High Tech Allows Second Homeowners to Expand their Horizons

January 24, 2013 • By Wade


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When I began my career in resort real estate, home swapping was not anything too many people paid much attention to and most of us in resort sales never thought much about it. It was paper-based and you made your reservation over the phone—today it seems so out-of-date and almost foreign.

It’s safe to say that the “old guardhouse swapping clubs” have struggled to adopt to the Internet—at least at first. Industry professionals agree that it’s a pretty hefty accomplishment to have migrated from “traditional paper-based catalogs”to what we call today “online matching-making websites.”

Traditional home exchange companies have made a mark for some types of homeowners, however, they have really never made a significant impact on the luxury resort real estate market.  The main reason is because their programs were not geared toward luxury or second homes.

With the explosion of online applications, companies like ThirdHome are now coming up with innovative ways to incorporate the functionality of high tech into creating value for owners of luxury resort real estate.  Functions like member reviews, online chat, online bookings, 24/7 reservation program, reviews and testimonials, and the option to search online are all necessary functions to earn the respect of a luxury second home owner.

Many of the traditional exchange sites are acting like online dating services. This “affinity” program is almost like a dating service. During registration, users are asked to fill a “detailed profile to describe not only the location and the services of the property, but also the member’s interests and educational background for better member-to-member matching.” The Facebook model certainly applies here—customers are asking to be integrated and want to know more about each other’s interests and backgrounds.  Then people start reaching out to each other chatting, asking millions of questions and lots of talking back and forth. Now, some people may have the endurance and time for this type of activity, but many in the affluent category do not.

Our members do not want the hassle of all the chat, the talk back and forth, they just want to go on line, find what they want, when they want it and book it. This is what makes us different from the others out there. One thing for sure, our members are all like -minded individuals, that demand efficiency, privacy, speed and information and they want it now.

Wade Shealy
Founder, CEO, and Chairman

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