -

Half the challenge of war is knowing who the enemy is. Sometimes he paints himself as your ally. But beware; those who operate opposite to your best interest are always your enemy. Today's newsletter alerts you to a traitor in the midst of the lodging industry. Over the past months a graphically pl Read more

World's First Vacation Rental Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

By William May
Published: 03/18/09 Topics: Comments: -

The every increasing cost of advertising on the mammoth impersonal vacation rental listing websites has spawned innovation. On April 6th, the Vacation Rental Industry Association, with the help of Plumbob Publishing is unveiling the first every Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for Vacation Rentals. T Read more

You Can Still Go On Vacation

By William May
Published: 03/09/09 Topics: Comments: -

What will happen if unemployment hits 8% in the US? If you passed remedial math in school you know that means 92% of folks are still employed. While the 92% may be holding back on expenses but life goes on. The employed will continue to buy groceries, clothes, cable TV, phone services and - make n Read more

Protecting the Value of your Vacation Rental Home Investment

By William May
Published: 02/15/09 Topics: Comments: -

Many books have been written about offering second homes as vacation rental lodging; promising income and appreciation from an asset that sits unused when owners are away. But renting means the owner is in business and, like any other business, one that will occasionally have to deal with cranky co Read more

The New World of Publishing

By William May
Published: 01/23/09 Topics: Comments: -

I have been in, around, up to and about communication, journalism, advertising, marketing and publishing for a lot of years in one form or another. But this is a new era. The era of online publishing. Our company Plumbob Publishing is a thrown back to the era when journalists actually tried to veri Read more

HomeAway's Pillaging of Vacation Rentals

By William May
Published: 01/21/09 Topics: Comments: -

Somebody has to say it I suppose. The era of vacation rental home ownership has been taken over by people hell bent on dominating the industry and sucking the profit out of it from all other participants. For the last 10 years or so the market for vacation rentals has grown faster then any other ki Read more

Google Shoots Itself in the Advertising Foot

By William May
Published: 01/17/09 Topics: Comments: -

I can remember the first time I used Google. Up pops the browser there sits a simple single line search box. Type in what you are looking for and get some results. Or use that I'm Feeling Lucky button which is still the dumbest thing they've ever done. I can't imagine why they hold ont Read more

Why You Can't Shoot Vacation Rentals with a Camera

By William May
Published: 01/15/09 Topics: Comments: -

Well of course you can. Today everyone has a camera or two or three. They've moved up from the decades old Brownies to Polaroids to click and shoot and now into the world of digital and now to sophisticated digital cameras with large formats (pixels) and self correcting shooting. So h Read more

Sometimes the Best Ideas are Obvious

By William
Published: 01/10/09 Topics: Comments: -

It was our very first vacation rental. A sumptuous 3,000 square foot vacation home located at Washington State's top destination - Wapato Point a private resort on 50 miles long Lake Chelan Washington. Because it sits on Native American land we dubbed it the Totem House and filled it with native Ame Read more

Hello Blog. Goodbye Newsletters.

By William May
Published: 01/10/09 Topics: Comments: -

After years of writing newsletters I've succumbed to writing a blog. Not sure what the difference is - we've been posting newsletters online years ago- as well as emailing them and, in fact, snail mailing them years ago. What better way to keep in touch with all those people I should keep in touch Read more

Lotus Hale Hawaiin Villa Vs. Poipu Grand Hyatt Hotel

By William May
Published: 01/09/09 Topics: Comments: -

The Grand Hyatt at Poipu Kauai Hawaii is a real gem. If you want beauty and pampering this is your place - provided you want to a small room, high prices, less privacy and a hike to everything you might want to do. For just about $400 per night you get one of the 602 motel 6 size rooms. Better appo Read more

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