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Better, Stronger, Faster…

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 Better, Stronger, Faster…   

By Mark Wang, ARDA Chairman  

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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  

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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

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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 

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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.