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HelpBookMe Implements Version 3.0 or S2D2 Pricing System

By William May
Published: 06/03/20 Topics: Software, Sunspots Vacation Rentals, Vacation Rentals, Vortex Managers Comments:

Although the Vortex Organization first inserted yield management tools into their HelpBookMe lodging management system years ago, today they announced release of version 3.0 of tools referred to as S2D2 for "Seasonal, Strategic, Dynamic and Distributed".

Salman Arshad, chief engineer notes, "Artificial Intelligence pricing is based on the simple idea of Supply and Demand. But predicting supply and demand is a complicated undertaking because variables change frequently and quickly."

Yield Management, sometimes called "Dynamic Rates", increase or decrease based on the general economy, local and regional economic factors, the features and amenities of each property, local events and circumstances, prior day, week, month and quarter pricing, competitor rates and, even, the weather.

S2D2 rates are based on artificial intelligence that queries over 8 billion dollar points every evening, chooses the factors affecting every individual property, and then applies them to our geographic markets right down to the individual vacation rental home or lodging unit.

"Of course our pricing is based on sophisticated and ever changing algorithms, but we still apply manual review, oversight and, sometimes, intervention," said Kate Quinn, account manager at Vortex. "That is why our product name acknowledges all of those important factors."

"Studied" means constant inspection of what competitors are charging for similar and dis-similar properties. "Strategic" rates are set differently depending on time of the year, the season, and in accordance with local events.

"Dynamic" means that rates are adjusted regularly based on occupancy, advance notice and other factors. "Distributed" requires properties be widely advertised on every productive website and through conventional media to ensure that those who might demand the property know it exists.

You cannot have one of those elements without the others, otherwise the science of yield management would be incomplete. After extensive testing, results show that S2D2 version 3.0 can increase both occupancy and rates, resulting in more profit for property owners.

"It is counter-intuitive to recognize that S2D2 does not care what the day of the week is, what the season is or even if there are holidays." explained Arshad. "Instead, with constant calculation, the software foresees trends and adjusts rates to be at the sweet spot that fosters both occupancy and optimal rate."

Another reason yield management works so well is that, surprisingly, travelers have become accustomed to it and, in fact, learn to use variable rates to change their behavior. In other words, demand for lodging ebbs and flows based on rates.

The HelpBookMe technology and especially version 3.0 help charge the highest possible rate on the most popular dates. Modest rates are charged during shoulder seasons. And low rates are set for slow seasons to attract guests who would not otherwise consider booking.

Yield management shines during good economies, but quickly recognizes and reacts to negative events such as economic downturns, regional weather, and any happenings beyond anyone's control.

William May, a Vortex leader admits, ""Every owner loves the idea of high rates, but pride of ownership can be wounded when they look at lower seasonal rates. But once they see the growth in annual income, owners become quick converts to our S2D2 dynamic rates."

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Vortex Managers is a network of trained vacation rental management companies and provides its clients with the resources of giant lodging corporations without the cost or delay. HelpBookMe is a proprietary lodging management software system perfected with thousands of hours by expert engineers. For more information on Vortex, call or Email: Info@VortexManagers.com, or Website: www.VortexManagers.com

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Author: William May – Manager, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0746 – 06/03/20

How Dare They Go To Work

By William May
Published: 04/20/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Family, Gratitude, Health Comments:

How Dare They Work. Corona Virus.

Really, who the hell do they think they are?

Awakening early every morning, or even in the middle of the night. After too little sleep and too much stress, trudging to a job they love, although they admit it is difficult to love right now. How dare they go to work?

They will often spend 12-hours shifts or much longer and for days on end. Not one day off, not a moment to spend on personal things. No time with family or friends. How do they dare do that to themselves?

Some are paid very well, some paid adequately and others earn far too little. Most will receive nothing extra for the insurmountable obstacles they confront. How do they dare to work at all when others would not?

And yet, they persevere and get up and go to a job they know will be very frustrating. They know it is also rewarding, but that it will not feel that way every day. They do not dare to think about relief, at least not yet.

At the job, they will toil hour after hour, often with no time to eat or take a break. Squeezing in a bathroom break is necessary, but even that feels like wasting time. They will be confronted with thing after thing to do. Work upon work. No rest for the weary.

There will be a non-stop demand to do the difficult, the impossible and even the frightening. They won't feel up to the task all the time, but they will step up to the tasks every time. How dare they do that to themselves?

They see weeks of challenge ahead, maybe months, maybe years. They refuse to look for the finish line, because every champion runner puts one foot ahead of the other knowing it’s the only way to finish. They think about quitting, but only rarely, because quitting would make it more difficult for others. They dare not let anyone down.

As the world begins to show its gratitude for these wonderful human beings, they will still feel inadequate, because the mission is so huge and for now seemingly impossible. How dare they believe they can make it better?

These people are not necessarily glib with their words. They have no time for pontificating. They have no time to complain. They do not seek glory or even recognition. They would not dare direct any attention to themselves.

Every one of them knows the risk of physical illness, mental duress, financial hardships and family stress. They know these things, so how do they continue on? Would anyone else dare?

They dare because the task is at hand. The challenge is now. They dare not wait. They dare not fail. They will not let that happen, no matter how long it takes and no matter the personal cost. How dare they believe they are life givers?

Doctors, nurses, caregivers, counselors, therapists, pharmacists, ambulance drivers, EMTs, first-responders, administrators, janitors and every employee at every hospital, all dare to come to work - and we must all be so grateful that they do.

These people dare because they are different than most of us. Very different. Most dreamt of their career as a calling. They have always known it would be difficult, but they never dared to think it would be like this. But they did know that they could and would act in ways the rest of us cannot promise. They dare to go to work because they saves lives.

Whether you believe in God or you do not, whether you can donate to their cause or not, whether you have suffered from illness or not, it is now time to give thanks that somehow there are people like them in the world.

It is time thank them for dedication that is immense, commitment that is astounding, and for courage that is unending. How dare they?

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Author: William May, Plumbob Publishing
Blog #: 0743 – 04/20/20

Clean, Wipe, Soak, Scrub, Brush, Scour, Polish

By Wm. May
Published: 04/18/20 Topics: Covid-19 Virus, Housekeeping, Property Management Comments:

How to Clean and Sanitize Vacation Rental Homes

Since our first office opened in 1964, we have been rigorously cleaning and sanitizing properties for decades. This is nothing new to us. In fact, our homes are cleaned to a degree higher than most people have at home. It has always been our commitment to have every home safe and ready for guest arrival.

Get a Real Getaway

If you need a vacation, holiday escape, spring break, fresh air and time alone, vacation rentals are the best option. Bring kids or not. Bring the family or just your spouse. Most homes are free-standing, so you can avoid crowds. Even in our condos, the homes are open corridor, so there is no need to pass through common areas, like lobbies and dark hallways.

When Guests Depart

After guests depart, housekeepers arrive at every home to clean, wipe, soak, scrub, brush, scour, mop and polish bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, common spaces and even decks and patios, linens, towels and surfaces. Hot tubs are disinfected. This entire process - called "out Clean" - takes many hours. Then homes are spot checked by managers to ensure good work. When departing, all staff members use bleach rags, so that even the door knob and key-safe are sanitized. Wow!

Sanitation Cleaning Products

We use a variety of products to clean, disinfect and sanitize. All are approved for high health standards. We still use bleach for some areas because it is still the gold standard for killing every kind of bug. In fact, if you enter a home immediately after housekeepers depart, for a few minutes you may detect a slight cleaning smell. That is your assurance of sanitization.

Bathroom Super Scrub

Cleaning bathrooms is not a fun task, but we carefully clean all sinks, mirrors, toilets, drawers, bathtubs and shower enclosures until they sparkle. But they have also been sprayed and later wiped with disinfectant. Soiled and unsoiled towels are removed before cleaning starts to avoid cross contamination. This is a hands-and-knees job, but housekeepers pride themselves on meticulous cleaning.

Proper Wipe Downs

You might think that spraying and wiping surfaces with disinfectant is sufficient, but it is not. Instead, disinfectant must be left on surfaces for a period of time before it is wiped away. This gives time for the liquid to kill all the germs.

- Door knobs inside and outside.

- Window switches.

- Light switches and sockets.

- Lamp switches.

- Cupboard doors and surfaces.

- Table tops including night stands.

- Appliances - top and sides.

- Counter tops.

- Reachable walls.

- Outdoor furniture.

- Stairs and deck handrails.

- Toasters and coffee makers.

- TV and other remote controls.

- Stereos and computers.

- Door bells and key safes.

- Toys and board games.

- Pet toys and blankets.

- And more.

Vacuuming, Mopping, Sweeping

Are you ever tempted to do floors fast? By slowing down the process and covering every floor surface carefully, dirt, grime and germs are removed. We keep equipment new and well maintained to get the best results. Housekeepers are never limited to cleaning hours. Instead, they are encouraged to take all the time they need to do the job right.

Kitchens and Dining Rooms

Kitchens get splattered on, baked in and used heavily. It is a big job, but to get kitchens spic-and-span is essential, from the stove to oven to refrigerator, but also microwaves, cupboards, fans and light fixtures. Cleaned inside and out. You will notice we remove condiments, such as ketchup and mustard left from prior guests, because leaving open containers violates health standards. You'll have to bring your own, but you'll know they are new and fresh.

Hot Tubs and Spas

Every hot tub is completely disinfected after each booking by trained staff members. Sand or debris is removed, filters are inspected, and chemicals are adjusted. In addition, the hot tub cove, top and side surfaces are disinfected. If you arrive to a tub that is not yet fully heated, please wait because we had to empty and refill it. Takes time to reheat.

Towels and Linens

Washing and drying linens and towels is an obvious step, be we wall all of them, even if a bed does not appear to have been slept in. They are transported to the washer-dryer using rubber gloves and laundry bags, and they are returned to beds in baskets to avoid cross contamination. Along with quality detergent, additional disinfectant is added to all washing to ensure germs are eradicated.

Deep Cleans

In addition to our rigorous out-clean, homes receive deep cleans regularly to cover hard to access areas, including heating ducts, cupboard sides and ceilings, high surfaces, fans, carpets and more. This takes many hours, and ensures the cleanest possible property.

When Guests Depart

You may notice that we do NOT as guests to do laundry or to remove linens and towels to the laundry area. We do it all to ensure that every textile has been washed and cleaned properly without dragging it through the house.

Call Us Quick: 206-504-2744

If at any time during your stay, if you find any issue, call our 24-7-365 day phone number for assistance. If necessary, our staff will happily come to the property to ensure all is right. And if you want daily cleaning, we can arrange that too, for a small additional fee.

Avoid Crowds, Stay in a Private, Vacation Home!

Year round, in every season, and no matter what is happening in the rest of the world, vacation rentals offer a respite from the rate race, a chance to get away and to enjoy a sparkling clean, sanitized home.

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Author: Wm. May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0742 – 04/18/20
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HelpBookMe Invents Bumper Days to Facilitate Cleaning

By William May
Published: 04/01/20 Topics: Comments:

In response to the Covid-19 virus, Vortex Organization's Redstone Software engineers have designed and installed a new system in their HelpBookMe property management software. It adds unoccupied dates between bookings to allow separation for guests and additional housekeeping time. These are called :"Bumper" days.

Vortex is a network of inn, resort and vacation rental management companies who share methods, staff, marketing and technology to provide sophisticated services to lodging owners and want maximum income with minimum fuss. Operators of this website are members of the group.

Trina Flanagan, a partner in the firm, said, "We have always employed strict hospitality grade cleaning and sanitizing standards used to clean the inns, resorts and vacation rental homes that its member management companies serve.:

With the arrival of covid-19, Vortex managers began allowing homes to site vacant at least one day after prior guests depart and before housekeepers or new guests access the home.

But with the advent of online travel agents like AirBnB, VRBO, Booking.com and others, lodging reservations are procured from many sources and automatically downloaded into the Vortex HelpBookMe Software

Penny Taylor, a partner administering reservations at all geographic locations, add, "Although not practical in all locations, the Bumper system, allows bumper dates to be added automatically in all geographic areas and in all properties where that policy is desirable."

Even with the lessening of travel restrictions, the new software capabilities increases safety while making the bumper method to be more selectively implemented.

"Our engineering team researched, coded, tested and implemented the system in record time" noted Ozair Khalid who oversees reservations software. "Neither the corporate management companies or major software providers have not rolled out a similar tool. Too bad for their manager customers."

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Vortex Managers is a network of trained vacation rental management companies and provides its clients with the resources of giant lodging corporations without the cost or delay. HelpBookMe is a proprietary lodging management software system perfected with thousands of hours by expert engineers. For more information on Vortex, call or Email: Info@VortexManagers.com, or Website: www.VortexManagers.com

Read more

Author: William May – Manager, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0747 – 04/01/20

Kala Point Welcomed into Yourshare Goldener Network!!

Published: 03/01/20 Topics: Comments:

Goldener Inns & Resorts, which offers vacation rental bookings for timeshare resorts through its YourShare program, today announced today it is now offering rentals at KalaPoint.com, a prestigious condominium community of the scenic Port Townsend area of Washington State area, has

Through Yourshare, participating homes are advertised on the custom built full ecommerce website at KalaPoint.net and on hundreds of prominent websites worldwide such as VRBO, Booking.com, AirBnB, Expedia and more.

Kala Point Resort is large property comprised of hundreds of private homes, townhomes and the timeshare condominiums which are 2 to 3 bedrooms and come complete with comfortable furnishings, complete kitchens, TV, cable, and internet.

Guests have access to the resort’s club house and meeting room, seasonal outdoor swimming pool, year round sauna and hot tub. Other amenities include a workout room with exercise equipment, a small boat launch, tennis and pickle ball courts, and a playground.

The Resorts sits on a mile long sandy beach with salt water boat docks and playgrounds. Whales, Dolphins and Eagles are regularly seen there.

Located at the northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, they’ll enjoy spectacular views of Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, and on clear days, can see all the way to Victoria Island and Mount Baker in British Columbia.

Just up the road the town of Port Townsend, itself is full of charming antique stores, boutiques, cafes, restaurants, all in beautiful, Victorian-era buildings.

The innovative Yourshare program offers greater marketing than individual timeshare home owner associations can muster, and provides income to timeshare owners for a lower commission fee.

There are no up-front costs, owners can open or close dates to booking as they see fit, and they only pay a fee when their dates are booked.

A long term contract is not required and Yourshare handles all details such as advertising, reservations phones, guest and owner services including coordination with the onsite resort personnel and services.

To book your next vacation at Kala Point visit www.KalaPoint.com or GoldenerInns.com. Or call 360-382-1700. Phones are open everyday of the year. Although these homes can be rented on Expedia. AirBnB and other websites contact KalaPoint.com for the best rates and availability..

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Resorts looking to gain maximum rental income with minimum fuss should contact Goldener, see www.YourShare.biz or call .818-922-8292 toll free.

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Blog #: 0722 – 03/01/20

All Travel is a Local Beehive

By William May
Published: 03/01/20 Topics: Fishing, Marketing, Restaurants Comments:

My memory is vivid even though it was decades ago. At age 10, I began playing little league baseball in the small town of Montesano, Washington State.

It is an idyllic place even today. The county seat and classically designed courthouse give the town the feel of financial stability. Homes and lawns are well kept and right in the middle of the town is the Nelson Baseball Field.

I dropped by yesterday during a time warp to find that nothing hand changed. The grass was green and well manicured. Local merchants had signs on the outfield fence. In the early morning, the only things missing were players, coaches and parents. I was all alone.

Winding up the road, I came to Lake Sylvia State Park and the time warp opened again. Nothing had changed in all that time. It wasn't fishing season, but I could imagine children on the bridge pulling in freshly planted trout. The beach and swimming area matched my memory precisely.

When we won little league games, the coach - my father, treated us to milk shakes at Gene's Stop and Go. They had dozens of flavors, but I never waivered. Chocolate was my one and only love. Still is.

At season end, Dad treated the family to dinner at the the Beehive Restaurant, that sat squarely in the middle of town. I remember the bright yellow sign with bees on it, the lunch counter, the waitresses so nice to small children, and the chicken-fried steak that my father ordered every time.

There are many stupendous things to see and places to go in the world. But those most loved are those that stay true to themselves. They find a good thing and tend it lovingly.

To my delight, the Beehive still sits at the same corner. Still has a lunch counter and still has smiling women who are nice to every customer. And the chicken-fried steak? Well, it was just as good as all those years ago. Fresh corn on the cob. Hand made smashed garlic potatoes.

After seeing all those big sites, visit Montesano some day to remember that local travel is always the best way to learn and share.

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Author: William May – Publisher, Plumbob Publishing
Blog #: 0740 – 03/01/20

Home of the Great White Owl

By Elizabeth Rogers
Published: 09/16/18 Topics: Comments:

Eden Valley Guest Ranch presents the Great White Owl. Read more

AtTheBlue.com at Blue Heron Resort

By Libby Rogers
Published: 04/22/18 Topics: Hood Canal, Timeshares, Vacation, Vacation Rentals Comments:

Yourshare.biz which offers resort and owner direct vacation rental bookings for timeshare properties announced today that it has opened a new website for the Blue Heron Condos on Washington State's pristine Hood Canal. Read more

When Cheap is Ohhhhh So Good! (And warm!)

By Jerry German
Published: 10/01/17 Topics: Comments: 1

From the earliest days of my childhood, I have never been a winter person. Yeah, winter is beautiful and there are some fun things to do, but I hate cold, love hot. And I love to swim. And I like beaches Read more

Vacation Rental Picante Sauce

By Wm. May
Published: 09/01/17 Topics: Property Management, Vacation Rentals Comments:

What do Picante Sauce and Vacation Rentals have in common? Well they gotta be fresh and tended to. Can managers from hundreds and thousands of miles away provide adequate service to discerning property owners. Not hardly. Read more

Wonderful Puerto Morelos on the Yucatan

By Ron Lee
Published: 09/01/17 Topics: Inns, Mexico, Vacation Rentals Comments:

Although still a fishing village, the government declared the reef area and mangroves an ecological preserve with the intent to locals to keep development to a minimum. But comfort and fun are at a maximum. Read more

Seaway Dance Hall at Copalis Beach Rocked Out

By Wm. May
Published: 03/01/17 Topics: Comments:

Just West of the Green Lantern Tavern in Copalis Beach Washington State is a World War Two Quonset hut where Rock and Roll reigned supreme in the 1960's. Read more

Server Crash All Night Bash

By William May
Published: 03/25/16 Topics: Self Improvement Comments:

Getting good folks to work for you is easier than you think. All you gotta do is put yourself in their shoes, and do it literally. Leaders do the toughest jobs, not the easiest. Leaders must be out-front or they are really only stragglers. Read more

El Nino Looms; Don't Fret Too Much

By Taylor May
Published: 12/01/15 Topics: Comments:

A magazine For skiers, snowboarders and everything snow started in 1964 now an online source of with news, comments, articles, photos and videos. If you slide, visit our Website and join the email list to get instant mountain info year round. Read more

Best Halloween Advertising. Cheapest too.

By William May
Published: 10/31/15 Topics: Advertising, Marketing Comments:

Many experts will rattle your brain with every kind of advertising and marketing. But the restaurant - Two Doors Down - exceeds them all with their latest Halloween advertising idea. It may not be what you expect. Boo. Read more

Drones Will One Day Be Old News

By William May
Published: 05/01/15 Topics: Hotels, Photography Comments:

Hoteliers are all anxious to get aerial photos of their properties from drones. Good idea and we do them. Here is why they would be better off to invest I High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photos instead. Read more

HDR Photography is not HD

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

Only one in every ten thousand amateur photographers, and only one out of a thousand professionals have an understanding of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos. That terminology has nothing to do with the common High Definition description of TV's and monitors. Everyone in lodging should know the difference. Read more

How to see Elk at Mount Rainier

By Emmalee David
Published: 10/17/14 Topics: Comments:

If you have never seen an Elk you will be in luck when visiting our Vacation Rental homes located in the Greenwater area of Washington State, just outside the gates to Mount Rainier National Park. Here are tips to find them. Read more

A Map, a Map, My Kingdom for a Map

By William May
Published: 07/20/14 Topics: Comments:

Folded like origami (Japanese paper art), maps have been an indispensible tool for travelers for centuries. But today with Global Positioning Statellites (GPS) and Smart Phones, travel can be much easier but it does require some common sense. Read more

Outdoors-For-All, the Heros Among Us

By William May
Published: 06/09/14 Topics: Comments:

Donate your home to charities for their use and fundraising and post your generosity on VacationRentalAgents.com. See how the Ski-For-All Foundation gave property owners the great satisfaction of helping disabled kids and adults to ski. Read more

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DETAILS: We work to keep this information up to date, but details do change from time to time based on circumstances, often on short notice, and sometimes beyond our control. To verify any answer or other information you may need, please call or email us anytime. Allow a reasonable amount of time for response. Only legitimate inquiries will be answered.