Here is how I summarize it to a novice: Say you were a Northeasterner who vacationed in the winter in Miami Beach. In the past, you'd buy a condo, use it for three months, then put up your hurricane shutters and go home, leaving it empty until next December. Now instead, use it for three months and then have it rented for you when you go back home. Someone else (the management) will take care of the unit's maintenance, marketing and renting, and you will get a share of the revenue generated. This will help offset some of your carrying costs, which you would owe whether you were using the unit or not. Best of all, unlike a timeshare, you own the condo outright and can sell it whenever you wish. You keep the profits derived from appreciation.
The above question was submitted via e-mail by a visitor to www.condohotelcenter.com. The answer was prepared by Joel Greene, a licensed real estate broker with Condo Hotel Center which specializes in the sale of condo hotel units and fractional ownerships in private residence clubs.