What Branding Means to a Timeshare Company

What Branding Means to a Timeshare Company

The word “branding” used to conjure up visions of a cattle drive and a sizzling imprint stamped on bovine buttocks. But somewhere along the way, the business concept of a company’s “brand” or market image evolved from a noun to a verb, and “branding” became an industry buzzword for the process of spreading one’s corporate image to other goods or services.

Many experts today say that the hospitality industry changed when major hotel brands got into the business of selling vacation ownership and interval timeshare. It is true that big names including Hilton timeshare, Hyatt timeshare, Disney timeshare, along with Marriott, Four Seasons, Starwood and others have had an enormous impact on the timeshare industry as a whole.

The presence of these cornerstone hoteliers made the idea of owning interval timeshare more familiar and more comfortable to many consumers. When big names aggressively entered the timeshare business, a struggling or less reputable timeshare company was certain to be forced out of it. And there is no disputing that a company as large and powerful as Disney timeshare or Marriott timeshare has strong lobbying power on matters of regulating and improving timeshare ownership across the board. But when it truly comes to buying a timeshare vacation property to use and enjoy, remember that there are as many opportunities to buy a fabulous resale timeshare from a company whose name you may not know as there to are to purchase a timeshare owned and branded by a famous hotelier.

Consider the timeshare company known as Bluegreen timeshare. Bluegreen is a leader in developing quality timeshare resorts and vacation ownership properties, yet their name is not necessarily a household word. As a corporation, Bluegreen is a respected builder of residential communities, along with fabulous timeshare condos and timeshare vacation resorts. Yet, many buyers new to timesharing, may not know Bluegreen’s name or realize that this successful company has sold over 54,000 residential and golf community homes in 32 states and is on Forbes’ list of “The 200 Best Small Companies” and FORTUNE’S list of “America’s 100 Fastest Growing Companies”.

Brand loyalty is wonderful. Brand loyalty often allows you to trade perks from one aspect of a company’s services to another, such as loyalty points awarded for hotel stays that can also be used at a timeshare condo. And, if you enjoy one particular hotel chain more than you do others, then automatically booking with that chain takes the guesswork out of travel planning. But when you shop for a timeshare vacation property, whether new or resale, it is a good idea to consider both brand names you know AND those names with which you might not be familiar.

Whether or not you go with a hotel branded timeshare, now is a good time to buy. There are excellent deals available in all types of timeshares and vacation clubs.

Not Every Timeshare Company is Alike

Not Every Timeshare Company is Alike

In their online edition (www.deseretnews.com), Salt Lake City’s Deseret Morning News recently ran a series of three articles about timesharing. Here are some of the points made by author Lee Davidson:

“Developers sell timeshare for far more than what they are worth on the open resale market. Value of units easily drops 40 percent or more when the purchaser walks out the door after a sale…High-pressure sales are still a staple of the industry…Developers often charge high to astronomical interest rates to finance timeshare loans and sometimes make deceptive claims…”

Such harsh criticism of the way the timeshare industry in general, or any timeshare company specifically, conducts business is hard to hear. But I want to take this opportunity to remind you that such searing critiques about timeshare promotion or timeshare financing are NOT directed at resale timeshare or timeshare by-owner marketing companies like SellMyTimeshareNOW.

SellMyTimeshareNOW.com affords timeshare owners a marketing platform from which to sell timeshare or rent timeshare to smart buyers and renters who have learned that it is not necessary to pay the marked-up prices some timeshare companies charge. Timeshare resales are competitive. They provide an excellent way for people to become satisfied timeshare owners and take advantage of the opportunities and flexibility afforded by vacation ownership. Best of all, when buyers deal directly with the current timeshare owner, they skip the middleman and they avoid paying inflated developer prices for great timeshare vacation property.

Try Before You Buy Timeshare

Try Before You Buy Timeshare

And bring a calculator.

Attending a timeshare presentation is a great way to check out a resort you’re interested in, whether you buy directly from the resort or buy from a reseller.

Many buyers of timeshare resales go to timeshare presentations on a fact-finding mission. In addition to touring the resort property and getting answers to timeshare questions, sitting through a timeshare presentation often means free or discounted vacation time at the resort—a real chance to try before you buy.

But if there is any possibility that you might make a decision to buy while attending such a timeshare pitch, here’s the best piece of advice you’ll ever receive: take your calculator. Most people need to see numbers in front of them, not just hear them, in order to understand the terms of the deal. Just as importantly, timeshare sales people are human—they make mathematical mistakes, just like everyone else does.

Always have a calculator handy so that you can check the math of the salesperson quoting your deal. It’s also a good idea to use that calculator to compare how much you can save if you buy your timeshare as a resale, instead of purchasing it as a new development property.

Brand Names Pay Off In Timeshares

Brand Names Pay Off In Timeshares

Timesharing has been around since the 1960’s and available in the US since as early as 1970 when the first right-to-use timeshare resort was developed in Hawaii. Most of the early developers were individuals or companies whose names were not well known to the general public. It took another fifteen years before big name hoteliers, interested in the timeshare market, made their decisive move.

To the surprise of many in the hospitality industry, the Marriott Corporation was the first major hotel chain to venture into the timeshare business. In 1984, Marriott purchased the assets of American Resorts, Inc., which at that time owned two resorts on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and had a third resort under construction. Marriott recognized the successful track record of American Resorts in this market and quickly hired many of American Resort’s top executives to run the Hilton Head properties.

Today, Marriot Vacation Club International (MCVI) features over fifty luxury resorts in more than thirty destinations including the US, Spain, the Caribbean, and Thailand. With Marriott’s demonstrated success as inspiration, Disney, Sheraton, Hilton, Hyatt and many other big guns of the hotel business soon found themselves developing and operating timeshares and vacation clubs. Their presence has benefited the industry across the board, raising standards of service, quality, and reliability, and increasing customer confidence in timeshares as a product. Hoteliers in the timeshare industry are able to take advantage of name recognition and customer loyalty from one branded product to another.

But the consumer interested in buying a timeshare resale should not feel left out of the “big name” market. A quick search of the internet reveals that resale opportunities are plentiful for hotel brand timeshares and vacation club memberships. Hotel brand timeshares tend to command higher resale prices, while retaining excellent value.

The timeshare buyer interested in a hotel-brand property as a resale should carefully confirm which of the present owner’s membership perks will transfer in a sale. The answer to this varies from company to company, but since many vacation club members claim their perks alone are worth their membership costs, it is important for the resale buyer to understand exactly what s/he is purchasing. It is also sometimes a good idea for interested buyers to tour a property as a new timeshare prospect, even if they know before they go that they are only interested in buying resale. The time spent listening to a sales presentation affords interested buyers several benefits. They will learn many details about the amenities of the property from the sales presenter. They will enjoy the opportunity to tour the property firsthand and to compare the costs of buying new with buying resale. And they will typically have the opportunity to enjoy a luxury vacation at a free or highly discounted price in return for their time spent at the sales presentation.

A timeshare buyer should always remember that buying resale and paying a lower purchase price does not mean settling for less in the way of quality, comfort, and amenities. In today’s timeshare market, almost any resort product that can be purchased new is also available at a much lower price buying resale from a broker or by-owner service, and dealing directly with the person who owns the timeshare now.