As the vacation ownership industry continues to shift, the need for quality service, transparency and more information has become paramount. Simply said, owners want and need to know how best to use their timeshare purchase, along with all the ancillary benefits associated with it.
DAE, the world’s largest privately-owned global timeshare exchange provider, has recognized this need and continued to meet it this March. DAE (Dial An Exchange) again focused on the consumer, offering critical education and resources with a free seminar held in San Diego. This was the third “Vacation Education Series” (VES) event and the first held in 2015. The first two were held in Arizona in 2013 with approximately 100 people in Peoria and Mesa there for each event. In San Diego, approximately 65 interested people attended, ranging from owners to industry professionals. There were even a number of call-ins to DAE from folks unable to attend who sought information about the topics online.
According to Fermin Cruz VP, America’s Region, the free Vacation Education Series was created because “over 5 million owners of timeshare here in the USA are looking for better ways to enjoy, rent, exchange, sell or buy their timeshare or vacation products and don’t know about all of the resources and options that are out there for them!”
The topics presented by industry leaders were created to help navigate the complex world of vacation ownership. Primary discussions centered on being a proactive timeshare owner, understanding what you own, exploring exchange, the future of timesharing and resale and rentals.
Representatives from DAE, Timesharing Today and the National Timeshare Owners Association shared their knowledge with the goal of providing insight and education on various topics such as how to get the most from your ownership, how to protect yourself from scams, and information on best practices for resale and title transfer of your week or points product. The round table discussions moderated by trusted industry experts in each field presented the opportunity for owners to ask questions and share experiences with other timeshare owners.
The congenial format made for lively discussions at roundtables of eight with various topics.
VES follows on the heels of DAE’s Timeshare Ownership Awareness Sessions last year in New Zealand, which enjoyed a groundswell of demand, with many sessions booked up in just a few days. Equally successful in the U.S., the positive outcome of the event could probably be best measured in the reaction and comments of the owners who attended.
“I will go home and check my documents right away. I thought I owned my timeshare forever!”
“We were unaware that there were so many exchange companies, lots of opportunities. I will be signing up for everything without a membership fee. ”
“Resales and rentals session was most valuable”
“Scams to avoid was valuable to me as well as how to buy on the resale market”
“Very good information –we need one in the Los Angeles area.”
“Timeshare owners should take control!”
“Thanks for pulling together such a great group of speakers!”
“DO this more often every year!”
“I am a new owner. Now I have a lot of great information.”
According to Susan Friedline, DAE’s business development manager, the event was a success. “The Vacation Education Series was created and designed to offer timeshare owners vast resources that encompass all aspects of ownership. It was a forum to educate as well as update them on the current issues that can affect their ownership. We are always excited to have the opportunity to talk with owners and learn more about their needs. Eventually we will roll this out into a Webinar Format as we had many request from folks who couldn’t participate in person. We may hold another face-to-face session in the next few months, but our eyes are on taking the show online!”
Sidebar–Experts in Attendance
- Shep Altshuler – Publisher of Timesharing Today Magazine & President of the Timeshare Board Members Association (TBMA)
- Michael Burns – President and Co-Founder, Vacatia
- Pam Cordell, CAM, RRP – Director of Members Services, American Resort Developers Association (ARDA)
- Fermin Cruz – VP Americas Region, Fermin Cruz Enterprises
- Susan Friedline – Business Development Manager, DAE (Dial An Exchange)
- Wes Kogelman – President and CEO of BuyaTimeshare.com
- Ginger Matsukawa – VP of Sales and Marketing for First American Title Insurance Company
- Lisa Ann Schrier – Member Services Manager for the National Timeshare Owners Association
- Jay Anderson – VP of Business Development, Grand Pacific Resorts
- Melissa Epenesa – General Manager, Grand Pacific Exchange
- Sherri Weeks Rivera – VP of Sales and Business Development for Grand Pacific Resorts