Themed Vacation Rentals: Turning a Property Into an Experience

Differentiation is a key pillar of any short-term rental business. With the rise in Airbnb and vacation rentals, we’re seeing more supply come online. Despite the short-term negative consequences of the pandemic on the industry, this real estate asset class bounced back nicely, thanks to a dramatic rise in domestic travel.

With mass vaccination imminent, many Airbnb and short-term rental managers are starting to think more strategically about their business and properties. For those looking to pivot, turning your Airbnb into a themed rental may be a good differentiation opportunity.

Indeed, Airbnb is all about experiences; tours, classes, hikes, and the list goes on. But with the onset of the pandemic, many had to rethink and retool their offerings. Something to consider: What if you could use a theme to make the property itself feel like an experience? Let’s take a closer look at the Airbnb themed trend and if

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As we experience another lockdown, Helen McNicoll’s painting “Interior” opens doors

There’s an irony. As the Art Gallery of Ontario presents an exhibit that focuses on open doors, we are once again in lockdown, staying behind our own closed doors.

It is apt then, to look at Helen Galloway McNicoll’s painting “Interior,” part of the exhibit “The Open Door: Helen McNicoll and Mary Hiester Reid.” It’s of a domestic scene, slightly old-fashioned; McNicoll, born in Toronto, lived during the turn of the last century, 1879 to 1915. Yet there’s something modern about the work; something timeless, familiar. Perhaps it’s the way the light shines.

McNicoll, the AGO informs, studied painting in England, where she embraced Impressionism: the artistic movement defined by broad, quick brush strokes simulating natural, reflected light.

In an era when social norms dictated formality, her paintings publicly engaged with home life and femininity in complex ways, broadening traditional ideas about female spaces and the potential for women to

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Eight Steps To Buying Commercial Real Estate Without Money Or Experience

Founder of Apartment Loan Store a Commercial Mortgage Firm. Author of “The Encyclopedia of Commercial Real Estate Advice,” Publisher- Wiley

To start out with a disclaimer, buying a commercial property without money or experience is very difficult to do. Sure, this could be a breeze if you have an honest face and the ability to sell snow shovels in Hawaii. Otherwise, pitching your deal and having no track record or skin in the game is likely just to reward you with sour faces from investors and lenders.

As a commercial mortgage banker, my office gets calls every day from up-and-coming real estate investors who have nothing to contribute to their deal except enthusiasm. Most of these calls are just annoying. But over the past 24 years, I have assisted over 50 of these entrepreneurs who did not have any money or experience get their deals closed. Why? Because they

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Santa experience contractor reveals plans for masked, lap-less visits at Tulsa malls

The vendor responsible for bringing Santa Claus to Tulsa’s two malls is revealed Tuesday how it will keep the holiday tradition of children telling Saint Nick what they want for Christmas while also dealing with a pandemic.

Cherry Hill Programs is the vendor both Tulsa malls use to bring the Santa experience to malls during the holiday season.

Tuesday, after FOX23 requested the procedures, we were given a guide as to how families can still have the Santa experience while everyone tries to stay healthy and avoid spreading COVID-19.



a person standing next to a christmas tree: Nov. 17, 2020 - The vendor responsible for bringing Santa Claus to Tulsa's two malls is revealing how it will keep the holiday tradition of children telling Saint Nick what they want for Christmas while also dealing with a holiday season that will happen in the full throws of a pandemic.


© Provided by KOKI Tulsa
Nov. 17, 2020 – The vendor responsible for bringing Santa Claus to Tulsa’s two malls is revealing how it will keep the holiday tradition of children telling Saint Nick what they want for Christmas while also dealing with a holiday season that will happen in the full throws of a pandemic.

According to Cherry Hill, Santa

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Sudbury mine contractor stacking the deck with sector experience

Stacked Group Inc. launches with focus on industry relationships

Aaron Lambert wants to see a return of close, interpersonal relationships in the field of mine contracting.

Over the last few decades, as larger companies have taken over more market share, he said, there’s a familiarity between mine contractors and their clients that seems to be missing.

It’s a gap Lambert believes can be filled by smaller, boutique firms like Stacked Group Inc., the mine contracting firm he and partner Steve Doucette launched in early October.

“With a lot of the mining contractors that had started 20, 30 years ago, companies that we’ve been a part of, the original group that developed these companies have now retired, so there’s a big disconnect,” he said.

“We’re the next generation to step up and start building those close partnerships with the mining companies and creating value with the clients.”

Together, Lambert and Doucette

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Invoca Announces Three New Conversation Intelligence Solutions for Sales, eCommerce, and Customer Experience Teams

The expansion of Invoca’s solution comes at a time when consumer needs, behaviors, and motivations are changing at breakneck speed. McKinsey found 77% of Americans are trying new shopping methods, brands, and channels, with the intention of sticking with them for the long-term.

“A critical part of adapting to changing consumer behavior is knowing consumers at a deeper level, far beyond what can be achieved through analyzing website visits, email open rates, and ad clicks. Conversations represent a moment of truth to uncover motivations, concerns, and preferences,” said Gregg Johnson, Invoca CEO. “Invoca’s Active Conversation Intelligence platform helps businesses tap into the power of conversations across the entire buyer experience to deliver superior experiences that drive revenue.”

Invoca’s platform includes four solutions built for revenue teams at B2C companies:

  • Invoca for eCommerce: Improve digital conversion rates by understanding why and when consumers reach out for buying assistance. This
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Amidst Pandemic-Driven Urban Exodus, Welcome Homes Launches First Fully Digital Home Buying Experience, Bolstered by a $5.35M Seed Round

NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Welcome Homes announces its official launch as the first fully-online home building, customization and purchasing experience of its kind, with $5.35M in seed financing led by Global Founders Capital. Welcome Homes will use the capital infusion to expand into new markets, while also bolstering its product, sales and marketing initiatives to streamline the home-buying and customization process, cutting by 50% the time it takes to build and move into a dream home, to six months.

Buying a home is considered by many Americans, about 40%, as the most stressful event in modern life with the complexity of finding the right location, managing construction companies, and all the necessary legal and financial protocols. Over the last few months this has only been exacerbated as city dwellers flee urban areas into neighboring suburbs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its shelter-in-place orders.

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Eli’s Eats in the Streets food truck for sale after owner Gary Lokers’ ‘near-death experience’

For someone looking to break into the food truck scene, there’s an opportunity to get a food trailer with some history in the Blue Water Area. 



a sign on the side of a road: Gary Lokers, owner of local food truck Eli’s Eats in the Streets, is selling his food trailer with an asking price ranging from $38,000 to $50,000. Lokers has been operating the food truck since 2017.


© Brian Wells/Times Herald
Gary Lokers, owner of local food truck Eli’s Eats in the Streets, is selling his food trailer with an asking price ranging from $38,000 to $50,000. Lokers has been operating the food truck since 2017.

Gary Lokers, owner of Eli’s Eats in the Streets, is selling his food trailer with an asking price of $50,000. 

“It has value,” he said. “You can buy this today and it’ll be making you money by the end of the week.” 

Lokers is selling the trailer after a “near-death experience”  has led him to pursue new avenues. 

“A near death experience makes you look at your life differently,” he said on his business Facebook page. 



a man wearing a hat: Gary Lokers, owner of Eli's Eats in the Streets, makes a pepperoni pizza in Port Huron on April 7, 2020.


© Bryce Airgood/Times Herald
Gary Lokers, owner of Eli’s

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