I was generally pleased with the conference and my thoughts once again are that the timeshare industry is FULL of good people with good intentions. Lots of relevant and important issues were discussed and I have no doubt that change is absolutely necessary if this industry is to succeed and if the timeshare product is to thrive and be more accepted worldwide.As with other conferences that I’ve been privileged to attend, this one was not without its controversy. For reasons not known to me, some of my comments were misunderstood (whether on purpose or accidentally) and those comments made it back to the US in record time, causing some people, once again, to question my stance.
So, I find myself once again in “hot water” and once again having to make announce my stance on the timeshare industry in both a public and a private forum.So here’s the public pronouncement: I think that the timeshare product is a wonderful one that has, unfortunately been tainted in the publics and the media’s eyes by a few things that need to change. Namely:
· Outdated marketing and sales techniques
· The lack of an exit strategy
· The lack of any true valuation for a timesare on the secondary market, similar to Kelly’s Blue Book value for used automobiles in the United States
· The lack of ONE clear voice of the timeshare industry that all concerned will trust
It’s this last point that got me into hot water. My view is this: the “good-guys” in and around the industry agree on perhaps 85% of the issues facing the industry. If everyone were to put aside their egos and sit down to actually do what needs to be done with no regard to “claiming individual victory”, massive, positive changes could be implemented rather easily. And the other 15% of the issues that are not easily agreed on would diminish in importance.
But I’ve yet to see this happen despite the fact (I say yet again) that the majority of organizations involved are comprised of decent people. I’ve never been good at politics, (despite the fact I announced only somewhat factiously that I’m running for President of the United States this year), which accounts for the fact that I’m self-employed, constantly questioned, excluded out of various organizations and events and let’s be honest, with a few notable exceptions (for which I am eternally grateful), continually viewed as an outsider in the industry.
Politics and egos MUST be put aside for the common good. Changes need to happen and changes need to happen quickly. We’re in the middle of a jam-packed timeshare industry meeting season. I hope that at the end of the season we can join together and implement the necessary changes.
Oh, and one more thing---those who aren’t viewed outsiders, who play nice politics and play nicely with others all time (and of course are rewarded by high paying jobs and tons of industry overage)---regularly write some terrific stories about the industry, full of good news, interesting statistics and positive strides. I’d like to see some of those stories in the non-industry press. While I know, more than most people that you can’t control the press or force them to publish something, I’d like to see less focus on telling ourselves as an industry that we’re wonderful and start telling those on the outside---on whose reputation the very industry depends upon.