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May 2013 Speakers Covered The Bases

(News Item #0283, Published: 05/07/13, Author: Josh Dettwiller, WAVRMA.org)

Attendees proclaimed it the best meeting ever. Speakers for the May 2013 get together of the Washington State Vacation Rental Managers Association (www.WAVRMA.org) covered topics from State Tourism to startling internet innovations.

David Jameson, marketing manager at Mountain Resorts in Sunriver Oregon traveled North to tell Washington managers how his firm has grown to 107 homes under management and doubled occupancy in just the past year. Although new to the lodging industry, David's background in advertising, marketing and video prompted him to review every aspect of marketing right down to updating property features.

Before becoming President & CEO of the Seattle Visitors and Convention Bureau, spent 20 years with the luxury Four Seasons Hotel chain, Seattle Hospitality group and others. He provide a detailed update to the worldwide marketing conducting by his group, now called Visit Seattle. Tom also spoke with Washington State's abandonment of its State Tourism office and the efforts of the newly formed Washington Tourism Alliances' effort to offset that shortage.

Seattle based Dwellable.com set its sights high to offer a radical new look at indexing the world's vacation rentals and display them to guests in a graphically intense website. Brenda Spoonemore, along with several colleagues, gave inside peaks at how it all works and how managers can work with them to increase exposure and bookings.

Chris Murphy, Vice President of development, explained how Seabrook Resort on the coast of Washington State overcame the recession to build and sell 240 vacation homes in an area previously devoid of comprehensive planning. Seventy percent of the home owners have opted to offer their homes for rental through Seabrook's program. Murphy said virtually every home buyer first stayed at the resort, prior to buying.

After watching Joseph Romain, from Signatours Photo Team, give a live hands-on demonstration of taking and preparing High Dynamic Photos, attendees were somewhat astonished at the artistic skill necessary to fully display property quality.

Speaker presentations were followed by a rousing discussion of opportunities and challenges facing the industry, as well as a sharing of operational tips and techniques. The meeting was held at Seattle's Hugo House, a literary center for teaching and presentation of prose, poetry and other arts. Association members attended from all over Washington State and included observers from other states as well. Members were William May, an association board member, The next meeting is scheduled for September 24th.

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Started in 2004, WAVRMA is a state registered Not-For-Profit trade association whose membership is open to one and all; those who support the continued growth of vacation rentals. Meet managers with mutual respect and courtesy. In conjunction with the Vacation Rental Association the association also offers free member property listings on www.WAVRMA.com and other Washington State Websites using the world's first multiple listing service for Vacation Rentals (www.VRMLS.org). The group also supports a charitable giving program at Vacation Rental Angeles.