Who’s Buying Timeshares Now?

New timeshare buyers are a diverse group according to a recent Shared Vacation Ownership study from ARDA International Foundation (AIF). Younger and culturally diverse, these new buyers are fueling the timeshare industry's current growth mode of 7.9 percent up from 7.2 percent in 2012. 

What Defines the New Buyers?

Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA says, "We're excited not only about the fact that sales are up in our industry, but also about why they are up. While existing owners continue to enjoy the lifestyle and purchase more timeshare, it's the new owners that are responsible for the majority of qualified new sales." Statistics from the Shared Vacation Ownership study show just who these new buyers are and the reasons they can qualify for a timeshare purchase.

They are younger and more diverse 

  • Almost 10 years younger than conventional owners - median age of 39
  • 42% are African American or Hispanic

They are highly educated, employed, have families, own homes 

  • 72% are college graduates
  • 79% are married or in a committed relationship 
  • 51% have children under age 18
  • 72% are employed full-time
  • $94,800 is median household income
  • 91% own a home

They do their research before they purchase

  • 75% had some form of experience with timeshare before purchasing
  • 35% attended multiple sales presentations
  • 44% vacationed at the resort before they bought
  • 42% experienced timeshare by renting first

They understand value

  • 36% bought their timeshare to save money on vacations
  • 31% bought a timeshare for the vacation flexibility it offers

More Good Signs

Other trends from the Shared Vacation Ownership study showed that the overall purchase price of a timeshare rose to an average of nearly $20,000. Timeshare owners are spreading their vacations evenly between summer, fall and spring, and 40% are as likely to travel under 500 miles as they are to travel 1000 miles or more. Though 75% of owners vacationed at a timeshare resort, the study showed 16% converted their timeshare to a different type of vacation-related purchase such as a cruise or airline ticket. 


What do Eric Cantor and David Gregory Have in Common?

Attendees at this week's ARDA Fall Conference in D.C. are in for a treat - both Cantor and Gregory are keynote speakers at this year’s event. The Honorable Eric Cantor, former House Republican Majority Leader, speaks Thursday at the legislative luncheon. David Gregory, the former host of Meet the Press, is a keynote speaker later in the afternoon on Thursday. The two are both masters of reinvention, having both survived and flourished after being fired from their previous positions. They are sure to have some interesting insights to share.

Eric Cantor

From 2001 to 2014, Eric Cantor served as United States Senator for Virginia’s 7th congressional district. During that time, he was also House Majority Leader and House Minority Whip. In a surprising upset, Cantor lost his bid for re-election in 2014 to economics professor, Dave Brat. It didn't take Cantor long to get on with a new life. He resigned early from Congress on August 18, 2014, and immediately went to work as vice chairman of investment bank Moelis & Company for compensation many times greater than his Senate salary.  With his years of legislative experience, Cantor is the perfect choice of speaker for the legislative luncheon sponsored by ARDA’s Resort Owner Coalition (ARDA-ROC).  This grassroots coalition (made up of timeshare owners) lobbies to protect timeshare owners from detrimental legislation.

David Gregory

David Gregory was the host and moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press for six years where he had a reputation for asking tough questions of many of the world’s leaders. Since 2001, he was also NBC’s chief White House correspondent and often featured on NBC Nightly News, the Today Show, and MSNBC. In August of 2014, Gregory was fired from Meet the Press and was paid $4 million to leave NBC. It was rumored he also had to sign a contract not to speak out against the network. Gregory, like Cantor, has bounced back as a much in demand moderator and speaker. In his presentations, he speaks openly about the topics he is well-versed in: politics, current affairs, and popular media’s responsibilities in mass communications.

More Conference Speakers

Other featured speakers at the conference are: Marci Rossell, former CNBC Chief Economist and co-host of Squawk Box, and Chris Cillizza, journalist, political pundit and author of the Fix column at the Washington Post.

Not Attending the Conference?

In case you are unable to attend the fall conference, ARDA will post the important issues covered at the conference on its website. (www.arda.org) 

ARDA International Foundation Promotes Professional Growth for Success

ARDA kicks off its fall conference on November 12th in Washington, D.C. It;s sure to offer many opportunities for attendees to learn about key timeshare issues, set goals for the future and network with colleagues, but ARDA is not just about conferencing a few times a year.  ARDA International Foundation (AIF) offers a continuing source of education programs. What began in 1982 as a research tool to keep up with the rapid growth and change of the timeshare industry now has evolved into much more. AIF offers timeshare industry members multiple opportunities for professional growth.

AIF Education 

Timeshare professionals who are looking to gain expertise in a certain area of the industry need look no further than AIF's education programs. Through AIF, education participants can increase their industry knowledge, develop skills and earn professional designations including the Associate Resort Professional (ARP), Registered Resort Professional (RRP) and Certified Timeshare Supervisor (CTS).  

University Partnerships = More Industry Awareness

As a means of bringing new people into the timeshare industry, AIF partners with universities to provide resources to build course curricula, and internship programs to familiarize students with the industry. AIF's scholarship programs offer networking opportunities for both students and professors that help to bring them closer to the timeshare community on a personal level.

Suppliers also Benefit

Those supplying goods and services to the timeshare industry can earn AIF's Supplier Certification designation. It's a win-win situation. Suppliers become more knowledgeable of the industry, the characteristics of timeshare buyers, and trends and legal issues. Timeshare buyers gain savvy suppliers who know what the industry needs and can provide the best services.

Easy and Convenient Access to Learning

AIF offers easy and convenient access to professional development opportunities through its online learning platform.  Professionals may participate in self-study-courses, downloadable research, and webinar presentations accessible through computer or smart phone. Courses like Timeshare 101 teach the basics to industry newbies. Partnership Strategies helps timeshare professionals strengthen their customer skills with new ways to market and service the timeshare product.

Leadership Development

ARDA LEAPS is a program specifically designed to nurture and develop future ARDA leaders. The one year program requires nomination by an organization. As part of the selection process, nominated candidates must submit a 500 word document on why they should be in the program. After completion of the year long program, ARDA LEAP's candidates are encouraged to continue service to the industry such as mentoring new LEAP candidates, and participating on an ARDA committee.

Future of the Industry

As the timeshare industry continues to grow and evolve, it is important that those of us working in the industry continue to grow and evolve too. Professional development opportunities for industry professionals and education partnerships that develop awareness of our industry, help to keep the industry growing and thriving.