In this Sharetime web exclusive, we speak with Vivienne Sharman Lewis, business development manager for TATOC affiliate weholi about the company, the services it provides and how it can help TATOC member resorts.
1 Tell me about weholi and its product and services:
weholi was founded on a simple principle: timeshare owners should be empowered to pay for the vacation time they use and monetize the time they don’t. And, they should be able to do it online, in a safe, intuitive and transparent environment.
By combining a simple “share economy” model with a firm belief in consumer empowerment, weholi has developed a way to connect active vacationers with timeshare owners leveraging the opportunities these respective markets provide for each other.
Timeshare owners can turn their extra time into cash more easily in a secure and professional environment while active travellers that have never experienced a timeshare resort stay get easy access to unique resort vacation rentals around the world, with features they prefer that go far beyond a cheap hotel stay.
Their easy-to-use global platform offers a variety of vacation accommodations, including timeshare resorts, private residences, fractional ownership, serviced apartments and condominiums, and provides a much-needed outlet for owners of vacation properties who are looking to rent their properties to consumers, who are looking for the best of both worlds, managed resorts and luxury hotels, and with many additional membership benefits.
The company is strategically positioned to engage the next generation of vacation owners, offering a low-cost marketing channel that delivers new prospects to vacation properties at a fraction of the cost of traditional rental channels.
2 What can it offer timeshare owners today?
Timeshare owners are given a simple and intuitive interface to post their weeks for rent or sale and they can communicate directly with the potential renters and buyers in a secure environment.
weholi puts you, the timeshare owner in the driving seat, to allow you control over your own rentals, from setting the price, tracking inquiries and conduct bookings, to connecting directly and securely with your potential renters. There are no hidden costs, commissions or fees to pay, meaning you get 100% of the rental or sales fees, paid directly into your account.
Membership options are subject to the amount of time you wish to list to rent out:
- Classic membership of £58.00pa to list one week
- Premium Membership at £99.00pa to list three weeks
- Platinum Membership at £144.00pa for up to 10 weeks
- Professional membership packages, starting from 100 listings
Additional to the affordable memberships offered, weholi members take advantage of such benefits as vastly discounted holidays in luxury hotels and the best deals on flights, car hire and even cruises in our weTravel centre.
All of the above membership options include unlimited postings and the facility to rent and/or rent out, and sell, and/or buy timeshare properties. Member exclusive lifestyle benefits include nightly stay discounts, discounted cruises, car rentals and local activity discounts.
Premium and Platinum memberships also get a reporting tool for strategical analysis, to monitor the success of their listings, and Platinum members get the additional benefit of highlighted listings. Toll-free telephone support, concierge service, email support as well as 24/7 online chat support is available for your convenience to facilitate, educate and guide members of the online community in any way necessary.
3 You work closely with resort committees/HOA – how can you assist them?
Resort committees and HOA’s, especially on the more mature sold out resorts, are at the receiving end of their members problems and often complaints, e.g. inability to meet their maintenance payments, at the detriment of the maintenance of the resort, and so to the reduced satisfaction of other members, or the need for an exit strategy, especially for those older members with children, who are not keen to take over their parents ownership.
weholi has the products to help with both problem areas.
A weholi membership can certainly enhance a resort members satisfaction, and soften that blow when maintenance payments are due, by offering them access to travel and lifestyle benefits” such as weholi, that will offer a real rental, and/or sales facility, with no fee or commission charged, while also offering them the opportunity to have additional discounted holidays worldwide in luxury hotels.
- Cruises: Access to all major cruise lines, with pictures, deck plans and itineraries to browse and book online.
- Car Rental: Access to car rental companies 24/7 to complete your itinerary with the ability to compare all major supplier rates.
- Nightly Hotel Stays: Access to over 80,000 hotels worldwide at members only pricing, of up to 60% discounts.
- Airfare: Access to all major airlines when planning your trip. This airfare accessibility compares with major airline pricing with only one search.
- Local Attractions and activities: weTravel offers you a huge variety of activities at the lowest prices for you, from jeep tours in the desert to dolphin experiences in the Caribbean.
4 Tell me more about the team behind weholi:
The company was launched by Nicole Wieting-Kälin and Thorsten Wieting, and is based at Pfäffikon near Zurich in Switzerland.
The vice presidents for sales and marketing are: Fermin Cruz in the USA, and Victor Garcia in Europe, with myself, Vivienne Sharman-Lewis for business development and promotion in the UK - and for support in Europe.
Members have the reassurance of their own highly innovative and impressive in-house IT team, while their help-line is always available for the majority, who do not feel confident using the internet.
5 Are timeshare owners fully protected under EU law?
Of course, weholi adheres to the TATOC Code of Conduct issued in August 2011 and the association’s code of ethics.
As an affiliate company with TATOC, we are thoroughly vetted beforehand and continually monitored. Further details of the code of conduct can be found on the Association’s website (www.tatoc.co.uk).
6 Why did you affiliate with TATOC?
As weholi offers an ethical service to timeshare owners, it totally identified with the values of TATOC, in protecting their members’ rights, and in helping them to enhance the value and pleasure in their ownership.
weholi offers products and services that will meet the needs of TATOC members, and so seeks only to work closely, in association with TATOC, to meet those members needs.
7 How do timeshare owners and HOA find out more?
8 Vivienne, tell us a little about your background.
As a BA Hon.'s graduate, with a post graduate degree in further dducation, and with experience in lecturing and creating courses and training at colleges of FE, my love of travel and holiday ownership, which started in 2000, when I worked in sales and marketing for several timeshare companies in Tenerife, never really abated!
With a mad passion for the timeshare product, and the stunning resorts I worked on, I was always concerned for my guests satisfaction and particularly their after care, rising to top sales representative on my resort, and then to British line manager.
I also learnt, especially in the early days, the importance of honesty and transparency in the business, and when I was introduced to weholi, I realised I had found that missing link, that could, at last, bridge the gap that had been missing, total control for owners over their ownership, value for money, and a product that would put owners in the driving seat, to actually make their ownership work for them.
I later went on to work as a sales and marketing manager for several different companies, both in the UK and abroad, as well as in starting my own businesses in marketing, PR and events organising, as well as in selling real estate properties abroad, but I never lost my interest in travel and timeshare, with its ability to open up the world to all travellers, on all levels.
Business Development Manager
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