August 20, 2010 — With the release of continued negative data about the U.S. economy including unemployment claims this week at the highest level (500,000) since November of 2009; a U.S. debt rapidly approaching $14 Trillion dollars, (U.S.) State governments on the verge of financial collapse, banks still holding back consumer/business loans (credit), consumer confidence at all time lows etc. developers will, without any doubt, continue to deal with a financial crisis for the foreseeable future.
As such, there has never been a more urgent time in the history of our industry when Timeshare developers need to immediately stake out, claim and pursue their niche market and eliminate the previous marketing practices incorporated by too many forty-plus-years of “drag-em-in 101-A” (and see what sticks).
Those who ignore today’s business realities and continue that practice might just as well be playing a fool’s game of Russian roulette, because ultimately that one chamber will roll around and take them out (and everyone with them). When that happens, and it will, even Tom Bodett won’t be able to “leave the light on” for them and it will be game, set, and match!
During the past four decades the gap has widened dramatically between those consumers/prospects who ‘have’ and those who ‘have-not’. The consumers/prospects with ‘less’ today will continue to witness their disposable income shrink and now that they are also out of that short-lived era of their home being a private ATM and are living back on planet earth they are and will continue to batten down the hatches like never before.
Any developer not a believer ought to catch a clue from the folks who remind us all of Where America Shops: Sears. As reported August 19th during a morning cable news network business update, Sears, for example, sells a comforter with matching sheets and pillow cases for $39.95 and the inventory isn’t moving. But on the higher-end ‘market’ the good folks at Williams-Sonoma are selling the same comforter (without the extras) for $150 and they can’t keep ‘em in stock!
Along with TS developers having to adapt their marketing approach to their niche there are many other challenges most developers face, including the need to modify the sales process, lower their rescission ratios, adjust to competing markets such as the ‘extended stay’ suites and the ever increasing resale inventory available, and lastly, without question, in time, they are going to have to learn how to actually market and ultimately sell in the ‘virtual-universe’. Those who ignore the cold-hard-facts will not likely be around within the next 10 years!
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