VacationOwnership.com LLC: Making Moves and Making Sense in Today’s Marketplace
Monday, April 8, 2013
The following article, “VacationOwnership.com LLC: Making Moves and Making Sense in Today’s Marketplace” appears in the current issue of Perspective Magazine.
VacationOwnership.com LLC: Making Moves and Making Sense in Today’s Marketplace
Sell My Timeshare NOW has been making headlines in the secondary timeshare market since it first launched. Created to provide consumers the ease and availability of internet search for timeshare resales and rentals, even the company’s founder Jason Tremblay didn’t foresee how fast the company would grow or how effective its services would become. Now, as part of VacationOwnership.com LLC, the timeshare resale and rental advertising and brokerage leader is not only making moves but making more sense than ever for today’s timeshare marketplace, taking big steps that have the potential to impact the vacation ownership industry at a game changing level.
Last month, the company cut the ribbon on 20,000 square feet of modern new office space in Exeter, New Hampshire. After many years in nearby Dover (NH), VacationOwnership.com LLC was in need of a facility that could be purpose-built to accommodate its increasing technology needs and growing staff. Equipped with next-generation technology, state-of-the-art workstations and 700 square feet of break room and training area, the customized space at 100 Domain Drive, Exeter, NH, proved to be the ideal solution. Including its existing office in Orlando, Florida, VacationOwnership.com now has the space it needs to grow, the technology its innovative concepts require, and is positioned to attract prospective employees from Boston’s tech-savvy labor pool. The new VacationOwnership.com LLC offices in Exeter represent a $1.5 million investment in the future of the company and, in a way, in the changing future of the shared ownership industry.
Question: So what’s behind all the growth at VacationOwnership.com?
Answer: The company is taking a series of very deliberate steps that it believes lay the groundwork for revolutionary industry changes and opportunities.
Initially offering by-owner timeshare resale and rental services to consumers, in 2006 the company expanded to include licensed timeshare brokerage for the secondary market. In 2009, the company added custom resort services originally called Vacation Property Solutions and now offered through the Resort Services division of the company’s brokerage brand, VacationOwnership.com Realty.
Although Sell My Timeshare NOW was self-funded at its startup in 2003, in December 2008, it took on $10 million in growth and expansion funding through Edison Venture Fund, an investor known for backing high-growth, entrepreneurial technology organizations. In 2012, Edison Venture Fund sold its equity interest through a merger transaction and in August 2012, VacationOwnership.com and SellMyTimeshareNOW.com, with its new investor, announced the company’s strategic partnership with Vacation Innovations LLC. The result of the merger and partnership is the creation of one of the world’s largest timeshare resale and rental companies.
The Next Big Steps
Today the company is known as VacationOwnership.com LLC and includes the brands SellMyTimeshareNOW.comfor by-owner timeshare resale and rental; VacationOwnership.com Brokerage for timeshare brokerage and resort services; and the company’s newest brand, ResortRentals.com, a revolutionary approach to timeshare rental and marketing.
VacationOwnership.com LLC is strong, stable, growing and focused on the future, but with the launch of ResortRentals.com, one can’t help but add the words disruptive, vibrant, and trailblazing to any discussion of the company. ResortRentals.com is already in its soft launch stage as a beta website, adding inventory and readying itself for full launch to the consumer market in upcoming months. Working in partnership with timeshare exchange providers, ResortRentals.com will offer timeshare rentals that in industry terminology, are “cleaned and pressed,” assuring renters that their bookings are secure, their rental rates are far below those offered by any OTA, and that these vacations values are available to them without the requisite of buying vacation club or travel club products.
Led by “Spot,” an animated version of those scenic viewfinders that have been part of everyone’s vacations since childhood, ResortRentals.com will make it possible for people to spot the best rental deals while never overpaying or under-staying during a vacation again. With a national marketing campaign planned to introduce ResortRentals.com and Spot to the vast market of vacationing consumers who already book travel online, timeshare owners, and select timeshare HOAs, resale and management companies will gain a robust platform for monetizing timeshare while promoting the vacation ownership concept to a whole new market of vacationers.
Being developed to out-compete the online travel agencies (OTAs), ResortRentals.com will feature vacation rentals at prices no other online travel service currently offers or can match and guarantee. Driven by the types of search engine optimization (SEO) technology already proven by SellMyTimeshareNOW.com to be powerfully effective in capturing the demand for rentals and aggregating the largest inventory of available timeshare rentals in the secondary market, ResortRentals.com will redefine the way vacationers plan weeklong getaways and annual holidays.
But what can the vacation ownership industry expect from ResortRentals.com?
The ResortRentals.com website has been designed with a simple, user-friendly interface. Consumers can search the site by the date they want to vacation or the location or resort they wish to visit. When fully operational, the website will also enable renters to peruse resort rentals by sleeping capacity, resort amenities or other features. Visitors must register in order to book their resort vacation or to receive updates and notices on future vacation opportunities that might interest them.
Timeshare owners with weeks or points to rent, and select HOAs or management companies can offer their properties (or points) as a vacation rental. Rates for rentals will be standardized using proprietary demand-curve pricing technology. Timeshare owners will not be competing with each other on pricing but can collectively compete with hotel booking websites and websites where people use private homes as vacation rentals. Anyone who submits a unit or interval for rental via ResortRentals.com is also agreeing to the ResortRentals.com price drop policy through which targeted price reductions occur when an unrented timeshare approaches its use date. Over time, ResortRentals.com could dramatically reduce the overall incidence of unused weeks from which no one benefits, typically described as “burn inventory.” More importantly, ResortRentals.com has tremendous potential for marketing timeshare ownership to a previously untouched segment of the vacation market.
Research conducted on behalf of News24 Travel revealed that, in a survey of more than 2000 consumers who travel regularly, 93 percent use the Internet to research, discuss or book their travel. Of those surveyed, 88 percent said they routinely search travel sites seeking the best deals on accommodations, with 73 percent indicating that they make their final decision regarding accommodations based on price. These consumers, and millions of others like them, are part of an untapped market. They represent the generation of adults who have used computers since childhood, are fully comfortable shopping on websites and booking travel online, and who are currently underrepresented within the timeshare owner market segment. They don’t understand the timeshare product, often don’t trust it, and aren’t going on a resort tour … but they will rent timeshare resorts if the prices are right and the process is comparable to that of the OTAs with which they are already comfortable. ResortRentals.com is the conduit for introducing a new generation of vacationers to the pleasures of timeshare resort vacations while also creating a pipeline for owners and others who want to market timeshare as by-owner or broker facilitated resales.
A long way from its start-up days nearly a decade ago when the company’s founders began SellMyTimeshareNOW.com as a home-based business, VacationOwnership.com LLC remains dedicated to the company’s core objective of providing effective and affordable ways to buy, rent or sell timeshare resales online. With ResortRentals.com now part of the big picture, bringing with it the potential to dramatically impact the way timeshare is marketed, rented and purchased, it’s clear that consumers will soon be spotting great rental deals and seeing the timeshare product from a fresh perspective. Whether you call it making moves, making sense, or making waves, VacationOwnership.com LLC is making an impact in a changing marketplace.