!http://customercount.com/images/8.gif (Resort Trades)!
==Resort Management Future Plan Initiatives Surveyed by Resort Trades==
by Georgi Bohrod
“GBG & Associates”:http://www.gbgandassociates.com/
“Resort Trades”:http://www.resorttrades.com/ and “AskMando.Com”:http://www/askmando.com surveyed over 18,000 hospitality professionals to ascertain the resort industry’s property management future plans. The results indicate that those responding to the survey have some plans to step up the look and feel of their sticks and bricks.
The project was designed to identify opportunities and trends for improvement so resort managers, HOAs and Developers can better meet the needs of their owners and guests. Provided as a service by The Trades publications, the information gathered by CustomerCount’s real time survey offered valuable insights and tools to be used in the management of resorts.
*Smart Survey:* “We commissioned the survey as a service to our readers,” said The Trades publisher, Tim Wilson. Those responding to the “smart survey” were more likely to oversee one resort or more than ten. Matt Morris, ISOM Manager for “Mobius Vendor Partners”:http://www.mobiusvp.com, developers of the on line feedback system describes the “smart survey” as one where in depth answers drop down according to the primary question. In other words, when asked what areas would be addressed in their 2010 refurbishment plan, the options given were: Structural Façade, Bed Bath Linens, Amenities and FFE. According to their response, additional categories could be further addressed.
33% of resort managers responding said they were responsible for one property and 27% have 10 or more in their group.
*Build it and they will come:* More than half of the resorts who took the quick, informative online survey said they were ready to make some structural improvements this year. Villas and units were the first consideration for upgrades with 89% of the respondents planning to ensure guests were more comfortable in their suites. The welcome center and recreation will also be upgraded by those who are devoting funds to refurbishing.
New TVs will improve ratings: Along the same theme, however, is the commitment to upgrading the FF&E at resorts in 2010. New furniture and TVs are leading the way with dollars allocated in that direction. This is good news as more owners have high definition flat screen TVs at home and to walk into a resort with an older model 36-inch in the living room and a hospital style ceiling mounted TV in the bedroom just doesn’t make it. With many resorts that have been making families happy for a couple of decades and are seeing the next generation of kids come in, furniture has seen a lot of wear and tear. It’s clear why 84% of responding resort managers have set aside the bucks to make changes here.
One of the best features of staying at timeshare resort is the abundance of on-site amenities. Anyone who has children or has been a child (hey that’s most of us) know that pools and playgrounds are always fun, whether you are on vacation or not. Managers can see the value in fixing up those areas too and the 41% who answered they were ready to spend the funds on amenities are focusing on those primary areas. Surprisingly, at least to someone who loves her spa time, is the low number that responded to upgrading the spa area (22%).
*Nothing like a good night’s sleep:* Perhaps the biggest expenditure percentage, according to the CustomerCount survey is in the area of linens. No surprise since this is an item that needs constant replacement. 88% of those responding said they were going to be spending money on bedding and 71% on mattresses. One company said their choice was so good that it was hard to make their owners get out of bed in the morning.
According to the publisher Tim Wilson, “This is just the kind of information we hoped to discover. If our readers can see what areas managers are planning to freshen or even reconstruct, they will be able to make plans for their future sales and marketing efforts. For instance, if I were in the bed linen or pool business I would be very encouraged by these numbers.”
The balance of the survey looked at such management issues as Reserve Studies, ADA Requirements and Green Initiatives, to name a few.
What about ADA? It’s curious that only 51% of respondents had taken an ADA requirement audit in the past three years. Of these, actually 24% are committed enough to go back in and review the circumstances again in the next 18 months. But what about those who have not zeroed in on these important governmental requirements? When will they be addressed?
Enlisting in the reserves. The majority of the resorts had conducted a reserve study in the past three years, and most do it annually. However, here too there is a gap. 30% have not conducted a reserved study since 2007 and 19% of them do not continue analyzing these reports on a yearly basis. According to one source, “FARROW Commercial Construction”:http://www.farrowcommercial.com, “the reserve management plan process is one in which an existing building or resort is evaluated on multiple levels for the purpose of identifying short and long-term needs. These needs can range from anywhere from basic budget reserve analysis, to pillow & bedding, all the way to complete resort remodel. The purpose of a reserve management plan is to inform all parties of the existing condition of a property while preparing for future updating.” It would seem that this would be a place most resort managers would start the process. Just sayin’.
The survey ran from January to March; and was online at the Triton Timeshare Software booth, The Trades Publishing booth and various other stations at the American Resort Development Association convention at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, NV in March.
In order to encourage vital responses all timeshare professionals responding to this survey will be given a $150 Vacation Value Card, and were entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $200 gift card from TruCash. That lucky winner was Margit Whitlock of Architectural Concepts Inc.
The CustomerCount “Online Feedback”:http://www.customercount.com process began with Email invitations and reminders and continues through to on-line reporting and analysis 24/7. It has been customized for this survey. Originally designed by Mobius Vendor Partners for its client “RCI”:http://www.rci.com, the Online Feedback system collects and measures feedback from customers and can be designed, such as in this case, for other market measuring campaigns as well.