January 29, 2016 — Eons ago I wrote an article for another timeshare publication suggesting that developers ought, like the franchising system affords participants, should strike a deal with seasoned timeshare professionals who have the means to open and operate their own marketing and sales centers. To the best of my knowledge, back then at least one developer liked the idea and did offer such an opportunity; and back then, at least for the first few years, all went well for all parties involved.
So Here’s The Scoop: Today, things in the hospitality industry are rapidly changing and that is especially true when it comes to the rental options consumers have regarding superior vacation accommodations available to them worldwide. It is a much different ‘ball game’ than it was decades ago and though I’m not predicting the demise of the vacation ownership ‘biz’ any time soon I am suggesting that there is no time like the present to strike while the old iron is hot (aka: now).
And by striking I’m talking about any seasoned industry professional who thoroughly understands the nature of our industry, the consumer appeal of owning our version of a ‘vacation home’ that can be used globally – and who also has managerial, administrative, training, sales and marketing skills, etc. Such professionals could open up their own ‘shop’.
In this era, there are very few executive level management positions available that pay really well and though some lower level management positions pay decently, for the rest working the ‘line’ — despite industry hyperbole that a rep’s income is “unlimited” — the reality is that there are only so many sales guests that a (any) rep will meet-greet, etc. and every rep’s income is not only limited their income actually decreases each year.
I’ve cautioned on that annual reduced income in previous articles so today I’ll pass on that topic and instead, briefly, concentrate on how some can become the big cheese and how, with a plan and some baby steps doing so can be accomplished relatively easily, quickly and just about anywhere in the world.
For readers who may not know, as an example there are more than one or two developers around the world who started out humbly by striking a deal with an existing ‘property’ owner and simply reserving, leasing, purchasing and/or creating a joint venture for one or two units (or more) – and then with permission to approach the in-house renting vacationers – they would solicit those guests to a sales presentation each day – and the rest is history.
That approach obviously required minimal operational capital in the beginning – sort of like ‘self-genning’ (SG) – and as sales were made those startups paid a cut to the existing hotel owner. Some who took this approach did really well for themselves.
And speaking of SG, every sales professional who can close her/his on deals (Front to Back – F/B) ought to find out what your developer’s sales and marketing costs are, then strike a deal with your developer for that total percentage, generate your own sales guests – and have them come to your presentation (e.g.) on your day off.
Again, the capital required is minimal and with social media being so inexpensive and effective to use for promotional purposes in no time you would soon be working only the tours you generated – and smiling all the way to the bank.
Lastly, another method would be to invest enough capital to open up an independent stand-alone sales center and fund the entire sales and marketing program. As with SG – strike the deal with any developer – and start rocking and rolling.
As for those existing developers; also keep in mind there is no shortage of non-timeshare developer inventory around the world such as (e.g.) ‘Park Models’, ‘Arched Cabins’, ‘Motor homes’, ‘Houseboats’ etc. to begin the journey.
The only caveat is DO NOT do business as ‘usual’ in terms of generating (e.g.) low-income sales guests, hiring
sales clowns ‘heat-merchants’, using a T/O system or having a LL (Love Line,) etc.; and by all means never hire a dictatorial loud mouthed sales/marketing ‘management’ type who will ruin and destroy your reps’ morale.
This is just like SG and is to be a front to back (F/B) operation. This is professional selling and marketing at its finest, where no sales guest can or will be invited to attend a full presentation unless and until they are actually qualified – PERIOD!
And by that I mean that it must be discovered prior to attending the full presentation that they like to vacation, that they vacation fairly regularly and/or would like too and that they have the financial wherewithal to vacation and to become an owner/member.
You know, pre-sell the basic vacationing concept before any marketing expenses on premiums, gifts etc. are incurred and if you follow this basic outline – and I speak from having been there and having done that – I can assure you that your net sales numbers will be NLT 3 times the industry average.
And yes, it is not all quite that simple but like I said, start slow – take that journey that begins with that first step – and soon thereafter it will be time to soar with the Eagles.
Good Luck Out There
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