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Glossary of Timeshare words & Phrases

Accrued Time Exchange Company term for weeks accumulated from earlier years that are available for use in the current year.

Affiliated Exchange Company term to denote those resorts with whom they have exchange agreements.

Amber week See season.

Appartado (de Correos) Spanish for "Post Office Box Number"

Banking. Depositing a week of timeshare into an exchange company "bank". See also "Block Banking". Also called Space Banking.

Be-back Salesmen term for prospective purchasers who avoid buying and say that they will 'be back'. Salesmen generally refer to them as 'No be-backs' and other, unprintable, names

Bi-ennial Use of a fixed week every other year ('EOY'). Owners are referred to 'Odd' or 'Even' year owners

Blagger (trade slang). Liar. Often refers to a skilled salesman

Block (or Bulk) Banking. The depositing, usually by the resort management, of a large number of weeks into the exchange company "bank" at the earliest time possible. This is to enable owners to get the maximum exchange bargaining power.

Blue week see Season

Bonus time or Bonus week Additional week of use – usually only for one or two years - given to an owner as a bonus for purchasing etc. or if additional weeks are temporarily available when a small additional charge may be made.

Buy/sell.A fraud in which a timeshare purchaser is falsely promised  that an existing timeshare will be sold to defray the cost of the new purchase.

Calendar Each week in the year is given a "week number" and a calendar is provided to owners giving the actual date, each year, of their numbered week. Not all timeshare resorts operate to the same calendar.

Club/Trust System The most generally used system of timeshare 'ownership' in the UK. Owners belong to a Club and their accommodation unit (and sometimes the leisure facilities) are held by Trustees who licence a 'Right-to-Use' to 'Owners'.

Clumper (trade slang).   "Heavy" or enforcer - usually with physical force - of sales territory and rules. See "Security"

Code of Conduct Standards of trading between trader and consumer drawn up by a trade or consumer body to increase consumer security and confidence in the product or service.

Cold Line   (trade slang)  The sales team  for making sales to consumers from outside the resort "cold".   See also "warm line".

Constitution The collection of inter-related legal documents establishing the relationship between timeshare owner, developer, trustee and management company. Effectively the rules by which the resort is run.

Cooling Off Period. The time given to a purchaser following signing of a purchase agreement, during which they may cancel without penalty. In the UK the cooling off period is 14 days, elsewhere in Europe  it is 10 days – imposed by legislation.

Deeded Outright ownership of a week by a 'Deed of Title', often registered at a central Land Registry. The escritura system in Spain is a deeded system, but deeded timeshare ownership is contrary to UK law – hence the Club/Trust system.

Developer The company owning the freehold of the resort; who construct the accommodation and leisure facilities. They make their profit from the initial sale to 'owners'

Developers Price The full developers retail price. Often estimated by resale organisations to demonstrate the saving in buying from them.

End-user Finance. Provision of a loan to enable an owner to purchase a timeshare. Some finance agreements are personal loans (without security) whilst others are loans secured by the timeshare week or, occasionally, by a mortgage on the principle residence.

Escritura. The Spanish term for the deeding and registering of a 'Deed of Title'. Similar to registration of the Land Registry in England and Wales

Escrow account. An account for the secure holding of money and assets (ownership certificate etc.) by a third party (usually an approved solicitor or accountant) until the full terms of a purchase agreement are satisfied. Then both parties agree to the release of the buyers money to the seller and the sellers certificate to the buyer.

Exchange Company. A company that arranges for owners to exchange between resorts. Most charge a membership fee and all charge an exchange fee.

Exit Program. Usually, a reduced cost package offered to a buyer who is on the point of "walking away" - intended to rescue something for the salesman after a failed presentation.

Factoring Fee ('Factorial') Scottish term for the Management Company profit mark-up included in the Management Agreement.

Five Star Top rated resort in the Interval International system

Fixed Time 'Ownership' of a specific week in a specific unit of accommodation. The week will always fall at the same time of the year.

Floating Time 'Ownership' of an unspecified week, in an unspecified unit of accommodation (and, sometimes, at an unspecified resort). To make use of a floating time week the owner must either book the exact dates that he wants (in competition with the other owners) or await a week to be allocated to him each year.

Fly-Buy. A holiday package where the resort pays the holiday costs of a prospective purchaser in return for that prospect attending a tour/sales presentation.

Fractional Ownership. Half way house between timeshare and full ownership - usually with between 6 and 12 owners deciding amongst themselve how the weeks are shared between them.

GVC (common usage) Grand Vacation Club. A points based timeshare club. Now called "Sunterra"

Gold Crown The top resort rating in RCI.

Group Ownership Another term for Timeshare

Guest Certificate certificate issued by the exchange company authorising a nominated guest to use an exchange instead of the owners

Hacienda Spanish Tax Office.

H O A   Home Owners Association. The US equivalent of an Owners Club.

Holiday Certificate see Ownership Certificate.

Holiday Club A club which provides a number of weeks holiday, usually in timeshare apartments. These Clubs are generally  not covered by the current (2003) timeshares laws.

Holiday Licence see Ownership Certificate.

Holiday Ownership Another term for Timeshare.

Hospitality Award. The lowest ranking award by RCI to a resort. The award reflects a good standard of reception and staff attitude towards owners/visitors.

Interval International – ("II" or "Interval") The second largest exchange organisation in the world

Internal Personal Contacts - IPC Sales staff employed to sell to existing owners. see also OPC.

IVA Abbreviation for Spanish Value Added Tax.

IVC (common usage) International Vacation Club

Legal team (Trade term) Small group of experienced sales people used to  cajole,  threaten and harrass purchasers into continuing with their purchase

Leisure Charge. A charge, in addition to the Management Fee, for use of leisure facilities. Often charged where leisure facilities are shared with other users – hotel guests, country club members etc.


  • In a points club, the annual charge to members to pay for administration of the club – in addition to any management charge or supplementary management charge made for actual use of a week.
  • once-only charge made to owners by an Owners Club or Management Company to pay for major or unexpected costs.

Like for Like  The practice of most exchange companies to offer an exchnage of a similar quality and popularity to that being put into the exchnage bank.

Liner. Industry name for an ordinary salesperson.

Linked Agreement A method of circumventing the law banning the taking of deposits. One agreement (the Timshare Purchase Agreement in which NO deposit is shown) is linked with another (which can be a holiday voucher; extra holiday scheme etc.) which is, in reality, the deposit. The two agreements are made to appear NOT be linked when, in reality, they are.

Lock off Description of an accommodation unit which can be divided into two independent units, each with their own access. More common in the US than Europe.

Maintenance Fees see Management Fees

Management Company. The company contracted, usually by the Owners Club, to carry out all the day-to-day management of the resort. Very often owned or controlled by the developer

Management Fees. The fees, usually paid annually, by each owner or points club member to cover the costs of running the resort on a day-to-day basis and often including a contribution to a sinking fund.

Marketing Company. A separate company from the developer responsible for marketing. Sometimes a developer will manage the on-site marketing and employ a separate Marketing Company to manage off-site marketing

Multi-ownership. Another term for timeshare

Occupancy Size The number of individuals that can use a unit. Often shown as two figures - the second being the number that have total privacy (ie. private access to the bathroom) the first number being the total capacity allowing for additional beds created in public rooms etc.

OPC (Off Premises Contact). Salesmen whose task it is to get qualified prospects to attend a sales presentation (on-site or off-site) using "collect a gift" or "scratch card win" techniques etc. A street "tout"

OTE (common usage) Organisation for Timeshare in Europe. A trade body.

Owners Club. The Club to which all owners at a resort (or points club)  belong. Sometimes the Club is constituted as a Company, but generally as a Members Club. Not all resorts have an owners club.

Ownership Certificate The certificate confirming either the right to use or the title to the property. Sometimes referred to as a Holiday Certificate or Timeshare Certificate.

Patrimonio Tax Spanish wealth tax.

Perpetuity   For ever. The law in some countries (England and Wales for example) does not allow licenced property rights for more than 80 years.

Plus valia tax Spanish capital gains tax.

Points Clubs A timeshare system where 'owners' hold points which entitle them to use a period (varying from a few days to a few weeks) every year from  a choice of resorts.

Property Bonds A system, similar to Points clubs, for owning shares or bonds in a company owning properties.

Qualified prospect. Consumers who fit the profile that the developer and/or marketer considers are most likely to buy timeshare. Often "married and aged between 25 and 45".

Recourse Agreement an agreement between a Finance Company and a Developer where the Developer pays off any outstanding debt if a purchaser financed by the Finance Company defaults on a Finance Agreement.

Red week see Season

Repossession The removal of rights to use by a Club (or Management Company) for breach of the Constitution (usually non-payment of Management Fees) and the sale of those rights to recover any debt. Deeded property cannot normally be repossessed.

Resale Brokers/Agents or Resellers. Businesses who either:-

  • buy timeshare weeks from existing owners and sell them to new owners (brokers)
  • act as agents to put an owner and a buyer in contact to enable a sale to be made. They will charge a commision on the sale.

Resort of International Distinction ('RID') The middle of three ratings of resorts in RCI. Gold Crown is the top rating.

Resort Condominiums International – ('RCI') The largest exchange organisation in the world. American based with substantial offices in major parts of the world - including England.

Right to Use. The legal term for the licence granted by trustees to an 'owner' of a timeshare.

Rohypnol The "Date Rape" drug occasionally used by salesmen to secure a sale.

Sales Inspection Visit ('SIV') Developer term for prospective purchasers to stay at a resort for a few days, for a low cost, on condition they attend a sales presentation.

Production Incentive ('SPIF') An industry term for a bonus, usually given in addition to a general commission, paid to a team member. Special Performance Incentive Fund.

Season. Exchange Company division of the weeks in a year into popular (Red), shoulder (White for RCI or Amber for II) and off peak (Blue for RCI or Green for II) for the calculation of trading power in exchanges. Each resort may have different seasons depending on the geographic position etc.

Security Trade euphemism for clumbers (q.v.)

Sinking Fund A portion of the Management Fee specifically dedicated to ensuring that the main structure, furniture and fittings of accommodation units (and sometimes leisure facilities) are kept in an 'as new' condition for the full period of ownership.

Slapping (trade slang) Beaten up by a clumper (q.v.)

Space banking Depositing a week of owned timeshare with an exchange company.

SPIFF (Trade term) "Special Incentive bonus For Future sales"  An occasional commission payment to incentivise sales people.

TATOC(Common usage) The Association of Timeshare Owners Committees. A division of  the trade body, OTE (qv)

Timeshare A right, shared with others, to occupy a unit of accommodation for a period of time (usually a week) on a regular basis for a number of years. Sometimes referred to as 'Holiday Ownership', 'Multi Ownership' or 'Group Ownership' . Timesharing can be in a single building, an apartment block or a boat.

Timeshare Certificate see Ownership Certificate

Timeshare Interval  Period of use – usually one week

Tour (trade phrase)   Sales presentation.

Trading power. The exchange trading value of a timeshare week used by Exchange Companies to decide what week an owner will be offered in exchange for his own week. Influenced by popularity of resort area, quality of resort, popularity of week and size of accommodation unit.

Trustees. A bank, trust company or a group of individuals who hold timeshare accommodation (and sometimes leisure facilities) 'in trust' on behalf of the owners and grant owners a 'right –to-use' through a licence ('Ownership Certificate'). Trustees provide security for owners in the event that a developer fails financially. Some trustees may have added responsibilities such as ensuring the continuity of the Owners Club.

Two-for-One The offer by an exchange company to provide two weeks use in exchange for one week of ownership - usually only available to owners with highly desireable weeks for exchange.

Unqualified Prospect ('UP') Industry term for a potential buyer taken "off the street"

Warm Line  (trade slang) The sales team for making sales to owners and visitors staying on the resort.  See also "cold line"

Week 53 Almost all Calendars contain only 52 weeks of use in a year - but roughly every seven years there is an extra week,  week 53, which is generally reserved for the use of  the Developer/Founder Member.

Week Number see Calendar

White week see Season

A number of words and phrases in use in other parts of the world – notably America – and not in general use in Europe (because of differences in law or practice).

Accrued Weeks: The number of weeks that have accrued from the prior year and are now available for use in the current calendar year. Simply put, accrued means the number of timeshare weeks that you have banked from previous years that you can use his year.

Affiliated Resort: A developer or timeshare resort, that is partnered with or owns resorts in more than 1 location. This allows timeshare owners to use their week (or accrued weeks) at the affiliated resorts, commonly found with vacation clubs.

Amenities: Features that add comfort, convenience, and enjoyment all add to the value of the property. Outdoor pools, full service marinas, golf courses, shuttle service, full kitchens, free high speed internet, complimentary breakfast, etc. More amenities = higher value and desirability which makes it easy for you to trade or donate to charity.

Bank or Banked: When an owner decides to not use their allocated time for the current year they can "bank" their time with a timeshare exchange company to use at a later date.

Biennial: The time assigned to use your timeshare is on an every other year basis. Every 2 Years.

Current Market Value: Current or Fair market value is determined by recent sale prices of similar timeshares. One advantage when you donate a timeshare is that the size of the tax deduction is determined by the current market value of the timeshare, as opposed to the cost of the timeshare when it was purchased (Moreover, when you donate a timeshare instead of selling it outright, donors can avoid paying brokers' fees.)

Deeded Property: A deed is a legal document which is used to transfer from a person or entity ownership interest providing the title to your property to another. It is used anytime someone buys, sells, gifts or donate real estate. The deed is usually recorded in the county or country where the property exists. The owner may sell, rent, or donate timeshare to charity.

Developer: A company that owns the timeshare resort..

Exchange: Trading an interval week at one resort for an interval week at another resort or trading a specific week at the home resort for another week at the same resort. The exchange system allows an interval owner to trade their week with other interval owners thereby allowing each owner to travel and vacation throughout the world. Some resorts have internal exchanges with other resorts which are usually owned by the same company. An example of this would be Sunterra Resorts.

Exchange Company: A company or organization that accepts timeshare weeks on deposit from its interval owners/members to establish a pool of weeks from which other members may select the resort and vacation times of their choice. When a member deposits their week with an exchange company, the company compares the week the depositor is asking for with weeks deposited by other members and provides a suitable match based on availability and value. Factors affecting the exchange value are - the resorts' rating, the time division; i.e., prime time versus low time, the size of the unit desired, etc.

Fee Simple: The preferred type of real estate ownership. This type of interval ownership is the opposite of Right-to-Use or lease ownership and continues forever. The owner holds a deed in his/her name and the ownership of the property can be bequeathed to heirs.

Five Star Resort: Interval International uses the 5-Star designation for their finest resorts. It is equivalent to RCI's "Gold Crown Resort". These are timeshare resorts that offer only the highest level of accommodations and services. The properties offer a high degree of personal service. The resort locations can vary from the very exclusive locations of a suburban area, to the heart of downtown. The amenities often include - VCR's, CD stereos, garden tubs or Jacuzzis, in-room video library, heated pools and more. Fitness Centers and valet and/or garage parking are typically available. A concierge is also available to assist you.

Fixed Unit: A time period that is fixed for each calendar year, either by date or by calendar weeks; most in numerical sequence 1-52. With a week number, your actual start date may vary slightly from year to year. Unlike a floating unit, a interval owner who owns a fixed unit at a resort will always vacation in the same physical unit each year he/she vacations at that resort. This type of ownership is particularly important if you have purchased, for example, an oceanfront property with the ocean at your door step and are not willing to vacation in an ocean-view unit. A fixed unit property assures the owner that he/she will always have the exact location and the exact unit they have purchased.

Fixed Week: Referring to the interval calendar, the purchase of a fixed week property assures the owners that they will always have the same week each year; i.e., week 26. Alternatively, an owner of a floating week may choose another week within their time division or may elect to upgrade or downgrade to another time division to meet their annual vacation schedule. Upgrading to a higher time division usually incurs an additional cost.

Floating: Your time period is defined by a season and your week period is not fixed. You reserve your time period within the appropriate season annually. Most resorts have a High, Medium, and Low Season. Owners of a floating unit at a resort may not vacation in the same physical unit each year they vacation at their home resort. Interval owners may request a specific unit and, if available for that particular week, the resort normally will honor the request.

Floating Week: The purchaser of a floating week has the flexibility of scheduling their vacation interval with yearly variations in accordance with the resort's guidelines. Typically, resorts will accept requests for specific weeks by the interval owner as soon as the annual maintenance fees are paid. Therefore, the earlier the maintenance fees are paid the better the chance that the owner can pick a specific interval week.

Fractional: Multiple week ownership at the same resort--2 or more weeks of timeshare ownership for use in one calendar year.

Gold Crown Resort: RCI's highest rating for a resort. This is similar to Interval International's "Five star resort" designation.

Home Resort: The resort stated on your purchase agreement or deed that is provided by the company from which you purchased your timeshare interval.

Interval Week: An assigned period of time. Based on the interval calendar wherein the fifty-two weeks of the year are numbered sequentially: Week 01 through Week 52 or Week 53. A specific interval week is a seven-day period encompassing one of those fifty-two weeks.

Maintenance Fee: Maintenance fees are established and collected by the Homeowners Association or Resort Management Company to maintain the property, pay insurance, utilities, refurbishing and taxes. These fees vary from resort to resort and with the type and size of the unit purchased.

Odd or Even Year Usage: Timeshare ownership usage every other year--some odd-numbered, some even. The ownership of this type of interval is valued at one-half the value of a full ownership property since the use is restricted to one-half of the annual usage.

Points: Programs offered to interval owners by resorts that allow the owners choice and control over when and where they vacation or for how long or short they stay. Points are a symbolic unit of measure having no intrinsic value separate and apart from interval ownership.

Property Taxes: These may be included with the maintenance fees charged by the resort. Property taxes are regulated by the state in which the timeshare resort is located. Some states may not require property taxes to be paid on timeshare resorts, while others do.

Quartershare: 3-month interval ownership with rotating schedule.

Quit Claim Deed: Legal document used to release one person's right, title, or interest to another without providing a guarantee or warranty of title. (I Did Thos One)

Resort Ratings: A system of comparison of resort quality, amenities, and location. The two foremost rating systems are Resort Condominiums International (RCI), Interval International (II). RCI and II rate their affiliated resorts based upon predetermined criteria of exacting standards of quality and services provided by the resort as well as the availability of amenities at or near the resort. RCI uses the Gold Crown designation for their highest quality resorts and Resorts of International Distinction for second-level resorts. II designates their top resorts as 5-Star resorts.

Right To Use (RTU): Occupancy rights for a specified number of years, with no ownership interest in the property. Some states and some foreign countries do not allow deeded ownership of timeshares. Alternatively, a lease ownership or Right-To-Use ownership grants the right to use the property for a specified period of time; usually from 20 to 99 years. The resort developer or Management Company holds ownership of the physical property. However, during the right-to-use period, the owner may rent, transfer, or bequeath the remaining years of their right-to-use property.

Season: Designated season of the year denoting period of ownership for exchange or usage value.

Special Assessment: A fee over and above the annual maintenance fee assessed by the resort pro rata to interval owners. This fee is, when assessed, intended to defray expenses related to major repairs and refurbishing of resort equipment, facilities, and units

Timeshare: An ownership to a resort property or unit that is shared by others. Each owner has their own time period (typically one week) in which they can utilize the facilities, amenities, accommodations and all attributes associated with the resort. A timeshare is also known as a "second home".

Trading Power: The value assigned to one's timeshare when deposited with the owner's exchange company and is related to the exchanging of the owner's unit to use at another time or location.

Unit Size: Normally expressed as hotel unit, studio unit, and efficiency unit or by number of bedrooms. Hotel units, studio units, and efficiency units typically are a single room with sleeping accommodations and perhaps a small built in kitchen and sleep from two to four persons. One, two or three or more bedroom units are usually condominium style accommodations and feature a partial or full kitchen and other living areas.

Vacation Clubs: A type of ownership where an owner belongs to a club that includes several timeshare locations and is usually set up as a point based program. This allows an owner to do an internal exchange within the resort system they purchased to use at another location without paying exchange fees.

 Benefits of the "Front to Back" Approach

Developing applications in a "front to back" approach isn't just a theoretical exercise. It provides you and your users with serious value in three distinct ways:

  • Better requirements gathering: Users don't know your developer's language. They don't know how you develop their applications and, frankly, they don't care either. Yet if they can watch you build a prototype of their application in front of them, they will very quickly begin to interact, and will tell you what the application should do and how it needs to work.
  • Faster development and feedback: Users can't touch and interact with an engine. They can't demo an API. Yet if you start your development from the user interface with static data, users can show off and demo the application to stakeholders to gather feedback. This even allows your users to begin selling the product even before the development effort is finished.
  • Users become advocates, not antagonists: Users might feel that you don't understand their needs, are always late, or that—in the end—you never build exactly what they want. Using a "front to back" approach, you can turn the tables on that relationship by keeping users involved in the actual development so that they feel the same emotional attachment to their work that you do as a developer. Very quickly, they will become your biggest advocate.

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