Vacation Rental Life Guard Lessons
By William May
Published: 03/07/23 Topics: Behavior, Education, Lodging Management, Sports, Weather Comments: 0
Most people should never attempt to rescue a drowning swimmer.
This seems counterintuitive, but drowning people will do anything to get above the water. Approached by a rescuer the swimmer will jump on top of the other person and drown them both.
You see the problem.
At age 15 I took classes to become a "Junior Lifeguard". At 18, more classes to become a "Senior Lifeguard." In college I barely completed a strenuous 13-week course to earn a "Water Safety Instruction" certification.
In addition to even more lifeguard training, a "WSI" requires the student to become proficient at every swimming stroke and how to teach them.
I took my WSI training while in college at age 21 while (I must say) I was in the best physical condition of my life. The final exam almost drowned me. Repeatedly.
The octogenarian female drill sergeant instructor set up one final task to convince students that the only right way to respect water was to pound into us a respect for the water that bordered on absolute terror.
Her message - no matter your physical skill, the ocean, lake, river or pool can kill you quickly if you don’t know what you are doing. It can even kill you if you do know.
And drowning people drown those who try to save them.
Oddly, all these years later it is safe to say that many aspects of life -- specifically related to careers and business -- are exactly the same. You must know what you are doing or you are taking unnecessary risks.
In the lodging industry, after the gratefully appreciated surge in occupancy, rates and bookings the inevitable has happened.
Travel -- especially drive-to destinations and especially here in the Northwest United States -- is returning to pre-Covid seasonality, affected by all the things which have always affected travel:
- The economy
- Regular work weeks
- School vacations
- Pesky politics
- The ever present drum beat of TV, radio, newspapers and the good old internet media anxious to push negative stories.
Unfortunately, that means some property owners will panic, just as a drowning person does. Especially those who bought thinking Covid income would continue forever, even though they were well warned long ago.
Those owners that are desperate for more income are likely to drown their lodging manager, just as the drowning person kills their rescuer. They demand answers to questions they don't know, when there are none.
How We Help
Just like a lifeguard, we are not allowed to turn our backs and ignore a drowning client. So we must push. Persevere, and be patient. We must help in all possible ways.
Unfortunately, the care and hand-holding of these clients diverts time better spent pursuing every possible advertising, pricing and service tool that we full-stack managers have in our quiver. As well as tightly administering all other services.
We do that of course. But we also must politely ask property owners to leave us to our craft and to judge us by our work ethic, not by the state of the economy.
Author: William May – Contributor, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0950 – 03/07/23
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