Baytowne Wharf - Sandestin, FL

Schedule

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020


7:30 - 8:30 Breakfast (Sponsored by IMEG) and Registration
8:30 - 9:20

2019 Panhandle Performance and the 2020 Forecast

Key Data and VRM intel take a deep dive into actual YOY performance in the region, from the Alabama Gulf Coast to Panama City Beach. Which beaches saw YOY growth? Are we seeing migration of guests across destinations? Did we see notable swings in ADR, Occupancy, and RevPAR? Get the answers to these questions and more as we examine 2019 activity and look at year-to-date booking activity for 2020. With Jason Sprenkle and Amy Hinote

9:20 - 9:35 Break
9:35 - 10:20

Marketing: SEO/SEM Disrupted: Google Shakes Up the Funnel

Changes at Google are disrupting traditional SEO and SEM strategies. How are these changes affecting marketing efforts, and how can VRMs navigate the new search format? Amber will demonstrate what has changed at Google, how channel managers and OTAs are working with Google’s new booking platform, and what strategies VRMs can implement to get in front of the coming disruption. With Amber Carpenter

Strategy: HR 411—Critical Workplace Topics for 2020

Workplace issues that kept leaders up at night in 2019 continue to cause more anguish in 2020. To assist you with a strong start as the calendar turns, we’re looking back at the key workplace topics that trended throughout 2019 that we expect will continue to hold your attention in the months ahead. Employment updates on salaried employees, overtime, marijuana, sick leave, ban the box and other key changes will be addressed during this session. With Sue Jones

Technology and Revenue Management: The Growth of Smart Home and its Implications for Property Managers

Smart home technology is quickly changing our industry. Join us as we discuss the challenges and opportunities this presents to property managers and how you can leverage this technology to improve operations, safety, and guest/homeowner experience. With Stevan Henning

10:20 - 10:50 Break
10:50 - 11:35

Marketing: Could You Be Losing Guests in the Booking Process?

Once a guest finally chooses one of your rentals, are you losing them in the booking process? Identify and create a user-friendly online booking process while keeping guests excited about booking their vacation as they finalize the reservations. Analyze abandoned shopping cart activity, examine rental policy formats, and ensure an easy contract signing process. With Vanessa Humes, ICND

Strategy: The 2020 Vacation Rental Regulatory Environment

A panel discussion on the market conditions, drivers precedent to and subsequent action behind regulation along the Gulf Coast. With Tiffany Edwards, Ken Wampler and City Councilman Parker Destin

Technology and Revenue Management: Revenue Management Infrastructure

Now that the vacation rental industry is getting destination-level performance data, we have the ability to create data-driven revenue management processes and practices. With a background in hotel revenue management, Saylor will show VRMs how hoteliers determine and implement pricing strategies by combining technology (including PMS software, pricing tools, and data sources), and how these processes compare and contrast with the vacation rental industry. With Ryan Saylor, Beyond Pricing

11:35 - 11:45 Break
11:45 - 12:30

Marketing: Building the Relationship with Guests Before, During and After the Vacation

With more guests going straight to the property, it is increasingly difficult to build a trusting relationship with them that keeps them coming back year after year. Using email and SMS/text messaging, we’ll discuss how to connect and interact with guest with information that communicates trust and ensures that guest expectations are set and met. Jinnie Templin, Bluetent

Strategy: Lessons Learned—Technology, Hiring, Owners, Guests, Laundry, Linens and More

Experience is the best teacher, and some lessons are learned the hard way. Milo will candidly discuss some of these lessons he has learned over the last 15 years in vacation rental management, including implementing technology, hiring, working with homeowners, dealing with guests who want to blackmail you, battling regulations, facing new competition, and more. With Steve Milo, VTrips

Technology and Revenue Management: Data-driven Business Strategy

VRMs now have access to a ton of data, including destination data, performance data, website analytics, call center data, property data, and more. But how do managers combine all of this data to make business decisions about growth, staffing, pricing, and marketing? Each piece of data tells a small part of the business story, and when taken out of context, it can be misleading. But when the pieces are combined, VRMs can use these data sources to boost performance and maximize growth opportunities. With Brise Carpenter, Navis

12:30 - 2:00 Lunch (Sponsored by Xplorie)
1:00 - 1:50

A New Decade in Vacation Rental Management

Across panhandle destinations, vacation rental management companies are witnessing a shifting landscape with an influx of new faces, business models, and customer behavior. Industry leaders will be on stage to discuss regional changes, Vacasa’s purchase of Wyndham, new franchise models, preserving our destinations, and the future of vacation rental management in this new decade. With Micah Berg, Lino Maldonado, Brian Moffatt and Paul Wohlford

1:50 - 2:05 Break
2:05 - 2:50

Marketing: Mitigate Bad Reviews and Get More 5-Star

Most people do not leave reviews and those who do either had an amazing stay or well, you know, a really bad one. In this session, I will show you how to get more reviews so you have more data to make better decisions with as well as show you how to mitigate bad reviews so they do not get found online. You’ll also find out how to get more 5 star reviews on TripAdvisor, Google and other review sites. This is critical for social proof, conversion and even SEO. With Justin Jones, IMEG

Strategy: Experience and Professionalism: Why it Matters in the Vacation Rental Industry

With new entrants in the vacation rental industry, the level of professionalism has seen a decline across the US. How is this lack of experience and diminished focus on best practices affecting the industry? Edwards will discuss the important of professionalism and how VRMs can raise the bar to create a higher expectation for homeowners, in our destinations, and in the industry. With Ben Edwards, Weatherby Consulting

Technology and Revenue Management: Key Data Workshop

Become a performance and destination data expert and identify KPIs that are important to your business. Learn to use the Key Data Dashboard to create reports that help drive business decisions, pricing and marketing strategy. Create your own dashboard views, and learn to quickly pull individual homeowner performance. Now that we have the data, let’s learn how to use it. With Key Data Team

2:50 - 3:20 Break
3:20 - 4:05

Marketing: Strategically Working with OTAs in 2020

People talk about strategic use of OTAs, but what does it actually mean? This session covers when to use OTAs, maximizing real estate on listing pages, and pricing strategies. Plus, does the billboard effect still exist and, if so, how does a VRM plant brand info into listings? With Michelle Marquis, Lexicon

Strategy: Making Safety a Top Priority at Your Agency

It is important to address safety in your vacation rentals to prevent harm to guests, avoid lawsuits and improve marketability. How do you go about doing that? In this session, we'll discuss establishing the role of a safety manager(s) and establishing protocols, procedures and demonstrated best practices that will help ensure your VRMC is doing all it can do to address the safety of your guests. With Justin Ford, Breezeway

Technology and Revenue Management: 2020 Technology Landscape

Vacation rental technology has seen a shakeup over the last two years with consolidation and emerging third-party solutions. How are software executives looking at building PM software and how are property managers navigating combining the use of third-party tech products with their PMS? Panel: Brett Parry (Streamline), Matt Renner (TRACK), Ed Ulmer (Barefoot Technologies), and Steve Milo, (VTrips), moderated by Amy Hinote

4:05 - 4:15 Break
4:15 - 5:00

Marketing: Proactive Homeowner Acquisition

Competition for new homeowners has sharply increased with the influx of new and aggressive multi-destination companies. Pfautz discusses how homeowners are making decisions about choosing a VRM in 2020 and how to tell your story and set your company apart from the competition. With a focus on data and performance, VRMs can examine unique strategies and practices for targeting homeowners with the right message at the right time. With Brooke Pfautz

Strategy: New Year, New Role: Managers are now Hospitality Providers

It’s 2020, and the industry’s maturation has carved out new responsibilities and expectations for managers. In fact, the moniker ‘property manager’ doesn’t encapsulate the work that goes into the job, nor does it capture the emphasis placed on personalized guest service and property care. Led by Breezeway’s Founder and CEO, Jeremy Gall, this panel will discuss how professionals can embrace their new ‘hospitality provider’ title and capitalize on this huge opportunity.

Technology and Revenue Management: Property Management Software Round Table

Moderated by Amy Hinote and Dawn Yeskulsky, this Q&A session with software providers is designed to answer any questions you have about the direction of property management software in 2020 and beyond. In a round-table format, we will also have third-party technology providers (smart home, data, revenue management, marketing and insurance), on hand to address integration questions and discuss the VR tech stack.

5:00 - 7:00 Cocktail Party at Rum Runners (Sponsored by Beyond Pricing)

Micah Berg

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Micah Berg is the “Servant-in-Chief” (CEO) and Founder of RealJoy Vacations in Destin, Florida, (www.realjoy.com) which also owns a subsidiary brand, Resort Rentals in St Petersburg, FL (www.resortrentals.us). Micah brings a mixture of military and financial management industry experience to the RealJoy Vacations executive team. Micah took over a failing vacation management company in early 2009, with only 20 units, and has very quickly transformed it into one of the leading companies in the industry with over 700 units under management as of November 2019. Micah also recently founded and is the CEO of Vacation Rental University (www.thevru.com), which aims to educate the vacation rental and short-term rental space to a high level of competency. The ultimate goal is to solidify Vacation Rentals as an official “industry” by having an end-to-end education platform available to get started in the business or follow through to mastery. His co-founders are Jim Olin and Michael Friedman, who both have multiple decades of experience in the Vacation Rental industry. The blood, sweat, and tears of their combined years have gone into over 350 video lessons as well as all of the forms, templates, and tools required to properly manage a vacation rental business. Micah is also a content provider and author for Agora Financial and has a book coming out in 2020. Being so involved in a rapidly growing and very competitive industry, Micah understands the value of pioneering new ideas and utilizing a mixture of education, data, and technology in order to stay a step ahead of the competition. In addition to VRU, Micah used this experience to develop a vacation rental operational management software, which was ultimately sold to the Kigo business unit of RealPage (RP) in 2015 and has become Kigo Operations Management (KOM). Micah started his professional career as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch in Atlanta, Georgia and moved to Destin, Florida to assist in opening a new branch. During his years with Merrill Lynch, Micah was recognized multiple times for superior performance and production and was part of a team that was fiduciary managers of over $450 million dollars of investment assets for their clients. Prior to his career in the financial industry, Micah was a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and served our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom I and III with the 13th and 15th Marine Expeditionary Units (SOC) out of Camp Pendleton, California. During his service in OIF III, Micah was recognized for the superior performance of his duties and leadership by receiving a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. After ending his active service with the Marine Corps, he became the commandant of the Marine Corps League – Emerald Coast Detachment 915 for 3 years and continues to be active in philanthropy and the community of Marines today. Micah is a licensed real estate agent in Florida and received several licenses and designations during his career including: ​
  • Realtor
  • Series 7– General Securities Representative
  • Series 66 – Securities Law
  • Life, Health, Variable Annuity, and Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) designation
  • Designated as an “Advisor for Alternative Investment Classes” to institutions and individuals
 

Amber Carpenter

Consultant

Amber Carpenter has been part of the vacation rental industry since 2003. With an early start in the operations and owner relations side of the business, she has spent most of her career on the technology side of the industry. In the last decade, Amber built and sold a web marketing company to Instant Software (now HomeAway Software), she was the VP of eCommerce for Wyndham Vacation Rentals, the Chief Marketing Officer of The St. Joe Company, and most recently was the VP of Product for NAVIS before transitioning back to consulting with global hospitality software teams and tech-enabled vacation rental companies in early 2019.

Brise Carpenter

Vice President of Client Success at Navis

Brise leads a team of 20 top-notch hospitality consultants with more than 280 combined years of experience; as well as Education, Implementation and Technical Support teams. Many on his team are former hotel and vacation rental executives and some are MBAs, but all specialize in helping hospitality professionals drive more top line revenue through better business analytics and optimized team performance. Brise holds a BA in Business Management and Organizational Leadership from George Fox University and an MBA from Concordia University.

Parker Destin

Destin City Council Member

Dewey “Parker” Destin is a sixth-generation native of Okaloosa County and a lifelong resident of Destin. Parker grew up commercial fishing and operating restaurants with his family before earning a business degree from the University of Tampa in 2007, and a law degree in 2012 from Florida Coastal University.

Parker lives in Destin with his wife, Tarra. He currently owns and operates Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant in Navarre, as well as a food truck.

Public service has always been a part of life in the Destin family. Parker’s father, Dewey Destin, is a founding member of the Destin City Council where he served for 25 years, 1984-2010.

Following in the footsteps of his parents, Parker is a member of the Destin City Council, a gubernatorial appointee to the Mid-Bay Bridge Authority, and member of the Northwest Florida Regional Transportation Planning Organization, among other things. He is also active in local environmental organizations as a member of the Emerald Coast Reef Association.

Parker has blocked irresponsible development, successfully fought to lower the bridge toll for daily commuters using the Mid-Bay Bridge, and led a grassroots initiative to keep curbside recycling and stop the county from dumping recyclables in a landfill.

He has sought transparency in government by creating more elected oversight of development and refusing to bend under the pressure of special interest.

Ben Edwards

President of Weatherby Consulting

Ben Edwards is the President of Weatherby Consulting, a company which provides transaction advisory, consulting, and asset management services with proven success in creating opportunities and solutions in the vacation rental industry. They deliver high-impact results, provide partner-level attention and implement tailored solutions to address each of their client’s unique goals and objectives.

As a respected and innovative industry leader, Ben Edwards has been positively affecting the real estate and vacation rental industries for more than 19 years. From managing small resorts, to financial and operational auditing, to opening large scale resort developments, Edwards’s unique background provides a multi-level approach to consulting, transaction and advisory services.

Tiffany Edwards

President, Coletta Consulting

Raised in the vacation rental industry since youth, working from laundry to front desk, Tiffany Edwards has a unique perspective on vacation rental industry. Despite her deep seeded roots to the industry, Tiffany followed a path to government relations.

Tiffany has experience in many facets of the political arena. She worked for a political consulting firm, InsiderAdvantage, based in Atlanta Georgia. She has worked with former Senate President Don Gaetz and on the special election campaign for former Speaker John Thrasher in Jacksonville, Florida.

While still in college Tiffany worked for top ranked Georgia lobbying firm, GeorgiaLink Public Affairs Group. Following graduation, she became the Legislative and Campaign Contributions Coordinator for the firm, making her one of the youngest lobbyists in the state.

Marriage to a twenty-year vacation rental industry veteran brought her down to Southwest Florida where she worked as a Legislative Assistant for former Senate Majority Leader and current Florida Senate Rules Chair Lizbeth Benacquisto. Tiffany oversaw all community outreach including special events and constituent programs.

Tiffany currently is the President of Coletta Consulting, which focuses primarily on Vacation Rental Advocacy and fundraising efforts. She has worked with Newman-Dailey Resort Properties and other Property Managers to organize legislative efforts in the Destin area. Her clients include Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) where she provides consulting, strategic efforts and fundraising for Advocacy and Governmental Relations. In her first year Tiffany’s involvement led the association to raise more than $100,000 for Advocacy efforts.

Tiffany and her husband own and operate Sanctuary Vacation Rentals with more than 100 properties located in Monterey County, California and Newman-Dailey Long-Term Properties serving nearly 500 long-term homeowners along the Emerald Coast of Northwest Florida. Currently, Tiffany serves on the Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital Emerald Coast Foundation Board as well as the Hope Medical Clinic Board. In her six years returning home to Destin she has raised close to $500,000 for local charities.

Justin Ford

Director of Safety and Certifications at Breezeway

Justin is Director of Safety & Certification Programs at Breezeway; where he is helping property managers and owners maintain the safety of vacation rental properties. An international vacation rental safety expert, Justin was the first to elevate awareness of safety in vacation rentals. Prior to Breezeway, Justin co-founded On the Water in Maine in 2006 and grew the company into the highest-grossing vacation rental company in New England. A former member of the US Coast Guard and Rockport Fire Department, Justin travels worldwide to share his industry expertise.

Jeremiah Gall

Founder & CEO of Breezeway

Jeremiah Gall is a serial entrepreneur with a history of delivering great products to vacation rental managers over the past thirteen years. In 2006, Jeremy founded FlipKey.com, and grew the guest-review platform into one of the world’s largest vacation rental businesses before TripAdvisor’s acquisition in 2013. Jeremy is currently the Founder & CEO of Breezeway, a property operations & messaging platform that helps property managers automate their operations and service interactions. Jeremy has shared in-depth analysis of the vacation rental market on national travel shows and publications, and is a regular presenter at VRMA conferences, MIT, and Boston College.

Stevan Henning

Account Manager, PointCentral

Stevan Henning is an Account Manager with PointCentral, the industry leader in providing smart home and property automation solutions to vacation rental managers. With over 10 years of account management experience, Stevan brings a consultative approach to business and is eager to provide property managers with the best tools to ensure their success. Prior to joining PointCentral, he worked in the soccer industry for 12 years, focusing on account management, sales, and managing a sales team. Stevan loves to travel and is an avid student of musicology in his spare time.

Amy Hinote

Founder of VRM Intel Magazine

Amy Hinote is the founder and editor-in-chief of VRM Intel Magazine, which provides news, information and resources for the professionally managed vacation rental industry.

With a background in finance and over 14 years in the vacation rental industry, Hinote has worked with property management companies, technology companies, intermediaries and investors, and provides insider information about the growing vacation rental industry. She also founded the data company, now known as Key Data Dashboard, which provides aggregated market intelligence and reporting for vacation rental managers. Hinote resides between Alabama’s Gulf Coast and Evanston, Illinois.

Vanessa Humes

Sales & Marketing Director, ICND

Vanessa Humes is the Sales & Marketing Director (aka Master of the Universe – really it’s listed on their website) at InterCoastal Net Designs (ICND). When she’s not working on building new relationships and strengthening existing ones, she’s working with the team to make ICND the best it can be. She’s spent the last 10 years of her professional career in the Vacation Rental Industry, but prior worked with major hotel brands in Myrtle Beach. Her passion has been, and always will be, to get more direct bookings for her clients and share successful tactics that can be implemented into any marketing plan.

Sue Jones

Owner of HR4VR

Sue Jones, owner of HR4VR, is passionate about creating human resource programs and services that are strategic in scope and consistent with the goals and objectives of vacation rental clients. Sue’s innovative approach to HR and extensive experience encompasses businesses of all sizes in multiple industries. When addressing the needs of her clients, Sue is especially skilled at transferring her knowledge, skills and abilities across business channels in a personable manner. Sue is a veteran of the US Navy, holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University and is both SHRM-SCP and SPHR certified.

Lino Maldonado

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Steve Milo

Founder and CEO of VTrips

Steve Milo is the Founder and CEO of VTrips, a growing and innovative property management and rental reservation platform that leverages a proprietary technology system to maximize occupancy, revenue growth, and profitability. VTrips manages 2,000 exclusive vacation rental properties in traditional resort destinations ranging from Florida to Hawaii. Steve is a recognized thought leader regarding the evolution of the highly fragmented vacation rental industry, and he is a regular keynote speaker at leading conferences in North America and Europe.

Michelle Marquis

Chief Revenue Officer for Lexicon Travel

Michelle Marquis is a leader in innovation, strategy, and best practices surrounding the vacation rental industry. She has been instrumental in successfully building other innovative technology-related businesses in this industry for well over a decade. She’s also a frequent speaker at industry events such as the Google Travel Conference, HSMAI, VRMA and Preferred Hotel Group. Michelle loves traveling/exploring, big red wines, and being surrounded by family and friends.

Brian Moffat

Owner of Royal Destinations

After time in the finance, development and the hotel industries, Brian has spent the last decade managing and caring for resort and vacation properties. His company, Royal Destinations, has a passion for innovation and (attempting to) do each and every task the best way it can be done.

Brett Parry

Chief Product Officer, Streamline

Brett Parry is the Chief Product Officer for Streamline.For more than a decade, Streamline has worked tirelessly to simplify the vacation rental management process. Streamline’s quality suite of programs has made it easier than ever before to manage a large volume of properties by providing property managers with every function they may need.

Brooke Pfautz

Founder & CEO of Vintory

Brooke Pfautz is one of the industry’s foremost experts in growing vacation rental inventory. He got his start in the industry 12 years ago when he founded Vantage Resort Realty in Ocean City, MD and took an idea on a napkin to more than 500 properties in just five years. After a successful exit, he went on to grow inventory for other major vacation rental brands as a chief business development officer in Orlando, FL. Most recently, as an executive at a leading vacation rental software company, he saw first-hand through MasterMind groups that he launched and facilitated what worked and what didn’t for the 20 largest and most successful companies on the platform. Today, Brooke runs Vintory, the only outsourced business development agency in the vacation rental industry dedicated entirely to helping professional property managers add new homes to their programs.

Matt Renner

Partner, TRACK

Brandon Sauls

Owner of InterCoastal Net Designs (ICND)

Brandon is the Owner of InterCoastal Net Designs (ICND) in Wilmington, NC. ICND is an award-winning web development and digital marketing team that specializes in vacation rentals and real estate companies. Since 1999, ICND has been offering a wide array of web related services, including web design, development, business automation tools, and full service digital marketing.

Ryan Saylor

Revenue Manager at Beyond Pricing

Ryan Saylor is a Revenue Manager at Beyond Pricing, the world’s first dynamic pricing platform for the vacation rental industry. Prior to joining Beyond Pricing, Ryan spent time in hotel revenue management after obtaining a degree from Purdue University in Hospitality & Tourism Management. His previous experience includes independent and branded hotel revenue management, as well as hotel digital marketing, web development, and strategic planning.

Jason Sprenkle

CEO of Key Data

Jason is currently the CEO of Key Data, a business intelligence and benchmarking dashboard used by over 400 of the leading vacation rental companies and resorts around the world. Jason is also an owner of 360 Blue, which manages over 600 luxury homes in the Florida Panhandle and Colorado, and a co-founder of The Sonder Project, an international non-profit whose mission is to strengthen communities through food security, clean water, and education. Previously, Jason was the co-founder and CEO of Glad to Have You (acquired by HomeAway), a luxury real estate developer, and a software attorney.

Jinnie Templin

Digital Marketing Specialist for Bluetent

Jinnie, Digital Marketing Specialist for Bluetent, helps vacation rental property managers optimize their revenue through Bluetent’s industry leading products and services. With experience in website marketing and management, SEO & SEM, social marketing, email marketing, project management, and customer service, Jinnie helps Bluetent’s clients develop and implement effective digital strategies to maximize their business’s digital success.

Ed Ulmer

CEO and President at Barefoot Technologies

Ken Wampler

President, Newman-Dailey Resort Properties

Ken Wampler joined the Newman-Dailey team in 2009 to head up Business Development as well as assist with the Association Management efforts. With a results-focused management career, Ken has used his 40 years experience, leading successful start-up, turnaround and high-growth club and resort operations.

His areas of experience include: Luxury Resort Vacation Management, Multiple Owner Associations including Master Associations, Private and Semi-Private Golf & Tennis Clubs, Full Service Hotel Operations, Boutique Lodging Operations, 5-Bell Marina Operations, Multi-Facet Sales & Marketing Campaigns, Strategic Planning & Forecasting, Budgeting & Financial Accountability programming, Management Information Systems, Recreational Programming and White-Glove Customer Service Operational Implementation.

In addition to his extensive experience, Ken also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Maine, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. He has been a licensed Community Association Manager since 2004, an active member in the local Community Association Institute, Walton County Build Program. In addition, Ken has long standing involvement with the Destin Chamber of Commerce, having served as Vice Chairman, Communications and Marketing and as the Chairman of the Board. Currently, Ken serves on the Board of Directors for the Okaloosa Tourist Development Council and the City of Destin Short Term Rental Taskforce.

Paul Wohlford

Vice President of Business Development

Paul Wohlford has been with Resort Collection since 2007. Prior to joining the company Wohlford was the Vice President Sales & Marketing for the Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort in Sandestin, Florida. Before relocating to Florida, Wohlford spend nine years at the Renaissance Esmeralda in Palm Springs, CA; Hyatt in Hilton Head, SC; Park Hyatt in San Francisco, CA and Hyatt in Knoxville, TN in various sales and marketing roles. Wohlford served as the chairman for the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce, currently serves as the president of the Onsite Property Management Association, and maintains an active presence in the community. Wohlford is a native of Tennessee and graduate of the University of Tennessee.