More Timeshare News from the ARDA Convention

Timeshare leaders at the ARDA Convention see a changing paradigm for timeshare companies.

Some of the most interesting conversations at the American Resort Development Association 2009 timeshare convention in Orlando, Florida this week have dealt with the timely topic of the slow (and in some cases stalled) credit market.

Yes, the timeshare companies are responding to this in logical ways. Marriott timeshare is requiring larger deposits from consumers buying timeshares. Other timeshare companies are setting shorter terms for timeshare financing sometimes paired with the requirement for a higher down payment. The goal is clearly to minimize the risk for default on the timeshare financing.

But along with stricter terms for financing there prevails, throughout the timeshare industry, a paradigm shift. As Franz Hanning, the president and Chief Executive Officer, of Wyndham Vacation Ownership (Wyndham Timeshare) explained, the desire is not to be a consumer financing company, but to be the vacation ownership industry. Hanning points out that although it is easy to find people who want to buy timeshare, today’s focus must be on finding people who are also qualified to buy timeshare. One of the comments made during the discussions was: ‘650 is the new 600’ — meaning that consumer credit scores of 600 may no longer be the threshold for buying timeshare as timeshare companies look to reduce their risk by targeting timeshare sales to buyers who present a lower statistical risk of defaulting on their timeshare deal.

You might call the outlook one of “back to the basics” and it can only prove to be a highly positive direction for timeshare owners and the timeshare industry in general. With a back to the basics movement, you will see improved quality of service and a true value proposition with a sincere commitment to meeting (and perhaps exceeding) the needs of timeshare owners, timeshare buyers, and timeshare renters.

Projected result: a stable and top-quality timeshare industry with many happy timeshare owners.