1. Why join ARDA?
HN: To network and be relevant in the industry. We craft and monitor the legislation that impacts timeshare. ARDA represents the industry to government, media and the financial markets.
Members work together with us to identify the priorities for legislation, industry best practices, public and industry relations, education and research. Having a voice in the process is important. There’s an old political expression: If you don’t have a seat at the table, you may end up on the menu. That seat is the ultimate benefit of membership.
2. What new benefits are current members likely to see soon?
HN: Right now we’re listening on the Internet, and from that we publish the Hark Report. Our goal is to better understand what people think about timeshare and share this information with our members so they can leverage it in their organization’s sales, marketing and operational efforts. Internally ARDA uses the data to craft industry messaging, create new tools and guide industry research needs. We will also be launching new educational programming, and providing the same great networking and business development opportunities throughout the year. Timeshare’s a better way to vacation, and we have the tools to help your teams express that.
3. How can ARDA help members in their region of the world?
HN: Whether it’s to the media or a financial or rule-making authority, we advocate for the industry, and the same thing is true internationally. We work with emerging markets so they can learn from our successes and failures. I’m off to Johannesburg to meet with South African timeshare developers and talk about some of the strategies that have been successful in this country. From there I’m going to Singapore for their fifth annual conference on creating robust markets in Asia. Sharing best practices, successes and challenges is what it’s all about.
4. What are the main benefits of the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition?
HN: ARDA-ROC has been instrumental in developing and supporting the pillars of good consumer protections, including rescission, financial assurance, use rights available versus use rights sold, escrow and offering disclosures. ARDA-ROC monitors and defends against legislation that may negatively impact timeshare owners while maintaining a robust platform for the industry to grow. What is an example of this? Almost every jurisdiction has a transient occupancy tax. We make the argument that these are owners who have already paid taxes on their property and therefore should not be burdened with an additional or duplicate tax. We win every time. That’s the kind of battle ARDA-ROC fights on behalf of owners. I’m proud that approximately 1.5 million timeshare owners support the integrity of their real estate vacation purchase through their participation in ARDAROC [arda-roc.org].
5. What are you excited about sharing at this year’s ARDA World?
HN: As you’re reading this, ARDA World is going on: 3,000 of your closest friends in the industry, sharing the latest innovations, creating business opportunities and working together on new advocacy platforms. This year we’ve partnered with Phocuswright to have a battleground for tech entrepreneurs—we’re calling it the Lion’s Den. They’re presenting apps, new technologies and digital solutions for customer engagement and resort rental distribution, and attendees get to participate in who should be funded.
6. For those who can’t attend, how are you getting the news out?
HN: We’re using social media in real time, so follow #ARDAWorld on Twitter and Facebook—for pictures, live updates and announcements. We also publish a special post-convention issue of Developments magazine. If you can’t be in Hollywood, Florida, this year, stay tuned and make your reservation for New Orleans in 2017.
Photo credit: ARDA