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Peak season for the industry was also incredibly busy – and productive – for CHPA and its leaders. CHPA Board members approved several new opportunities help members increase awareness of both their companies and the industry.
The Board of Directors and their companies join you in this summer's busy season, but that hasn't stopped them from moving some of the Association's initiatives forward. Below is a recap of recent activity.
Showcase Your Company's Excellence: The Board and Task Force have made some final adjustments to the criteria and CHPA's new Member Company Accreditation Program will be unveiled this fall. This company accreditation is a mark of excellence for your company. It demonstrates to clients and partners that your company achieves higher standards and sets you apart from your competitors. Your company accreditation shows you don’t just meet the standards of good practice – you exceed them.
OTA Toolkit: The Board voted to hire a writer to draft a position paper that helps clarify what you do, how you do it and how these stakeholders can differentiate qualified corporate housing professionals and other marketplace options. The final position paper will be included as part of a toolkit you can use in your local area to combat this confusion about online travel agents (OTAs).
Assess Your Guest's Experience: The Board has been working most of the first and second quarter on CHPA’s Quality Assessment Pilot Program with ASAP that wrapped up June. Companies across the US and Canada were professionally assessed against more than 250 criteria that a guest experiences when they stay with your company. CHPA leaders will take member company’s feedback in the coming months to determine the value to members and how to best move forward.
Progress Toward Strategic Goals:
CHPA 2016: The Board also approved the budget for the 2016 Annual Conference so we are well on the way to planning the next event! Don't miss it in Fort Worth, Texas!
If you would like to bring anything forward to the Board to discuss, please feel free to forward it to Mary Ann Passi, CAE, CHPA CEO so that she can add it to the next agenda. We look forward to sharing in CHPA's successes in the 3rd and 4th quarters.
The CHPA 2015 Midwest Regional Conference in Chicago last month was a great success! Over 90 CHPA members and guests came together for a few days of volunteering, education and networking at Loyola University. Attendees started the conference off on the right foot by volunteering with the Greater Chicago Food Depository along with our partner charity Move For Hunger. Together we packed 575 cases. That’s the equivalent of 13,800 cans of food or 20,678 pounds of food! After working up an appetite from volunteering, it was time to mingle and relax at the Welcome Reception at Jake’s Corner Tap, sponsored by CORT Furniture Rental.
The next day was packed full of programming and networking. The first session, Chi-Town Rental Inventory Trends, featured Gail Lissner, CRE, SRA of Appraisal Research Counselors giving an update on the latest development trends in the Chicagoland rental market. Once Gail kicked things off there was no looking back. Next we heard from relocation and property management professionals for the Midwest Property Management Trends & Insights panel.
Everyone had a chance to network and catch up on email over lunch then regrouped for the Express Learning Labs. Attendees were able to discuss industry hot topics such as:
Is there a topic you’d like to see discussed at an upcoming event? Let us know!
Later in the afternoon Judith Gausnell, JG Performance, spoke on the best ways to gain insights into research, profiling, prospecting and sales calls with her session, Cold Calling that Opens Doors & Closes Sales. The day ended with the Apartments, Condos & Corporate Housing: Chicago Short term Rentals…Long term Business Strategies panel. The group shared their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities with corporate housing rentals of 30 days or more and the ever-evolving submarket of shorter-term rentals in the Chicago Metropolitan area.
A special Thank You to the CHPA members who make these events possible through their generous sponsorships and exhibits!
Welcome Reception - CORT Furniture Rental
Onsite Program - ABODA
Silver - Brook Furniture Rental
Bronze - ALE Solutions, AvenueWest Global Franchise, Preferred Corporate Housing, Suite Home Chicago
Aaxsys Technology, AMJ Insurance, Inc., Brook Furniture Rental, Bruce White Galleries, Chicagoland Apartment Association, CORT Furniture Rental, Furniture Options, Move for Hunger, Suite Interiors
We hope to see you at the last Regional Conference of 2015!
CHPA would like to welcome Terry Rodgers, CCHP of HighStreet Accommodations Ltd. as the incoming Canadian Advisory Group's Managing Director. Terry will take office and select individuals to sit on the Advisory Group to help guide the membership initiatives in Canada. Please join us in thanking Michael Stern of ExecSuite, Inc. for sitting in this role for the last two years. Please take a moment to learn more about Terry below.
Terry owned and/or managed several different retail businesses before she started her first corporate housing company. In the early 1980s, she was the General Sales Manager for GranTree Furniture Rental in Vancouver; when Vancouver won the bid to host Expo ’86, Terry’s employer wasn’t interested in the idea of corporate housing, so she branched out on her own in 1985. In the summer of 1984, GranTree told her that she was not to pursue any Expo ’86 business. As a result, Terry and a partner incorporated Executive Accommodations in early 1985 and began setting up furnished rentals for a number of clients, including the contractors and engineering companies that built the original SkyTrain line. By midsummer in 1985, Terry couldn’t keep up with Executive Accommodations and GranTree, and so resigned from GranTree to pursue the nascent corporate housing industry in Vancouver. By the end of 1985, Executive Accommodations was GranTree’s biggest furniture rental customer in Vancouver.
In that sense, Terry has been involved in the corporate housing industry since 1985. She has seen the industry grow and change in amazing ways over the last 30+ years, and believes that the greatest change has yet to come. Terry believes that the corporate housing industry needs to become what is known as a “self-regulating organization,” similar to others such as the American Automobile Association and the real estate industry. This is not so much a change as it is a shift in direction towards greater, more widespread recognition of corporate housing as an industry. Terry believes the industry should be supporting, developing and publishing industry standards and finding ways to support corporate housing providers in adopting and subscribing to a set of industry standards such as those developed by the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP).
Terry first joined CHPA in 2006-2007. She has always been interested in meeting industry counterparts. She especially wanted to learn more about how corporate housing was developing in other areas because it sometimes seemed difficult to explain internal industry differences among various providers to inquiring parties. She noticed that there seemed to be a number of different business models but not a lot of communication about the differences. She wanted to build stronger relationships across these differences to benefit HighStreet’s ability to deliver great service as a regional provider.
As a result of CHPA membership, Terry has met some of the most innovative movers and shakers in the industry. She notes it has been truly inspirational to get to know so many people and have the opportunity to share ideas and learn best practices from people who have been doing the work to build their businesses and the corporate housing industry. Since joining CHPA, HighStreet has won the following awards:
Social media is always evolving, always changing. How can you be expected to keep up with each new update and advancement? Today, I will give you a quick rundown of the three newest social media updates via this MultiBrief article: http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/3-new-social-updates-and-how-to-use-them-in-your-business/travel-hospitality-event-management
Google+ Introduces Collections
Google+ is unveiling its newest addition called Collections. Think Pinterest, but with a professional, elevated twist. You can create easily organized categories and follow specific subjects based on your personal interests. "For instance, instead of individually following your favorite bloggers, you can now follow a Marketing Blogger Collection. Or create your own" (MultiBrief).
Collections aims at turning users into content curators and allows your business to engage with its customers by allowing them to follow your posts, thoughts, likes, etc. Will you create a collection for your business?
Facebook Messenger Adds Video Calls
As if Facebook didn't already have its finger on the heartbeat of social media, it has added the newest addition to its resume; video calling on its messenger service. Why does this matter to you when every almost every cell phone user in the world has the capability of using Facetime or Skype?
Imagine a customer complaint on your Facebook page. Would you send a simple message to apologize? Would you offer a discount code for their next purchase or transaction? While that may mollify the situation temporarily, your customer may be lacking that in person customer service. With Facebook's new video call service, you could eliminate that possibility all together. "When face to face, users will typically be less vicious and angry than they would be in an email or chat. Video calls diffuse tense situations by highlighting your friendly, empathetic face" (MultiBrief).
Plus, with no additional apps to set up, passwords to set, Facebook video call gives both users an easy outlet to connect. Do you think this could become a viable option for your business?
Instagram Debuts New Filters - and Emoji Hashtags
Instagram, the world of pictures and those fabulous filters and Emojis that allow you to put your own spin on how you would like to convey yourself or your image to the world.
Instagram has finally heard its users cry and has allowed the ability to hashtag Emojis, which in turn allows you to search any specific Emoji you would like. If your corporate housing unit happens to be by the beach, use the waves Emoji. If you are close to public transit, use the bus or a train Emoji. "Scroll through a specific Emoji hashtag to see what's out there. Then, post an Instagram on your business account and hashtag an Emoji. Chances are, you'll be introducing your users to the feature. And, they'll be happy to see it" (MultiBrief).
And as if Instagram didn't have enough filters for you to choose from, they have just added 3 more! Enjoy finding the filter that works best for your shot!
Social media, although primarily free, can be a time consuming tool with multiple platforms. Keeping up with the updates is a challenge, but it is something your company should be constantly working at. Embracing the changes will keep your business relevant and in turn, your customers will appreciate that.