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They said it, not us!

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No words are more powerful to gauge the success, or failure, of a company than customer feedback. Here are some actual comments from our customers who’s vacation experience was enhanced through our Experiential Amenities program.

Our boys enjoyed the kayaks and the bicycles! It was great to see them doing something else other than the video games!! It made their vacation a fun and memorable one!

After a long drive, arriving at our rental home and seeing our beach gear neatly waiting for us helped us relax immediately! It was such a gift. I couldn’t ask for more. Thank you!

Beach gear made our stay that much more convenient and enjoyable! More room in the car for our stuff and no hassle!

It’s awesome not to have to lug beach gear from home! 

As a family of 10, the beach gear included was a HUGE plus for us. We were able to get 9 beach chairs and a umbrella for the cost of pennies! The chairs were very nice and sturdy beach chairs. The “beach gear included” is a definite perk!!

Loved how easy it was to add bikes and chairs to my stay – really a very nice added benefit! Normally I’d have to look up some bikes places, confirm rates, compare and then book. Great benefit with simple online ordering.

Loved having the gear dropped off and picked up. No worries! There was something so pleasant about driving up and seeing it sitting there waiting for you – full of possibilities.

The kids had never used some of that equipment before so it was fun to see them try. More memories made!

It was wonderful to get there and have the paddle boards and life vests all ready to go! And a terrific value! Thanks!!!

Such a nice addition to our rental! No need to pack chairs and umbrellas for the seven of us. The quality of the chairs and umbrellas were fantastic. Thank you so much!

  • Thank you so much for the kind words and we’re so happy that our service helped make your vacation more convenient and memorable – VayK Gear Management 

Going the Extra Mile

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Have you ever seen the reality TV show “Undercover Boss”? I’ve always liked that show because I’ve worked for plenty of CEO’s, but never understood how they can make sweeping decisions for a company without really understanding the impact those decisions have on the front line employees.

Just living one day in someone else’s shoes can have a great impact on the understanding and appreciation of what others have to endure, especially in business. It exposes inefficiencies that could potentially cost these very same people their jobs, even though it may not be their fault.

At VayK Gear, understanding and appreciating what others do is part of our culture. There are a lot of moving parts in what we do and to understand it completely means rolling up your sleeves and jumping in. This includes everyone from the President of the company on down.

Almost every facet of what we do runs off home grown systems, from our custom built trailers to our ordering and inventory control software. The entire management team has spent hours planning routes, loading trailers and making physical deliveries so that they are familiar with what happens on the ground. In this way, they are prepared to make the decisions to ensure our customers receive the highest level of service in the industry.

This culture has allowed VayK Gear to scale its business to serve 5,600 properties across 6 territories in just 6 years, while maintaining our level of service. We look forward to continuing to expand our footprint and enhancing vacation experiences, one customer at a time.

Experiential Amenities – A Property Managers Value Proposition

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“Attract” and “Retain”, these should be the most important goals for a VRM.  Attracting and Retaining guests keep your properties rented, and no one’s making money unless somebodies renting the property.  Ok, so this is obvious, but how do you Attract and Retain?

“Attract”

The first thing you focus on is managing the prime properties, but there are only so many of those in the market.  After that you need to figure out how to add value to average properties?  Let’s face it, outside of begging the homeowner to remodel the kitchen, update the furnishings and purchase LCD TV’s, as a VRM your hands are tied.  So you look to fancy marketing and SEO, partner with OTA’s, create virtual tours and post drone videos in order to drive more guests to your website.  Now that you got them, how do you keep them?

“Retain”

You find a linen service and a dependable housekeeping staff to keep the properties presentable.  Maintenance personnel to make sure everything works. You hire friendly and courteous staff members to handle all your guests requests in a timely and professional manner. In other words, keep them happy.

Congratulations, now you’re just like every other VRM in the market!

Today, savvy VRM’s are looking more and more to Experiential Amenities as a value proposition.  Including a couple beach chairs or bikes with the property or having a concierge service to help facilitate activities.  After all, we live in a world of convenience.  This is really smart and let me tell you why.  If you provide the foundation for your guests to create a “vacation experience”, this transcends the property itself and truly sets you apart.  This is how you create value, and this will “Attract” and “Retain” guests.

So why isn’t everyone doing this?  I don’t know, maybe because in-house programs require capital expense, operating expense and staffing resources to manage and support them.  Maybe it’s because managing property owners, guests, housekeeping, linen service, maintenance, marketing, billing, and whatever else is already a 70 hour a week job.

This is exactly the conundrum Scott Colson, the owner and founder of VayK Gear, found himself in.  He built a successful VRM business in St George Island, Florida, but felt compelled to provide his guests with more than just the roof over their heads.  With all the moving pieces, Scott quickly realized that successfully managing an Experiential Amenity program was taking away from his VRM business, so Scott sold his VRM business and started VayK Gear.

VayK Gear is a turn key platform and handles every aspect of your Experiential Amenity program.  The program is seamlessly integrated into the reservation process, so there is no hand off to third party vendors.  In this way, the program remains a value added amenity of the VRM itself.  What really sets this apart from typical in-house programs is that the guests are provided “Beach Gear Credit”, which allows them to choose from a wide variety of gear including beach chairs, beach umbrellas, adult bikes, kids bikes, kayaks, paddle boards, boogie boards, skim boards, coolers, wagons, and corn-hole games.  Each guest selects the specific gear that best suits their individual needs and personal lifestyles, ensuring a positive experience.  VayK Gear brands beach chairs, umbrellas, and bikes with the VRM’s logo in order to help drive marketing and brand recognition.  VayK Gear also partners with local service providers and offers guests negotiated rates on experiential services.  Oh, and lets not forget dedicated customer service and field personnel to handle all support issues.

This type of program is truly a godsend for today’s VRMs.  It allows them to focus on their core business units while adding incredible value to their properties by enhancing their guests vacation experience.  All this with no capital expense, no operating expense and no staffing requirements.

To learn more about this amazing program, please contact Michael Ball to schedule a meeting.

Email: michael@vaykgearforvrms.com

Cell: 404-915-8462

An Inspirational Young Man – Preston Burkett

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Some people just don’t take no for an answer, and Preston Burkett is one of them.

The 20-year-old Eastpoint resident, six-foot five-inches and gangly with a friendly grin, didn’t take a direct path to college, there were twists and turns along the way, but that’s where he’s heading this month.

Son of Helen Denise Burkett, in Tallahassee and Jimmie Lee Burkett, Jr., of Panama City, he had the grades to possibly graduate with his classmates with the Class of 2017.

But he didn’t.

He had attended Brown Elementary, and then the ABC School in third and fourth grade, and then in 2010 moved to Port St. Joe, where he attended fifth through ninth grade.

Challenged with autism, that experience wasn’t always such a happy one. “I was bullied, I just had enough of it,” Burkett said.

He returned to Franklin County, and attended as a sophomore, a passionate manager of the football and basketball teams.

“It was great, I fit right in and it was home,” he said. “The teachers went out of their way, I had what I needed here. I could have graduated with the class of 2020, but I would have been age 21.”

Burkett decided to branch out on his own, and “dropped out,” and did lawn work.

“The age difference was a big concern but at same time I wanted to get out of here and go to college,” he said.

And that’s what he plans to do.

While working in the warehouse and delivering equipment to vacationers on the weekends for VayK Gear, he breezed through GED courses, and with financial help from Nick O’Grady, who directs the adult education program, he passed all four parts of the test in five days.

Tallahassee Community College accepted his diploma and on August 26 he’ll start classes there, living in a dorm at University Village, and working at Whataburger, as he gets around on a bicycle given him by his VayK Gear employers.

“I thought I lost hope this year but it all fell in place,” said Burkett. “I had the determination to get it done; I had the want. It took some adapting but I know I can handle it. I was able to fight through it.”

Nicknamed the “White Radio,” after the lead character in the sports comedy film played by Cuba Gooding, Jr, Burkett takes life in long, gentle strides.

“There’s stuff come at me I didn’t think I could overcome and I fought through it,” he said. “The biggest way to get past the obstacle is to push through it, get it out of your way, conquering goals with an unconquered mindset.”

Speaking of unconquered, Burkett has plans to start out with three or four courses, “until I figure out what I’m getting myself into,” and then once he earns his associate’s degree, to purses a sports management degree at Florida State.

“All the money I worked for, it’s going towards paying for college,” he said. “Sports is my passion; I’m a diehard Florida State fan. The gridiron gang is one of my biggest motivators.”

A participant in Youth Pastor Scott Shiver’s Front Line Ministries, Burkett was honored at a recognition night at Deliverance Tabernacle, his grandmother Brenda Flower’s church.

“I’m one of those can’t nothing hold me down,” he said. “I make the best of what I got.”

  • Preston, Thank you for being part of the VayK Gear team. You truly touched your fellow co-workers and the customers you served with your humility and grace. We wish you the very best in everything that lies ahead!

VayK Gear Expands to Hilton Head Island

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VayK Gear has taken another step in expanding its reach and is now offering its experiential amenities platform to property management companies in the Hilton Head Island territory for the 2020 season.

Prior to this, VayK Gear was already established across 5 territories, which included 38 VRM partnerships and 5,000 properties, all this within 6 years of operation.  Expanding into Hilton Head Island has allowed the company to add two select VRM’s and 600 more homes to its already impressive portfolio.  Expanding its business in this fashion demonstrates the companies impressive ability to scale while still providing first class service to its customers.

VayK Gear currently serves the following territories:

  1. The Forgotten Coast – Florida (St George Island/Cape San Blas)
  2. 30a – Florida
  3. Charleston – South Carolina
  4. Grand Strand – South Carolina
  5. Outer Banks – North Carolina
  6. Hilton Head Island – South Carolina

VayK Gear Blog

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Hello everyone and welcome to the VayK Gear Blog!!  Come here to get the latest VayK Gear news, industry information and funny stories.  So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!