LiveRez CEO a Finalist for Innovator of the Year Award

Tracy Lotz - CEO LiveRez

LiveRez CEO Tracy Lotz was recently announced as a finalist for “Innovator of the Year” at the 2016 Idaho Innovation Awards.

The 20-year veteran of the vacation rental space is one of only three finalist competing for the award. Lotz joins Because International Founder Kenton Lee and TSheets CEO Matt Rissell as top choices for the prestigious award, which is voted on by a selection committee consisting of leaders from Idaho’s business, technology and academic communities.

During his 35-year career as an entrepreneur, Lotz has proven himself as an innovative leader. He’s helped pioneer a number of advancements in the vacation rental space and has been a leader in bringing many aspects of the industry online, from advertising and bookings to management software and even the vacation rental home itself (through adoption of smart home technologies).

The winner of this year’s award will be announced during the Idaho Technology Council’s seventh annual Hall of Fame on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at the Boise Centre.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the most widely used software platform for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation and property management, websites with online bookings, trust accounting, CRM, housekeeping and maintenance, reporting, reviews and more. LiveRez is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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Joy Ritter and Shane Carlson Take Home Honey Badger Honors This Month!

Congratulations to Joy Ritter and Shane Carlson, winners of this month’s team member Honey Badger Awards.

The monthly award goes to LiveRez employees that always put the team first, make others around them stronger, and exemplify the culture and DNA of LiveRez.

Let’s learn some more about this month’s winners!

Joy Ritter - LiveRez

Joy Ritter

Joy is one of the newest team members at LiveRez, but she’s already making a big impact. Joy works on our SEO team, helping partners to optimize their website content and create new content.

Additionally, she’s helping manage LiveRez’s social media accounts. Because of Joy, you can now find LiveRez on Instagram (and our Facebook posts have become noticeably cooler since she took the reins).

A few fun facts about Joy: she’s a total morning person, can recite the entire first Harry Potter movie from memory, is an obsessive organizer, and has killed every plant she’s owned. So, hire someone else for your gardening. But make sure you have Joy doing your SEO.

Shane Carlson - LiveRez

Shane Carlson

Shane is a key member of our web design team at LiveRez. He was the primary architect of our mobile responsive website framework and has played a big role in company branding initiatives, like designing the last two Partner Conference pages and redesigning the LiveRez corporate site in Sept. 2014.

Some of Shane’s hobbies include fishing, hunting, hiking, snowboarding, boating, soccer, photography and camping with his sweetheart and two little kids.

When Shane was 19 serving a mission for his church, he spent two years living among Incan descendants in places like Puno, Peru (altitude 12,500 feet!). And today when Shane is working on a special project for LiveRez, we sometimes move him to a different office in the building so he doesn’t get interrupted. In those instances, LiveRez VP of Operations Tina Upson tells the team that Shane is “in Peru” (which is code for let the man work!).

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the most widely used software platform for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation and property management, websites with online bookings, trust accounting, CRM, housekeeping and maintenance, reporting, reviews and more. LiveRez is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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Asked and Answered: Am I Too Dependent on Listing Sites?

Editor’s Note
The following is a follow-up to Tina Upson’s June 18 blog post: “What I Learned on My Vacation Rental Road Trip“.

By Tina Upson
LiveRez VP of Operations

“Asked and Answered”

Tina Upson - LiveRez VP of Operations

Tina Upson, LiveRez’s VP of Operations.

I learned this new phrase a few weeks ago when one of my beautiful daughters was driving me crazy by asking over and over the same question, hoping, of course, that the “no” would somehow magically turn into a “yes”. Like many, sounding like my own mom was a road I was not ready to travel down. So, when my daughter asked again, I would have the original conversation with her (again), and then remind her that we had already discussed this.

Then one day a magical phrase was introduced to me: “asked and answered.” Short, to the point, easy to understand, and it WORKED!

Last month I wrote an article based on partner feedback from all over our partner base. And, although each partner has specific needs and concerns, the most common concern has been changes in distribution channels.

Hoping to answer the concern that a lot of partners share in navigating the changing vacation rental space, I challenged professional property managers to start by gathering data. But, I quickly realized that although I may have given partners a place to start, the answer to the actual question still remained: How specifically can we understand if we are “dependent” or “independent”?

So, while Part 1 of my blog dealt with the “asked” part, today I need to follow-through with the “answered” part.

Let’s start by diving deeper into the specific data you need to collect. Then, we can move on to how to use this data to answer the dependance question. And finally,  we can go over some ways to start addressing the issues.

Here goes…

Step 1: Institute Tracking

If you’re not already tracking your marketing data, you should start right away. Running a LiveRez sales cycle report with the “How Heard” option checked can give you a good start, but you’ll need to add some additional information to see the whole picture.  The final report needs to include:

  • The marketing source of every reservation
  • The total dollar amount of every reservation
  • The amount of commission you earned
  • Profit from any fees and mark-ups
  • Cost of every one of your marketing channels
  • BONUS: If you know approximately how much overhead is involved in providing the reservation

Here are some tools and processes you can use to find that information:

  • Google Analytics / Google Search Console (Tracking Web Reservations)
  • LiveRez’s “How Heard” Field (Tracking both Web & Phone Reservations)
  • LiveRez CRM+ Campaigns (Tracking Inquiries from Listing Sites)
  • Integration (Direct Bookings from Channel Partners – Tracked in LiveRez)
  • Whatever method you want to use to track marketing costs (spreadsheet works well)   

If you have this data, you have the building blocks for the next two formulas we’re going to look at. If you don’t have this data, start tracking it right away.

Step 2: Calculate Your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Also known as marketing acquisition cost (MAC), this metric will weigh the efficiency of your marketing efforts by channel. It will show you which channels are proportionally the most expensive compared to other channels.  

Start by creating a spreadsheet that has the following data PER MARKETING CHANNEL:

  • Total Money Spent
  • Total Revenue Generated
  • Your Share of the Revenue (commission, fees, etc.)
  • CAC – This is calculated by dividing your marketing spend per channel by the revenue earned from that channel (either the total revenue or your share of the revenue, depending on who pays the marketing costs, you or the owner)

When converted to percentages, your CAC numbers should probably be in the general range of what you’d see a football team score in a game. If you’re running in the soccer/baseball score range, you’re killing it. And, I don’t care how good a golfer you are, if it’s anywhere close to your strokes for 18 holes, you’re overspending.

Step 3: Calculate the Diversity of Your Marketing Portfolio

This is going to show you what percentage of your revenue each channel is bringing you.

Start by creating a spreadsheet that has the following data PER MARKETING CHANNEL:

  • Total Revenue From Channel / Total Revenue from All Channels

This will let you know how much each of your marketing channels is contributing to your total revenue. Go ahead and put this data in a graph, so you can see a visual representation of it.

If your pie chart looks like Pac Man, you’ve got some work to do. If it looks like a pizza, you’re in good shape. The idea here is to not be too dependent on any one channel.

Step 4: Create a Game Plan for Fixing the Issues

Now that you know what you’re dealing with, you can set goals and make a game plan for how to accomplish those goals. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Is your marketing portfolio lacking diversity? Are you too dependent on any one channel?
  • Are your customer acquisition costs (CAC) too high?

Other than finding ways to increase your overall revenue and profitability, these should be your two biggest concerns. Both of these issues can lead you down an unsustainable path and put you in a poor position to navigate any changes in the distribution landscape.

Ultimately, you want to start investing in your own brand (your own website, your own marketing database, your own following). Building your own brand will allow you to generate more direct bookings, create long-term sustainability, and give you more flexibility in choosing where to spend to marketing budget.

In short, it puts YOU in control.

In a future posts, we’ll go over some specific strategies for diversifying your portfolio and building your brand. But, until then, make sure to check out some of the great educational resources and learning opportunities we’re already making available to partners.  

Learn from Marketing Experts at Partner Conference

The coaches track at this year’s Partner Conference is heavily focused on marketing, and we’ve assembled some of the top marketing minds in the industry to teach you exactly what you need to do to build your brand and grow your business. Here are a few of the highlights:  

  • Matt Landau of the Vacation Rental Marketing Blog is widely considered one of the industry’s most respected authorities on vacation rental marketing. He will teach two classes on building your brand and diversifying your marketing portfolio.
  • Airbnb’s Content Strategist Michael Endelman is a highly sought-after content expert. A former editor for Rolling Stone Magazine, Endelman has developed content strategy for Google and has played a key role in increasing conversions for Airbnb. At the conference, he will share his data-driven recommendations for creating content that engages guests and gets them to book.  
  • David Angotti has helped build a number of brands over his storied career in marketing. Most recently as co-founder of SmokyMountains.com, he’s built his management company into one of the fastest growing firms in the United States. At the conference, he’ll explain how he’s used innovative competitive intelligence tools and tactics to grow his business at a staggering pace.
  • And don’t forget, the conference keynote speaker Daymond John is not only a world-renowned entrepreneur and investor, but also one of the world’s most respected branding experts.  

In addition to these AMAZING learning opportunities, all attendees will leave the conference with a marketing plan for 2017.

Click here to check out the schedule!

Access LiveRez’s On-Demand Vacation Rental Marketing Training Resources

To learn more about data-driven marketing and building your brand, check out the links below to access some of the educational resources we’ve created:

Learn More About LiveRez

LiveRez is the most widely used software platform for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation and property management, websites with online bookings, trust accounting, CRM, housekeeping and maintenance, reporting, reviews and more. LiveRez is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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Perdido Realty Vacations Makes Big Gains with SEO Team, Wins Partner Honey Badger Award

Company Boosts Rankings, Traffic and Bookings, While Trimming Adwords Budget More Than 70%!

Perdido Realty Vacations Wins LiveRez Honey Badger Award

This month’s Partner Honey Badger Award goes to Perdido Realty Vacations. Founded in 1971, the company manages more than 125 homes and condos in Perdido Key, FL.

The company recently made the switch to LiveRez and has made some impressive gains since working with the LiveRez SEO/SEM team. They’ve moved to the front page on Google for three of their main keywords and have seen big increases in their traffic and online bookings, all while spending 73% less on Adwords.

“The first page is awesome, and it is working,” said owner Valerie Hawkins. “We are booking like crazy. It’s been a game changer for us.”

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the most widely used software platform for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation and property management, websites with online bookings, trust accounting, CRM, housekeeping and maintenance, reporting, reviews and more. LiveRez is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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“Shark Tank” Star and Global Marketing Pioneer Daymond John to Headline 2016 LiveRez Partner Conference

Best-Selling Author and Branding Expert to Give Keynote Address at the Vacation Rental Software Leader’s Annual Conference

Daymond John - 2016 LiveRez Partner ConferenceEagle, IDLiveRez.com, the most widely used cloud-based software for professional vacation rental managers, today announced global marketing pioneer Daymond John as its featured keynote speaker at the company’s annual Partner Conference, October 10 through October 13 at the Lost Pines Resort and Spa in Austin, TX.

Best known for his starring role on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning business-reality series Shark Tank, John is a world-class entrepreneur and marketing expert, who built his lifestyle brand, FUBU, into a household name.

John has received a wide array of honors throughout his 25-year career. In May 2015, the White House appointed him Global Ambassador of Entrepreneurship, and he’s earned more than 35 prestigious awards, including Brandweek Marketer of the Year and Ernst & Young’s Master Entrepreneur of the Year.

He’s also penned three national best sellers.  His most recent title, The Power of Broke, debuted at No. 2 on The New York Times Best-Seller list.

“Our professional manager partners come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but the common denominator among them all is a true entrepreneurial spirit,” said LiveRez VP of Operations Tina Upson. “Daymond’s story is a true example that the American dream is still alive and well. And, I know our partners will be inspired and empowered as he shares his deep expertise in building world-class brands.”

John came from humble beginnings to build a global empire. From the streets of Hollis, Queens, John started a global movement from the basement of his mother’s house by capitalizing on the then fledgling hip-hop culture. Today, the streetwear market that FUBU pioneered is a $20 billion dollar industry, with FUBU eclipsing more than $6 billion in global retail sales.

He now helps other entrepreneurs to achieve the American dream. Through his role as an early-stage investor on Shark Tank, John has invested millions of dollars to help more than 60 companies grow their businesses.

At the 2016 Partner Conference, John will empower LiveRez partners to grow their brands through sharing many of the key insights he’s learned over his decorated career.

In addition to John’s keynote address, the conference will feature a big unveiling of new technology, a stacked lineup of classes from industry and software experts, and much more!

To learn more about the 2016 LiveRez Partner Conference, visit Conference.LiveRez.com.

About LiveRez.com

LiveRez.com is a complete, online, vacation rental property management solution, focused on making vacation rental property managers fully operational online and thereby increasing bookings. LiveRez.com offers an all-in-one cloud-based platform, featuring best-in-class websites optimized for online bookings, a full-featured reservation and property management system, a robust CRM system, an exclusive connection to QuickBooks for trust accounting, and a unique “Pay-for-Performance” approach, which provides a mutually beneficial partnership between LiveRez.com and its vacation rental manager partners. The company’s largest competitor is HomeAway Software for Professionals.

To learn more about LiveRez.com, please call 800-343-2891 or visit LiveRez.com. And, to receive timely updates from the company, follow LiveRez.com on Facebook, Twitter (@LiveRez) and Google+, or visit the company’s vacation rental software blog. LiveRez.com is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

LiveRez Implementation Team Sweeps This Month’s Honey Badger Awards!

Congratulations to Rhiannon Chavez and Jeff Latham, winners of this month’s team member Honey Badger Awards.

The monthly award goes to LiveRez employees that always put the team first, make others around them stronger, and exemplify the culture and DNA of LiveRez.

Let’s learn some more about this month’s winners!


Team Member Awards: Rhiannon Chavez and Jeff Latham

Rhi Chavez - LiveRez

Rhiannon Chavez

Rhi is a key member of our implementation team at LiveRez, and regularly pitches in to help support, too.

She says the best part about coming to the office each day is getting to work with an outstanding group of team members who all strive to do their best, as well as the amazing partners she talks with each day.

Outside of work, Rhi’s favorite thing to do is spend time with her family and friends. She’s also an active member of Boise CrossFit and enjoys outdoor runs, hiking, mountain biking and salsa dancing.

Jeff Latham - LiveRez

Jeff Latham

Jeff plays a true hybrid role at LiveRez, working with both the implementation team and the SEO team.

When he’s not optimizing partners’ websites or helping them get live, he’s normally somewhere outdoors (or wishing he was). He loves camping, climbing mountains, and skiing down them, too.

He’s also a die-hard Cleveland sports fan. So between this month’s Honey Badger Award, the Cavs’ NBA Championship and the Indians’ current pennant chase, Jeff is having a pretty good summer.


Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the most widely used software platform for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation and property management, websites with online bookings, trust accounting, CRM, housekeeping and maintenance, reporting, reviews and more. LiveRez is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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Honey Badger Award: BRIC Vacation Rentals Goes Extra Mile in Giving Back

Each month at LiveRez, we give out our Honey Badger Award to partners and team members that are making a big impact. This month the partner award goes to BRIC Vacation Rentals, and the team member awards go to Mark Sams and Luis Calas. Let’s learn more about what makes them special.

Partner Award: BRIC Vacation Rentals


BRIC Vacation Rentals - Honey Badger Award

Company Gives Generously to Community, Helps Other Partners

On its website, BRIC Vacation Rentals highlights a quote from St. Francis of Assisi: “For it is in giving that we receive.”

But if the company’s actions are any indication, it’s more than just a quote: It’s a mission statement.

BRIC is serious about giving back, whether it’s volunteering to keep local beaches clean in its hometown of Playa del Carmen, hosting golf tourneys to raise money for Keeping Kids in School, or donating vacation rental stays to doctors performing pro-bono surgeries for children in the Cancun area.

Recently, the company has gone out of its way to help other partners in setting up businesses in Mexico. You see, starting a business in Mexico can be a tough proposition if you’re unfamiliar with local laws and practices. BRIC already has a thriving business in Playa del Carmen, and they’ve recently gone above and beyond in helping other partners wade through the process of getting set up.

BRIC gives and gives, and never asks for anything in return. And to us, that makes them the perfect candidate to receive this month’s partner Honey Badger Award!

Team Member Awards: Mark Sams and Luis Calas


The team member Honey Badger Award goes to LiveRez employees that always put the team first, make others around them stronger, and exemplify the culture and DNA of LiveRez.

Our winners this month are Mark Sams and Luis Calas. Let’s learn some more about them.

Mark-Sams-hb3

Mark Sams

Mark is a key member of our development team at LiveRez. Recently, he’s been instrumental in developing a number of soon-to-be-released features, such eSignatures and Responsive Check-Out.

Around the office, Mark is known as the resident pool shark. Beating him even once is considered a badge of honor. Mark was also a competitive racquetball player and still plays recreationally today. He loves being outdoors, camping with his family and seeing new places. While in college, Mark had a technical paper on an original data structure published in Dr. Dobbs Magazine.

Luis-Calas-HB

Luis Calas

Luis carries our design team at LiveRez (just see the photo above). Born in Cuba and raised in New Jersey, Luis has an eye for style (but not so much fashion yet, he says). He loves designing for web and print. For Luis, making it all come together is key, no matter what the medium.

Luis holds a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Computer Graphics from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He just celebrated his 18-year anniversary with his wife, Tiffany. In his free time, he enjoys coaching his three boys (Ian, Luke and Gabe) in baseball, basketball and football. Luis said his dream in life is to beat Mark Sams (this month’s other Honey Badger) three times in a row in pool.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the most widely used software platform for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation and property management, websites with online bookings, trust accounting, CRM, housekeeping and maintenance, reporting, reviews and more. LiveRez is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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