As the number of fractional properties continues to increase worldwide, so do the options for facilitating exchange of those properties. Research suggests that fractional owners have historically found after 4-6 years of owning their property, their interest in expanding their destination options increases and they look for ways to utilize their ownership at other properties. Enter the exchange programs. Below are a few of the more prominent programs available as of this writing.
The Registry Collection and Preferred Residences:
Two of the first—and largest--exchange programs are The Registry Collection, formed in 2002 and a division of the timeshare group Resort Condominiums International (also known as RCI), and Preferred Residences, formed in 2007 and a subsidiary of Interval International. To participate in these exchange programs, resorts must be formally affiliated with these companies. They utilize an exchange method wherein members are given points or credits for their property based upon factors such as unit size, demand, season, and length of deposit. Members may then call or e-mail the companies to initiate an exchange request, and the companies work on matching the request to their inventory of available weeks deposited from other members. These programs typically charge a yearly membership fee, with additional fees at the time they find and arrange an exchange.
Resort-to-Resort was formed in 2001 and is a division of Intrawest. The company bills itself as “an exclusive Homeowner exchange network comprised of select whole ownership, fractional and condo hotel real estate developments at Intrawest resorts, and a portfolio of selected partner resorts.” In addition to resort properties around the world, Resort-to-Resort also offers exchange on some of the leading cruise lines such as Holland America, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean. A similar point/credit system described above is utilized to facilitate exchanges between Resort-to-Resort members. Following a two-year complimentary membership, there is an annual membership fee, with an additional reservation fee for each exchange.
Another exchange method developed in recent years features an online owner-to-owner exchange network. Formed in 2008, FractionalExchange.com members pay an annual fee to list their properties and in return obtain direct access to other members’ listings. Destinations on FractionalExchange.com include resort interests from boutique to large properties, as well as stand-alone properties including villas, cabins, wholly-owned vacation homes, lodges and a 72’ yacht. This exchange program differs from other models in that it does not direct the number of weeks, the valuation or the timing within which properties are exchanged. All transactions are handled directly between the members and there are no fees per exchange.
To include a breakdown of property locations for each of these programs would cause it to be immediately obsolete, as the data for some changes on an almost-daily basis. We have, however, noted locations throughout the world in destinations from desert to tropical, urban to rural, mountain to beach. We recommend you view each program’s website for greater specifics on locations and program details.
As the demand for fractional properties continues to expand in coming years, these programs will undoubtedly continue to expand with them. Even today, certain programs run concurrently at some resorts, allowing members broader access to exchange properties.
With the huge array of options available through these current exchange programs, fractional owners truly have the world at their fingertips--and no grass growing beneath their feet.