June 19, 2015 — If I’ve learned anything the past few decades it is that sometimes you have to pound the beasts into submission and force the critters to pay attention, something which I shall attempt this week. Just keep in mind the following only applies to some developers and their management – because the outstanding developers in our industry are playing their ‘A’ game and those folks are the All-Stars of timeshare marketing, sales and management.
So Here’s The Scoop: First, let me first say that I had never heard of the Duggar family nor known they had one of those God-awful (un)reality TV shows until they were in the news recently. Then I was astonished to learn that the family has 19 kids which means, counting Mom and Dad, that’s a huge family of 21 people.
Then it dawned on me that in the real universe of Timeshare Land should a marketer for any developer with a low annual gross income threshold qualification of (e.g.) $40,000 invite the Duggars to their ’90 minute informative presentation’ the Duggars would be tallied up as a fully qualified sales guest (SG)!
I’m pretty sure that no household with 21 members could live on $40,000 (gross USD) per year but that is not the point. The issue is that if they have a (e.g.) credit card and earned that $40-K there are some developers who’d pay hundreds of dollars just to have their sales reps take a shot at selling the Duggars a timeshare vacationing plan.
As far as those few developers and their management are concerned the Duggars are a solid selling opportunity and if their rep can’t sell ‘em said rep would be deemed weak. Maybe if the Duggars were part of a succession of other financially challenged SG the rep dealt with recently the Duggars might be that ‘last straw’ – and the rep could needlessly and without fault get fired (on the spot)!
So let’s forget the Duggars for a moment and look at a household of 7, 5 or 4 such as a Mom, a Dad and their two ‘kids’? With rare exceptions, IMPO and decades of experience – you show me a family of 4 with an annual gross income of $40,000 that can actually afford to buy and own a TS plan along with all the associated and other ‘vacationing’ costs required every year or two – and I’ll give up B-B-Q’ing this summer.
And speaking of that household with two children, according to the U.S. Federal Government it costs about $245,000 (USD) to raise one child from conception to H.S. graduation. That would be nearly $500,000.00 (1/2 a million bucks) coming out of this modest household family budget for 4 – JUST to raise their two children.
But maybe the family is thrifty or the Feds have their numbers wrong – so we’ll cut the cost of raising the two kids in half – and for this household of 4 that turns out to be a tad north of a quarter of a million dollars; which, breaks down, excluding future inflation, to about $13,800 each and every year – an ongoing & outgoing daily, weekly and monthly expense Mom and Dad cannot put off or avoid.
Then, as thrifty as this family may be, once all the standard deductions are chopped out of their paychecks each cycle they’re left with about $28,800 annually – and out of that comes the $13,800 needed just for the ‘kids’ leaving Mom and Dad $15,000 (a $41.09 daily cash flow) each year in ‘mad-money’ to freely spend to their little hearts’ delight.
But before they do so they’ll have to pay rent or make a mortgage payment each month, perhaps a car payment or two plus pay the mandatory monthly car insurance premiums and of course they’ll have to hit the gas pump each week before they can go on their merry way frolicking and living large.
And yet before they do that they’ll also have to pay those darn utilities bills each month to keep the lights on and the A/C working, etc., and they’ll surely have to hit the grocery store each week and pick up some low-cost generic brand food supplies so the 4 household members can lavish themselves preparing & enjoying fine cuisine.
Oh and what if it takes both Mom and Dad working full time to earn that whopping 40-G’s (gross) household income each year? They’ll likely have to pay a child care center until the kids reach public school age and if so a low cost day care center will run about $325 per month (per child) with a moderately priced daycare center coming in around $700 per month – per child.
And there are other living costs such as (e.g.) household cleaning/maintenance supplies and products, toiletries, cable or satellite TV, cphones, hand-helds and wireless connections, clothes, health and life insurance premiums, auto repairs and continued maintenance, braces for little Johnny and ballet lessons for Jane, etc.
‘Golly Gee Wally, I wonder what kind of vacation they’ll take this summer’?
At the end of the day each developer sets their own income and other qualifications which is their right but they’re foolish if they lump a (e.g.) single full-time female employee earning $40-K (gross) per year with a family of four earning the same gross income and assert that both sales guests are equally ‘qualified’. That is ludicrous!
Now I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel but if the name of the game is to make sales then when it comes to the number of household members living under one roof then surely size does matter, specifically in relationship to that annual gross household income of said household.
Also, for the record – the same is true regardless of any developer’s current income qualification even if that is $100,000 (gross) annually because (e.g.) the Duggars with their 19 ‘kids’, at that gross income level, really couldn’t buy or afford an annual (or every other year) timeshare vacationing plan – now can they?
So come on developers, take one for the team and at least come up with SG qualification guidelines that equates into good and sound business judgment. Your marketing teams will still fill your sales centers anyway and of course your sales/revenue will obviously increase, too!
Hell, ya might even lower those costly rescissions by a few percentage points and maybe even reduce the expensive process of hiring, firing or replacing those reps that ‘walk’ down the street to make sales for your competitors with the same quantity of SG but with SG qualifications that make sense.
Good Luck Out There!
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Contributing sometimes extravagant, bombastic, emotional, pompous or even pretentious writings about the timeshare industry (but always spot on!), 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’.