Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We've Been Remiss

We apologize for the delay in posting on this blog.  Timeshare Insights is going through a bit of an identity crisis as of lately.

I've taken on the role of "The Timeshare Crusader" and decided early on that I would NOT sell, rent, buy, broker, list or represent any timeshare or any timeshare company.

Unfortunately, as an independent timeshare consultant and educator, that means that the money is shall we say, slow to arrive.

Making matters worse, there are some other companies and organizations out there that proport themselves to the public as consumer advocates and educators, but who make their money buying and selling timeshare.  To me, this seems like a clear conflict of interest, but as we've come to expect, consumers are easily fooled when it comes to timeshare matters.

While is it NOT all about money, there are bills to be paid.  So, the identity crisis I'm going through right now is a simple one...should Timeshare Insights continue, or should we give up after nearly 6 years?


Friday, November 18, 2011

5,500 Attributes vs. 5 Questions

There's a company out there that claims to have a formula based on 5,500 "attributes" of a consumer to then make accurate predictions on the consumer's propensity to purchase a timeshare.

5,500 attributes?  Really?  If there were 50 attributes, I'd be more willing to believe this.  Even 100 attributers.  But 5,500?  That is hard for me to believe.  Especially when I've said from the onset that timeshare marketing is NOT rocket science.

This company has been VERY successful, i.e. very successful in marketing themselves to timeshare resorts around the world and making a ton of money.

I think back to my timeshare selling days when it came down to these five (5) questions:

Do you like the timeshare?
Do you understand how timeshare would benefit you?
If you had a timeshare, would you use it?
Would paying for the timeshare still allow you to live your life?
Would you like to own this timeshare?

Doesn't get much simpler than that, does it?  Gee, I wonder if any of the 5,500 attributes cover "buying today" or "buying from the developer when the same product is available on the secondary market for 30% of the cost"?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What's With The Word "Timeshare" Anyway?

I don't know what it is about the word "timeshare" that causes so many otherwise rational people to lose their common sense and all semblance of reality.

Yesterday, at the LTRBA meeting in Orlando, one of the state officials said that his office heard from an individual who had paid a company more than 20 times to the tune of over $100,000 to sell his timeshare.  One person!

Now, I know that the big discussion at the meeting was about the "upfront fee" companies vs the licensed (i.e. no upfront fees) brokers.  But honestly, the average consumer is not going to know the difference between "commissions", "advertising fees" or "listing fees" or anything else.  And I've said before that nothing is free.

So, I think the industry would be better served to issue warnings to consumers to NOT do business with any company that contacts them first. I mean, I can't imagine anyone, not even the poor sap out more than $100,000 and STILL holding on to his timeshare, would fall for these schemes for a house, a car, a computer or a pair of designer jeans.

"Hello, Mr. Consumer...we have a buyer for your 1995 Camry...the one that you haven't even thought of, much less put up for sale.  All we need is $3,000 for title transfer and we'll send you the remaining $20,000..."

What is it about the word "timeshare" that causes people to lose touch with reality?

The bottom line is don't do business with companies that contact you out of the blue.  Maintain all the control you can.  And some smarts for heaven's sake.