10 Vacation Rental Photography Tips From A Professional Photographer

Vacation Rental Photography TipsHere are 10 great vacation rental photo tips that anyone can master.

If you want the details, check out the original article on Villa Marketers by following the link at the bottom.

1. Bear in mind that all guests will spend around 30% of their holiday in bed.

2 – It doesn’t matter how good your bedroom photos are – They could always be better.

3. All bedrooms are pretty much the same.

4. Before taking any photos take a look at what the professionals do.

5. White is not a warm colour.

6. Pimp the wall behind the bed.

7. Every bed, without exception, needs bedside tables and bedside lamps with matching shades.

8. A coloured throw on the bottom third of the bed can make a big impact.

9. Stack your bathroom towels on the bed – Just as hotels do

(are you noticing a pattern here?)

10. Take all bedroom photos on your knees.

Get all the details and Whistler vacation rental photography tips at Villa Marketers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Whistler Property Assessments Stage A Rebound :: Real Estate

Whistler Real Estate PricesExcerpt about Whistler Real Estate Assessments from the Province newspaper:

…Whistler experienced a rebound in its 2014 property assessments for the first time since at least 2011, according to figures from the B.C. Assessment Authority. Overall, the total value of Whistler’s entire assessment roll increased to $9.73 billion for 2014 compared with $9.59 billion in 2013, BC Assessment reported Thursday.

The small year-over-year difference puts Whistler “in the stable basket” of comparable changes, said Dharmesh Sisodraker, BC Assessment’s deputy assessor for the Vancouver Sea to Sky region. However, the modest increases seen in 2014 assessments follow several years of declines.

Examples of the trend include a two-bedroom condo in the Blackcomb Benchlands assessed at $641,000 for 2014 compared to $607,000 in 2013, and an Alpine Meadows single-family home assessed at $2.27 million in 2014 versus $2.14 million in 2013.

BC Assessment did single out an example of declining values in Whistler: a Whistler Cay singlefamily home assessed at just under $2 million for 2014 versus $2.04 million in 2013.

However, that pales in comparison to declines in recent years.

By contrast, on its 2013 roll, BC Assessment showed that Alpine Meadows home declining five per cent to $2.14 million from $2.25 million in 2012, and the assessment on a Whistler Village twobedroom condominium sliding 13 per cent to $429,000 in 2013 versus $491,000 in 2012.

Source: The Province

In 2012, Whistler’s overall property roll declined 6.2 per cent, and in 2011 it declined two per cent. Cameron Muir, chief economist for the B.C. Real Estate Association, said any gains in Whistler are likely related to improvements in the global economy.

“(Recreational real estate) is the last type to come back after a recession,” Muir said, “So, seeing some gains this year is probably not a surprise.”

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Resource+boom+towns+2014+property+assessment+pile/9345777/story.html#ixzz2q2zD6Se7

Posted in Whistler Home Owners, Whistler Real Estate, Whistler Taxes | Leave a comment

Whistler Real Estate Sales Up for 2014

Whistler Real Estate Prices

Sales picked up speed in second half of year, too late for 2013 assessment.

The BC Assessment rolls of property values doesn’t tell the entire story for Whistler’s real estate market for 2013, leaving out the second half of the year when — according to local realtor Pat Kelly — sales started to pick up in the resort…

…he notes that there are signs that the recovery is continuing at an even higher pace for some categories of real estate.

“I’m showing 640 (real estate) transactions for Whistler (in 2013) with the average price of $710,000 overall — which is kind of a silly number in some ways, but does give us a kind of snapshot for the market as a whole,” said Kelly, president and CEO of Whistler Real Estate Co. “In 2012 the average (sales) value was $670,000 with 587 transactions.”

Kelly said that the annual average for Whistler before the recession of 2008 was between 650-700 sales a year, although with only a limited number of new homes being built in Whistler he said it would be a challenge to get back to those highs.

Overall, Kelly said that single family homes and chalets were flat, condos and townhouses increased and shared ownership housing was down.

“Our own opinion is that the real estate market in Whistler hit bottom about two years ago,” said Kelly. “2010 was by far the most challenging year, there was a shallow impact heading into 2011, and around the end of 2011 we started to see an improvement in sales activity — and you need the level of sales activity to improve before sales prices will improve.”

Read the whole story, including how to challenge your Whistler property assessment value at The Question.

Posted in Whistler Home Owners, Whistler Real Estate, Whistler Taxes, Whistler Vacation Rentals | Leave a comment

Whistler Resort businesses cope with poor snowfall over holiday season

Whistler Christmas 2013

Indoor Whistler activities and services see strong numbers, other businesses struggle during poor weather.

Report from The Pique, by Brandon Barrett.

While December’s poor weather posed a challenge for resort operators, the lack of snow didn’t deter guests, with room night bookings pacing ahead of last year, according to Tourism Whistler.

The bad weather hit some segments of the resort’s business sector hard, but Tourism Whistler reported that room night bookings for the months of December, January and February have been pacing ahead of last year, while whistler.com has not experienced cancellations, according to manager of communications Patricia Westerholm. Confirmed occupancy numbers for December will not be available until Jan. 20.

“Feedback from some guests has been that while we may not have the same amount of snowfall that we’ve had at this point in the winter in recent years, the conditions were still positive,” wrote Westerholm in an email. “Certainly being out and about in the village over the holidays, it was definitely busy.”

Whistler Blackcomb also had success with their early booking efforts, said president Dave Brownlie, despite one of the worst Decembers in recent memory in terms of snowfall, at 183 cm. He believes 1989 was the last year the month of December saw less than 200 cm of cumulative snowfall in the resort.

“Our strategy as a resort has been very positive in terms of creating that early book-by opportunity and laying that business, so we were pretty full here during the Christmas holidays and I would say that our ancillary businesses performed well,” he said.

Resort businesses and activity providers not solely reliant on the snow appear to have benefited tremendously from the poor weather, with some seeing significant increases in attendance compared to 2012′s Christmas season.

Restaurant Association of Whistler president Edward Dangerfield said many restaurateurs reported a pickup in business this holiday season. Dangerfield, who also co-owns Alta Bistro, added that his restaurant broke last year’s attendance records, although he attributed that to the recent addition of 20 seats at the Main Street eatery.

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) confirmed that usage at the public skating rink at Olympic Plaza was up 25 per cent over the holiday period compared to last year, while its family-oriented New Year’s Eve festivities attracted 2,500 ticketed attendees, up from 1,820 in 2012. Roughly 1,400 people a day took part in the Whistler Holiday Experience at the Conference Centre, organized by Watermark Communications. The family activities included free table games, crafts, video games and more. The RMOW earmarked $75,000 in Festival, Events and Animation funds for the Whistler Holiday Experience in 2013, a number that has been steadily increasing over the past five years. Watermark president Sue Eckersley said attendance at the Conference Centre spiked on poor weather days, and that guests stayed for longer periods than usual.

The Meadow Park Sports Centre was another beneficiary of the snowfall shortage, with the RMOW confirming that 5,614 people, excluding pass holders, used the facility in the 14-day period between Dec. 21 and Jan. 3. This was up from 3,425 during the same period last holiday season, a 64 per cent jump…

Read the Whistler article at The Pique Newsmazine.

Posted in Tourism Whistler, Whistler Accommodations, Whistler Activities, Whistler Blackcomb Stocks, Whistler Events, Whistler Snow Report, Whistler snowfall | Leave a comment

Are Whistler Hotels Nervous About Vacation Rentals?

Hotels Nervous About Vacation Rentals

Hotels Nervous About Vacation Rentals

Hotel Industry Studies Say ‘Yes, Hotels are Nervous’…

Well over a decade in the Whistler vacation rental business has proven to me that hotels are nervous. Of course they are. So are B & B’s.

If you’ve been following Whistler vacation rentals by owner (vrbo) or owner direct rentals in Whistler, you’ll remember the Tom Barratt days at Muni Hall. Those days sucked if you were renting out your Whistler home without all the proper paperwork.

Tom Barratt and the Whistler Bylaw Department spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attempting to prosecute anyone who was considered to be breaking Whistler’s Tourist Accommodation rules. Commonly referred to in those days as Whistler TA Zoning.

Tom even managed to drive Allura Direct right out of town and pulled their Whistler business license…

Oh, how the vacation rental by owner landscape has changed since those days. Now we are seeing massive shifting of travel dollars (and investor dollars) towards startups like HomeAway and AirBnB. No doubt that Whistler hotels are nervous.

Thanks to Matt’s Vacation Rental Marketing Blog, we can get the goods from 2 recent studies about the hotel industry…

1) Travellers Want Authenticity

Hotels Nervous About Vacation Rentals StudyAccording to the report entitled ‘A New Breed Of Traveler’ by the global hotel consultant group HVS London, today’s travellers (compared to those of generations passed) are looking less for traditional hotel luxuries and more for local experiences and the sensation of being connected.

Claiming that very few hotels have changed over the last 50 years, the hotel report says “…the same in-room amenities, the same heavy curtains, the same check-in process, and the same small desk. This is no longer a place where the modern-day traveler feels at home.”

The researcher goes on to say, “This new segment of traveler is no longer looking for white-linen service, bellboys to carry their luggage up to their room or a concierge…the current generation of travellers wants to feel completely at home, connected and to be in a setting where they can be part of an experience.”

If you read Push Benefits, Not Features, you’ll know that vacation rental marketers have a huge advantage over hoteliers in that we are pushing experiences (not necessarily amenities).

And if you were smart enough to pick up a Vacation Rental Insider’s Guide, you know that sharing insider secrets, engaging stories, and authentic experiences is quite simply the way of the future.

“Guests are looking for a home-away-from-home,” the report resolves. “The new era is about participating in an experience, rather than flaunting wealth. Travellers today don’t want to feel like they are in a corporate setting, but thrive in environments where they can interact with people. They want everyone to participate and don’t mind interacting with new people.”

Take care of your guest like they are a visiting VIP to your neighborhood, and you’ve won this battle over the local chain hotel.

2. Travelers Seek Inspiration Online & Want More Family Time

Hotels Nervous About Vacation Rentals StudyAnother report that plays perfectly into our wheelhouse was just released by Google entitled, The 2013 Traveler.

According to the report, “The web is increasingly a fundamental source of inspiration for new travel…as (travellers) seek a variety of content and information online.”

Two features of the report that jive with the booming vacation rental trend were that

a) travellers are planning more in advance and
b) family travel is on the rise.

Here are the quotes respectively:

“68% (of travellers) began researching online before they decided where to travel in 2013 versus 65% in 2012.” That means anyone who has started a blog or focused on Helping, Not Selling their potential guests is on precisely the right track.

And “49% (of travellers) plan to travel more frequently with family in the coming year versus 46% in 2012.” We all know vacation rentals are better for groups/families than hotels. So this one is no big secret.

Read the whole story on Matt’s Vacation Rental Marketing Blog.

Posted in Tourism Whistler, Vacation Rental Management, Vacation Rental Website Marketing, Whistler Accommodations, Whistler Home Owners, Whistler Hotels, Whistler Property Management, Whistler Real Estate, Whistler Vacation Rentals | Leave a comment

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings (WB) Shares Cross 6% Yield Mark

Quick tidbit from Forbes website…

In trading on Friday, shares of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (Toronto: WB) were yielding above the 6% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $0.975), with the stock changing hands as low as $16.20 on the day. Dividends are particularly important for investors to consider, because historically speaking dividends have provided a considerable share of the stock market’s total return.

Looking at the chart above, WB’s low point in its 52 week range is $11.93 per share, with $16.59 as the 52 week high point — that compares with a last trade of $16.59.

Read the whole story at Forbes.

Posted in Whistler Blackcomb Stocks | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What’s Important to your Rental Guests may Surprise You

Whats Important to Vacation Rental Guests

Whats Important to Vacation Rental Guests

An article on CottageBlogger.com caught my attention this week, since it offers the vacation rental GUEST perspective.

Any Whistler rental home owner or manager should take heed to what rental guests consider important.

This perspective is from a couple of serial vacation rental guests. It spells out their criteria for reserving a vacation rental home.

Five Rules for Choosing a Vacation Rental gives their must-have list before they book a place and it interested me as there’s a couple of points that I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of being that important…

  1. The Importance of Reviews – The Martins’ Rule #1 advises travellers to read the reviews carefully.
  2. Location Specifics
  3. Don’t omit the important stuff – The example Lynn uses is a Berlin apartment where the listing didn’t mention there was no oven, no microwave and only a charcoal BBQ.
  4. Proximity to public transportation
  5. Connection Karma – Lynne’s advice for anyone wanting internet connection is as follows:

If you expect a strong, consistent broad band connection which will allow you to use Skype and stream entertainment without a hassle, tell them so right up front!

Read CottageBlogger.com article here or the original post by the Martins on Huffington.

Posted in Vacation Rental Management, Vacation Rental Scams, Vacation Rental Website Marketing, Whistler Home Owners, Whistler Property Management, Whistler Reviews, Whistler Vacation Rentals | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New ResortAc.com Website Design… Your Feedback Please

ResortAccom New Website

ResortAccom New Website... Give Feedback Please

Newer, Faster, Stronger… able to dominate Google and harvest rental inquiries in a single bound.

The superhero of Whistler vacation rental websites is being exposed at http://whistler.resortac.com and I would really appreciate your feedback.

Please have a quick look at our new site. Do a couple searches, then let me know what you think. Your feedback is very important to me and will guide the future design process.

Posted in Vacation Rental Website Marketing, Whistler Home Owners | Tagged | Leave a comment

Whistler Story Contest :: Whistler Lift Ticket Giveaway

Whistler Lift Tickets

Win Whistler Lift Tickets

2nd Annual Whistler Story Contest at ResortAc.com

Well, it’s not the same scale as Whistler Unfiltered or Ski Magazine #1 ratings, but it’s my way of adding some personality to Whistler vacation rental marketing.

Check out last year’s Whistler Story Winners, and stay tuned for this year.

Add your own Whistler story right here… chance to win a free lift ticket.

Posted in Vacation Rental Website Marketing, Whistler Activities, Whistler Awards, Whistler Events, Whistler Lift Tickets & Passes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New Chairlifts in Harmony & Crystal Zones

Whistler Deals Video :: Owner Direct Whistler Vacation Rentals

Video of Fresh Snow & New Lifts

Snow is falling on Whistler Blackcomb as construction gets closer to completion on two new chairlifts in the Harmony and Crystal zones.

Just weeks away from the mountain’s Nov. 28 opening date, Whistler Blackcomb gave Global News a preview of what skiers and snowboarders can look forward to.

From excavating the bases of the chairs to using a helicopter long-line to fly in towers, the construction has taken months to complete.

The new Crystal Ridge Express is a high-speed quad lift with its terminal along the Blackcomb Glacier Road ski-out.

Whole story on Global.

Posted in Tourism Whistler, Whistler Activities, Whistler Blackcomb Stocks, Whistler Videos, Whistler weather | Tagged , , | Leave a comment