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ARDA Fall Conference

(Meetings and Events) Permanent link

ARDA Fall Conference

Every autumn brings an air that is crisp and filled with a sense of change and each autumn the ARDA Fall Conference takes a look at the past year as it prepares for the upcoming new year. This year, industry leaders came together in positive synergy to look at 2018 and the endless possibilities that it holds. This air of positivity was strongly felt throughout the conference halls, in the courtyard, around dinner tables and even overflowing into the city streets of Washington DC. It helped to fuel our industry workshops and meetings during the conference, as we begin to develop key strategies that will lay the foundation for our industry’s continued growth. This year’s program took a deeper-dive into the economic and political environments that surround our business and the initiatives that help to drive our industry forward. Here are a few highlights:

Interval Intl reception Fall Conference 2017
Interval International kicked off Fall Conference with it’s opening night reception.


Kreeger Museum Fall Conference 2017
ARDA Trustees mingled during the Trustee Foundation Dinner at the Kreeger Museum hosted by First American Title Insurance Company.


AB Stoddard at ARDA-ROC luncheon Fall Conference 2017
ARDA-ROC Legislative Luncheon special guest speaker A.B. Stoddard shared insightful analysis of recent mid-term elections and key forces at work in the overall political landscape.


State of the Industry Discussion Fall Conference 2017
ARDA president and CEO, Howard Nusbaum gave the State of the Industry address, which included panelists (L-R) Robb Webb of Baker & Hostetler; Robert Spottswood of Spottswood Companies; Don Harrill of Holiday Inn Club Vacations; and Mark Wang of Hilton Grand Vacations.


Martin Regalia Keynote Fall Conference 2017
Keynote speaker former Chief Economist of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Martin Regalia dispelled some of the mysteries of the U.S. economy (sponsored by Fidelity National Timeshare).


RCI Afterglow Fall Conference
RCI hosted a luminous closing reception to celebrate another successful Fall Conference.


Charlie Cook Chairman's League Fall Conference 2017
Chairman's League Breakfast (sponsored by Resort Travel & Xchange) speaker Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report and Columnist for the National Journal, shared his thoughts on political pundits and what to expect for the 2020 election.

To see more photos from the event, view our Facebook Album. 

Check out all of ARDA’s upcoming events here. 

Four Essential Business Services for a Legacy Resort

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 Four Essential Business Services for a Legacy Resort

 4 essentials 

Legacy properties have very different needs than a resort that is in the active sales phase. Lead generation and sales tools are no longer the priority, but finding ways to drive rental revenue, make investments in the resort, and protect your property become the new focus areas.

To ensure the property continues to flourish, there are four key business services that should be in place. If the list looks overwhelming without the in-house expertise needed, there’s no reason to worry. There are plenty of companies that can provide these services.

#1 – Gain Control of Inventory 

One unique challenge facing legacy resorts is gaining control of inventory. Legacy resorts face common issues like aging owners, increasingly delinquent maintenance fees, and the “Sunset Clause” that will come into effect over the next few years. 

In these situations, it’s important for legacy properties to work with professionals who can handle these issues and obtain deeds back from delinquent owners.

#2 – Maintain Revenue Streams 

With timeshare sales no longer happening onsite at legacy resorts, maintaining cash flow requires rental revenue. To optimize the revenue your property can generate, it’s essential to make sure the right unit is reaching the right person at the right time—and most importantly, at the right price.

When this is done properly results include growing revenue and occupancy, increasing efficiencies, and enhanced reporting and forecasting. 

#3 – Invest in Your Property 

When investing in your property, a good starting point is gathering feedback from your owners and rental guests. That way, you know what will have the most significant impact on traveler experiences.

After reviewing feedback, it’s time to prioritize needed renovations and invest where you see fit. 

#4 – Protect Your Property 

While it’s never a happy exercise to imagine what could go wrong at your property, insurance is essential to keeping resorts running smoothly and mitigating risk. Legacy resorts need to be mindful of their insurance coverage while also being mindful of budget.

 

 

Your Future Board Leaders

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 Your Future Board Leaders 

By Sharon Scott, RRP  

 your future board leaders

It is probably going to be necessary for those of us currently in authority to break existing paradigms and restructure current procedures if we are to engage this generation. We need to rethink the way we do things currently. We need to deconstruct and then reconstruct our organizations to eliminate hierarchical, top down methods.

How then are we to recruit our resorts’ future leaders?

Do things “their way.” 

Engaging millennials in the leadership process begins with making the resort experience an important ingredient in their lives. Part of our resort’s ethos must be one of fun—supporting experiential travel younger owners can enjoy with their peers. Attract them with events and activities to which millennials can relate.

Do a little research to see what millennials are buying, using individual expenditure reports to follow their interests. The results may pleasantly surprise you, as there are beginning to be more and more millennials with money to spend on fun.

Give them connectivity. 

Once millennials begin vacationing at a timeshare resort, they will expect a level of service that, frankly, many of us just don’t offer. They want to stay connected to the internet at all times, but they also want to stay connected to the greater community.

Make them feel they’re part of it.  Solicit their opinions; seek their counsel. 

Leverage their sense of purpose. 

Those of us who have long retained the authority to operate our companies and associations in ways that have been proven successful in the past may feel resentful, as the “new kids” dispassionately dismiss time-honored processes.

Nationally-acclaimed political columnist and author of New York Times best-seller, Applebee’s America, Ron Fournier says “they are purpose-driven, having learned at an early age just how fragile life can be in the post-9/11 world.”  He argues they are impatient and demanding because they grew up with the Internet, which taught them they could command change and choice simply by typing.

If we want to attract millennials’ hearts and minds, HOAs need to first get them invested in the concept of being part of the resort’s family by providing vacations they will find desirable. After you earn their buy-in, then provide them with leadership opportunities.

Better, Stronger, Faster…

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 Better, Stronger, Faster…   

By Mark Wang, ARDA Chairman  

better faster stronger
 

Resort operations and HOAs are the proverbial yin and yang of our customers’ on-property experiences. Resort teams are focused on the qualitative vacation experience—delivering lifelong memories—while our HOA teams are focused on the quantitative, fiscal stewardship to ensure the properties meet or exceed our owners’ expectations in a sustainable way.

Fortunately, the people who make up our resort operations teams are nothing short of extraordinary. They know our owners and guests personally, care about their requests and concerns with passion and personalization, and treat them like friends and family. When we say timeshare is truly home away from home, it’s these special team members who walk the talk.

Our industry is all about memorable vacation experiences, and they make that concept a reality every day for thousands of people from all over the world, which is not easy.

To complement the passion and dedication of those who serve our owners during their vacations, it takes unwavering commitment to consistent, high-quality customer service from those who manage our homeowners’ associations—from annual meetings and ongoing Board Member relations to annual billing and all the hard work in between.

This area of our industry continues to evolve as we find new opportunities to keep owners aware and informed faster to increase engagement and satisfaction with their purchase.

Through the tremendous success of these two teams there are still challenges facing our industry, including getting board of directors’ participation from the Millennial generation.

Going forward, I challenge us all to consider how we can take engagement to the next level and elevate our appeal to younger generations, as we work to make our industry as great as possible.

Developing the Future of Industry Leadership

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 Developing the Future of Industry Leadership 

By Nicole Beal  


 Developing the Future of Industry Leadership.png

In just four short years, ARDA LEAPS has built a reputation for being the industry’s top leadership development program. The mission statement of LEAPS is: “To develop and educate through a well-rounded and multi-faceted curriculum, future leaders committed to serving ARDA and the shared vacation ownership industry.”

The program has evolved through each year of its existence, and the possibilities for what a participant can do with the experience are endless.  A variety of skill-building activities and experiences offer mutually beneficial rewards to both the individual and his/her organization and then the industry overall.

Graduates of the program have created results that speak for themselves, using their unique projects, fresh ideas and inspiration to fuel change in a variety of sectors throughout vacation ownership.

An individual’s leadership attributes are developed and enhanced in this program through working with other industry up-and-comers to create the future of ARDA. While everyone comes to the program with their own expertise, working together provides a glimpse into each division of timeshare and vacation ownership. At every turn, the LEAPS program immerses the participant in thoughtful and rich representations of the industry.

With this knowledge and leadership comes progression from the LEAPS participants. They are given tools that allow them to unleash previously untapped potential within their organizations and throughout the broader industry. Participants have secured elevated positions and promotions as a result of their participation, while their organizations have realized the benefit of expanded education and training, fresh ideas, and renewed motivation as an outcome of the program. Progression as an after-effect of LEAPS is felt at an individual, organizational and even industry-wide level.

Serving on committees, speaking at ARDA World and regional conferences, contributing to industry publications, hosting webinars, and promoting groups such as WIN and TIYP are just some of the ways that LEAPS participants and graduates can serve.

For more information about the program, please contact Darla Zanini, RRP, EVP of the AIF (dzanini@arda.org) or see www.arda.org/leaps. Perhaps you could be selected for next year’s class!

See the full story here

 

Looking to the Future of Travel

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 Looking to the Future of Travel 

By Mark Wang

 looking ot he future 

Experiential Travel is a hot topic, not just in the timeshare industry, but across all segments of travel and tourism.  Consumers today are focusing a good portion of their discretionary income to focus on experiences instead of material possessions, which is great news for our industry.

Consumers no longer want to simply travel to a location and stay put, but would rather create memories through experiences no matter where they vacation.  In my opinion, we have many opportunities to make the most of this growing interest.

Our communities of owners can refer and recommend to each other activities, restaurants, and so much more, which emphasizes the inherent value of being a timeshare owner versus a rental guest. They enjoy belonging to a group with others of similar interests and sharing their experiences, including their photos and videos, with one another. Part of their overall travel experience includes the enjoyment of the peer-to-peer sharing and excitement of planning their vacations with the help of other owners.

This also creates a great opportunity for the timeshare industry.  We can use this to grow the overall digital experience of travel planning and sharing of experiences and memories during and after the vacation itself, which actually prolongs the feelings of excitement and overall satisfaction

Our resorts also create a ton of added value when we consider the many potential partnerships with other providers that can add to a holistic experience for our owners—from jeep rentals and hiking guides to white-water rafting hosts and tasting tours (to name a few). We have endless possibilities when we consider all the ways we can increase the breadth of our owners’ experiences!

With this in mind, I challenge us all to never stop learning and to stay laser-focused on the continual discovery of what makes our customers love our product and maximize their ownership.

Creating Meaning

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Creating Meaning 

By Howard Nusbaum 

 creating meaning
 

Creating a great vacation experience goes beyond just the sticks and bricks of our timeshare resorts, especially when it comes to our next generation of consumers: millennials. 

The interesting trend I’m seeing with millennials is that they are becoming cultural trailblazers for older and newer generations. Consumers today are broadly catching on to the notion that experiences make you happier and are as valuable—if not more—than buying fancy things.

So how can operators of timeshare resorts and clubs capitalize on this trend as they interface with owners, exchangers, and renters? According to the professional ad/marketing industry, here are three tips for creating meaningful experiences:

Tip #1: You don’t need to create large-scale, complex experiences to get add to your marketing and delivery of experiences. Keep it simple and real; talk less about the facility and more about the benefits of the overall resort experience.

Tip #2: Don’t overuse technology. Most people are only interested in sharing their vacation through social media—they have the tools, all you have to do is offer an experience worth sharing.

Tip #3: Don’t hide behind the “they won’t want to spend their dollars on that” mentality. Study after study shows people are ready and able to pay for enhanced experiences and if it is free, they won’t value it as much. 

We are in the business of creating memories, so offering an array of experiences is a natural fit for our consumers. Once that is in place, then let them also organically share and market it for you.

And don’t forget to share them with the ARDA communications team and VacationBetter.org.