December 5, 2014 — While visiting a new car dealership recently and after looking over a vehicle that interested me, I asked Paul, my sales rep, “So what’s the warranty with this?” Quickly he replied enthusiastically, “Well Scoop, everything is covered for the first three years or 36,000 miles.” Hmmm, sounded familiar as this was not my first rodeo but I wanted more warranty info as that is very important to me. Yet instead of addressing my concerns Paul went on to talk about the gas mileage, etc. – and by doing so that contributed to a ‘NO SALE’ for good old Paul.
So Here’s the Scoop: Rarely have I met a timeshare owner/member or prospective buyers who are not concerned about the costs associated with maintaining their ‘vacation home’ (aka: Timeshare). And though I could make the argument that some developers charge – IMO – too much per slice of Paradise the bottom line is that all owners/members must have their ‘timeshares’ well maintained at all times.
In the Land of Paradise when it comes to explaining annual maintenance fees most timeshare reps/closers (like my car guy Paul did about the new car warranty) gloss over those vitally important SELLING POINTS regarding maintenance, simply saying (e.g.) “…and your annual maintenance fee assures you that each year when you are on vacation your condo and the grounds will be in tip top condition.”
Now that is a little better than Paul with his brief and implied “bumper to bumper” coverage, but it is also far short of just how important maintenance fees are TO THE OWNER/MEMBER – and why reps need to SELL and JUSTIFY the ‘annuals’ so that the prospective owners/members appreciate the real protection, benefits and VALUE Vs costs.
You see, if the annual maintenance fee (AMF) isn’t SOLD, as in fully explained – that is just one (more) of those issues that will prevent the ‘deal’ from happening in the first place and when a sale is made the (fully) unexplained AMF will often rear its ugly head during (and after) the rescission period – and become a cause for cancellation.
Today, it would seem that average annual maintenance fee is about $800 (+ -) per ‘interval’ (or points equivalent) and when a prospective buyer sees that cost (number) you can rest assured – in most cases – all that is on their mind is the MONEY.
And that is a problem because though some sales guests may not be that great at ‘crunching’ the numbers, when they see $800 they can quickly figure out in their minds that over the next (x) 10 years – that is $8,000.00 (more) out of their pockets.
This is why it is CRITICALLY important that annual maintenance fees are explained fully and not – like Paul and most TS reps – glossed over as if they are inconsequential.
For example, according to the “Home Advisor” – a home improvement website that lists costs, etc. – as a home or vacation home owner in the USA, the average cost just to get a building permit for most remodeling work or improvements can cost, depending on the region, upwards of $4,700.00. Ouch!
Then, just to remodel a bathroom – the cost is about $10,540.
Need to remodel the kitchen? They’d be looking at (average) $22,323.00.
Maybe they need some new cabinets in the kitchen: Bam, about $5,800.00 and if the owner wants to do the counter tops at the same time (or later) – another $3,700.00!
Indeed, just to hire a “handy man”, according to “Home Advisor”, the USA national average for a one-time service is about $668.00 and that’s darn near what the average AMF is in our industry. And unlike a private vacation (or home) owner hiring a ‘handyman’ the TS owners/members AMF’s covers just about everything – the whole Tamale – from A – Z!
And in the real world that is a frickin’ bargain and clearly demonstrates the power and savings for TS owners/members ‘collectively’ maintaining their ‘vacation-home’ with the added VALUE – 24/7/365 – that they can rest assured they have complete coverage and peace of mind for about $2.19 a day.
Essentially, as we all know, a TS owner/members AMF may cover (including but not limited to) such repairs and/or the replacements of: All appliances – cabinets/counter tops – bathroom sinks, toilets, etc. – broken doors/windows – electrical issues – decks/porches/lanais/patios – flooring including carpets and tiles – heating and A/C – landscaping issues – swimming pools – hot tubs & saunas – ceiling fans, hinges, home entertainment systems, light switches, curtain rods, door locks and handles, sockets, plumbing, and on and on and on!
I can assure all timeshare sales professionals that if they are barely selling the benefits and VALUE to the prospective OWNERS/MEMBERS of a sound and cost-effective maintenance program – well, like Paul my car guy, those TS reps are losing more deals than they can imagine and they, too, will continue to ring up more NO SALES!
The moral to the story is simple: SELL the maintenance program in detail and the end results will be increased sales and new owners/members will be at ease and fully embrace their annuals – and ‘kicks’ will decrease!
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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