Happy Days are Here Again at SOIC: Vacation Ownership Industry Plans to Spur Further Growth with New Strategies

The mood was festive at the recent Interval International Shared Ownership Investment Conference in Miami where Nordis Technologies was a corporate sponsor. Many companies are seeing record sales and revenue as worldwide economies continue their expansion. At least one vacation ownership company said it doubled its size during the past several years through organic growth and acquisitions.

Those in-person accounts are supported by the latest numbers from ARDA. Compared to 2015, sales volume in 2016 increased by nearly 7% and rental revenue rose by 5%, marking the industry’s seventh year of consecutive growth.

Learning from the Vacation Industry Leaders

During the “View from the Top” session, three of the four CEO panelists are clients of Nordis Technologies. The companies – Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Diamond Resorts International and Westgate Resorts — had great years and report that capital is readily available for expansion. The executives also discussed how they are using both new and established marketing strategies to pursue the next generation of buyers.

  • Tom Nelson, President and CEO of Holiday Inn Club Vacations and Orange Lake Resorts, said that the industry needs to figure out how to sell to buyers who would rather purchase online or via their mobile device than through a face-to-face presentation.
  • Michael Flaskey, CEO of Diamond Resorts International, said his company is including experiential marketing, a strategy that dovetails with what customers value. Diamond stages special events for owners, such as concerts, upscale dining and access to golf tournaments, called “Events of a Lifetime.”
  • David Siegel, president and CEO of Westgate Resorts, reminded everyone that the traditional approach of offering an incentive to attend a sales session remains a tried-and-true way of delivering great results.

Other priorities highlighted at the 2017 Shared Ownership Investment Conference:

  • Strong demand to expand digital communication channels with owners, including social media.
  • The need to “hug the haters” and embrace complaints as a key way to improve customer service, a call to action delivered in a very entertaining presentation by keynote speaker, strategist and author Jay Baer.

Start with Mapping the Customer Journey

To improve the timeshare owner experience, Baer recommended that resorts map their customer journey, especially to elicit feedback to discover areas of weakness.

We couldn’t agree more! In fact, Nordis Technologies debuted a white paper during the conference about mapping the vacation owner journey and its benefits. When mapping, companies often find disconnects between how they are structured to interact with customers and what needs to happen for an optimal customer experience. Our easy-to-digest white paper also offers practical tips to get started on this path. If you would like a copy of the customer journey white paper, send us an email at sales@nordistechnologies.com.

All in all, it was another great conference put on by Interval International, and I look forward to hearing from you on what you learned from the event.