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2023 VRMA Spring Forum: Education Sessions

Here is a snapshot of the sessions you can expect to see at the Spring Forum. Panelists and presenters to be added as confirmed. Check back for more information!

To view our General Session topics and speakers, click here.

Monday, March 6

Property Managers Roundtable

In one of the most popular sessions at VRMA since 2016, co-moderators Sharon Walker, Ben Edwards, Jennifer Harris, and Steve Milo will lead an (often-passionate) discussion for property managers only. In this session geared toward CEO's, Owners, and Founders, executives are able to speak freely among themselves on important topics including software systems, technology platforms, marketing channels, regulations, and much more. Come and hear what your colleagues have to say regarding your most critical questions. If you are an Owner or CEO, you won’t want to miss it!


Company Culture Continued: An Open-Conversation

After listening in to our keynote session, we know what to break down company culture and how it relates to our VRMA members. Join our panelists as they share what it means to have a great company culture. This conversation will go beyond the pizza lunches and air-hockey table – our panelists will share some of their core values and how they train their employee on the importance of these values and bring this into everything they do – no matter the role they have in the company.


What’s New in Guest Experience?

Join our panel of experts as they talk through the guest experience from start to finish. During this session, our panelists will talk through everything you need to know when communicating with guests, understanding their needs and ensuring your team is able to support their needs and expectations. Our panelists will cover:

  • Home offerings/physical spaces
  • Staff interactions with guests
  • Utilization of tech tools
  • Guest preferences
  • And more!


Upping Your Game on Employee Recognition

Your employees are your biggest asset when it comes to your company. Join our panelists in a lively discussion around employee reward and recognition programs and how to build a culture of appreciation. Gone are the days when reward and recognition meant printing off a few certificates with your company logo. Today, employees appreciate and value recognition that is personalized for them.  Not only will our panelists share stories and examples around keeping work fun, engaging with remote employees, and employee incentives they’ll also discuss how you can retain seasonal employees through a reward and recognition program.


New Tips on Getting Direct Bookings

Are you looking for new ways to get more direct bookings? Look no further. In this session, our panelists will discuss their top three recommendations on things you need to focus on to continue to receive direct bookings. These top recommendations will be discussed and help to move the direct booking needle forward: in-home and general branding, repeat bookings, and continued communication with your guests.


Owning the Revenue Conversation

Whether you are new to revenue management or have been in the business for some time, you will find value in this revenue management focused session. Our panelists will highlight the importance of shifting the conversation from rates to revenue, understanding how market/economic trends affect how you communicate and prepare your owners, and the key – the information most relevant to both your owners and company leadership, and how to clearly communicate it.


Operations: Learning From Your Peers

Join our open-conversation, hosted by Koryn Okey, as she discusses the inner workings of your operations. In this session, Koryn will facilitate a conversation between the Property Manager Panelists and the audience answering your questions. They will also be discussing: retaining employees, emergency/action plans, understanding owner expectations and more.


Foundational Technology to Scale Your Business of 25 or Fewer Properties     

When thinking of technology do you become overwhelmed with all of the different options? This session is here to eliminate that feeling. Our speakers will help you understand when is the right time to get a PMS system, create processes that need to be in place, updating your standard operating procedures and keeping all of this in mind as you look to scale your business. 


How Protecting Your Owners and Your Company Can Grow Your Inventory and Your Revenue at the Same Time   

Are you new to VRMA? Are you looking to grow your company through new homeowner acquisition? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then this session is for you. Join our presenters as they share how you can keep your company and your owners protected, and along the way, grow your inventory and your revenue. Whether you are a startup manager or a seasoned veteran, this session will have something for you. Our presenters will discuss the following key areas: insurance, homeowner acquisition, property protection, safety, setting up of your company (LLC, Inc., etc.), legal, fraud, homeowner liability and more. 


Lunch & Learn: 2023 Traveler Value Index with Vrbo, a part of Expedia Group
Sponsored by: Expedia

Travel is a force for good – it broadens horizons and bridges divides. It creates connections and jobs around the globe. Our industry has never been more important to the world.

To help our partners build their businesses and delight travelers, we invest in market-leading research to understand travelers’ preferences and needs. For our 2023 Traveler Value Index, we’ve examined which changes are permanent shifts – and which are temporary – and for the first time, we’ve asked both travelers and industry professional to weigh in. Join Carmela Gillenwater as she shares these key insights and areas you can act on today.


Tuesday, March 7

Recession or Not: Are You Prepared?

No matter the kind of year, we always are looking for more business. As you prepare for the year ahead, and think on the kind of impact it will have on your company, you’ll want to focus on ways to keep you ahead of the competition. Join our panelists as they talk through ways to adjust your marketing strategy, including your digital marketing and website, and gaining new owners. Our panelists will also discuss understanding what the market is showing us and how to manage expectations off of the last two booming years we’ve had.


Owner Onboarding 101: Everything They Need to Know

It’s an exciting time when you start to onboard new owners – there’s energy all around and everyone’s ready to dive right in! Before you get into the fundamentals, you need to communicate this information with them. Join our presenters as they share best practices when onboarding your new owners, things to consider and keep top-of-mind. In this session, our presenters will share specifics on the importance of owner guides, ensuring new owners feel part of your programs and why owner communication is so important.


The ABCs and 123s of Owner Acquisition: Bring More Owners to Your Portfolio

Listen in to our group of panelists as they discuss the ins-and-outs of owner acquisition. In this session, you’ll hear real-life examples of how property managers have taken their company to the next level because of their acquisitions. They will also discuss when to hire a business development professional, how to work and train them and motive them to sell for you!


HR KPI’s: Are You Flushing Money Down the Toilet?

Whether you realize it or not, employees are one of your most expensive assets to your company’s bottom line. In this session, we’ll get into key HR KPI’s, metrics and the “hidden costs” around hiring, engaging and retaining staff. Using your data to make better “people” decisions based on facts and figures will save you money in the long run. Our panelists will discuss: cost to hire, cost to termination, regrettable turnover, knowing the right position and individual to hire and how this impacts your employee engagement.


Evaluating the Strategy of Your Revenue Management Ecosystem

Revenue Management Systems and tools can be tough to wrap your head around if you’re new to the role – or the industry. This session will focus on understanding the pricing tools that you currently have and how you can best use these tools to understand your data and gain valuable insights. Our panel of various sized PMs will share how they utilize their systems and tools and will discuss the things they have their eyes set on for the future.


Retaining the Owner Relationships

No matter the place or time, relationships are always important. But relationships when it comes to our owners is key to your business and its survival. Join our panelists as they talk through how to retain your owners, how to use current owners to get new ones, and showing owner appreciation. We will share key examples on what’s worked (and what hasn’t) so you don’t make similar mistakes.


How to Monetize Your Property in the Off-Season

Are you looking to make money all year-round? Who isn’t!? Join this panel of property managers as they talk through ways they continue to make money, even in the off-season. They will be discussing: preventative maintenance, launder services, deep cleans, residential services, types of rentals and much more.


How Do I Do More With Less: Returning Technology to Productivity

Do you ever feel like there’s never enough hours in a day? Join our panelists as they talk through the ways you can look at your productivity. This session will review how the current market conditions, staffing costs and your communication can affect your company’s efficiency. Our tech experts will share what they’re doing to increase their productivity even with some limitations they’re currently facing.


Guest Recognition: Keep Them Coming Back

Our panelists will discuss everything you need to know about loyalty programs and will be getting into the details. They will share the background of developing a loyalty program, what worked (and what didn’t), how they’ve seen their program grow and much more. This session will answer the questions you might have about loyalty programs and how different companies are using them – whether in one small market or in multiple markets. Join this session to learn more.


KPI 101: Understanding Where You Stand

Join our panelists as they share the basics about the business. They will discuss the KPI’s around accounting, forecasting, YOY revenue, rent revenue, fee income and future planning. Whether you’re new to the industry or new to your role, you’ll want to hear what our panelists have to say and learn from their experiences.