While getting everything in place for International Timeshare Appreciation day on November 1st, I found myself thinking yet again why after nearly 40 years, timeshare is not as widely accepted as I think it should be.
So I looked around to see what timeshare resorts, timeshare salespeople and timeshare organizations were touting as the benefits of timeshare. It boiled down to these three basic ideas:
1) The value of vacation
2) The beauty and opulance of the resorts
3) The ability to go anywhere with timeshare
Having spent more than five years as a salesperson and sales manager, I've heard enough objections to these three ideas. The are as follows:
1) I don't need timeshare to go on vacation
2) I don't need to own a timeshare to stay at the resorts
3) There are far more hotels than timeshares in the world
Sadly, this is true on all three counts.
Now back in the dark ages (2000), when the average sales price was oh $12,000 and the average annual dues were around $300, timeshares could indeed save the consumer money over the long run. Not so much today.
So, what is the solution? The solution is to make timeshare something you simply can't get unless you own it. Make it exclusive. And make ownership THE way to get there. Sure, you can rent a house or own a house. Why own? Because it's exclusive. You can't get the cathedral ceiling, the custom kitchen appliances and the like when you rent.
But with consumers taking advantage of rental opportunities left and right, to say nothing of the annoying mini-vacs that let the prospective buyer stay on the property, the exclusiveness is non-existant, to say nothing of the fact that renting is usually cheaper than the cost of the average annual fees (now just shy of $800).
In the industry's misguided attempt to show that timeshare is for everyone...and it is NOT for everyone...they've succeeded in taking away any exclusivity and thereby underminded the only real reason left to purchase.