Just back from participating as a panelist at Interval International’s HOA Insights conference in Los Angeles, where we focused on HOA and timeshare marketing tips for how they can find new owners and better engage current owners. Independent operators often have older properties and a more mature owner base, and they face unique challenges as a result.
Here are some recommendations from the Marketing the Dream: The Evolution of Timesharing panel discussion:
What’s the biggest difference you or your clients see between boomer owners and millennials and how is that impacting your business?
The biggest difference we see is that younger owners want options on how they receive communications. So, that means an omnichannel approach.
- 88% of those aged 18 to 24 believe they should have the right to choose how they receive communications, print or electronic, from financial organizations and service providers, according to a June 2017 survey by research company Toluna.
- Brands with a strong omnichannel customer engagement strategy have an 89% customer retention rate on average compared to a 33% rate for companies with a weak omnichannel program, according to Aberdeen Group.
- Omnichannel is different than multichannel. While both approaches deliver owner communications such as assessment notices, reservation reminders and election proxies through a number of channels, including print/mail, email and text, for example, omnichannel means the communications are coordinated and can be customized.
Paper is still a major channel and will remain so, but we’re seeing more demand for digital options. Nordis recently onboarded two new HOAs in Arizona that wanted to offer their owners the option to vote online. Nearly 60% of their owners chose to vote electronically the first time it was offered.
From a communications standpoint, what are the best ways to reach younger and more diverse audiences in vacation ownership?
Younger owners use their mobile devices non-stop. These owners visit a timeshare review site, book their vacations, they’ll check in, order groceries, rate their experience and post photos. — all with their mobile devices.
If you have a strong mobile strategy for communications, payments and voting, you can meet these owners where they live and you’ll reap big benefits. Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely to upgrade their memberships and take more annual vacations than older generations according to the soon to be released AIF 2018 Vacation Timeshare Owners Study conducted by Leger. So having the ability to interact with them in the way they want to interact is a must
You’ve written about mapping the customer journey as it relates to vacation ownership to improve the customer experience. What are your key takeaways from your research?
Millennials value experiences over material possessions, and they are putting their money into experiences. This trend is a tremendous opportunity for the vacation ownership industry which was a pioneer in what is referred to today as the sharing economy.
But all consumers are looking for a new level of customer experience from vacation ownership companies. They have it in other industries, and they want it here, too.
One key way to improve the customer experience is with owner communications, which occur throughout the customer journey. Communications impact all aspects of the owner’s experience including sales and marketing, the vacation itself, financial interactions, elections and administration, and therefore offer a tremendous opportunity to improve the entire customer journey and experience.
I see technology as critical to improving the overall owner experience. There are three primary ways technology can engage younger owners to improve their experience and satisfaction:
- By providing the option of digital and mobile everything—communications, payments and voting.
- By enabling vacation ownership companies to offer greater choice and convenience so you cater to owner preferences and needs.
- By providing the ability to customize and personalize communications throughout the customer journey, so you aren’t sending a generic upgrade offer to someone who just bought two additional weeks.
That’s a snapshot of my HOA and timeshare marketing tips from the panel. If you missed Interval International’s HOA Insights this year but want to learn more, get in touch and we can discuss how you can better engage your current owners and be sure you’re equipped to attract younger owners to your resort.
About the Author
Bryan joined Nordis Technologies in 2016 to manage and grow the company’s already-large vacation ownership client base. He also is responsible for business development and market expansion in the healthcare and financial services markets. Before joining Nordis, Bryan spent more than 21 years with Interval International, a leading global provider of vacation ownership services. Bryan graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor of science in political science.
Bryan Ten Broek
Vice President, Business Development