As of last week, Bluetent has acquired VDS and we're excited to elevate our efforts with a collaborative team! We believe our collective vision to help our clients succeed online with technology and experience is an advantage to professional managers, and we're looking forward to this new frontier. Read more about the acquisition here.
Are You Ready For GDPR?
Posted by Sally Robbins | Thursday, April 19, 2018
There is a lot of buzz right now about the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. This new law goes into effect on May 25, 2018, and all companies that either do business in the European Union, or service customers residing in the European Union, are subject to the new regulation.
What is GDPR?
According to Microsoft, the GDPR imposes a wide range of requirements on organizations that collect or process personal data, including a requirement to comply with six key principles:
- Transparency, fairness, and lawfulness in the handling and use of personal data. You will need to be clear with individuals about how you are using personal data and will also need a “lawful basis” to process that data.
- Limiting the processing of personal data to specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes. You will not be able to re-use or disclose personal data for purposes that are not “compatible” with the purpose for which the data was originally collected.
- Minimizing the collection and storage of personal data to that which is adequate and relevant for the intended purpose.
- Ensuring the accuracy of personal data and enabling it to be erased or rectified. You will need to take steps to ensure that the personal data you hold is accurate and can be corrected if errors occur.
- Limiting the storage of personal data. You will need to ensure that you retain personal data only for as long as necessary to achieve the purposes for which the data was collected.
- Ensuring security, integrity, and confidentiality of personal data. Your organization must take steps to keep personal data secure through technical and organizational security measures.
The GDPR regulates the collection, storage, use, and sharing of “personal data.” Personal data is defined very broadly under the GDPR as any data that relates to an identified or identifiable natural person.
Types of Data Protected
- Basic identity information such as name, address and ID numbers
- Web data such as location, IP address, cookie data and RFID tags
- Health and genetic data
- Biometric data
- Racial or ethnic data
- Political opinions
You will need to have a legal basis, like consent, to process an EU citizen’s personal data. Consumers will also have the right to be “forgotten”, meaning if they choose, they can ask a company to delete their personal data. GDPR also mandates that the consumer has the right to transfer the data to another company.
In addition, there is a mandatory 72-hour reporting clause that says that if data is breached, the company must report it to their data protection authority within 72 hours of first becoming aware of it, and immediately afterwards to the consumer.
Finally, if the regulations are not followed, significant fines can be levied against a company.
If your company is not quite ready for GDPR, we can help. Contact us for a free consultation today.
With mobile usage accounting for an increasing number of web searches and bookings in the vacation rental industry, Long & Foster Vacations’ new website is serving its clientele well. Mobile transactions are up a whopping 305% since this time last year. Designed and created by VDS, the new responsive website features rentals in 17 communities on the East Coast. In addition, the visitors who come to the website are staying and converting – Long and Foster’s mobile conversion rate increased by 225%.
“We cannot be more pleased with our new LFVacations.com website,” stated Tracey Espada, Vice President of Long & Foster Vacation Rental Division. “The collaboration between VDS and our team was incredible. We have worked with VDS for many years and when we started this project, they took the time to listen to our thoughts and ideas and helped us realize our vision of our new site. This business and our site are complicated, and they did a remarkable job with the finished product.”
It’s important to note that the rise in mobile numbers did not cannibalize the desktop numbers, as is usually the case. Desktop numbers for Long & Foster were also up almost 3%, instead of the typical drop of almost 7.68%. Transactions from Google also increased by 38%.
Long & Foster is the nation’s number one independent brand (by sales volume), and their vacation rental division is built upon the same bedrock values of its parent company: integrity, innovation, and good old-fashioned customer service. The new website was created with these values in mind, and ease of use was a top priority. “We have had excellent feedback from owners, guests and our team members about the new site,” Espada shared. “They love the clean and refreshing look and the ease of use of the new site.”
Having the right online marketing partner is critical to the success of Long & Foster Vacations., according to Espada. “We absolutely value the relationship with VDS. When you are working on the most important, visible aspect of your business, it can only work with a true partnership and that is what we have the VDS,” she concluded.
Would you like to see how VDS can partner with you to help you create more online visibility and conversions? Contact us today for a free consultation.
Long Foster Website
With a stylish “coastal chic” look, Garden City Realty recently launched its new responsive website, and is already seeing dramatic results. Designed and built by VDS, Garden City both upgraded the site, making it secure and responsive, as well as streamlined the navigation and usability.
In the short time since the new site was launched, mobile bookings are already up 117% over this time last year, and their mobile traffic is up 21%.
Launching this site was the final step in a branding campaign that included upgrading another website (www.condotels.com) in the Garden City Realty family, as well as six microsites. “I am pleased with the job the VDS design team did with converting our site to responsive. We had already laid the groundwork with Condotels and our six microsites, but updating GardenCityRealty.com to accommodate our audience, regardless of the device they are using, was an important step forward for our brand,” stated Kimberly Raley-Kimes, Communications and Marketing Manager.
Garden City Realty serves three business segments – vacation rentals, real estate sales and property management. The new website offers clear navigation that easily helps the guest locate the segment that they need, along with other features:
- MLS Integration for real estate listings
- Concierge listings with local businesses, area info and local calendar of events
- Owner portal and tips on how to maximize revenue
- Vacation rentals with short term and winter rentals over 30 days
Ease of use with the new responsive site was important to Garden City Realty. “Visitors can now easily access the information they need without using a separate mobile site,” shared Raley-Kimes. “Our new easy to navigate website will not only make vacation planning and booking a simple pleasure for guests, it will undoubtedly turn into more bookings for us,” she concluded.
Can we help you bring more traffic and bookings to your website? Contact us for a free consultation today.
Garden City Realty
New Website Launch
Real Estate Sales
Vacation Rental Industry
Vacation Rental Marketing
Dunes Realty recently launched its new responsive website, and their guests have been positively responding with accelerated bookings for the new year. “Our season is already off to a wonderful start, especially when it comes to online bookings,” stated Ryan Swaim, General Manager of Dunes Vacation Rentals. “In fact, our mobile bookings alone have increased more than 450% over this same period last year, almost entirely due to the new site's responsive design.”
Created and developed by VDS, the new website features three distinct sections of the company’s business: vacation rentals, homeowner services, and real estate sales. Each section has a fully-functioning platform to support that portion of the business, and offers cutting-edge and real-time solutions. Some of the features in the new site include:
· More simplified navigation for the guest
· Panoramic videos in the masthead
· Scrolling featured properties
· Split views on the search results show both a gallery view and a map, and the guest can change the view if desired
· Split cost calculator allows multiple guests and/or families to split the rental costs
· Sticky quick search keeps guests’ choices at the bottom of the screen
· “Agent On Duty” feature allows Dunes to change the realtor at any time in their admin
· Secure website
· “Featured Property” feature can be changed by Dunes at any time
Consistently named “Best of the Beach” by the Sun News, Dunes Realty is a favorite of regional and national vacationers. The new website allows them to utilize technology’s best tools in both creating and maintaining high visibility online, as well as providing a seamless booking experience for its guests.
Interested in how VDS can help you create a stronger online presence? Contact us today for a free consultation.
New Website Launch