Thursday, September 27, 2012

So, If We Know Who Is Likely To Buy A Timeshare...

I was honored to attend Interval International's Shared Ownership Investment Conference last week.  Even though I couldn't attend all three days due to an existing medical condition, it was good to both catch up with people and take the pulse of the industry.

I was not happy to again/still hear the terms "OPC", "tours", "mini-vacs", "call centers" and "gifts" used to illustrate marketing in the timeshare world.  Isn't it time that the industry take the leap from 1980 into 2012 and really understand marketing and the fact that people don't want to be sold, but they absolutely want to buy...5 million iPhone 5s in one weekend illustrates this better than anything I can say.

I was also struck by the fact that the industry knows full well who a "good" timeshare candidate is, but still spends millions of dollars "marketing" to someone else.


1 comment:

  1. You are so right! I know why the industry does the gimmick marketing but it is to a completely wrong demographic. Giving away the vacations or cheap completely cuts the throat of ownership and makes it less desirable for me to even keep what I have. We all have to be introduced to the "vision" somehow so marketing is needed, however if everyone is after the giveaways to save money on their vacation then what are the odds they have $25,000 lying around to purchase. Purchasing needs to be less expensive and more realistic to sell for a true revival to happen. Housing markets have highs and lows but they are driven by consumer interest and since timeshares always buy high and sell low (if you haven't given it away) there is less and less interest and therefore a currently very negative outlook on it's future. More needs to be done to place a TRUTH in disclosure, no more bait and switch, no more high pressure tactics, make it more like buying a house, nobody buys a house 30 minutes after seeing it. If I decide at the table to walk away then let me, give me the time to go home and calculate my options and make a personalized choice, we all know a thought out decision usually has more chance of making it past the rescission period and making a happy consumer. We all need happy consumers to make this work, to share the burden of ownership and to make our initial investment play out like we thought it would the day we said YES to timesharing. My first purchase was in 2004 and I was lied to, cheated out of my money and ended up hating the resort everytime I tried to use my week. I went to several different companies and saw their pitches and locations and out of the 5th or so I decided to purchase again thru a different company, to this day I still remember the sales rep, she was no BS, she knew we were owners and asked why we wanted to jump ship, she told us about the mistakes and lies and offered us options. She had us hook-line-and-sinker. We have since purchased several other units at different resorts and have finally unloaded our first "mistake" into an upgrade which gives us real timeshare value and use. Bottom line is "an educated consumer is a benefit to the cause" so I say stop the gimmicks and start educating people on timesharing so we can all enjoy the investments we have made!