Thursday, March 31, 2011

10 Reasons To Buy A Timeshare-#6

In terms of planning your vacation you fall into one of these four categories: 1) Long-Term Planner 2) Short-Term Planner 3) Let's Try Something New 4) I Like Routine I am well aware of the exchanging problems that many owners experience on a yearly basis and I'm not going to whitewash them. However, if you fall into one of these four categories, you are in luck. Long-term (1 year or more) planners are likely to get what they want in an exchange, provided they own the right product. Short-term (90 days or less) planners will be rewarded with a plethora of options due to other owners not understanding the system or cancelling. Staying away from requesting a specific resort, or even a specific area, the "let's try something new" people will find thousands of resorts that offer great vacation experiences. Sure, Hawaii, Myrtle B each, Sanibel Island, Newport Beach and Vail may be tough to get into, but how about Texas, Minnesota, New Mexico or Indiana? And you dyed-in-the wool "we only go to the Wisconsin Dells every year the 2nd week of July people?" Wonderful! Get a fixed week at your reosrt and voila---no reservations necessary.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Clarification

I was told today by someone that I trusted that some people had voiced their concerns about working with me/publishing articles that I write because in their words, "she's very controversial." Let me be clear here: 1) I do NOT make up anything 2) I strive to continue to learn and get better at this timeshare thing 3) I am NOT anti-anything with the exception of liars and people/organizations who hide their heads in the sand 4) I look for solutions 5) I am a team player 6) I am grateful I hope this clears things up for everyone. Onwards and upwards!

10 Reasons To Buy A Timeshare-#5

You want and feel you deserve "more" and "better" in every sense of the word. More speace, more amenities, more luxury, more choices than you knew you had access to, better value, better service, better experiences.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Timeshare Deregulation

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, the State of Florida is SERIOUSLY considering major de-regulation of timeshare and seller of travel regulations.

This is happening at the same time that there are almost monthly busts of timeshare related companies occurring.

WHAT exactly is Florida thinking?????

Get on the phone, start writing e-mails and STOP this before it gets any further.

If this continues and the deregulation is allowed to happen it could very well mean even more fraud, even more ripoffs and the end of the light in the proverbial tunnel.

Keep Speaking Up

I've had the pleasure of speaking with timeshare owners for quite some time now.

You know what I've found out? People like to vacation and people like their timeshare.

There's just too much confusion about how to use them and growing aggravation about the price increases associated with them.

To that end, I've always advocated that timeshare owners speak up and ask questions. Ask questions before you buy, ask questions after you own, ask questions about the fees, ask questions about your options and always stand up for your rights.

If you already own a timeshare, make certain you know when the yearly HOA meeting is an get yourself there or at least exercise your proxy. Get to know who is on the Board of Directors or run for the Board yourself.

Does your resort have a newsletter? Write then and ask that they put in some really important information about the timeshare instead of the fluff.

Ask really good questions about exchanging. The resort won't tell you about your options unless you ask. Despite what you may have been lead to believe, RCI and II are not your only options for exchange. That's not saying anything bad about the "big two", but you need to know about the "little guys" as well.

If you haven't bought a timeshare yet, by all means do your homework and realize that buying from the developer is not your only options. If you were in the market for a car, you wouldn't go to only one dealer, would you? Of course not. With the current economic situation most people are in, it makes no sense at all to spend $15,000 or $20,000 or even more on the basis of only spending two hours with one salesperson who doesn't even know the other options out there.

To use the car analogy again, don't let the salesperson talk you into a pink SUV that gets 15 miles per gallon before you know what you want. You want a silver two-seater convertible. And if the salesperson continues to show you the pink SUV, get up and walk out.

The traditional timeshare industry is facing some tough times right now as you may have heard. Years and years and years of bribing clients with the "3 day/2 night mini vacation with 2 dinner show tickets for only $99" have finally caught up with them. And while I don't wish any misfortune on anyone in the industry, part of the reason those ploys no longer work as wel as they used to is becuase consumers are getting more educated, asking more questions and not settling for what the salesperson is pitching them.

Over the years, I've been accused of being anti-consumer because I came from the developer side. Then the tide turned and the industry saw me as anti-developer because I counseled counsumers. The truth of the matter is that I am anti-nothing! I am pro-timeshare, pro-consumer, pro-free market and most of all, pro-vacation.

Speak up, ask questions, question the status quo...and don't forget to have a great vacation now and then!

10 Reasons To Buy A Timeshare-#4

You want to leave a vacation legacy.

It does sound like a hackneyed phrase used by over-zealous timeshare salespersons, but the truth of the matter is that for most people, vacations are some of the most valuable time you spend with your family. I don't know about you, but I can't tell you what I received from my parents for my 18th birthday, but I can tell you every detail of the vacation we took that year.

And if I had children, that's something I would want them to experience as well. Leaving your heirs $20,000 in cash is a nice idea indeed. Which makes the greater gift...$20,000 in stuff that is designed to wear out, or a quality vacation that can be used and enjoyed and shared every year?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

10 Reasons To Buy A Timeshare-#3

You place long-term value over short-term cost.

Just like a the beginning, a timeshare may not save you money in the short run. But as we discussed above, if you plan on using it for awhile, you are likely to save money even when you factor in the maintenance, real estate taxes and exchange fees.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

10 Reasons To Buy A Timeshare-#2

You typically spend more than $80 per night for your vacation accommodations.

If you do spend more than $80 per night for vacation accommodations, you will undoubtedly understand what your money gets you in a hotel (not much) and more importantly, you will reach "financial break-even" in a relatively short period of time.

Monday, March 21, 2011

10 Reasons To Buy A Timeshare-#1

You vacation on a somewhat regular basis, you enjoy vacationing and you plan to continue to vacation.

This is a simple, basic, yet overlooked reason to make the jump into timeshare. Without using the horrible word "invest" in financial terms, doesn't it make sense to "invest" in something that you own instead of rent?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

10 Reasons To Buy A Timeshare-Introduction

If you do a search of the so-called mainstrem press over the past year or two, you'll find all sorts of "Stay Away From Timeshare" pieces. These pieces have a few things in common:

1) They are all written by writers who have never experienced a timeshare vacation
2) They are all writen by writers who assume that just because some timeshares unfortunately still emply outdated and heavy-handed marketing and sales techniques , the product can't be any good
3) They are all written by writers who still (sigh) are quick to condemn timeshare by saying that they are lousy investments, but have yet to talk about the "value" of 10 years worth of hote receipts

In truth, there are some excellent reasons NOT to purchase a timeshare. Here are a few of them:

1) You don't understand what you are buying. If you can't understand it from the salesperson, the resort or the reseller, you are not going to understand it enough to use it to your advantage
2) You don't vacation, see no need for vacation, have no plans to vacation and/or don't enjoy vacation
3) When you do vacation, you typically spend less than $80 per night and less than 7 nights per year
4) Paying for your timehsare will significantly reduce the quality of your life

Now that we got that out of the way, we'll concentrate on what timeshare is, what it can do for you and 10 reasons that you should buy a timeshare.

Starting tomorow, we'll be listing these reasons and as always, invite your comments.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Heat Merchants

As my regular readers know, I was a not-all-that-sucessful timeshare salesperson and manager for more than four years. I started off in the trenches so to speak, with no knowledge of timeshare and no knowledge of sales.

In my experience, I came in daily contact with fellow salespersons and managers who sold using "heat." "Heat" can be anything from a small lie, to multiple not-so-small lies told to the unsuspecting consumer to pursuade them to purchase TODAY. I won't waste your time listing examples of this "heat" as I'm confident you know what I mean.

I won't say that these "heat-merchants" don't still exist and thrive in timeshare sales departments around the country...the fact is that they do. And many of these "heat-merchants" cling to outdated sales techniques, resort to lying and refuse to believe that timeshare can be sold without resorting to pitches of one sort or another.

HOWEVER, as with everything, the bad gets all the media attention and that's how stereotypes start and are perpetuated. It makes a far "juicer" story to talk about the lying timeshare salesperson. Heck, I used the bad stereotype myself when coming up with the design for the front cover of my first book, "Surviving A Timeshare Presentation...Confessions From The Sales Table."

The majority of timeshare salespersons are honest, hard-working people who don't use heat to sell anything.

I quote here a piece from "Inside The Gate" an online source for timeshare news:

The truth, however, is that a well trained and motivated sales professional who delivers an upscale informative presentation each and every time in an honest and forthright manner and adheres to proven selling and closing skills and techniques, etc. will out-sell any ‘heat merchant’ every day of the year.

So what are you to do if you come across a "heat-merchant?" Walk away. Walk away quickly and ask to see someone in charge. And spread the word. If you don't know how to spread the word, write me, write the National Timeshare Owners Association, write TimeSharing Today.

BUT, there is a caveat to this...make sure that you also spread the word when you have a good timeshare experience and make sure that you haven't become a "heat-merchant" yourself.

Timeshare is a great product for some people. No lying is necessary on anyone's part.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Updates To Some Bad Guys

Hurrah! It seems that Timeshare of those "postcard companies" claiming to be in business to "help" timeshare owners by taking their deed and thousands of dollars, is gone out of business. We've yet to see, however, if they are a parent company of other such companies, or in reverse, under the umbrella of a parent company.

And what about Rci Innoventions, one of the other companies that I've written about in the past? It seems that they are under continued investigation and their president has been busted for using other people's credit cards to charge restaurant and cell phone bills.

You really think that by now, consumers would know what to do and what not to do, but my e-mail box is a clear indication that they don't.

I'll say it again...if you are cold-called or otherwise solicited regarding your timeshare, STAY AWAY. I don't care what they say, how many "buyers" they have for it, how much bad news they have to say about timeshare, how similar their names might be to legitimate timeshare organizations, etc.

And for heaven's sake...use some judgement here...if someone cold called you about your car and told you they have a buyer for it, would you continue to even talk to them?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

If You Follow Us On Facebook

If you follow Timeshare Insights on Facebook, you'll notice a change on our home page.

Facebook now allows companies such as Timeshare Insights to interact in much the same way an individual does.

What this means is that you will see posts by some other timeshare related companies and organizations on Timeshare Insight's wall.

This does NOT mean that we are losing our independent stance. This DOES mean that we think that there's a lot of good information out there and not all of it comes from Timeshare Insights. While we might not agree with everything that different entities say and do, we do believe in sharing information and allowing a free discussion.

We will of course, not allow postings on our Facebook wall from any company or organization that we feel does not deserve "wall" space...those transfer companies for instance.

We welcome your insight. As we said, our motto for this year is "Educate Yourself, Open Your Mind, Get Involved." The new Facebook changes will allow us to do just that.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Professional Affiliation

Pleased to announce that I'm the newest member of the International Travel Writers Alliance.