December 26, 2014 — I swear on everything near and dear to me that when I was a youngster time often seemed to drag on if not outright stand still with no end in sight. Yet all these years later I’m pretty darn sure it wasn’t that long ago that I was sitting at my keyboard writing my timeshare predictions for 2014. Well, as it turned out I got all those forecasts correct – and with that in mind I’m gonna make some timeshare predictions for 2015, and let the chips fall where they may.
So Here’s The Scoop: Forecasting anything can be tricky business. For example, spanning several decades many ‘Pros’ in our industry foretold (e.g.) “…global economics have no consequence on the biz” and/or “…we’re not influenced by financial crises that cause down-turns in other industries,” etc. And man oh man did not the Great
Depression Recession that began in December of 2007 prove all of those prognosticators dead wrong!
That said I’m here to inform everyone that I’m not a doomsday kind of person and am positive about our industry’s future, so I’m not going to pass along some of the gloomy predictions I’ve read recently by some highly respected “experts” (including the Wall Street types, etc.) that, if correct, would literally destroy our industry.
And that’s because, IMO, some of those “experts” are outright crazy, claiming everything from WW III will start in May of 2015 to others suggesting gold will reach $5,000 per ounce by the end of the new year because the global economy will totally collapse, taking down with it all the world’s fiat notes (currencies) and rendering them valueless.
For our industry, and things in general, I see a different 2015 – which you can pretty much take to the bank because I’m rarely wrong about anything. And feel free to add your own forecasts in the comments section below – anonymously if you prefer.
To begin with, new owner/member net sales will greatly surpass our peak annual sales volume as reported by the American Resort Developments Association (ARDS) of around $10.7 Billion in 2007 and in 2015 consumers will invest NLT $30 Billion (USD) buying timeshare interests directly from the developers’ sales centers/reps.
This will occur, in part, because developers will lower their selling prices and, like new car dealers offer to ‘tire-kickers’, all timeshare developers’ will provide 0 interest rates to all buyers with high FICO scores; and they’ll lower the interest rates for everyone else with average and above credit scores to no more than 2 pts above the prevailing prime.
And developers will eliminate the profit component on their annual maintenance fees (AMF) and cap future AMF increases to the prevailing USA Consumer Price Index (CPI) and, henceforth, all special assessments will be borne by John Q Public renting directly from developers with said rental income to be held in ‘reserve’ for future needs.
As this all begins to occur during the first few weeks in January new owners/members will spread the word via twitter, Instagram, etc. and the good news will go viral, resulting in consumers contacting timeshare developers in record numbers insisting on visiting a local sales center – without any need or costs for premiums and gifts.
To meet the incredible pent up demand all timeshare developers will dramatically increase their sales guests’ net income qualifications so that those seeking to purchase a (e.g.) $25,000 timeshare plan can actually afford one – without creating a financial burden on them for desiring to ‘Live The Dream’ they were sold in the first place.
Next, the world over, all timeshare developers’ will end their ‘AT WILL’ firing powers and replace that tactic with a 3rd party arbitration organization and they’ll guarantee all their reps a livable annual salary plus commissions – to be paid weekly before 10:00 A.M. (local time) each Friday while the banks are open so that the reps can meet their weekly and mandatory family financial obligations.
Where they still exist reps’ reserve funds will cease and desist and money being held by developers, including funds previously withheld during the past 5 decades and never returned to each rep, will be paid out in full within the first 4 weeks of 2015; it will include the accrued compounded inflation-adjusted interest on those funds during the withholding period.
Timeshare developers — especially in Mexico — will also start providing full benefits packages for all their marketing and sales reps including a retirement plan and an irrevocable severance package equal to 30% of the reps’ total earnings. Severance will be paid out regardless of the length of employment or the cause ending the relationship and will be paid within 48 hours after the association has ended.
All developers will also provide next-morning cash spiffs at the rate NLT 1.5% of the contract value; end those six consecutive timely payments schemes; pay a flat 15% commission on all sales (above the base salary); and retroactively increase commissions to 25% each month once each rep’s net monthly volume exceeds $69,999.99.
Another prophecy will be that the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) will demonstrate their appreciation for all the hard working people who made and continue to make their existence possible.
The association will fund and erect a monument reflecting, honoring and commemorating the efforts and professional skills of all industry personnel who over the past 50 years greatly contributed to the lifestyle the ARDA staff continues to enjoy – and who will continue to do so well into our industry’s bright, glorious and wonderful future.
Said monument will likely be located in the vicinity of ARDA’s main office but regardless of its physical location the stature will equal other prominent monuments in the greater Washington D.C. area.
And the two big exchange companies – II and RCI – will unite for the common good and in 2015 they will begin sponsoring an annual convention and fly, first class, all the sales, marketing and admin folks, etc. from around the world to Hong Kong for a five-day conference thanking them for making their companies billions of dollars over the past 40 years – and billions more in the future.
Fully furnished deluxe suites with all the amenities and of the five-star variety will be included (gratis); and all reps will receive a modest daily stipend of $850 to do with as they please while in Hong Kong. The City location of the convention will change thereafter annually.
Lastly, all developers and exchange companies will also provide free and permanent ‘on-site’ housing for all timeshare reps who are so inclined and interested. And they will freely, fully and willfully convey the title and/or ownership rights of the accommodations to those reps in perpetuity – or for a fixed time of no less than 25 consecutive years.
Plus they will also make the entire worldwide timeshare inventory (weeks, points, etc.) available to all industry personnel for four (4) weeks paid vacation each year to use with their families, friends and associates for some quality vacationing time.
Well gang that’s it from yours truly – and if I missed anything go ahead and post your predictions below but, like me, be realistic so that we can all have – from the bottom up – an incredible, healthy, successful, prosperous and Happy 2015.
Good Luck Out There
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Contributing sometimes extravagant, bombastic, emotional, pompous or even pretentious writings about the timeshare industry, Scoop covers an array of industry related subjects each week including inside information, tips, scandals, interviews, forecasts as well as new (good or bad) products and services — and, of course, all the ‘Good’, the ‘Bad’ and the ‘Ugly’.
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