If you’re down with a bad case of bronchitis, you call a doctor. If you fall behind in class, you call a tutor. After a losing football season, you get a new coach. But what if your owners association is in trouble? Where do you turn to ensure a healthy future for your resort?
A DIY approach can be overwhelming, especially for board members with busy lives beyond the resort. Consulting with a timeshare management company will usually get you on the road to recovery more quickly and with less pain than any self-help approach.
That’s because a professional management company can help you look at the big picture, drawing from its experience to identify cost savings and revenue-generation opportunities that may have been overlooked.
But with so many management companies offering to help, how do you choose the right one? Independent management companies will often offer complimentary consultations, so you can get a feel for the company and what kind of strategies they might suggest.
What to Look for in a Timeshare Resort Management Company
Here are a few things to look for when sorting through your options.
- Does the company have a long-term plan for your resort? Significant change takes time, so make sure your management company is thinking at least five years ahead when it comes to revenue and reserve funds.
- Does the company have a successful rental program? Generating rental income is critical for the health of any association. Ask potential management companies how they plan on marketing your unused nights to the general public and look into their track record with other resorts.
- What is the company’s employee turnover rate? Fulfilled, empowered employees will go above and beyond to provide incredible service to your owners and guests, reinforcing your resort’s value and driving additional rentals and resales.
- Is the company proactively engaging owners? Does the company regularly communicate with owners? Are delinquent owners contacted in an attempt to reengage them, or are they just sent to third-party collections? Does the company actively solicit feedback, good and bad? These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself as you are considering management companies.
- Does the company do a professional reserve study with timeshare-experienced consultants? DIY reserve studies may save money in the short run, but they often lead to surprise special assessments down the road.
- Does the company offer a robust activities program? One of the key challenges facing timeshare resorts today is how to appeal to the next generation. A robust activities program gives your aging owners incentive to bring their adult children and grandchildren to the resort. Your management company should offer programs for a variety of ages and interests.
- Does the company take ownership of the resort while welcoming board involvement? Because many aspects of strategic planning fall outside the individual board members’ day-to-day expertise, board members should empower the management company to create and manage a strategic plan while staying involved throughout the process and asking lots of questions. A good management company will welcome such involvement.
- Does the company offer a complimentary consultation? As mentioned, a solid management company will not rush you into a contract. They will take the time to make sure you are a good fit for their family and vice versa. This discovery phase is needed for a successful, long-term relationship.