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    Scoop, I couldn’t agree more. I have been preaching this very thing for years. The current qualifications are arbitrary at best – ask many senior marketing executives why they have the qualifications set where they are and you can never get a straight answer. Its “the way we’ve always done it”. Is this really a good answer to justify a $500+ tour expense?

    You’re right in your statement that there exist ways to verify income – this can also be achieved instantly and without using regulated credit data. But even companies that have taken a step forward and are using regulated soft credit checks are still experiencing tours that should not be on the sales deck. Just because I have a 750 credit score does not mean I have the ability or propensity to buy your timeshare. Whats the answer then? Before I give my opinion though, full disclosure: Im co-founder of a predictive analytics company focused on the timeshare industry. I’m also an ex-liner (8 years, OPC tours only), sales director (front line, in house) and sales trainer and consultant – in Europe and here in the US; Las Vegas to be exact. So I know a little about our industry. (Feel free to discontinue reading here is you think Im going to go in to a product pitch.)

    Heres the answer Scoop, IMO: start using the technology that we have available to us. We have developed cloud based technology that allows us to predict a tours potential (VPG, closing, cash on table, rescission, default etc) in less than a second before a gift or offer to tour has even been granted. And we are accurate (happy to share a case study with Scoop). So instead of an OPC having to ask outdated and unverifiable qualification questions, they simply ask a name and address, type it into our solution and in less than a second we have verified that person actually exists, that the address exits, that the person indicated actually lives at that address, pulled in 5500 different data attributes regarding that person and their household (fiscal, life-stage, psychographic, demographic etc), ran that data through sophisticated algorithms created for that particular developer and their timeshare products and spit out the prediction. The OPC or marketer can now be directed to alter treatment based on the scores: High potential, get a better gift or tour time, medium potential, little less, low potential – suppress or send directly to exit. And better yet – no permission or awareness is needed from the potential tour. What does this get you? Better tours based on fact!!!

    Ok, that sounded like a pitch but I dont know a better way to put it. The casinos have used this stuff for years; what, you thought that Vegas was built on just odds? The casinos know more about their players and their potential lifetime value in less than a second when they first walk into one of their properties than we in timeshare do about our most loyal owners.

    The tools are out there and available – and not just our solutions. Its time we in the industry woke up and realized that its 2012 and times have changed. Those that do will thrive – as we are seeing with large multi-nationals down to single site resorts that we work with; happier marketers, happier salespeople and happier tours and owners.

    Again, sorry if my rant sounded like a pitch but this stuff is my passion.

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