In 2014, RCI implemented an educational Lunch & Learn Tour for HOA board members and resort management staff. The now annual series of sessions, held across the country, gives legacy resorts a chance to network with industry leaders and learn best practices in the field, including ideas for engaging owners.
The responses to the program in year two continue to be positive, and many attendees leave with new ideas and strategies to implement at their properties. With the 2015 sessions coming to a close, we spoke with two attendees to find out more about the sessions: Deborah Quick of Vintage Landing and John Almoslino of Englewood Beach and Yacht Club and Sea Oats Beach Club.
Q: What did you find most valuable about the RCI Lunch and Learn session?
John Almoslino: I learned about the segmentation between some of the newer resorts and legacy resorts. RCI has many programs to help legacy resorts like ours better compete in the market place. Purchasing of products, insurance help, and collection help are just some of the programs RCI offers. It is easy to become burned out in timeshare, but attending an RCI Lunch and Learn can energize you because of the help RCI is providing. To me it seems they are becoming more of a working partner than just an affiliate of our resorts. That is a big difference.
Deborah Quick: To me, the most valuable aspect is the many networking opportunities that were available, not only with our RCI service team but the vendors and other timeshare property managers that attended. The one-on-one time with our RCI service team gave me an opportunity to discuss items that I was unsure on and to be able to place a face with the name when calling. It was also very useful to find out about information for my owners that is available on the RCI website and to use some of this information to help further train staff members.
Q: Have you implemented any new practices or made any changes as a result of attending an RCI Lunch and Learn session?
John Almoslino: We will be using a service through RCI Affiliate Access to take back non-performing units at both Sea Oats Beach Club and Englewood Beach and Yacht Clubs. This service will save the HOAs 60 percent over the traditional foreclosure methods and will allow the associations to take back inventory and then sell it back to new owners. We are also adding snacks to our welcome packet at Sea Oats to improve our check-in scores. We will be adding a welcome package to Englewood Beach and Yacht Club in the future, as well.
Deborah Quick: Vintage Landing will be trying the feedback management system, part of the RCI Affiliate Access program, to help get a better understanding of the feedback that we get from both owners and guests. This will help us get a better understanding of our travelers’ wants, and pinpoint areas of improvement so that we can maintain our RCI Gold Crown status while also keeping guests coming back and hopefully purchasing units with us. We will also be looking into other vendors through RCI Affiliate Access for solutions for our resorts daily operations to help us improve and save on costs.
Q: Why do you think programs like RCI’s Lunch and Learns are important for properties like yours?
John Almoslino: I believe legacy resorts like ours will be able to compete more readily if they use the information covered in the RCI Lunch and Learn. I have been in timeshare management for over 15 years and I know I will be more valuable to each of the associations I manage for having attended the RCI Lunch and Learn.
Deborah Quick: These types of programs help keep us in the loop of the big picture of what is happening in the timeshare industry. They help us improve our staff training with new items on the RCI website and RCI eSchool so we can be more confident when speaking to our owners about issues they may be having.
Q: Do you use RCI’s other services, like RCI eSchool, RCI Affiliate Access or RCI TV? If so, what value have you found in these programs?
John Almoslino: The first program I will use after the RCI Lunch and Learn will be RCI TV. We have signed up to showcase both Sea Oats and Englewood Beach and Yacht Club. We look forward to the filming of the resorts and we are working diligently to have the resorts in the best shape they can be.
Deborah Quick: Our resort uses RCI eSchool, in addition to RCI Affiliate Access, to help train staff members and help keep up on the timeshare industry, ever changing as it is.
If you are interested in learning more about RCI Lunch and Learn programs, visit RCIAffiliates.com. A 2016 calendar of events will be coming soon.