‘Waste not, want not’ – if you do not waste anything, you will always have enough. Wise use of one’s resources will keep one from poverty. This proverbial saying was first recorded in 1772, but it had an earlier, even more alliterative version: ‘Willful waste makes woeful want.’ This common phrase came to mind when contemplating Flexweek, Inc.’s (OTC: FXWK) business model in the timeshare space. FlexWeek is the only publicly traded company in the peer-to-peer timesharing space. With a platform in development similar to AirBnb, the company’s management intends to expand rapidly into the lucrative timeshare rental market. The platform enables timeshare owners to offer direct access to resort inventory to anyone, unlike competing trading platforms such as Interval International (NASDAQ: IILG) or Wyndham Worldwide’s (NASDAQ: WYN) RCI.
The FlexWeek platform also addresses another specific industry challenge. The average timeshare is only booked 79% of the year, according to the American Resort Development Association’s 2012 research survey. Whether or not a privately owned timeshare unit is used, the owner still has to pay annual maintenance fees, and most owners end up losing thousands of dollars in wasted paid-for vacation time over their ownership periods. With FlexWeek, an owner of unused paid vacation time can now offer their specific booked week for rent directly to the FlexWeek marketplace in order to recoup costs or even make a profit on the rental. The glut of unused timeshare inventory allows a potential renter to stay in a very nice condo for a fraction of what they would pay in hotel fees, making it a win-win for both the owner and the renter of the vacation time.
Once upon a time, if you said you owned a timeshare you might get a withering look of disdain from someone who felt you had caved in to a hard sell for a vacation option that most people were as eager to exit as they were quick to sign up, but times have changed for timeshares. A quiet revolution in the industry now shows they can be a savvy vacation strategy. The industry has become much more consumer-friendly and transparent, insiders insist, largely because major hospitality chains — such as Disney, Four Seasons, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Starwood and Wyndham — are among the big players. The entry of these global giants has “solidified the product and brought credibility to the sales process,” said Michael Brown, chief operating officer of Hilton Grand Vacations, which operates 71 club-affiliated resorts in the United States, Canada, Europe and Mexico, in an article on the Richmond Times-Dispatch website (http://dtn.fm/6oAJd).
FlexWeek is in good company and obviously has a solid business model in place to capitalize on an already proven and lucrative industry. The company’s basic values of helping customers to not waste any of their assets should attract attention and retention.
For more information, visit www.flexweek.com
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