July 16, 2010
With many people out of work right now, and with the new tax incentive that has been passed, there has never been a better time to hire.
The recently passed Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act gives a payroll tax holiday and up-to-$1,000 tax credit for employers who hire unemployed workers. The tax benefit is immediate, because the tax is simply never collected in the first place. The tax benefit generally applies only to private-sector employment. There is no minimum weekly number of hours that the new employee must work for the employer to be eligible, and there is no limit on the dollar amount of payroll taxes per employer that may be forgiven. For workers that would otherwise be eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, the employer must select one benefit or the other for 2010. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, employers will need to fill out a W-11 with the IRS.
Bonus: check out this blog in the Harvard Business Review about good hiring practices.
February 3, 2010
I was delighted with CHPA’s choice for their annual conference this year, located at the Hotel del Coronadoin San Diego, CA. The Hotel del Coronado is a National Historic Landmark with over 120 years of experience in the hospitality industry. According to the website, Rand McNally recognized the Hotel Del Coronado for having “more fame and historical significance than perhaps any hotel in North America.” The hotel has been featured several times in Travel and Leisure magazine. It was in the classic film Some Like It Hot starring Marilyn Monroe. Eleven U.S. Presidents have visited The Del, starting with Benjamin Harrison in 1891. If you love historic landmarks, you will enjoy this year’s location for the 2010 CHPA Annual Conference. And if you do go, here are three lectures you won’t want to miss:
Social Media & Your Brand, Maryellen Ferring, Upsell Training. Everyone complains about gimmicky giveaways at conferences, but secretly I love them. They make excellent gifts for the ladies back at the office, besides making excellent mementos for the trip itself. I’ll often scurry past booths twice to pick up extras. If you like giveaways too, you’ll love the super-interactive Maryellen Ferring. According to her website, Maryellen does a lot of group exercises, giveaways, and incorporates props into her speech. And really, who could be more appropriate for a speech about the necessity of interacting with customers via social marketing than someone who thinks in a way that incorporates their audience into a lecture?
Selling Made Strong, Terri Norvell, Further Performance Group. One of the things that really struck me about Terri Norvell’s website was that she is president of the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. Which I would think would be a pretty difficult position to acquire and keep. Really, with her position I would have liked to have seen her included in the SEO panel that CHPA put together. And while she’s done product management for Frito-Lay and 7-11, she’s also been general manager of a temporary housing company, and been vice president of marketing and training for a property management and development firm. If you like super-focused lectures, then Terri Norvell is for you.
Increasing Your Sales Team’s Closing Percentage, Joe Porpiglia, D & D Consulting and Training. Joe Porpiglia seems to have all of the concrete, real world tools necessary for running a corporate housing company. Things I liked about Joe: he’s been married to his wife for 38 years, he worked his way up from a part time sales clerk at Greenbelt Cooperative, and what’s more, he seems to have been consistently promoted in every position he’s ever held, at least, according to his website. From what I can tell about Joe Propiglia, he has real experience in corporate housing and he’s in it for the long haul. If you’re looking for practical advice you can take back to your company, I would gamble on Joe Porpiglia.
November 12, 2009
Not all walls in China are great.
MOBILITY magazine and The New York Times each recently had an article about issues that have arisen with Chinese drywall. The drywall, which was imported from China during the housing boom and has been installed in many new luxury apartment buildings, can cause severe health problems to those that live near it.
It’s difficult to say how many homes may be affected. In The New York Times article, Arnold Levin, a Phildelphia lawyer said that, “There could be 60,000 to 100,000 homes that are worthless and have to be ripped completely down and rebuilt.” MOBILITY inflated the number to 300,000 homes.
It’s easier to create a timeline of when the drywall was installed and to gauge the number of complaints that the government has received thus far. The Times article went on to say that, “The product safety commission has received more than 1,300 complaints from 26 states, but the bulk are from Florida, Louisiana and Virginia, where hurricanes led to an unprecedented housing boom in 2006 and 2007.” MOBILITY stated that the drywall was found in a home constructed as early as 2001, but both sources agree that the majority of homes that contain the offensive product were constructed somewhere between 2004 and 2007.
What can a provider do if they believe their tenant is being affected by Chinese drywall? The only thing to do, of course,is to move them, but who pays for the cost? The Times article elaborated on the ongoing lawsuits related to the Chinese drywall conundrum and it stated the difficulty of finding legal remedy to the situation or even of clearly delineating who is at fault. Unfortunately for now, providers who have tenants made ill by Chinese drywall may end up with a sizeable bill.
October 29, 2009
Top-of-the-line furnished executive apartment providers are constantly pitted against each other to find the most cutting edge interior design. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the new movement in interior design is called “Rough Luxe” and focuses on found objects, reclaimed materials, and imperfection in general. In a previous blog, I discussed shopping at thrift stores for finds in furniture– no I wasn’t kidding. In the future refurbishing a unique item will go a lot further with the jet-setting executive crowd than cookie cutter design. Major designers in the field of Rough Luxe include Bill Sofield and Raw-Edges. Miami’s Art Basel this year awarded its top prizes to designers who, in the words of the Journal, created works that “drew attention to the maker’s hand.” Top design stores in Manhattan such as Matter and Moss are carrying elements of the design.
October 27, 2009
On the blog Social Media Explorer, guest blogger Jeremy Epstein recently made the assertion that cultivating one raving fan of your company was worth cultivating 445 people. What I’d like to talk about today is word-of-mouth marketing and how it can be applied to social media marketing concepts. (more…)
October 26, 2009
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives’ U.S. Regional Office wrote an online appeal to suppliers and industry leaders to become Regional Champions for the organization. One of the advantages to volunteering is that you become first in line to know special information about the association and about business travel in general. It is also a good idea to attend their trade show or educational events.
October 23, 2009
Jay Boehmer of Business Travel News Online writes in the article “Business Travel Cuts Bottoming,”
“Many companies expect to increase travel spending next year from what is expected to remain a craterous 2009, but some industry players are convinced it will be a matter of years before they resume pre-recession levels, according to speakers at last month’s National Business Travel Association International Convention in San Diego, conversations with industry buyers and suppliers and recent surveys of corporate travel managers.”
So hold on providers, because we may have finally reached rock bottom and it is time to begin the climb again. And what have we learned from the recession? As Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
October 22, 2009
In his many books Robert Cialdini explores the relationship between science and persuasion. One theory he touches on is that of reciprocity.
The question is, how do you convince a client to go with your corporate housing company again based on the theory of reciprocity?
If it’s a large corporate client that you’re trying to land, such as IBM, you could go so far as to offer them a free night’s stay, so that they can see how your product and service is better than your competitor’s.
If it’s a traveling individual, such as a traveling nurse or a consultant, leaving a gift basket of food on the dining room table goes a long way. Oftentimes these people are arriving in new territory, sometimes late in the afternoon, and after unpacking all of their things they simply want to stay in and make dinner for themselves. Why not provide them with their first meal?
October 21, 2009
I liked what David Flando of Habitat said in the March 2009 CHPA Newsletter about “Keeping up with the Joneses.” Basically, what he said was that our efforts to one-up each other in high-end design and technology reduces the bottom line of our industry. For example, according to the Highland Group, over one third of all units currently have flat panel television screens installed in them, and that number is expected to increases by the end of 2009. Let’s face it: it’s a fun place to work, but at the end of the day we’re in this to make money. (more…)
October 20, 2009
The New York Times recently reported that Manhattan hoteliers are slashing their room rates by as much as a third in a desperate attempt to fill vacancies. How can corporate housing providers keep pace? Well, price is only one of the 4 P’s of Marketing (product, price, place, promotion). Perceived value is so much more powerful than price alone, and many factors combine to create this perception. (more…)