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9 Comments

  1. 1

    Karl

    I hate to agree but this is right on the mark.

    Many tours who do purchase from us also get online within the rescission phase only to discover (pretty much) everything pointed out here and then they want to kick!

    A few years back I worked a deal down in Mexico and we sold a 5 and 10 deal and I had the highest closing % ever and even the crusty old-salt TS owners we’re blown away that they could buy a short-term deal.

    Of course our commissions were smaller than normal but the developer tossed in free housing and a couple other perks so it all worked out for the buyers, the developer and us.

    If that deal in Mexico hadn’t sold out I’d still be there today having a ball, some cold-ones at the end of the day and to be sure enjoying the good life!

  2. 2

    inthepittoolong

    Yea, I say unto you–this is the gospel truth.

    The industry is dead–but not everyone is ready for the funeral. There is very little to add to this analysis of how things reached this point–other than it’s not all that different from thousands of other companies and industries ruled by short term profit thinking.

    There will be precious little to pass along to the kids in another decade when consumer power will be so strong that walking away from a timeshare will no longer affect credit ratings. I am convinced that governments will shortly amend laws to exempt defaults on timeshare debt from having any effect on credit ratings. A magic wand will be waved over the poor suckers who bought and financed (and did not refinance with-gulp!-home equity loans.

    Then watch the resorts crumble due to lack of maintenance fees.

    It’s over–not tomorrow, of course, but within a decade the industry will join the ranks of the dodo bird. Extinction is within sight.

  3. 3

    Patriot

    As a 30 year industry veteran I will say that there are strands of truth in all post’s on this thread inclusive of “Scoop’s”. The fact is that the ever present 800lb BEAST in the room IS NOW and has been for the better part of the last decade TIMESHARE RESALES! As a LONG time Executive who has run things at the very largest site level and regional timeshare sales organizations in the world, (you would ALL know my name), I will tell you friends that I KNOW from whence I speak! The FACT is that I grew UP in the T/S business from age 21 to 51. I have worked for only 3 companies, MVCI, Fairfield/Wyndham, and Diamond all at the executive level. As a long time student of the industry I can tell you that NOTonly is the FAT LADY in the bldg…she is fully wormed up and ready to belt out the final anthem. NOT SUSTAINABLE is the modus operendi that developers currently use to ensnare the VERY few unsuspecting buyers left who are no savvy enough to know that WYNDHAM (et. al.) CANNOT continue to sell product for 15 cents per point when it can be readilly accessed and bought online for 2 cents or LESS…even for $1.00! Really…seriously? My 9 year old has a smart phone and is checking it DURING OUR PRESENTATIONS! Over 1M weeks for sale on the market including THOUSANDS for ONE DOLLAR on Ebay and others!

    The companies thatwill thrive will be those who can BEAT the developers at thier own game by marketing targeted tightly with Wholesale priced timeshare. We are already doing it so I dont care to divulge the entire state of what we in the “know” percieve to be the state of the timeshare union today. SO suffice to say, sell all you can in-house and to the few OPC’s and mini-vac and referral tours you can get…for AS LONG as you can! And THEN…those of us who have figured out how to best service those existing owners as theier needs inevitably change, will carry it from here! Good selling to all of my collegues out there. GOD I am GLAD NOT to be trying to sell $30,000 PLUS timeshares in THIS economy!

  4. 4

    Steve

    Dear “30 industry Veteran”

    If you’ve been “at the executive level” all those years then can we assume you never sold a week in your life?

    Just last week I closed an 18 and 23 pounder w/full dip and I also wrote a Mickey and this week is coming in about the same!

    Still closing in the 40 + % range in “This economy”!

    As for that fat lady?

    Let ‘er sing; because the Pros in the business will (and have) always sell and about 60-70% of the tours are able too and will buy but ONLY when they meet up with the right liner and closer which makes us all pretty damn priceless and in a real good position!

    “God I am GLAD” I get another Tour tomorrow, and the day after and the day after….

    1. 4.1

      inthepittoolong

      Steve. Congratulations.

      However, as any long time industry veteran would know, you cannot use the Top Gun on a sales line as an example. He or She is always the exception and his or her results are always cancelled out by the bottom portion of the line. Resorts therefore succeed on the average performance of the sales line.

      The internet has informed the public and will continue to be one of the reasons that timeshare sales flounder. Companies will continue to put lipstick on the timeshare pig, but the extent of resale inventory when combined with the move toward points is only going to accelerate the downward spiral.

      Certainly good salespeople will always be in demand, but the challenges will increase as the “tuggers” of the world continue to proselytize (however you spell that.)

      Finally, the industry did it to itself.

  5. 5

    Jeff

    Good points by all!

    I take issue, in part, with what ITPTO posted: “you cannot use the Top Gun on a sales line as an example”

    That is correct but what most sales managers don’t do like they did in the old days is get off their butts and get out there and find those “Top Gun” liners and closers, take them out for a drink or lunch and then do whatever it takes including post-bonus money to get them to come on board.

    And there are plenty of ‘hitters’ out here but management (and the developers) are pretty much on cruise control when it comes to aggressively going out and getting the best in the business to come work with them and increase their VPG’s and closing ratio’s.

    Of course that won’t change either and their sales are being bled by ‘paper-cuts’ until one day, maybe, they’ll get it!

  6. 6

    VegasDan

    Seriously you guys. I am really glad I am not in the pit with any of you winging fXXkers (aside from Steve). What are you all going to do? Pack up, leave, get another job? Or sit around and whine over your beer at the end of another day while negging out your colleagues? If you’re on the line, your lot is your lot. You chose to be there so buck up, change your attitude and sell something. Sure the industry is in transition (not chaos, not turmoil, transition) but that’s how industries change. We are seeing some of the brightest minds at work right now introducing innovating processes behind the curtain to make things better. New products are being introduced across the board, marketing is being revamped and the industry is reforming. If you don’t believe it, go work somewhere else. But stop making yourself miserable by lamenting on timeshare forums how tough things are or how bad things are going to get.

    In Europe in 1996 the death of the timeshare industry was announced at a sales meeting in the Canary Islands. New legislation had been introduced that strictly enforced a 10 day cooling off period on all timeshare sales. As a liner in Europe, especially the Canaries, this was awful news. Pure OPC lines (I mean pure as in kids on the street and on scooters blagging in one tour after the other straight from the street, no bookings and all the ups were here to see a dolphin show as pitched by the OPCs) back then relied on pressure and long tours. And everyone raked in the cash. There was no way that we could continue to survive if we had a cooling off period. At the bars at night, liners sat around and lamented the death of an industry. However, death did not come. Like the announcement of the passing of one monarch and the introduction of another, that very same sales meeting introduced the new timeshare model “timeshare is dead, long live the new timeshare”. We innovated and created a new, short term product, 35 months, that overcame the mandate that products that had a life over 36 months were in fact timeshare. The pack was born, the industry saved. Consumers were happy(ish), liners and OPCs were happy and the executives were happy. Inhouse sales boomed as 60% of people upgraded to full timeshare in the first year.

    Why do a take my time to write that story? Because, as I heard yesterday from an executive “a widget is a widget”. Its all the same shXt, just a different decade. I have been here for a little under a decade – the US that is – but worked all over before coming here. I still work in the industry, but not in sales anymore, but in a capacity that gives me a national and intimate view of whats happening to the biz at all levels. Its scary, its change but we will get through it. I know I will, what about you?

  7. 7

    inthepittoolong

    I guess I am at the point where I find only about 15% of what is being sold today as worth anything at all to the consumer. I could agree with the “buck up and do your job” approach if I felt that I had anything worthwhile to sell.

    Patting yourself on the back for creating a new piece of crap to sell and then cashing the checks is not my idea of a life. Which is why I am heading out of the business. I have been to beautiful places and have tinkered with the product on behalf of several creative and ethical developers to make useable shared ownership products. I believe in shared ownership but not in most of the bogus stuff that has been cobbled together by “the brightest minds.”

    The brightest minds among the consumers know that, especially with points, a resale is the smartest move.

  8. 8

    Peter Gunn

    VegasDan:

    Your experience is a perfect example of an old adage I recall: “When man builds a better mousetrap, nature breeds a smarter mouse.”

    The “mousetrap” being the 10-day right of rescission, the “smarter mouse” being the new innovative timeshare model.

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