Moving into the Future: Timeshare and the Secondary Market
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Last month, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 100 Domain Drive, Exeter, New Hampshire, Sell My Timeshare NOW and VacationOwnership.com moved into new, purpose-built office space. For the timeshare resale and rental innovator, the move is more than the opening of doors to new offices; it parallels the company’s launch of a new perspective on renting and marketing timeshare resales.
For Sell My Timeshare NOW, a brand that began in 2003 as a home based business, the move to new offices represents the company’s $1.5 million investment in the future of timeshare resales and rentals. The modern, 20,000-square-foot environment was designed to accommodate a growing staff with increasing technology needs. The space is equipped with next-generation technology, state-of-the-art workstations and a 700-square-foot break room and training area. Geographically, the new location better positions the company to attract future employees from Boston’s tech-savvy labor pool. Together with its existing office in Orlando, Florida, the timeshare resale and rental leader now has the space and technology it needs to grow.
Timeline of a Growing Timeshare Company
A long way from its beginnings as a self-funded startup, Sell My Timeshare NOW initially offered timeshare resale and rental by-owner services to consumers with the goal of bringing the ease of online sales and rentals to the secondary marketplace. In 2006, the company expanded to include licensed timeshare brokerage. In 2009, it further expanded its offerings, adding custom resort services through a division originally called Vacation Property Solutions. Today, through the Resort Services division of the company’s brokerage brand, Vacation Ownership Brokerage, resorts, HOAs, timeshare developers, and timeshare management companies benefit from client-specific services, custom designed to help them respond to the resale needs of their owners.
In December 2008, Sell My Timeshare NOW took on $10 million in expansion funding provided 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.
- SellMyTimeshareNOW.com for by-owner timeshare resale and rental.
- Vacation Ownership Brokerage for timeshare brokerage and resort services.
- ResortRentals.com, a revolutionary approach to timeshare rental and marketing and the company’s newest brand addition.
Beyond Cutting Ribbons, it’s Time to Cut to the Chase
Recognizing that today’s vacationer is already in the habit of booking travel online, VacationOwnership.com LLC is developing ResortRentals.com, designed to deliver reliable vacation rentals via a website that is similar in user experience to that of the online travel agencies (OTAs). Jason Tremblay, founder of Sell My Timeshare NOW and VacationOwnership.com describes it as, “a next generation technology approach” to reach the next generation of timeshare buyers and renters.
Created to out-compete OTAs in booking vacation rentals, ResortRentals.com will feature timeshare rentals at prices no online travel service currently offers or can match and guarantee. Today’s consumer is accustomed to booking travel and vacation accommodations on websites that aggregate multiple brand offerings, is confident in the process, and appreciates the ease and 24/7 availability that online travel agencies offer. Yet in most cases, these same vacationers would not be comfortable with what they know (or think they know) about timeshare as a vacation product. They don’t understand timeshare, often don’t trust it, and they are not going to agree to a resort tour. Nevertheless, they will rent timeshares online if the price is right and the booking process is user-friendly and similar to that of the OTAs they already trust.
Driven by the types of search engine optimization (SEO) technology proven by SellMyTimeshareNOW.com to be robustly effective in capturing the demand for rentals and aggregating the largest inventory of available timeshare rentals in the secondary market, ResortRentals.com has the potential to redefine the way vacationers plan weeklong getaways and annual holidays. Adding to the brand’s commercial appeal is “Spot,” an animated version of the viewfinders you remember from your childhood vacations.
Spot will help consumers spot the best rental deals at all the top vacation spots, while ensuring that travelers never overpay or under-stay during a vacation again. A national publicity campaign will introduce Spot and ResortRentals.com to the massive marketplace of vacationing consumers who currently book their travel online. Through ResortRentals.com both timeshare owners and select timeshare HOAs, resale and management companies will gain an effective platform for monetizing timeshare while promoting the vacation ownership product to what is currently a massive and under-marketed segment of the vacationing population.
A Clear Cut Marketing Approach
ResortRentals.com is currently adding inventory and readying itself for full launch to the consumer market in upcoming months. Already soft launched as a beta website, www.ResortRentals.com showcases a user-friendly interface, designed to make it easy for vacationers to search the site by the date they want to travel or the location or resort they wish to visit. When fully built out, the website will enable renters to search resorts by sleeping capacity, on-site amenities or other key features. Visitors must register in order to book their timeshare or to receive updates and notices on future vacation opportunities that might interest them.
Working in partnership with timeshare exchange providers, ResortRentals.com will deliver 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. 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 onpricing 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.”
ResortRentals.com is projected to be a game changing rental and marketing option for vacation ownership. By exposing an untapped market of vacationers to the fun, spacious accommodations and desirable amenities timeshares afford, ResortRentals.com could extend a firsthand timeshare experience to millions of vacationers who might otherwise never see for themselves what vacation ownership really offers.
Moving into the Future
From new offices to new products and new directions in timeshare rental and resale marketing, VacationOwnership.com LLC is on the move, yet remains dedicated to the company’s core objective of providing effective and affordable ways to buy, rent or sell timeshare resales online. Strong, stable, growing and focused on delivering timeshare the way today’s consumer wants to buy or rent it, VacationOwnership.com LLC sees ResortRentals.com as a new product on track to make a formidable impact in a changing marketplace. With ResortRentals.com, consumers should soon be spotting great rental deals and seeing vacation ownership from a fresh and inviting new perspective.