Brad Revell how to choose a management companySharetime asked Brad Revell and Vicky Dubois Sandy of management company Resort Solutions (RSL) for their top tips in identifying a management company for your resort.
    
As resorts have matured and developers have stepped aside, many committees have chosen to appoint professional management rather than manage the entire resort operation on their own.

These committees have understood the benefits a third-party management company can bring to their resort – expertise, cost savings, access to new distribution channels and products, financial planning and maintenance fee collection being just some of the advantages.

However, selecting the right management company can be a lengthy and confusing process which resort committees undergo every few years to ensure they are getting the best service available.

“Our mission is to provide the best possible holiday experience for owners and guests while increasing resort profitability, boosting performance and improving efficiency,” explains Brad Revell. “Your chosen management company should operate in the same way.

”The focus needs to be on the owner while providing a wide range of good value services that a committee can rely on, day after day.”

So, how can committees be sure they are selecting the best management company for them? Here are RSL’s top tips:

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Stouts Hill a review by Stephen BurtonI have been looking forward to writing my review about Stouts Hill because it is my favourite timeshare resort of the many I’ve visited in my home country, the United Kingdom.

My review of Stouts Hill is totally impartial. I am not an owner there because, by the time I first stayed in the mid 1980's, I already owned ten timeshare weeks so I had no need to buy further - even at such a superb resort as Stouts Hill.

 
In my view there are three important items to look for in a timeshare resort (and, yes, I have heard about location, location and location).

However, I would say that the essentials are location, quality of the units and amenities/activities. I have visited many resorts where we have two of these and as Meatloaf would say ‘two out of three ain't bad’.

However, in the case of Stouts Hill it has everything - and I mean everything.
 
Let's start with the apartments:  nine of them, a mix of one- and two-bedroom units and a studio. They are in a Gothic country house mansion that was constructed in the 1740's. A further five two-bedroom units are located in a separate block constructed in the early 1990's.

The units are all decorated and equipped to a high standard so I guess it’s a matter of personal taste to be located in the Gothic mansion or the newer outbuilding.

In the mansion there is a superb library, drawing room and a dining room. I would like to especially mention the dining room because most Wednesday evenings there is an opportunity to have a meal and meet other guests.

A four-course menu is available with several choices for £21 (correct when going to press).
 
Due to my extended stays in the U.S.A., I have many American friends who enjoy watching Downton Abbey on TV.

Staying at Stouts Hill is in my view rather like staying at Downton, such is the scale of the country house and the extensive grounds.

The amenities are by far the best of any timeshare resort that I have stayed in and they include twenty-seven acres of private grounds in which to stroll.

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Aunty Betty talks timeshare owner committeesAunty Betty considers the role of the timeshare owners committee.

“I knew it, I just knew it. As soon as my back was turned what did he go and do? I´m at my wits end, how could he? I can tell you how it will end – mayhem.”

Well, dear reader, that was my neighbour Beryl at full blast the other day, having a tantrum on my doorstep. She has always been a little, shall we say, sensitive.

I tempted her inside with a cup of tea and a mince pie and got ready to hear all Beryl’s gossip, wondering what had happened to cause the outburst. Well you would, wouldn’t you?

After a few false starts she eventually blurted out, wringing her hands and her lace hankie at the same time: ”He’s only gone and joined the committee and put his name up for chairman.” Then she grabbed two mince pies and started to eat both at a rate of knots.

Well, I was a little disappointed. There I was, poised to be sympathetic, waiting for the details of a juicy scandal and all I got was he had joined the committee.

Golf club? Tennis club? Bowls club?, I ventured.  

“No, our timeshare resort’s committee,” Beryl managed to spit out as she explained her concerns.

Beryl was worried about the amount of time it would take up, the constant calls from fellow owners and important resort management decisions that had to be made.

It was clear she really didn’t understand exactly what was involved and to be truthful not many owners do. All we want is our holiday. We may scan the AGM papers, and even take a look at the accounts - but how many of us are really interested?  

Well, we all should be!

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Geoffrey PriceManaging the shift:  Increasing on-site income with new happy families!

Managing timeshare resorts hand in hand with an active sales and marketing company is something of a rarity today.  The scarcity of sales companies is very much evident: those still in business struggle to make any major in-roads on the dwindling maintenance fees resorts are receiving.  

Having listened attentively to committee chairmen at past TATOC conferences, it is clear that the longevity of their clubs is in doubt, partly due to members who find their purchase, made decades ago, less and less relevant to their current requirements.  

This, combined with the total lack of ‘new blood’ coming through the marketing and sales ‘front door’, leaves committees pulling out their hair when compiling their yearly budgets.

Of course, today’s timeshare environment has not happened over night. The trend has been there for the past ten or so years.

First came the rather draconian European legislation, followed by shifting holiday trends influenced by technology, ageing databases, and then finally the economic downturn/meltdown with government austerity programmes translating to higher direct and indirect taxes.

Stephen GriffinTimeshare management has always had one massive advantage over hotels in that clubs had a loyal database that were invoiced once a year and every year, making resorts far less susceptible to the erratic trends of the travel and leisure industry.  

Administration and accounts were also fairly straightforward as a result. While defaulting members are nothing new, past vibrant sales and marketing programmes more than compensated for the number of defaulting members.

With the marketing and sales option, on the whole, being a thing of the past, resorts have had to look for alternate means to generate income.  The most obvious solution has been rentals. This however, as we all know, has been easier said than done!  

Here at last, comes some good news. 

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