Manage your resort’s digital footprint

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Think of your resort’s website as a “dating site,” urged Gary Prado, RedWeek‘s vice president-business development. To be effective, it must have up-to-date technology and fresh information, including inventory available and bookable in real time.

Everything should be searchable. Search engines can’t read pdfs (portable document files), so don’t use them. To improve your site’s SEO (search-engine optimization), your resort’s name, address, and contact information should appear on every page. Page titles should reflect the pages’ content, and all of the resort’s pages should be open to search browsers. If duplicate information is present, eliminate it. Search engines don’t like such repetition and will penalize you for it.

Boards should review the analytics of their resort’s website along with the comment cards.  “Analytics give you information about the demographics of those who access the site, frequency of use, and other data in easy-to-review pie charts and statistics.” Such reviews will tell you whether you are reaching and motivating your desired audience.

Possible marketing outlets for your resort may include advertising, resale companies, licensed real-estate brokers, rental platforms, and exchange companies. To ensure that you’re dealing with reputable marketers, “research the companies and ask questions,” Prado said. Check their references, and their standing with the American Resort Development Association and the Better Business Bureau. Try to determine how much traffic they can bring to your resort, and what that traffic will cost.

“Manage your inventory and pricing to create value,” Prado advised. “Price resort weeks to at least cover the cost of the maintenance fee.”

Explore multiple options, he recommended. “Be patient — don’t panic. There’s not one easy option out there. You’ve got to try a lot of things.”

From the spring 2018 Timeshare Board Members Association meeting in Orlando, FL.