Hi! I’m George Volsky – the person responsible for posting blogs on the Community about vacation rentals in relation to property managers. This first blog is devoted to ME--who I am, what I’ve done, what I’m good at, and what I plan to do with this blog.
To start with, I’m a bit dysfunctional and really bad with names, but on the upside, I’m good with concepts and systems and I’ll remember your business issues even when I can’t remember your name. I can say (modestly) that I have as comprehensive an understanding of this industry as anyone, because of the time spent talking to rental managers about the business.
I pour over industry statistics. I’ve written white papers and delivered hundreds of educational seminars over the years on virtually all industry topics. I love this industry.
What I enjoy most is figuring out how everything about this industry interacts with everything else. I like questions like:
- “What is more important to rental managers--inventory or renters?”
- “How can you change your fee structures to insulate you from discounting?”
- “When is it better to omit add-on fees from your advertised price?”
- “Which markets are best and worst to compete in?”
- “How should you compete with hotels and cruise lines?”
- “How do you deal with competitors who cut commissions and rents?”
- “How fast can a rental manager grow?”
- “How do you compete with a competitor that has more money, homes, etc.?”
- “What does the growth of rent-by--owner mean for the future of rental managers?
In my blog, I’ll be talking about issues like these--as well as about issues you raise in the forums.
Many vacation rental managers have already attended my seminars at national or state association meetings, software user conferences, regional seminars hosted by vendors and webinars. For you, I hope to continue sharing my perspectives about our changing industry and your options for adapting.
But there are literally thousands of rental managers who are not active in industry events. For you, I hope to share insights that have evolved from the collective wisdom of your colleagues. It is my hope that these insights will help you grow, increase your revenue, and navigate the Internet and competitive challenges that are shaking up the vacation rental industry.
Anyway, back to the main topic for this blog--ME.
My first job out of college was as a transportation industry analyst, where I worked with government analysts and economists, learning about travel economics, and this led to too many years as an attorney, setting up and working with airlines (I still apologize for those years and am grateful that bankers have taken up their share of the burden as public targets).
My first job after leaving the law was as a vacation rental manager on the Outer Banks, where I dove into the company’s reservation data in an effort to learn in a few years what took eight years for vacation rental managers. Anyway, I started talking about my discoveries, and this led to a 12-year term as a consultant. I have worked closely with many of the nation’s leading vacation rental companies, large and small, in all areas of the country.
I’ve studied the competitive and pricing strategies of competitors in entire markets, valued companies for purchase or sale, designed decision support software, projected the economic impact of vacation rentals on state and local economies, and served as industry consultant for the 2008 PhoCusWright study that sized and valued the vacation rental industry.
I currently monitor industry statistics and do monthly trend reports. I have served as Director of Research for the nation’s leading reservation software companies, Instant Software and Escapia, which, as of October 2010 were acquired by HomeAway.
I’ve now said “I” enough times that I can only bear to say it thrice more in this blog:
- I’m looking forward to sharing my views and
- I hope, over time, to get the benefit of yours;
- I’ll share my next blog in time to wish you a happy holiday.