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Monthly Archives: April 2014

So you’re ready to propose. Once it’s done, no matter what you do, chances are that family and friends will ask you – repeatedly – to tell the story of how it all went down. Since you’ll undoubtedly be forced to share the story so frequently, you might as well make it one for the boo ks! Romance doesn’t always come easy to some, but having the perfect backdrop for your proposal can help do a lot of the work and add to your own charm. When thinking about your proposal plans, look to your partner’s character for the answer. Is your perfect match adventurous or relaxed? More inclined to enjoy this event in public or in private? Although the options are endless, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to help you get creative with some prime places for a destination based proposal.

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It’s easy to get the essentials down when traveling abroad, like making sure your passport is current and remembering to exchange some money into the local currency. Perhaps what’s harder to grasp are the local customs, which might be different from your own but matter a lot to the people in whose country you’ve just arrived. Although none of these will set off an international incident if you forget to follow them, you’ll do yourself a favor in making new friends if you try to remember these customs during your journey.

Running a successful property management company can be boiled down to two key tasks: recruiting owners and retaining them. It seems simple, but really it is a very complicated and difficult chord to strike properly. Here are a few practical tips to help you recruit more owners for your portfolio and keep them longer. There are certainly more tactics you can use—and more advanced ones—but the following are great places to start.

1. Recruit using many marketing channels

Create a robust marketing strategy that integrates all channels, both old and new, to spread awareness of your company. Print ads and direct mail can still make an impact simply because potential owners do not receive as many pieces of mail as before.

Scale up your sales team with competent and knowledgeable staff members. This is critical for larger businesses, and a proper prospecting and outreach program can net high dividends.

New media is an absolute must for any business in 2014. An updated website, active social media channels, a weekly or quarterly newsletter, paid online ads, and an industry blog that demonstrates your thought leadership are all critical to marketing your business. Choose strategic partners in your industry; this can also be a smart decision to increasing your brand awareness and recruitment. Work on marketing campaigns with them, cross promote, and find ways to make the partnership win-win.

It makes a lot of sense – traveling during non-peak season will allow you to avoid crowds, save a lot of money, and still enjoy most of the top attractions offered by popular destinations. We dug deep into our website data to showcase just how much you can save by visiting a few weeks before summertime peak in a handful of the most desirable destinations on planet Earth. Use our handy graphic to plan out your next trip and vacation rental stay in the coming months – your wallet will thank you.

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Visit our Spring 2014 Shoulder Season Destinations:

FlipKey recently surpassed 300,000 properties, with listings in 79 countries worldwide. In order to keep up with this kind of growth, we are constantly working to improve our site and draw more traveler attention to great properties like yours! For our latest update, we cleaned up your listing details page, making it easier for you to make changes and more efficient for travelers searching for rentals with specific criteria.

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Stepping into a professionally designed home can be jarring in a positive way. “So you’re telling me people actually LIVE like this?”, you might jealousy exclaim. Whether you are at a vacation rental, or visiting a neighbor down the street – stepping into a well designed space, even if you don’t have the knowledge or vocabulary to accurately describe it, leaves you in awe. Here’s the shocking part: it is not that hard. Bit by bit, piece by piece, you have the power to transform your own space into something out of a design catalog. We highly recommend the below-listed bloggers as a must-follow this year to help you do just that.

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Today marks the 450th anniversary of world renowned poet and playwright, William Shakespeare’s birthday, and so in his honor, the travel experts at FlipKey have rounded up the top five ways to join in the celebrations of one of the most brilliant writers who ever lived.

Shakespeare’s Birthday Procession (April 26)

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

Taking place in Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare, thousands of people will line the streets in the town center to watch the 450th Birthday Celebrations Procession which leaves the Great Garden of New Place in Chapel Lane at 10:30am and continues down Chapel Lane, past the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, along Waterside, and into Bridge Street.  From there, the ceremony of Handing Over The Quill will take place, flags will be unfurled, bugles will play, balloons will be released and the Band of the West Midlands Fire Service will lead everyone in singing Happy Birthday.

Create a Shakespeare Selfie! (now until May 9)

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts…”

In honor of Will’s day of birth, Canada Writes is challenging Shakespeare fans to create a selfie, but not the modern day selfie you might be thinking – instead, create the Shakespearean version of the selfie, aka: a soliloquie. From now until May 9, Canada Writes is asking Canadians to take a Shakespearean character, put him or her into a present-day situation and write a new soliloquie for that character. Prize: two iPad minis.

Royal Shakespeare Company Fireworks Display (April 26)

“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”

Taking place in Stratford-upon-Avon in and around The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, there will be a fireworks display from the rooftop of the theater. The display will feature an eight meter high fire drawing depicting Shakespeare’s face and on Saturday, April 26th the theater will be hosting free workshops, activities and performance.

Shakespeare Concert (April 26)

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”

Singing Shakespeare will feature works by composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim and Gary Carpenter, this two year project launches on Saturday, April 26 in Holy Trinity Church (Stratford-upon-Avon) with the goal being to encourage choirs worldwide to recreate the works of Shakespeare with a musical twist.

Shakespeare and Company Book Store (April 26)

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Visit the famous Shakespeare and Company book store in Paris on Wednesday, April 26 for performances of Shakespeare-inspired songs, speeches and poetry and culminate in a performance of Tom Stoppard’s adaption of Hamlet.

Bonus: Shakespeare Infographic

“Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.”

…and in honor of good ole Will’s birthday, check out this infographic highlighting some impressive facts on Shakespeare including this – “it’s estimated that Shakespeare’s works are being performed somewhere in the world every minute.”  Read more by clicking on this infographic.

 

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Before the World Cup begins in June, take some time to get to know the U.S. players that will be fighting for the trophy. Some of the team came from big cities like Providence, Seattle, and Dallas – but we wanted to tout 11 team members who made their way from the smallest of American towns to a spot on the squad in Rio. These small towns impress with their charm, quirks and services and you should make a point to visit them if you ever get the chance.

Kyle Beckerman (Crofton, Maryland)

Team: Real Salt Lake
Position: Midfield
Hometown History: Crofton is located 24 miles south of Baltimore and has a population of around 28,000. In July 2007 Crofton was named by Money magazine as one of “100 Best Places to Live” in the United States. Homes here cost significantly more than other areas in Baltimore, which keeps crime rates down. The city was planned around a popular 3.5 mile walking and biking route. One of the premiere American families, the Hopkins’, lived in the area for over 270 years and once owned over 1000 acres in Crofton. Other famous people from Crofton include Bill Belichick, Sprio Agnew, and Edward Snowden.

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Carrying a travel guide in your pocket while exploring a new place can be critical to navigating the do’s and don’ts of the area. Flipping through the pages before your trip can also provide essential research before you take off. There are many famous contributors to these guides and some of the books themselves have become icon names synonymous with travel. In this space we hope to call out some of the best contributors to guide books and publications, where to find them, and what’s a piece of theirs you should read straight away. You won’t be disappointed by reading anyone from this group before your next getaway.

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Our goal is to connect travelers with our top owners in the most efficient way possible. That way, our travelers are guaranteed an amazing stay at one of our top properties, and they will be taken care of by one of our most accomplished owners. As with Google, the higher you are listed in our geographic rankings, the more clicks and bookings you will receive. We get a lot of questions from owners about specific things they can do to improve their search ranking and frequency of leads turning into conversions on FlipKey, so here are our top tips:

  • Responding to inquiries ASAP.
      • The quicker you respond to requests, the better your response time and, correspondingly, your response rate percentage, which helps boost your priority in the listing search. Plus, travelers see your response rate and time right on your listing; the higher your numbers, the more likely they are to send you a booking request!
      • If you don’t already, we highly suggest using our mobile application for iPhone and Android users, which allows you to respond to inquiries and monitor, accept, and decline booking requests from wherever you are the moment you get them! If you don’t have a smartphone, that’s okay! If your phone receives text messages, you can sign up for mobile alerts so that you know about traveler interest the moment it happens.