Can timeshare be sold on-line? It’s already happening says Wesley Kogelman, CEO of timeshare re-sale and rental company BuyaTimeshare.com.
Technology is a concept that can mean different things to different people. Some of us thought using a fax machine was a major technological achievement. The technology of today can make your head spin.
Stunning advancements in technology have shown some in the timeshare industry trying to figure out how to leverage today’s tech tools and sell timeshare products and programmes to a new, younger audience.
What amazes me is that there is still debate within the industry as to whether the product can even be sold through websites and using devices such as mobile phones and tablets.
People who have built their careers selling the product still speak at conferences saying that timeshare is not sought out by consumers but must be sold, indirectly challenging the concept of on-line timeshare sales.
I’m here to say that timeshare transactions are taking place on-line and I have the statistics to prove it.
Talking timeshare on-line
Prospective buyers are using the internet every day to search for information about the timeshare product.
According to Google, people enter about 129,000 searches per month into their search engines using three terms with buyer intent - 74,000 searches for ‘timeshares for sale’, 33,000 searches for ‘timeshare re-sales’ and 22,000 searches for ‘buy timeshare.
These are people who have a desire to find out more about timeshares with intent to purchase. No one searches ‘buy timeshare’ or for ‘timeshares for sale’ without having an intent to buy."
The concept of on-line marketing of the timeshare product is how I have based my business model, and for nearly 15 years we have seen prospective buyers and renters interact with timeshare owners to purchase or rent their product.
In 2013 alone, we saw 13,365 purchase offers made on timeshares advertised on our website at an average of just over $6,100 per offer. We post the timeshares that sold on our website once we receive documentation that the sale has closed.
This on-line development is an industry trend. In 2012, the American Resort Development Association released the Shared Vacation Ownership Owners Report through its research arm.
The report stated that the percentage of timeshare sales in the U.S. that came from re-sales grew from 17 per cent in 2010 to 32 per cent in 2012, a staggering growth in just two years.
But the more pertinent information to this discussion is that the most popular re-sale channel used by consumers was an ‘online timeshare re-sale listing company.’
The global economic downturn, which began in 2008, had an impact on the growth of the re-sales as consumers became more price-conscious.
But this does not fully explain the continued momentum we see as buyers and renters use the web to interact with owners looking to sell and rent.
Even the major brands are recognising this. Marriott Vacation Club, for example, has recently launched a re-sale page on its website in an effort to tap into the growing on-line demand for timeshare.
As Christmas approaches, millions of U.K. residents will use the internet to do their holiday shopping. Last December, on-line trading in the U.K. for non-food purchases grew 16.5 per cent from the previous year.
With such an acceptance of buying products on-line, is it such a stretch to think that consumers would use the internet to research, and ultimately buy, a timeshare? I think it’s a natural progression and one that is only going to grow over time.