My longest running business accomplishment is the internet advertising company that I started during my junior year in college called BuyaTimeshare.com. Beginning in 2000, I watched Google emerge as an online e-commerce platform while I had a summer job helping timeshare sellers advertise their timeshares for sale. Learning the resale industry from the ground up, I knew I could build a successful internet-based business that would help connect these sellers with buyers looking online for bargains.

Back in 2000, using the internet for more than just email conversations or historical research was a new realm, when people thought it was crazy to actually buy something through a computer. In the timeshare space, there was virtually no way that a timeshare owner could advertise to sell beyond using the local newspaper or real estate agent. And those agents were much more interested in selling a $200,000 house than a $10,000 timeshare. They still are. But I knew that once people got over their initial anxiety of using computers to research and buy products for sale, then the timeshare resale industry would explode. And it did.

Google became the conduit, making it easy for people to search for products to buy and sell. We just had to develop a site where people could advertise the important information that timeshare buyers and renters were looking for. The real key was the way timeshares were priced to begin with by the resorts, which made the resale pricing structure so inexpensive and, at the same time, practically the same product as the one bought at the resort.

Similar to a new car, a “new” timeshare includes a 50-60 percent markup to cover sales commissions and marketing costs. Strip that overhead away on the resale market and the resale product is an incredible bargain. I just had to find a way to build the site, design it for search engine optimization so Google could read it, and show those bargains to the public.

Today, BuyaTimeshare.com is a leading outlet for timeshare resales. We come up on page one for Google searches for numerous timeshare-related search terms and millions of dollars in offers are processed through our platform every year.

With only about five percent of small businesses succeeding beyond 10 years in business, I am extremely pleased to be well beyond that threshold. As I look ahead to the challenges facing our business, I am confident in our ability to adapt to the changes that come from the industry and technology so we can continue our success.