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Win Big with the LiveRez March Madness Bracket Challenge

March Madness

Sign up for LiveRez's March Madness Bracket Challenge.

It doesn’t matter what method you use to pick your bracket —  intense statistical analysis, straight up by the seeds, school colors, what mascot would win in a fight… — you can win big with LiveRez’s March Madness Bracket Challenge. Open to all professional vacation rental managers, this year’s bracket challenge has a grand prize of an Apple iPad!

So, put your college basketball knowledge to the test and fill out a bracket for the 2013 NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. You can sign up for the bracket challenge with the information below:

ESPN Group “LiveRez”: Click here to register! 

Password: LiveRez13

Let the games begin!

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

How LiveRez Can Automate a Complete Reservation

Automate Bookings

LiveRez is optimized to get you more online bookings. And, once a booking happens, the system is optimized to automate the reservation process. In some instances, the system can automate an entire booking from the shopping process to the stay.

Wouldn’t it be great if a piece of software could completely automate your vacation rental business? Imagine if, for at least some of your bookings, you didn’t have to do anything at all? What if you just woke up in the morning and saw extra money in your bank account, without having to work for it at all?

In some instances, that’s what LiveRez can do for you. Imagine this scenario:

  • Guest finds your website via a search engine.
  • Guest searches for properties on your website.
  • Guest books and pays for the property on your website.
  • Upon booking, the LiveRez system automatically schedules a clean for the property and emails the assigned cleaner.
  • Upon booking, an invoice is automatically created in QuickBooks.
  • Upon booking, the LiveRez CRM system automatically queues up a number of custom emails tailored to the guest, and then sends them to the guest automatically — exactly when they need to be sent.
  • The emails give the guests everything they need.  And, prior to arrival, they get emailed directions to the property and a lock box code.
  • The guest shows up and has a great time.
  • Their reservation information is automatically associated with the property and its owner, and is ready for the end-of-the-month owner statement.

With LiveRez, all of this can happen automatically…without the property management company having to do anything.  If you’re interesting in getting this level of automation for your business, contact us now at (800) 343-2891 or email Sales@LiveRez.com.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

10 Simple Ways to Increase Your Bookings

Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Bookings

Increasing your bookings can be easier than your think, if you know what to do. Check out these 10 simple tips for increasing your bookings, straight from the software company that specializes in doing just this for its partners.

Want to increase your bookings? There are tons of different ways to go about it. Getting more bookings really breaks down to a two-step process. First, you need to get your business and your properties in front of more travelers. Next, you need to get those travelers to book your properties. It seems like a simple process, but there are a lot of different things you can do make this process more efficient.

We’ve put together a quick list of things you can do to increase your bookings. Check it out!

1. Take Online Bookings – It’s 2013. Today’s travelers expect to be able to book a property and pay online, directly from your website. If don’t have that ability, you’re letting potential bookings slip right through your fingers. Online bookings require less effort on your part and reduce the probability that travelers will move on and shop your competitors.

2. Make Your Website Easy to Use – The primary place travelers go to learn about your business and view your properties is on your website. The easier you make the shopping process for travelers, the more likely they will be to book your properties. It’s a common fact that when travelers get confused by your website, they move on.

3. Optimize Your Property Listings – Your properties listings are the primary place that visitors are going to learn about your properties. You want these pages to tell the story of your properties in a compelling way. So, make sure your descriptions are accurate and well written. Make sure you have lots of property photos and that those photos are professional, well lit and are framed in a way that sells your properties.  Use video to showcase how awesome your properties are. And, make sure you give guests enough information to meet their needs.

  • Did you know that LiveRez gives you full control over the content on your website, including your property listings? With big, beautiful slides shows, and the ability to embed things like Google Maps and videos from sites like YouTube and Vimeo, you’ll have no problem showcasing your properties on a LiveRez-powered website.  Learn more about the LiveRez content management system.

4. Utilize Specials – Using specials is a great way to drive more bookings and fill gaps in your occupancy, especially during times of lower demand. Specials work on multiple levels. First, they create the impression of value. Next, they create a sense of urgency, especially if the specials have a deadline. Finally, they help protect price integrity. Guests recognize that specials are, in fact, offered at a “special” value that is not regularly available. If you just lower the price of your property (without a special), guests may expect to pay that same price when they book again.

  • LiveRez gives you the ability to set up a wide range of specials, and even let’s you create special offer codes (coupon codes). Whether your special is a discount, a free item or a package deal, you can create it and advertise it easily with LiveRez.

5. Focus on SEO – Ranking higher in search engine results will increase the traffic to your website and consequently lead to more bookings.  Listings on search engines are free, and the effort you put into optimizing your website for higher search engine rankings will have lasting effects (short-term and long-term effects) on your website traffic and your bookings.

  • LiveRez-powered websites are built from the ground up to be the most SEO-friendly websites in the industry. The company’s content management system gives you full control to easily optimize your websites for high rankings on search engines.  LiveRez even offers a professional SEO service to help you rank higher. See how LiveRez partners rank on search engines.

6. Try Search Engine Marketing and Remarketing – Conversely, if you want a little extra push on search engines, you can pay to put your websites in promoted listings that generally appear both above the top-ranked search results on the first page and all along the right-hand side of search results.  You can also use Google’s re-marketing service, which tags the visitors that come to your website and then shows your ads to them when they visit other websites that have Google ads enabled on them. Both of these services allow you to pay only when a traveler clicks on your ads and comes to your website.

  • The members of the LiveRez’s Professional SEO Services Team are experts at managing search engine marketing campaigns. They’ll help you drive more bookings and ensure you are getting the most out of your advertising budget.

7. Conduct Email Marketing – This form of marketing regularly provides the highest return on investment. For pennies on the dollar, you can send travelers emails advertising your properties.  Not only does this help you get more bookings, but it keeps your business top of mind with travelers. Just remember to follow email marketing best practices; you certainly don’t want to be labeled a spammer.

  • Want to learn more about email marketing? Check out our recent blog that break downs and simplifies the process of email marketing.

8. Focus on Customer Satisfaction – Once you get a traveler to book one of your properties, you have the opportunity to make them a customer for life. If you treat them well, they’ll remember it. And, they’ll look to you first when they plan another vacation in the area.

  • The LiveRez platform offers numerous tools to help you improve the guest experience. For example, our CRM system can automatically create and deliver nearly every email you would need to send a guest during the reservation process…without you having to lift a finger or remember to do anything. Learn more about the LiveRez CRM System.

9. Respond to Inquiries Promptly – The faster you respond to travelers inquiring about your properties, the more likely you will be to close the booking.  Remember, the longer you wait to respond, the more time travelers have to shop your competition.

  • Call us today at (800) 343-2891 to learn how the LiveRez CRM System can help you significantly increase the speed in which you respond to guest inquiries.

10. Have a Social Media Presence – Being active on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest helps you further engage with past guests and prospective guests alike.  These sites help you build stronger relationships with travelers and keep you top of mind.

There you have it: 10 simple ways to increase your bookings. If you’d like to learn how LiveRez can help you in this process (and make your life way easier), call us today at (800) 343-2891 or email Sales@LiveRez.com.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

The Big List of Reasons Why You Should Have a Mobile Website: A Review of Statistics from Around the Web

Still debating whether or not your business needs a mobile website? Check out these stats from around the Web.

Still want more information? Learn more about LiveRez mobile websites below or download our case study on how LiveRez mobile websites have performed for our partners.


LiveRez Mobile WebsitesLiveRez Mobile Websites Case Study

Mobile Usage

  • Two out of 3 Americans are connected by mobile devices (Source: Mobile Marketing Watch).
  • In 2012, it was estimated that almost half of mobile users owned a smart phone (Source: Mobile Marketing Watch).
  • 55% of U.S. adults use their mobile phone to go online (Source: Forbes).
  • 52% of mobile users actively browse the internet on their device (Source: Mobile Marketing Watch).

Competitive Advantage of Having a Mobile Site  

  • According to Google, less than 10% of small businesses currently have a mobile website (Source: Forbes).
  • See the next section for reasons why having a mobile website when your competitors do not can be extremely valuable.

Competitive Disadvantage of NOT Having a Mobile Site 

  • 61% of users said that if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they’d quickly move on to another site (Source: Think with Google).
  • 79% of people who don’t like what they find on one site will go back and search for another site (Source: Think with Google).
  • 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly (Source: Think with Google).
  • 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company (Source: Think with Google).
  • 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smart phones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business (Source: Think with Google).
  • 48% of users say they feel frustrated and annoyed when they get to a site that’s not mobile-friendly (Source: Think with Google).
  • 36% said they felt like they’ve wasted their time by visiting those sites (Source: Think with Google).

Searches

  • “Google has a different algorithm when a user searches on a mobile device as opposed to a regular computer” (Source: Forbes).
  • Mobile searches have increased 400% from 2010 (Source: Google).
  • More than 50% of all local searches are done from a mobile device (Source: Digital Buzz Blog).

Calls

  • One in five mobile users will place an immediate call to the business when they view the company’s website from a mobile device (Source: Forbes).

Mobile Demographics

Consumer Expectations

  • Nearly 75% of users prefer a mobile-friendly site (Source: Think with Google).
  • 96% of consumers say they’ve encountered sites that were clearly not designed for mobile devices (Source: Think with Google).
  • 71% of mobile web users expect websites to load as quickly, almost as quickly or faster on their mobile phone compared to the computer they use at home (Source: Compuware).
  • 74% of mobile web users are only willing to wait 5 seconds or less for a single web page to load before leaving the site (Source: Compuware).

Increases in Sales (and likelihood to buy)

  • When they visited a mobile-friendly site, 74% of people say they’re more likely to return to that site in the future (Source: Think with Google).
  • 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service (Source: Think with Google).
  • 9 out of 10 searchers have taken action as a result of a smart phone search (Source: Think with Google).
  • More than half of smart phone searchers purchase (Source: Think with Google).
  • 44% of local information seekers have made a purchase as a result of their search (Source: Think with Google).
  • 22% of those searchers made their purchase online (Source: Think with Google).
  • When a local searcher takes action after doing a search on their smart phone, 88% of them take the action within one day (Source: Think with Google).
  • 74% of smart phone shoppers made a purchase as a result of using their smart phone (Source: Think with Google).
  • 59% of those smart phone shoppers, later purchased the product online using a computer (Source: Think with Google).
  • 35% of those smart phone shoppers, purchased the product directly from their smart phone (Source: Think with Google).

Mobile Activities

  • 34% of mobile users research products and compare prices on their phone at least once a month (Source: Mobile Marketing Watch).
  • Travel Services are one of the top 4  items that consumers purchase on their phones (Source: Mobile Marketing Watch).
  • 27% of smart phone users view travel-related websites (Source: Think with Google).
  • 31% of smart phone users search for travel-related services (Source: Think with Google).
  • 95% of smart phone users have looked for local information (Source: Think with Google).

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

The Top 5 Reasons To Attend a VRMA Seminar

LiveRez TV prize

One of the great things about VRMA Conferences are the prizes. At 2012 Annual Conference, Lisa Fore (see here) won LiveRez's showcase prize of a new TV!

With the VRMA regional seminars approaching quickly, we thought it would be appropriate to examine some of the top reasons why vacation rental managers and their staff should attend these great events. So, without further ado, here’s our top five.

1. Education – The VRMA always has a great lineup of keynote speakers and a wide variety of educational sessions on multiple topics (and for all levels of employees and managers). Based on the direct impact it can have on your operations, the educational component alone is well worth the investment.  Check out the lineup of educational sessions for the next two conferences:

2. Networking – Many of the greatest minds in the vacation rental industry attend these conferences. So, it’s a great place to go to network with other managers and to bounce ideas off each other.  These conferences not only breed innovation, but also help to make the vacation rental industry a tighter community.

3. Vendors – As you know, partnering with a great vendor can have a huge impact on your operations. All the major players in the vacation rental industry attend these conferences. If you’re looking to upgrade anything from your software to your linen service, this is the best place for one-stop shopping. And, if even if you’re not looking, your current provider(s) will likely be there to answer your questions and provide advice.  Some of them even host special events for their customers.

4. Prizes and Free SWAG – Just about every vendor that attends will be giving something away. Whether it’s a drawing for a big prize or free items like pens, lanyards, flash drives, etc., the vendors at these shows are generous. So, leave some extra room in your suitcase to fit all the goodies you’ll be taking home from the show.  Now, if you win a TV (like Lisa Fore did at the 2012 National Conference), you’ll probably have a hard time fitting it into your luggage.

5. Fun! – People in the vacation rental industry know how to work hard and they know how to have fun. So, if you come to a conference, prepare to have a great time!

If you’re heading to one of the upcoming conferences, be sure to stop by and see us at our booth. And, if you haven’t registered already, make sure you check out our coupon code. It can save you $100.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

Get $100 Off Your Registration for the VRMA Western and Eastern Seminars

Save 100 dollars on VRMA registration

LiveRez is proud to offer non-VRMA members $100 off their registration for both the upcoming Eastern and Western VRMA Regional seminars.

LiveRez is proud to be able to offer non-VRMA members $100 off their registration for both the upcoming Eastern and Western seminars offered by the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA). Please read below for more information on the seminars and how to use our coupon code.

Save $100 On Industry-Leading Professional Development

Vacation rental management is complex. Every day, your company is expected to seamlessly perform a dizzying number of tasks to ensure ultimate guest and homeowner satisfaction: customer service, maintenance, housekeeping, laundry, marketing, sales, accounting, human resources and more—some days, the list seems infinite.

That’s where the VRMA Regional Seminars can help.

NEW for 2013: Regional Seminars will offer more hours of programming than ever before, including “train-the-trainer” sessions to give supervisors, mid-level managers and department leaders the tools they need to ensure excellence in their areas. A special executive-level track provides owners and general managers with the specific information and resources they need to be more effective in this ever-changing industry.

So check off one item on your to do list: Make plans now to attend the 2013 Regional Seminars. The education, best practices and networking opportunities are sure to help your company and employees improve operations, increase sales and boost your bottom line.

LiveRez is a proud member (and the Software Gold Sponsor) of the VRMA, and we hope you’ll join us at one of the upcoming Regional Seminars:

VRMA Western Seminar
April 8-9
Westin Westminster
Westminster, Colorado

VRMA Eastern Seminar 
April 22-23
Savannah Riverfront Marriott
Savannah, Georgia

Coupon Code! 

Not a VRMA member? We are happy to offer a $100 discount to non-members! Simply enter our coupon code(LIVEREZ1) when you register online to save $100 off the non-member rates. (VRMA members still receive the best rates.)

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

Registration for the VRMA Regional Seminars Opens Today

LiveRez employees Juston Clarkston and Sharon Clark at the 2012 VRMA Annual Conference.

Registration opens today for the upcoming regional seminars offered by the Vacation Rental Managers Association. Each year these seminars offer valuable opportunities for learning and networking with managers in your region of the country. If you’re a vacation rental manager looking to improve your operations and take your business to the next level, you should strongly consider attending one of these two events.

In addition to great learning and networking opportunities, these seminars also give managers the opportunity to talk with leading industry vendors. So, if you plan on coming, make sure you stop by our booth and chat with us about your software needs. Our product experts will be on hand to answer your questions, and will also be giving out special prizes and LiveRez SWAG. You don’t want to miss it.

Here’s the information on both the Eastern and Western seminars, with links to sign up. We hope to see you there!

VRMA Western Seminar
April 8-9, 2013
Westminster, CO
Register or Learn More!

VRMA Eastern Seminar
April 22-23, 2013
Savannah, GA
Register or Learn More!

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

The Top 5 Reasons Why Vacation Rental Managers Are Switching to LiveRez

Upgrading your vacation rental software can have a big impact on your business. Here are the top five reasons that managers are choosing to upgrade to LiveRez (see video and list below).


One Minute Video: The Top 5 Reasons Managers Are Switching

View Full LiveRez Demo

1. Partnership – LiveRez’s partnership business model economically aligns us with the managers using our software. Because of this partnership model, we’ll never stop adding new features to our software, and we’ll never charge you more to grow your business. Learn More!

2. Completely Integrated Cloud Platform – LiveRez gives you everything you need to run your business all in a single cloud-hosted platform. This means 24/7 access online from any computer or mobile device, no servers to manage, no updates to install, no compatibility issues, and incredible scalability. Everything works together, because it’s all one piece of software. Learn More!

3. Amazing Websites – LiveRez-powered websites simply offer guests the fastest and easiest way to book a vacation rental online. You’ll get more bookings and attract more properties with our websites. Learn More!

4. CRM System – Our CRM system can automatically create and deliver every email you would need to send a guest or owner during the reservation process…without you having to lift a finger or remember to do anything. Learn More!

5. QuickBooks Integration – Our real-time integration with QuickBooks takes all the information you need out of LiveRez and puts it right where you need it in QuickBooks automatically. Learn More!

To learn more about LiveRez, call us today at (800) 343-2891 or email sales@LiveRez.com. If you’re in a hurry, you can also watch a short demo video.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

The Importance of Browser Compatibility for Cloud-Based Vacation Rental Software

Browsers

When shopping for vacation rental software, always ask the provider what browsers their product is compatible with, especially if you are using a Mac.

Most all cloud-based software systems are accessed online through a Web browser. Because of this, browser compatibility should be extremely important for people looking to access their software.

In a way, the browser acts as a gateway to the software. If the browser installed on your computer isn’t compatible with your software, then you won’t be able to access it until you download a compatible browser.

The LiveRez software works on all popular browsers, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.  The only thing LiveRez recommends is using the latest version of your chosen browser, so you can get the most optimized speed and performance from your system. As a general rule, newer technology is better, especially when you’re working with software built on the latest technology.

However, some other web-based software systems only work on certain browsers, like Internet Explorer. And while Internet Explorer is readily available as the default browser on most PCs, it’s a little harder to come by if you’re using a Mac. In fact, Microsoft discontinued support for its Mac compatible version of Internet Explorer in late 2005. And, it no longer features the Mac compatible version on its download site.  This issue creates a significant barrier to using certain software systems on Mac products.

When you’re looking for vacation rental software, one question you should always ask is what browsers the software works on. Because a browser is how you will be accessing your software, this is a question you don’t want to skip.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

How LiveRez Websites Make Browsing for Vacation Rentals Easier

Options

LiveRez gives you the ability to divide your properties into categories and communities, so that when travelers browse properties on your website they'll know just the right path to choose.

As part of its commitment to offering guests the fastest and easiest way to book a vacation rental online, LiveRez has designed its websites to make both searching and browsing a seamless process for guests.

In today’s post, we’ll focus more closely on how LiveRez-powered websites can be optimized to give travelers a wide range of browsing options.

Categories and Communities

LiveRez partners have the ability to organize their properties into categories and communities, and advertise them on their website’s vacation rental page. Classifying your properties in popular groups can greatly improve a traveler’s browsing experience and help them find their ideal vacation home as fast as possible.

Common categories and communities include:

  • Geographic areas
  • Different resorts
  • Homes with pools
  • Homes on the water
  • Homes with an ocean view
  • Homes by bedrooms
  • Homes by occupancy limits
  • Homes by price category
  • Different types of homes (i.e. condos, cabins, single family)
  • Homes that come with special benefits (like resort memberships)

How LiveRez Partners Use Categories and Communities

For more examples, let’s take a look at how some current LiveRez partners use this functionality.

Read the rest of How LiveRez Websites Make Browsing for Vacation Rentals Easier