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A Big Storm Is Coming

A Big Storm Is Coming

I’ve centered my life around the vacation rental capital of the world, Orlando Florida.

I did it because this is where it all goes down in the vacation rental industry first.

I do love it here! But Florida is known for more than its world-class theme parks and white sand beaches.

We’re also known for being in the middle of a hurricane highway at least that’s what it feels like.

It’s been 12 years since the last hurricanes came through here. So it’s been awhile and the law of probability says – it’s our turn again.

We’re about to get pounded hard by the ferocious Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew is expected to hit land as a Category 4, with winds between 130–156 mph. This one is a scary beast! But Matthew didn’t just pop up without warning.

We’ve had time to get ready, well at least the experienced folks have. We’ve heard of the climate changes and the development of Hurricane Matthew.

We’ve watched the forecasters tell us it’s continuing to gain strength, power and momentum.

But we’ve watched while hoping the situation would change – unfortunately it hasn’t. The danger of a hurricane hitting us has now become imminent.

So once you realize you are in the line of fire of a deadly hurricane what do you do about it?

It becomes a countdown to touchdown and with each day, the window of time to get prepared closes on us.

At some point you begin to realize, you’ve got to make some decisions. You need to make them fast before the environment deteriorates and it’s too late to pivot and prepare. Heed the warnings!

Hunker Down or Evacuate

You’ve got to decide whether you should abandon ship and evacuate or hunker down and get safe.

My family and I discussed our plan and we decided to hunker down and stay where we are.

It’s a pretty scary feeling knowing you’re going to ride out a raging storm. A storm that has already claimed lives.

This is not my first storm. In 2004 Hurricane Charley destroyed my home and left my family displaced for 6 months while it was rebuilt.

I know from experience, if we want to survive the storm we have to be ready.

Get Prepared

We’ve stocked up on water, batteries, food, flashlights, gas and all the basic necessities.

I’ve done everything I can to protect my family, employees and business. FYI, we will be closing our office until after the storm passes.

Are You Prepared?

Okay so maybe you’re far away from Hurricane Matthew but your realizing another threat. You’re realizing your business is in a similar position.

You’ve heard the reports. You’ve seen the changes in the vacation rental climate coming and you follow the news.

Maybe you’ve also experienced changes like best match, instant bookings and a drop off in your inquiries.

Now that you have a lock on the trajectory and can see where things are going, there is no denying that the “storm” is moving in on us.

It’s time to prepare! Actually, if you haven’t yet taken steps you’re already behind the others.

Have you prepared your vacation rental business for the storm? It’s upon us! Do you have a plan?

It’s coming up to the 1 year anniversary of the Expedia and HomeAway acquisition. Expedia has had the time to just about completely digest HomeAway.

Now that HomeAway has become acclimated with their new product the timing is just about right for more changes.

The speed of change is happening much quicker now. All the things we said would happen have either already taken place or are now unfolding before our eyes.

A recent indicator was when Brian Sharples, the former CEO of HomeAway announced he’s leaving the company. This is a big change, wouldn’t it make sense that we should expect to feel this at some point.

Carl Shepherd, Brent Belm and other key HomeAway executives have all left within less than a year of the acquisition. It’s out with the old blood and in with the new regime.

HomeAway has been swallowed up by the fast-moving storm – Expedia!

The intense pressure for vacation rentals to go main stream has spawned new laws, regulations and competition. This forceful push has created a whirlwind extending all across our industry.

There’s also a noticeable push to snuff-out the small property owner. ( you can ask me if you’re interested to know more)

We saw how quickly they imposed the traveler fee after the acquisition, this is a fast-moving “storm” so I urge you not to wait to get your plan in action.

Get your vacation rental survival kit with all the necessities you’ll need, make a plan and write it down. It’ll become real and doable when you can see it written – don’t wing it!

This is a time when many of you will need to decide, are you going to “Evacuate” or stay in this business and “Hunker Down?” Now is the time to decide.

While I wanted to share with you an update of our emergency situation, I couldn’t do it without giving you a piece of sound advice and how it relates to you.

After the storm passes I am going to share what practical things you can do to prepare your business.

Now that I’ve shared that with you, I’d like to ask you to please pray for our families and for all who are in the path of this extremely dangerous hurricane. Hurricanes have long-lasting effects, even after the storm passes. We’re hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

Thank you to all who have prayed and wished us well – we care for you and we’ll see you again when the storm clears!

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  • Saskia van der Bolt

    Hi Jay, I hope to see your next newsletter soon. It’ll mean you’re safe and up and running again. Take care of yourself and your family, Saskia

    • Saskia, I wanted to thank you for your concern during the hurricane. A big thank you!

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