We want to keep you posted and publish occasional blog articles that can include news, information, opinions and data. Read everything we know.
Indentured Servitude Comes to Vacation Rentals
By William May
Published: 12/01/17 Topics: Employment, Housekeeping, Vacation Rental Management Comments:
There is a hidden under belly about how Venture Capitalists are entering the Vacation Rental industry in hopes of dominating it to cash out for big bucks.
It appears some pursue growth at all costs, by over working staff, and even evading labor laws that call for overtime wages. Jobs are hard to come by, and they take advantage of well meaning employees who have no other option but to work far harder for far less.
Her real name is being withheld for fear of retaliation, so we'll call her Susie. She worked for some years for one of those VC backed firms hoping to amalgamate the industry by buying up local vacation rental managers and taking over their listings.
Nothing wrong with that, if you like the corporate approach to what has previously been a very personalized service business. In fact, at the rate that some of these venture capital backed companies are hemorrhaging money, it is no wonder they survive by taking advantage of workers.
Susie was hired to clean homes and provide property services but the job quickly turned into 80 hours weeks, for a set salary appropriate for 40 hours. She was not paid for the extra hours and did not receive payment for overtime, nor the time-and-a-half hourly rate required by law.
Those companies skirt the law, by trying to claim employees as contractors, or managers making them exempt from overtime compensation. It is a ruse that sometimes works, but is never considerate to people who work so hard.
Susie said she never received a day off in several years, nor the promised paid vacation time and when she begged to hire additional housekeepers was told, if you don't like it you can leave.
Susie fell for the "We are newer, and smarter, and bigger and better than all those local podunk managers. We are going to take over the world with technology" and you are going to be part of something great. Working hard will have its rewards.
For Susie that meant constant fatigue, dawn to dusk duties seven days a week, a rude supervisor, corporate officers who could care less, and the constant threat of job loss - if she was to raise a complaint about off-the-clock hours.
Was Susie really just a disgruntled employee? Not really. For years she drank the "upward mobility" poison that corporate workers have been swallowing for years. That working long and hard will benefit them in the long run.
Pursuing career growth and personal achievement is a requirement in many industries. But in Susie's case it was all led by a few corporate officers who constantly praised themselves but fail to honor the most sacred of business ethics - to provide proper compensation from line staff who do all the heavy lifting.
Eventually Susie just could not take the grind any longer. She quit with no prospects for a job elsewhere, "I didn't plan it" she said, "But I just could not do 80 hours a week anymore."
As a service business, vacation rental staff are what guests and owners come to appreciate. There is no sense in doubling listings if complaints triple.
Smart owners realize that people like Susie are, and have always been, the backbone of vacation rental management. Without the Susies of the world, renting out a home is a risky investment.
Since she left, Susie's prior employer has hired and lost additional workers just like she. They struggle to find new employees and can’t keep good people. They advertise jobs constantly because the word is out about their employment practices.
Reputable companies don't build their business by over working staff, or promising more than can be delivered. "Its no wonder quality lacks and they have so many online complaints" Susie notes, "Everyone works so much, that we just don't have enough to give. I tried, I really did. But 80 hours a week is too much."
Worst of all, property owners are no longer getting the care and consideration they deserve. They see a revolving door of housekeepers and maintenance workers and that causes quality to suffer and commitment to wane.
Smart property owners are learning to evaluate management firms by their staff and not by misleading promises that bigger is better. In vacation rental management, local is what makes it work.
Author: William May – Vounteer, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0565 – 12/01/17
By Jerry German
Published: 11/01/17 Topics: Comments:
Ask someone where Cancun, Mexico is and it's very likely they will know. The name has become a household word, but it was not always so. The Cancun international airport opened in 1974, the same year that it's home, the territory Quintana Roo, became a state. Read more
By Jerry German
Published: 10/01/17 Topics: Comments: 1
From the earliest days of my childhood, I have never been a winter person. Yeah, winter is beautiful and there are some fun things to do, but I hate cold, love hot. And I love to swim. And I like beaches Read more
By Ron Lee
Published: 09/01/17 Topics: Inns, Mexico, Vacation Rentals Comments:
Although still a fishing village, the government declared the reef area and mangroves an ecological preserve with the intent to locals to keep development to a minimum. But comfort and fun are at a maximum. Read more
By Jerry German
Published: 06/01/17 Topics: Mexico, Puerto Morelos, Mexico Comments:
There are a lot of beautiful things about the beach here on the Riviera Maya, but you can't see all of them by looking at the beach. What you can't see is a beautiful law that says that the beach belongs to everybody. Read more
By Wm. May
Published: 03/01/17 Topics: Comments:
Just West of the Green Lantern Tavern in Copalis Beach Washington State is a World War Two Quonset hut where Rock and Roll reigned supreme in the 1960's. Read more
By William May
Published: 03/01/17 Topics: Housekeeping, Vacation Rentals Comments:
Not all job applicants will be dedicated to our industry. Many applicants just want a quick buck to pay for their habits. That is more common than you might imagine. And home owner will never know until the druggie goes missing along with assets from their home. Read more
By Ron Lee
Published: 02/21/17 Topics: AirBnB, Marketing, Photography, Property Management Comments:
There have always been a greatly many people who love the idea of being an artist, a photographer. It sounds like such a great job. Now you too can do so without any training, knowledge or skill. Here is how. Read more
By Ron Lee
Published: 01/17/17 Topics: Vacation Rentals Comments:
Christopher Elliott, self admitted one-sided advocate, writes that businesses should lose their right to prohibit defamation and thereby extortion. Trained journalists rely on freedom of the press but employ the kind of fair-minded journalists standards reporting that Elliott ignores. Read more
- Goldener Inns
- Hood Canal
- Ocean Shores WA
- Property Management
- Puerto Morelos, Mexico
- Self Improvement
- Sunspots Vacation Rentals
- Vacation Rental Association
- Vacation Rental Management
- Vacation Rentals
- Vortex Managers
- Westport WA
DETAILS: We work to keep this information up to date, but details do change from time to time based on circumstances, often on short notice, and sometimes beyond our control. To verify any answer or other information you may need, please call or email us anytime. Allow a reasonable amount of time for response. Only legitimate inquiries will be answered.