Thursday, November 04, 2010

An Interview with Dial An Exchange CEO Francis Taylor

Francis Taylor, CEO of Dial An Exchange International (DAE), is a timeshare industry A-Lister. After gaining several years’ experience in the timeshare industry, Francis joined with Marc Chouinard to establish Dial An Exchange in Australia, and then expanded the business and opened offices in New Zealand, Europe and North America.

Matt McDaniel, editor of Perspective Magazine, the leading independent trade publication for the timeshare industry, sat down to talk with Taylor for a revealing interview. Since DAE is now partnering with RedWeek we thought you might be interested to learn more about its co-founder and CEO.

The following are excerpts from the McDaniel interview.

Francis, where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in a tiny little country town in central Queensland in Australia. I left there when I was 17 to head to the big city because there weren’t too many opportunities there unless you wanted to work on a farm or in one of the coal mines, and that just didn’t seem to be what I wanted to do. So I left central Queensland and moved to Brisbane, where I joined Avis Rent a Car. I was with them for 15 years.

So how did you get started in the timeshare business?
My friend Marc Chouinard worked with Interchange, probably the first independent exchange company that operated here in Australia. He hadn’t seen his family in Canada for about 10 years, and he asked me, “Would you do me a favor, come do my job for three months so I can go home.” And I thought, why not? And so that’s how I got into timeshare.

From a consumer perspective, how do you differentiate Dial An Exchange from the big exchange companies today?
The simplicity in the operation is one of the biggest things. We’re a low-cost exchange provider. For exchange, what you see is what you get. If you own a week of timeshare and you want to do an exchange with Dial An Exchange, if you can see a week that’s in our system, you can go ahead and confirm that.

Do you think the trend is toward less exclusivity with exchange companies?
It certainly is. The U.S. is going to be the last territory to bust that down. In Australia and New Zealand, for more than 10 years now, there’s been no such thing as an exclusive contract. Nobody in their right mind would even ask anyone to sign an exclusive contract, because it just wouldn’t happen. It’s all about the consumer. The same sort of thing is happening in South Africa, the UK, and in many parts of Asia. It’s the U.S. that is dragging its heels. It’s got to be about the owners because the more positive they are, the better off the industry is.

(Photo credit - perspectivemagazine.com)

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