Maximize Timeshare Ownership
The ultimate resource to understand, maximize and leverage timeshare ownership to travel in luxury accommodations on a reasonable budget.
The ultimate resource to understand, maximize and leverage timeshare ownership to travel in luxury accommodations on a reasonable budget.
After much rumor and speculation, the deal terms are official. I discussed the potential rumor many months ago here and apparently got it partially right and partially wrong.
Instead of ILG acquiring Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Vacation Club will be acquiring ILG. As the the title states, the total acquisition price is $4.7 Billion with a capital B.
It constantly amazes me that the timeshare industry is a gigantic as it is with the vast majority of the population thinking that timeshares are either a scam, ripoff or some type of pyramid scheme.
I say it over and over that the timeshare industry and systems have many negatives but once you learn the systems, implement various strategies and learn how to maximize ownership, timeshare ownership can be extremely economical and open up tons of destinations that are simply unattainable for most people, even those with hotel points.
Apparently, I am not the only one that feels like this as the industry is truly massive. Most owners actually love their timeshares despite the negative perception of timeshares.
This acquisition is not necessary a complete surprise as the rumors have been swirling for months but it is obviously very significant for the industry.
Now, under one company, the timeshare brands of Marriott Vacation Club, Hyatt Residence Club, and Vistana Signature Experiences (Westin and Sheraton timeshares) will all reside along with the major timeshare exchange company Interval International and its smaller brand, Ashton.
According to the press release, the combined company will have 100 resort properties and 650,000 owners.
What Does this Mean for Owners?
The acquisition does transform the timeshare landscape and theoretically lessens the competition. The biggest compensation now is Wyndham who owns RCI, the other largest vacation exchange company, and Club Wyndham, the largest timeshare company.
I truthfully have no idea whether there will be any practical effects to this acquisition. It has the potentially to complete transform the market. However, previous large acquisitions have shown that not much will change.
Interval Leisure Group, the parent of ILG, has acquired many timeshare brands over the years. They have acquired the Hyatt Residence Club as well of the Vistana Signature Experiences. Both of these brands still operate completely independently of one another. They are sold separately, have separate systems and from the outside point of view, are completely unrelated to one another despite being owned by the same company.
Marriott Vacation Club may have other ideas up its sleeve but it is entirely possible that all of these timeshare brands will continue to operate independently with no difference to the end consumer. If you want to purchase a Marriott timeshare, you purchase with Marriott whereas if you want to purchase a Hyatt timeshare, you purchase with Hyatt. The fact that they are now owned by the same company will likely be immaterial.
What I Would Love to See!
As I stated before, I generally prefer Interval International over RCI solely due to the quality of resorts that are available through Interval as opposed to RCI. RCI does have some very nice resorts but they do not have access to Marriott, Hyatt, Sheraton or Westin, some of the nicest timeshare properties.
Now, with all of these high quality resorts under one company, I would love to see them offer a combined timeshare program that offers all of these brands. Instead of owners having to choose what brand to purchase and learn the various systems, I would love to see an Interval International product that offers some type of points systems that gives you access to all of these resorts AND gives you the ability to convert those points into World of Hyatt points or the newly announced Marriott Rewards Program.
Unfortunately, I do not view my ideal program as becoming a reality but rather view all of these programs continuing to operate independently with cost savings coming from reduced administrative items from both companies and lower financing costs for new projects due to the large size of the combined company.
However, I sure hope to be wrong.
The timeshare industry continues to evolve and for better or worse, continues to change. This acquisition definitely has the potential to change the entire landscape of timeshare offerings and has the potential to create a truly revolutionary product that could potentially erase the negative perceptions of timeshares.
While there is that potential, the timeshare industry continues to make tons of money through its existing sales tactics and despite being consumer unfriendly, still seems to work. As long as it continues to work, change will happen slowly. Once the system becomes officially broken, change happens quickly.
As I stated before, my goal is to provide a fantastic educational resource for timeshare owners and to-be owners. The timeshare system has its issues and timeshare ownership is NOT for everyone but as the industry continues to evolve, it becomes more mainstream which has the potential to be available to more and more people.
This acquisition is interesting but it remains seen if this will change anything in the industry or whether this is simply a behinds the seen acquisition that will fade away with the existing brands remaining in the forefront of the consumers.
What do you think of this acquisition? In an ideal world, what would you like to see occur with this combined company? Make sure to leave your comments below!
Its not everyday that The Timeshare Guru gets recognized but I was just informed that The Timeshare Guru has been recognized as one of the top 30 timeshare blogs to follow in 2018!
Not only were we recognized, but we were placed in spot number 5!
According to Feedspot, here is criteria that were used to create these rankings.
The Best Timeshare Blogs from thousands of Timeshare blogs in our index using search and social metrics. We’ve carefully selected these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information.
These blogs are ranked based on following criteria
Top 30 Timeshare Blogs Winners
CONGRATULATIONS to every blogger that has made this Top Timeshare Blogs list! This is the most comprehensive list of best Timeshare blogs on the internet and I’m honoured to have you as part of this! I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world.
Note from The Timeshare Guru:
I started The Timeshare Guru because I wanted to try to change people's perception of timeshares. There are a lot of negative information about timeshares and while many of them are true, there are ways to own timeshares and use timeshares to get tremendous value.
The timeshare systems are complicated, the rules change and availability is sparse for highly desirable weeks. However, there are many strategies that you can use to get the highly coveted weeks. Make sure to read some of my posts so that you can maximize timeshare ownership!
Again, thank you to Feedspot for featuring our site! I'm glad that people are finding this site useful. We are growing but definitely need help in getting our site to the masses. Please make sure to share the site with your friends and subscribe to the website below!
As I have discussed before, I am an avid points and miles fan. I collect them any which way I can but predominantly through credit card sign up bonuses.
I have had this "hobby" for many years now and one of the predominant sources of information on credit cards has been The Points Guy.
His website is definitely worth a read.
In a recent article that The Points Guy posted, he explained that the Marriott is going to offer timeshares on the island of Dominica.
I have never been to Dominica but it has been on my radar.
I have been to many other Caribbean islands and a lot of them have various programs where if you purchase a certain amount of real property, it qualifies you for citizenship. These are interesting programs as you can live on a luxurious Caribbean island and receive the perks of citizenship.
What made this article interesting is that they are offering this type of program through the purchase of timeshares. It appears that pricing starts at $220,000 but it is an interesting take.
Take a look at this article here.
I'll have to do more recent into this program and this new timeshare but this is an interesting idea.
Would you ever participate in this program? Does citizenship provide enough value to purchase a $220,000 timeshare?
Unbelievable Information on Timeshares
Almost every article I write, I begin by saying how controversial timeshare ownership is and what a truly horrendous reputation that timeshares have. Most timeshare owners, including myself, The Timeshare Guru, always pause before I tell someone that I own a timeshare. Most people immediately think that I have been scammed and try not to make me feel bad that I fell for a timeshare purchase.
Before I started The Timeshare Guru, I attended plenty of timeshare presentations. The sales presentation rooms are almost always filled thanks to the very generous perks that they offer to attend. In case you missed it, check out this post on Getting Free Stuff from Timeshare Presentations. I also did some research on the overall timeshare market. I knew that I really enjoyed my timeshare so I figured that there must be others.
I truly could not believe the statistics on the timeshare industry. The timeshare industry has such a horrendous reputation that I couldn’t and still can’t believe these figures. Here are a few good ones that I thought I would share:
Who are Timeshare Buyers?
From my previous posts, you can see tons of negative comments on timeshares. Based on my informal review, many of these comments were from people who have a negative perception of timeshares or who had a bad experience with ownership or know someone who did. Timeshares are not perfect and many people have had unfortunate experiences in the harsh reality of some aspects of timeshare information. There are definitely a lot of negative attributes of timeshares but there are also a ton of great benefits provided that you know how to maximize them.
The vast majority of people think that timeshares are scams, for those people who can’t afford a true second/vacation home or those who get roped in to a purchase while on vacation. While there are plenty of disgruntled timeshare owners, there are actually a lot of timeshare owners who really enjoy their timeshare. I absolutely love our timeshares and I am currently in the process of buying even more.
Here are a few statistics on timeshare buyers that I thought I would share:
My true belief is that if you understand the timeshare systems, you can definitely maximize timeshare ownership and get outsized value. As I stated in my other post, Economics of Timeshare Ownership, I can get 4+ weeks out of one timeshare week which equates to under $500 per week for very high- quality resorts (Four Seasons, Hyatt, Marriott, etc.) in quality destinations (ski weeks, Hawaii, Caribbean, Mexico, etc.).
For those of your that are wondering, I did not make up these statistics on timeshares. The American Resort Development Association puts out various research and facts on timeshares. It is a trade association that represent developers and owners. Some statistics may be developer friendly, but ARDA is the ultimate resource for trade information on timeshares so there is little reason to doubt its accuracy or authenticity.
Timeshare ownership will likely always remain a controversial topic. My main complaint about timeshares is their sales practices. They are simply not transparent in the way that timeshare operates. They may educate owners on the general ways to use timeshares but they generally over promise on how easy it is to trade into desirable properties, the ability to travel at peak times, the requirement to plan, far, far in advance to get those prime weeks and the economic value of their timeshare.
I also despise that they try to get people to make a significant financial decision based on a 2-hour sales presentation. They do not give potential customers the time to think about their purchase or research a financial commitment that can last a lifetime.
I truly believe that if the sales process changed and full transparency was accomplished, the reputation of timeshares may actually change. However, based on the statistics above, it appears that these sales tactics work and I highly doubt that change will happen soon.
Despite these negatives, there are almost no complaints on the quality and spaciousness of the resorts. It is very hard to vacation in a hotel after getting use to the comforts of a timeshare resort.
What are your thoughts on these statistics? What is your perception of timeshares?
It appears that the world of timeshares may be getting smaller. As I previously reported here, there were some rumors concerning International Leisure Group (ILG) (the company that owns Interval International, Hyatt Residence Clubs and Vistana resorts) and Marriott Vacation Club.
At the time, the rumor was the ILG would potentially acquire Marriott Vacation Clubs. It appears that the roles have reversed and Marriott Vacation Club has apparently made an offer for ILG.
Here are more details of the story here.
What does this mean? I have no idea at the moment but it is definitely an interesting development. Stay tuned as more details emerge.
To most people, timeshares have a horrendous reputation and are only for "suckers" who purchase during vacation. This can be the case for many people but a vast amount of timeshare owners actually enjoy their timeshares and consider it a worthwhile "investment".
Timeshares are definitely not a financial investment but they can be a great investment in spending time with your family, traveling to destinations that may not have been obtainable or simply experiencing new things.
Regardless of your thought on timeshares, I came across some staggering facts about timeshares that I thought I should share.
ARDA, the American resort Development Association, is an association that promotes the growth and development of the timeshare industry. They provide multiple different functions to the timeshare industry including information and trade data for the industry.
In one of their latest polls, they provided the infographic below to show the state of the timeshare industry in 2016.
While I definitely enjoy our timeshares, these various numbers are staggering to fully understand the scope of the industry.
Here are some of the more interesting facts:
1. There are over 5,300 share vacation ownership resorts.
2. These resorts are located in 121 different countries.
3. There are 527,000 units.
4. Timeshare sales accounts for $19.7 billion in 2015.
5. 91 new properties will be added in 2017.
Timeshares are definitely a big business! Its hard to fathom that this industry can be as big as it is with the reputation that it has but there appears to be constant buyers and ongoing demand.
My view on timeshares is that they are great but the way that they are sold is the issue as many of the issues with timeshares are not divulged during the purchase process.
Hopefully, this can change so that more people can understand them and see if they can be right for your vacation style.
What are your thoughts? Did you realize the scope of the timeshare industry?
The timeshare industry is big business and it is constantly changing. More resorts, more rules, more systems, etc. It is very difficult to keep up with as the systems and rules keep changing and becoming more and more complex.
While they attempt to make the systems easy to understand, the actual use of the systems are complicated and there are many tricks and tips to really maximize ownership.
Interestingly, Interval International, which is one of the largest exchange companies, is actually the owner of many of the timeshare systems. Interval International is a public company (ILG) with a market capitalization of $3.6 Billion. Even with there awful reputations, timeshares are big business.
Interval International has done some strategic acquisitions in the not so distant future and actually owns and manages the Hyatt Residence Club properties and the Vistana Signature Experiences (Starwood's timeshare properties).
The acquisition of both of these major timeshare companies did not produce much change from the consumer standpoint as these programs still operate completely independently of one another. Most owners did not see any difference in these systems or their ownership.
As with all public companies, there is always the pressure to continue to grow their business. Growing businesses take time but a quick way to show immediate growth is through acquisitions. There has been some rumbling of news from Interval International whose activist stockholder has urged the Interval International seek a merger with the Marriott Vacation Club.
Marriott Vacation Club is one of the largest timeshare companies and operates over 50 properties.
If Interval International actually purchased Marriott, this would be a very interesting development. Interval International would then own three of the major timeshare brands leaving Wyndham and Hilton as the other two major timeshare brands associated with hotel brands.
In my opinion, a merger with the Marriott Vacation Club would likely be a non-event to the end consumers. I highly doubt that Interval International would try to re-brand any Marriott properties and would likely leave it to operate as is as it has done with Hyatt and Starwood / Vistana.
However, Interval International would then be the major player in the timeshare game. As a consumer, I would love to see additional benefits for Hyatt, Vistana and Marriott owners. Interval Internationally would arguably be in a better position to offer some unique perks that the other timeshare companies simply could not offer.
Time will tell on whether anything will occur and if it does, what it will mean to the timeshare market and the end consumers.
If the merger happens, what would existing owners like to see? Leave your comments below!