Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Your guide: Short-term transient guest rental regulations from the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association

Reposted with Permission

Michigan Lake to Lake 
B&B Association News



Quick-Breaking 
News You Can Use
One Bite at a Time
Inn-Sider News BiteApril 26, 2016
Your guide:
  Short-term transient guest rental regulations 

In the flurry of animated chatter that punctuated the L2L Member Forum over the weekend, one comment struck like a fist. Discussing the negative impact of illegal short-term home sharing on our legitimate B&Bs, Innkeeper Sandy White noted she found 222 "Airbnb" listings for the greater South Haven area and over 300 for Traverse City.

How many of those do you suppose abide by the same laws and regulations you do? How many do you think are leeching your guests and pocketing your proceeds -- without paying a penny of tax on the transaction? 

While many listings in this wildly-popular online directory are for legitimate, licensed lodging properties, simply judging by the number of room-night rentals mysteriously available in South Haven and Traverse City, many are not. These illegal transient guest rentals are compromising their neighborhoods and putting the safety and well being of consumers at risk. But even more, they are putting your livelihoods at risk, as this news story from the New Orleans Times-Picayuneso aptly describes. 

Mike Venturini, treasurer of L2L's Board of Directors and innkeeper at Munro House B&B and Spa, went proactive in his small Southeast Michigan town. He was concerned not with competition, but with UNFAIR competition -- the uneven playing field created when one property gets the special land use permit, the licensing, the inspections and pays the taxes on their business income like a good citizen, and the property down the street does not. Because their expenses are less, they charge less. They undercut you. And that's the rub.

As a private citizen and business owner, Mike sat down with city leaders and discussed the potential for abuse in Jonesville. Weeks of seemingly endless discussion and patience resulted in about half of Mike's "22 good ideas" being implemented in a proposed ordinance scheduled for public hearing and a vote by the city council next month. 

A copy of that proposed ordinance is available to you by clicking here. It's short, sweet and to the point. You'll find in bold print those points added to the city's existing ordinance. They are the points Mike deems critical for you to consider should you decide to sit down with your local lawmakers to put regulations in place to protect your community from illegal home sharing and keep its playing field level. 

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Always remember your first line of offense is on your own website:
.png L2L logo
"Inspected and approved by the Michigan Bed & Breakfast Association 
as an inn that assures personal hospitality, is fully insured 
and meets its high quality standards."

#MichBnB

Monday, March 7, 2016

Combating AirBnB

Attached are several of the e-mails and letters that we (PAII, the Virginia B&B Association - Local Governments - Cities, Towns and Counties) sent to VA Legislators over a three week period.  Virtually every legislator (House Delegate and Senator) received over 300 or more letters or e-mails and had their voice mails filled at least once during the three weeks.  Many legislators, on key committees that were going to vote on the Airbnb Legislation, got many more messages and received personal visits from one or more of the groups that were working against the Airbnb Legislation.  Finally, multiple speakers spoke against the Airbnb Legislation at every committee that was going to consider or vote on the Bill(s).

The effort was coordinated by VRLTA (they have paid lobbyists, we don’t) with very active participation from all the other groups, especially PAII and BBAV and Local Governments.  It was absolutely essential that B&Bs were part of this effort as it instantly counters the Airbnb message that it is the giant hotel industry versus some poor Grandmother trying to make the mortgage payments by renting out a room through Airbnb.  Getting B&Bs to participate helps send the message that it is the $25 Billion Dollar Airbnb Goliath that is beating up on the real (Legal) Mom and Pop B&Bs.

Finally, get the media involved.  Initiate or respond to every article, letter to the editor, Facebook, twitter or blog post.  Don't let any Airbnb favorable comment go unanswered.

In addition to the e-mails that provided information about Airbnb and the Bills and provided the rationale needed to vote against the Airbnb Legislation, there was a parallel campaign that flooded the legislators with every possible article that told the truth about Airbnb – like that they can’t be trusted and that there is a serious problem with safety and security at some Airbnb hosts.  A few slides (from AH&LA) that show some of the headlines are also attached.  You can just do a search on “Airbnb” to find a lot more.

Airbnb runs a very effective campaign that stresses how many millions in taxes they will collect for, and pay, the state.  Not only does their approach hide the fact that the Airbnb Bill(s) clearly discriminate against Legal B&Bs, but it is a hard thing for the legislators to turn down the big check that is on the end of the hook – and that usually “hides” the “hook”.  The “hook” iis the lack of transparency into who the hosts are, where they are, the fact that the Airbnb Hosts do not have to comply with Federal, State and Local Government Laws, Codes, Regulations or Ordinances, that Airbnb will never collect and pay all the taxes really due and that Local Governments will not be able to protect their citizens, and visitors, or enforce the Laws, Regulations, and Codes, or collect all the taxes and fees due (that Legal B&Bs have to pay) because they will have no visibility into what is happening in their communities.

The lopsided vote (90-8-1) in Virginia to send the Airbnb Bill back for additional study and to require transparency, is proof that once legislators are made aware of the inherent unfairness of the Airbnb approach, learn of the potential lack of safety and security for guests because Airbnb does not mandate compliance with Federal, State and Local Laws, Codes and Regulations, and recognize that local Governments have both a need and a right to protect their communities and collect appropriate taxes, that they will do the right thing for their states, just as they did for Virginia.  

Another valuable point to “ask” your elected officials is: “Do you really want a third party, commercial company, which has had questions raised about their openness and trustworthiness[JN1] , to collect and pay your taxes.” 


As you know PAII will be happy to assist you in your efforts, Contact Kris Ullmer at PAII.Org if you need anything else. kris@paii.org

Thanks- To Senator or Delegate

To a Senator

E-mail after Finance Committee passed Airbnb Legislation

Airbnb Statement for for VA Legislature

Virginia has Spoken

IAM Position Statement

Letter to VA Senate Finance Committee

Message to Delegates (Appropriations)

Letter or E-mail to Legislator

Response to Letter to Editor

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

PAII News You Can Use for 2/24/2016

We are committed to fostering a knowledgeable, caring and conscientious community of professional innkeepers,
networking with each other throughout the world. 
Your Weekly News & Updates
News You Can Use - our weekly cruise thru the issues and topics 
for the business of Innkeeping.

Not all News You Can Use is going to be upbeat - although the 'singing CPA' (in the Common Sense: 6 Tax Tips for Innkeepers) comes close! 

Measuring Airbnb's Real Threat... 

On the heels of a legislative loss for Virginia's B&B community* (and all legally licensed & insured lodging) comes another study documenting the impact of Airbnb. And, we certainly take note that the 2 top cities of Airbnb growth (exceeding 275%) are Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia. 

The CBRE report provides market-by-market insights comparing Airbnb data to hotel data.  It focused its research into Airbnb because of the company's impact in traditional hotel markets as well as its domination (emphasis ours) of a competitive set - as measured by Google Trends - that includes VRBOHomeAway, and FlipKey. (some familiar names here...)

The ADR (average daily rate) for Airbnb rooms was $148.42, while hotels had an ADR of $119.11 and a traditional bed and breakfast was $103.25. Airbnb exerts a downward pressure on hotel room pricing during big events and other crowded periods...

After you've digested the bar-graphs, we suggest you read a second article (link at bottom of the article page):  The Very Profitable Life of the Airbnb Superhost - and you'll note that the Skift report comments : "The only reason these hosts aren't heralded as great hosts by Airbnb - they are almost always the most highly reviewed by guests - is that they run counter to the "savior of the middle class" narrative Airbnb is now hoping will win it political battles."

And, to comment on the aforementioned political battle, Jack North (Mayhurst Inn, Orange VA) who attended and attempted (many constituents were denied or given 5 seconds) to testify at the hearings writes:

*February 16: The vote to send the revised Airbnb sponsored SB 416 and SB 571 to the whole Senate was a loss for all Virginians (8-6-1), especially for our 600 legal B&Bs, and for the safety and security of the tens of thousands of guests to the Commonwealth that will stay in these totally unregulated "homes" if this bill gets signed into law.  The bill passed the full Senate (20-19) BY ONE VOTE.    The only way to stop it is if the Governor vetos it.   

Quite simply Airbnb is offering to collect and pay taxes from the thousands of their "hosts" (about 4000 in Virginia) in turn for not having to tell who they are, where they are, not requiring compliance with building, fire, safety, health, and ABC codes laws and regulations, not allowing an audit of, or and visibility into, the details associate with their listings, and not even guaranteeing that all Airbnb properties are paying the proper taxes. Essentially Airbnb is saying "trust us" rather than the local governments.

Til next week ... 
Kris Ullmer, PAII Executive Director
News You Can Use:
Common Cents: 6 Tax Tips for Innkeepers

Industry News:
Measuring Airbnb's Real Threat to U.S. Hotels 
Using Industry Metrics  Read more.....

Social Media & SEO Changes Innkeepers 
need to knowGoogle My Business Now Surfacing Web Verify Option  Read more.....

Featured Past PAII Webinar from our Archives: History As Instructor: Lessons Learned From 40 Years  Check it out......

Blueberry Citrus Muffins from the Kitchen of Antiquities' Wellington Inn
Association Leader Round Tables
Second and Fourth Mondays of Every Month, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM EST

Monday, February 29, 2016, 2:00-4:00 PM EST   (rescheduled from the 22)
Association Webinars (Open to All)
Topic: Member Acquisition Association Leader Round Table(We will be discussing outreach to area B&Bs, new B&Bs and Aspiring Innkeepers)
  • How are you finding new B&Bs? 
  • Has your association gone through Google maps or B&B directories to find existing B&Bs?
  • Are you retargeting past members after a certain amount of time?
  • Do you have google alerts set up for new B&B openings or sales?

All State and Regional Association 
Board Members and Executive Directors 
are welcome to attend, contribute and participate in the round tables. 

For more information visithttp://paii.com/Association-Round-Tables

Help Wanted/Offered
New posting!
Attention: experienced and aspiring innkeepers, we are seeking proposals for a new innkeeper opportunity in Wine Country along California's Central Coast. We are designing and building an 11-room boutique hotel and wine-bar in Old Town Orcutt, and are interested in meeting innkeeper partner couples to live in brand new accommodations and manage the B & B and wine bar. The projected opening date is March 2017, but we'd like to meet prospective innkeepers soon for input on the interior design. Have you any suggestions as to how we might find such an innkeeper couple? Please contact me via email or cell phone at 805-798-0010 or email.JEFFREY WEINSTEIN 

Check out a new page on our website! Help Wanted/OfferedDo you have an inn? Looking for an inn position? Please send your requirements to marketing@paii.org
Upcoming Webinars (free for members)
(you will need to login to your PAII account but you may need to reset your password as the new site did not transfer your old passwords)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 2:00 PM EST
Hacking - Is Your Site a Sitting Duck?
Lisa Kolb will show you how to tell if your site is secure or if hackers have an open door to infiltrate your site and use it for advertising unsavory items or even to take your site down. Security has become more important than ever before - make sure you are taking steps to keep your site safe.
-Presented by Acorn Internet
Wednesday, March 2, 2016, EST Association Webinars (Open to All)
Association Webinar: The Future of Member Involvement in the Electronic Age
-Presented by PAII Staff
Register now at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3998158901252189442

Wednesday, March 9 (Blackout Date)

Monday, March 14, 2016, 2:00-4:00 PM EST   
Association Webinars (Open to All)
Topic: Member Acquisition, round two. Association Leader Round Table
(We will be discussing what other venues and ways are associations using to attract new members) 
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6134069090935945217

Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 2:00 PM EST
Online Marketing Playbook
Overview: Jumping into the world of online marketing for your property can seem overwhelming. This playbook helps you make sense of all the options, helps you understand where to focus your attention first and gets you on the way to success with online marketing for your property.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this webinar you'll know: How to use digital assets like your website and online review sites to increase occupancy. Which (if any) OTAs are right for your property to partner with. How to stay on top of all the digital marketing channels while staying focused on your guests.
Presented by innRoad

Professional Association of Innkeepers International
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Friday, February 12, 2016

PAII News You Can Use for 2/10/2016

We are committed to fostering a knowledgeable, caring and conscientious community of professional innkeepers,
networking with each other throughout the world. 
Your Weekly News & Updates
News You Can Use - our weekly cruise thru the issues and topics 
for the business of Innkeeping.

Your weekly News You Can Use regularly includes 5 categories:
1. News You Can Use - practical, hands-on Innkeeping tips ranging from photography to knife sharpening to using guest reviews to growing your email list.

2. Industry News - what's happening with travel websites / fraudulent travel websites, key travel trends, OTA fees and (almost) all things Google. 

3. Social Media & SEO Changes Innkeepers need to know - tools for publishing and managing your social media marketing, plus roll-outs and often a 'how to' use. 

4. Featured Past PAII Webinar from our Archives - a recent presentation from industry experts (partners, innkeepers, related businesses): insurance, cooking class, marketing challenges, non-room revenue.

5. Innkeeping Recipes - to inspire you!

We invite you to tell us what you think - are these topics relevant to your business? Why or why not? What additional topics would you like to see addressed? Send your thoughts to me at kris@paii.org. I look forward to hearing from you!

And, in this issue ...
Top Ten lists highlight the best of the best - and Awesome Food Photography does this plus 1 with tips for food photography using any camera, including a smart phone camera! And, we agree with Jumping Rocks: it is still surprising that many B&B websites have no pictures of breakfast ... this is a missed opportunity to differentiate a B&B from other lodging - including vacation rentals. Props and propping, styling, composition, and a sense of life elevate the appeal of a food image ... and discover the 'secret sauce' of food photography in the bonus video!

Foursquare Enters Trip Planning Melee (and let's keep in mind the definition of melee: a noisy confused fight or conflict!), with Trip Tips: a new way to plan travel with help from friends. Foursquare says it's simple-"tell us where you're going and we'll give you a link to share with friends. All of their suggestions are collected into a list with a map, which is saved to your phone for on-the-go access." Let's encourage those 'friends' to recommend their B&B experience!

Opportunity knocks - or clicks - our Jobs Wanted / Offered page is growing with postings for positions throughout the country! This posting service is YOURS to use, whether you are in the job wanted or job offered category. See the link below.

'til next week - 
Kris Ullmer, PAII Executive Director
News You Can Use:
Awesome Food Photos with any camera: 11 Tips

Industry News:
Google & TrustYou Partner to Display Meta-Reviews in Search Read more.....

Social Media & SEO Changes Innkeepers need to know: Foursquare enters trip planning melee with Trip Tips  Read more.....

Featured Past PAII Webinar from our Archives:
B&B Photography DIY Tips & Tricks Part One
And don't forget our upcoming PAII webinar next week, the second in the series, B&B Photography DIY Tips & Tricks Part Two

Innkeeping Recipes:
Crustless Cranberry Pie from the kitchen of Pine Crest Farms B&B
Association Leader Round Tables
Second and Fourth Mondays of Every Month, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM EST
All State and Regional Association Board Members and Executive Directors are welcome to attend, contribute and participate in the round tables. 

For more information visithttp://paii.com/Association-Round-Tables



Help Wanted/Offered
New posting!
Attention: experienced and aspiring innkeepers, we are seeking proposals for a new innkeeper opportunity in Wine Country along California's Central Coast. We are designing and building an 11-room boutique hotel and wine-bar in Old Town Orcutt, and are interested in meeting innkeeper partner couples to live in brand new accommodations and manage the B & B and wine bar. The projected opening date is March 2017, but we'd like to meet prospective innkeepers soon for input on the interior design. Have you any suggestions as to how we might find such an innkeeper couple? Please contact me via email or cell phone at805-798-0010 or email.JEFFREY WEINSTEIN 

Check out a new page on our website! Help Wanted/OfferedDo you have an inn? Looking for an inn position? Please send your requirements to marketing@paii.org
Upcoming Webinars (free for members)
(you will need to login to your PAII account but you may need to reset your password as the new site did not transfer your old passwords)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 2:00 PM EST
B&B Photography DIY Tips & Tricks Part Two
How you can get good looking food shots with what you already have to work with. We'll cover things to consider before and during your food shooting session, primarily using your smart phone and available lighting. With the right planning and a sharp eye, there's no reason you can't get some nice photos to help entice those new visitors.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 2:00 PM EST
Hacking - Is Your Site a Sitting Duck?
Lisa Kolb will show you how to tell if your site is secure or if hackers have an open door to infiltrate your site and use it for advertising unsavory items or even to take your site down. Security has become more important than ever before - make sure you are taking steps to keep your site safe.

Professional Association of Innkeepers International
STAY CONNECTED:
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn   Find us on Google+   View our videos on YouTube   Find us on Pinterest