SellMyTimeshareNow.com, the world’s most active online marketplace for timeshares for sale and for rent by owner, celebrates the strength of its timeshare resale and rental platform in the midst of a challenging year for the travel industry. In 2020, the Company drove more than 3.4 million visits to its family of websites, resulting in over 36,700 offers—totaling more than $170 million—to buy or rent timeshares on SellMyTimeshareNow.com.
This week, we’ve been reflecting on the past ten years at SellMyTimeshareNOW.com and the tremendous growth and changes our company has seen. Although it has all been big news for us, in reality, it has only been part of the much larger picture of growth and change in the timeshare and vacation ownership industry.
And as much as has already changed, there is still so much more that needs to be assessed and appropriately redefined to make the timeshare product, and the terms on which it is sold, more relevant and more appealing to today (and tomorrow’s) consumer.
SellMyTimeshareNOW.com Celebrates Decade of Growth
Ten years ago, it was nearly impossible for a timeshare owner to sell or rent their unwanted vacation product. But the Internet was just starting to surface as a mainstream communications source and Jason Tremblay, then 31, envisioned an uncharted opportunity, founding the web-based SellMyTimeshareNOW.com.
Since its formation in 2003, Sell My Timeshare NOW has matured to become a respected innovator in the online advertising and marketing of vacation ownership and rental products, ranking on recent Inc. 500 and 5000 Lists as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America. During their last decade of dramatic growth, Tremblay and his team used pioneering ideas to leverage the Internet to give thousands of consumers a much-needed venue to sell or rent their timeshares. This contributes to helping stabilize the value of the timeshare product by creating a secondary market that previously did not exist.
A merger in 2012 with Vacation Innovations, LLC – founded by Scott Roberts and Chad Newbold – created the world’s largest timeshare resale and vacation ownership marketing company, determined by its inventory and volume of offers to buy or rent.
Today, SellMyTimeshareNOW.com, as part of the merged company, is one of more than 100 active timeshare websites and is just one of several company-owned vacation ownership brands. The company offers by-owner services for consumers as well as timeshare brokerage through licensed realtors, secured resort rental bookings through Dial An Exchange and specialized services for resorts, developers and homeowner’s associations. SellMyTimeshareNow’s brokerage services are on pace to complete over 5,000 owner-to-owner vacation ownership resale transactions this year.
In reflecting on his past ten years in business, Tremblay reminisced, “I grew up spending childhood vacations at timeshare resorts. Years later, when my mother had an unsavory experience with a fraudulent resale company, I became motivated to investigate the industry. In the process, I learned that although there was a robust demand for an online product to serve this market, no successful technology platform or trustworthy company existed to capture buyer and seller requests.
“We started the company with three employees working from home computers in Florida and New Hampshire. For about a year, we were immersed in the study of search engine optimization and Google’s algorithms, confident we would be successful if we could utilize the Internet to create an online timeshare sales and rental marketplace, which no company had done at that time. Even more challenging was the need to earn respect from within the timeshare industry. We accomplished this by remaining in full compliance with a vast array of state and national regulations, ultimately helping influence stronger consumer protection legislation.”
He admits that the economy of recent years has challenged the growth path but says he remains extremely proud of the firm’s accomplishments, including the owners they’ve helped to sell or rent their timeshares and the buyers who have bought vacation time at competitive prices. To remain abreast of daily changes in SEO and the Google platform, the company is relentless in its pursuit of the newest technology, constantly researching and selecting the right tool for each challenge.
About SellMyTimeshareNOW.com and VacationOwnership.com LLC
With offices in Orlando, FL and Exeter, NH, VacationOwnership.com LLC includes the brands SellMyTimeshareNOW.com, ResortRentals.com, Vacation Ownership Brokerage and Vacation Ownership Brokerage of NH.
Founded in 2003, the company offers online advertising services for by-owner timeshare resales, licensed timeshare brokerage, and customized owner services to timeshare resorts, HOAs, resort developers, and timeshare management companies. In 2012, VacationOwnership.com announced its strategic partnership with Vacation Innovations, LLC. The merger creates one of the world’s largest resale timeshare and vacation ownership marketing companies with a remarkable capacity to expand the use of next-generation technology in vacation ownership resales and vacation rentals.
VacationOwnership.com: One Company’s Big Move to Respond to a Resale Market in Transition
The following article by Jason Tremblay appears in this month’s issue of The Resort Trades. The print edition is available to attendees at ARDA World 2013, and by subscription. The online edition is available now at The Resort Trades website, or in The Resort Trades virtual magazine. Thank you to the publication for permission to reprint the article in full.
VacationOwnership.com: One Company’s Big Move to Respond to a Resale Market in Transition
by Jason Tremblay
Many companies start small but few start out any smaller than did Sell My Timeshare NOW. Launched as a home-based business with only three employees, the company began in 2003 with the goal of providing timeshare owners and vacationers an easy, effective way to buy, rent or sell secondary market timeshare via the Internet.
Along the way, Sell My Timeshare NOW expanded to include licensed timeshare brokerage, a service added in 2006. In 2009, through a division originally called Vacation Property Services, the company began also offering custom resort services. Today through the resort services division of the company’s brokerage brand, (VacationOwnership.com Realty), the company provides resorts, developers, HOAs and timeshare management companies with client-specific services that have been expressly designed to help them serve the resale needs of their owner base.
But much has changed over the past decade, not only for Sell My Timeshare NOW, but for the timeshare and vacation ownership industry as a whole. By 2008, the company’s fast growth had attracted expansion funding from Edison Venture Fund, an investor with a history of backing high-growth, entrepreneurial technology organizations.
In 2012, Edison Venture Fund sold its equity interest through a merger transaction, and in August of 2012, Sell My Timeshare NOW, which by then also included the brand VacationOwnership.com, announced a strategic partnership with Vacation Innovations LLC. From modest beginnings as a business operated out of the spare room in the home of one of the company’s founders, followed by a decade of steady growth, the merger and partnership with Vacation Innovations LLC has resulted in one of the world’s largest timeshare resale and rental companies.
Ten years ago, the Internet was only beginning to change the way people made their travel and vacation plans. Nowadays, widespread consumer confidence in booking travel online and preference for the ease and accessibility online booking affords, along with dramatic changes in perceptions and realities regarding the economy, job security, retirement nest eggs and spending patterns, in general, have shaped a new market of timeshare consumer.
Some surveys show as high as 93 percent of frequent travelers use the Internet to research, discuss or book travel, while over 50 percent of vacationers say their vacation destination and accommodations decisions were influenced by Facebook. If you are in the timeshare business today, you are in the business of online marketing and sales and of social media messaging and engagement.
Next Generation Technology Approach to Reach the Next Generation of Timeshare Owners
The evolving services and brands that began as Sell My Timeshare NOW are defined as: SellMyTimeshareNOW.com for by-owner timeshare resale and rental; VacationOwnership.com Realty for licensed timeshare brokerage and custom resort services; and ResortRentals.com, the company’s newest brand, which when fully launched will mark a fresh, aggressive and energized approach to resale marketing and timeshare rental. Collectively, the company’s brands are now part of VacationOwnership.com LLC.
This past month, VacationOwnership.com LLC cut the ribbon on new offices in Exeter, N.H. The purpose-built facility provides 20,000 square feet of new workspace, including 700 square feet of break room and training area. Equipped for next-generation technology needs with state-of-the-art workstations, the new office, in combination with the company’s existing offices in Orlando, Fla., marks a strategic move to take VacationOwnership.com LLC into a new age and an innovative perspective on vacation ownership and vacation rentals.
The company’s new offices represent a $1.5 million investment in a bright future. Geographically positioned to better attract prospective employees from Boston’s tech-savvy labor pool, the move to 100 Domain Drive in Exeter is more than a relocation. VacationOwnership.com LLC’s new location is a statement about a stable, growing company that believes the future of timeshares is no longer found in yesterday’s business models, but in a consumer-centric approach that is built not on what we may want to sell, but on what consumers what to buy, delivered in the ways they want to receive it.
Online Travel Agencies Have Blazed the Trail
Vacationers expect to be in control of their booking experience for travel accommodations. Online travel agencies (OTAs) have already blazed this trail, and have retrained all of us to expect to be able to go online at any hour of the day and make our own assessment of resort accommodations based on pricing, amenities, and proximity to the sites we want to visit.
Consumers no longer accept a vacation product or a website that does not give them access to multiple brands, venues, price points and true comparison shopping. Innovative timeshare resale marketing and timeshare vacation rental products, such as the new ResortRentals.com brand currently in beta launch by VacationOwnership.com, will prove game changing for the timeshare industry … and potentially very disruptive to the OTAs.
ResortRentals.com is being developed to compete with – and out-compete – the existing OTAs. Using the same types of robust search engine optimization (SEO) that SellMyTimeshareNOW.com has used so effectively to capture the demand for rentals and to aggregate the largest inventory of available timeshare rentals in the secondary marketplace, ResortRentals.com will usher in dramatic change in how timeshare resales are rented and are marketed as resale properties.
By offering timeshare rentals at prices no online travel service currently offers or can match and guarantee, owners will no longer be competing with one another in the timeshare rental market. Instead, owners with timeshares to rent or promote as resales will enjoy a platform with a high visibility online presence that positions them to monetize their timeshare, while at the same time promotes the vacation ownership product to a vastly under-marketed segment of the vacationing public.
Instead of seeing online travel agencies as a threat or a competitor, the timeshare industry could soon be seeing the OTAs as the travel-booking product that cleared a path, and in fact, even paved the way for a new and effective way to expose a new generation of vacationers to the amenities and benefits of timeshare resorts and vacation ownership.
With a marketplace in transition, it makes sense that timeshare innovators are moving up as well, cutting ribbons and cutting red tape to offer a vacation product via a platform consumers feel comfortable utilizing.
Thanks to The Resort Trades for permission to reprint this article.
Jason Tremblay to be Panelist on Hot Topics at GNEX 2013 Timeshare Conference
Jason Tremblay, founder of VacationOwnership.com and Sell My Timeshare NOW will be a featured panelist at the 2013 GNEX timeshare industry conference, the 3rd Annual Global Networking Expo (GNEX 2013: The Global Meeting of Minds).
The topics for discussion are hot and the debates will no doubt be lively. Jason will be part of two panel discussions. The first is scheduled for Tuesday, February 5 at 2:30 PM in the Ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire hotel.
Tremblay and other panelists will address the topic: “Has Timeshare Lost Its Value Proposition?”
Craig Morganson, President & CEO, Holiday Systems International
Mark Carney, Marketing & Sales Director, Royal Resorts
Francis Taylor, CEO, Dial An Exchange
Mel Grant, President & CEO, SFX Preferred Resorts
Stuart Lamont, Executive Chairman, Club Leisure Group
Harold Derrah,CEO, Anantara Vacation Club
Jason Clowrey, Managing Director, Visions Of The World
Then on Wednesday, February 6, Tremblay will be part of a second panel. This time the topic will be: “The Truth About Timeshare On The Internet!” Other panelists on this hot timeshare and vacation ownership industry topic include: Steve Tassler, Principal, Xeputu and Kris Jamtaas, Senior Vice President, Business Development, North America, RCI.