TimeSHARE: Sharing Before it was Popular

Everyone is always looking for the newest, latest trends. We don’t want to deal with time consuming tasks, and we just want to press a couple of buttons on our phone to accomplish what needs to be done. Need a ride to somewhere? Open your Uber App. On a last-minute trip? Find a place to stay overnight with Airbnb. Visiting a new city? Rent a bike to travel around.

This trend of having access to use or rent assets owned by someone else is known as the sharing economy. Simply put, the sharing economy makes things easier, simpler and more cost effective for consumers by sharing products instead of buying their own car, bike or vacation home.

But when you think about it, the Timeshare Industry was actually the original sharing economy—not Uber or Airbnb—before it was a trend. In fact, in a Hotel Management Article, Gail Mandel, president and CEO of Wyndham Destination Network, said “Long before the ‘sharing economy’ was a buzzword, timeshare developers were innovating in the travel space by enabling travelers to enjoy the benefits of using a vacation property without having to purchase the entire vacation home.”

And on top of that, with vacation exchange programs owners can swap resorts, weeks or units all online in a simple and fast way. Timeshares truly were the original product of the sharing economy, and even offer greater benefits than other hospitality industry shared economy products.

The key advantage to timeshare in the sharing economy is that a timeshare is a professionally managed resort, while other alternatives, like Airbnb and HomeAway, are peer-to-peer services with no customer service or quality standards.

In the same Hotel Management article, Mandel states that “timeshare units are hospitality businesses at their core. The properties are run and maintained by professionals, have strict standards for what travelers will experience and find in their accommodations, and follow safety regulations and tax laws. The average homeowner on Airbnb may not even be aware of these practices, and that can make for some uncomfortable situations.”

Timeshare vacations are no longer grandma’s week at the same time in the same place every year. They offer an opportunity for shorter stays, flexible ownership and locations all over the world. And like Airbnb and other vacation sharing options, vacationers get way more space than a traditional hotel offers. But they also provide features that cannot be met by other services: consistency of offering, managed properties and service.

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