-by Scoop (September 22, 2017)
y introduction to timesharing was initially as a sales guest long ago while strolling though a casino in the Lake Tahoe area of California. My friend and I were approached by a stranger and after some chit chat we accepted an invitation to preview what we were told was a new place where we could stay the next time we visited Stateline (aka The Lake) for a little fun. For our time we received a complimentary steak dinner for two and what used to be called a ‘5th’ of Seagram’s 7 so that back in our hotel room later that evening we could enjoy “7 & 7s” to our little hearts’ delight.
So Here’s The Scoop: As most readers know the business of marketing and selling timeshare vacation accommodations began a little over 50 years ago during the mid 1960’s in Europe – and, just as a footnote, that was back during an era when it is likely the vast majority of those working in ‘the biz’ today hadn’t yet been born.
Anyway, I was thinking about ‘time’ this week and also some numbers because there are a few STATS that are intriguing, one of which is that according to information on the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) website there are about “9.2 million owning households” in the USA that own and/or are members of some form of a vacation ownership ‘plan’ “…including timeshare weeks, points, fractional and/or Private Residence Club…”
Hmmmm – 9.2 million households in the USA bought a slice of paradise and the first household was when timesharing first arrived on the shores of the United States around 1969, which means that if we spread out that 9.2 million ‘number’ over the last 48 years then each and every year 191,667 households purchased a timeshare plan in the U.S.
Another interesting number, at least from my perspective, is how many ‘peeps’ (aka: sales guests) actually attended a timeshare sales presentation over those 48 years in order for ‘us’ to sell 9.2 million households?
To find that number I started with an average net closing ratio (CR) of 25% and if that was the actual CR each year then to come up with those 9.2 million households that ‘bought’ it took 36.8 million ‘Q’s’ visiting a sales center for a ‘90 minute informative…’
However, If the net CR averaged only 20% over the years then 46 million folks went on ‘tour’ and if the YTD NET CR was a low 15% then it took 61,333,333 (million) ‘peeps’ to attend a shared-ownership vacation presentation somewhere in the U.S. over the last 48 years to come up with, today, 9.2 Million households.
Of course that is assuming that each and every household that purchased a timeshare plan during those years is a current owner/member; but that can’t be possible for all the known reasons such as death, divorce, health issues, no heirs, economic situations including unemployment & bankruptcies, etc.
But what happens if we also include the number of “households” (owners/members) in Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, C/S. America, Europe, Australia and the Pacific basin (including all of Asia) – you know, the rest of the world – that bought a timeshare plan since the beginning and how many households would that total?
Well, using my highly sophisticated formula and equations that included some basic math as well as counsel from my Astrologer plus some input from my next door neighbor the dentist who bought his “household” a timeshare plan in 1987 – I came up with the following numbers.
Worldwide, since the mid 1960’s, we may have collectively ‘toured’ an impressive 167,000,000 (Million) sales-guests and if that is even close to the actual number and using a net CR of 20% then ‘we’ would have sold around 33,400,000 (million) of ‘em a vacation dream. Is it feasible that 33.4 Million households on planet earth bought a TS?
If that number were possible and, again, using my highly sophisticated ciphering system including an average sales price of $9,000 (USD) per slice, then over the past 5 decades we sold somewhere around $300,000,000,000.00 (Billion – USD) of ‘time’!
Holy Sharing Batman! BAM –KAPOW – BANG – ZAP – WHAM
Here’s another number to ponder and make sure you check all my math but, worldwide, if 167 Million sales guests went on ‘tour’ and if the average visit at the sales center took 3 hours per sales-guest to complete, that required about 500,000,000 (1/2 a billion) hours of selling time (aka: labor) to process all those folks from the reception area/desk and ultimately out the door via the gift center.
And, using a net CR of 20% as an example I could argue that 400 million of those hours turned out to be free labor because all around the world and to this day, with few exceptions, we remain an industry with no base pay, benefits or company-sponsored retirement plans, etc. for the vast majority of all timeshare marketing and sales reps including most management ‘gigs’. Commission only baby!
Say, since we’re looking at the number of hours worked, what about the marketing side of the equation? You know, all the hours all the street OPC’s put in the past 50 + years as well as all the telemarketing hours worked by all the reps who hawked would-be sales guests over the phones the past few decades? That’s gotta also be a yuuge number!
I don’t even know where to begin to calculate that number but ‘IF’ it took the same number of hours to generate those 167 million ‘tours’ as it did to ‘pitch’ them once they arrived inside the sales centers then that required another 500 Million hours of labor bringing the total marketing & selling time (labor) to a little over 1 billion hours.
This is getting crazy girls & boys and, again, if 80% of those 167 million sales guests didn’t buy a TS plan then of those 1 billion hours of labor – upwards of 800,000,000 (million) hours were performed without pay. Inconceivable!
That said, the actual ‘marketing’ (labor) hours required to generate those 167 Million tours was likely greater than the ‘pitching’ hours required inside the sales centers to deal with all those sales-guests.
And I’m thinking that for every hour working the sales line at a TS sales center it might have taken the marketing folks, on average, 3 hours of labor to snag each ‘Q’ who ultimately ‘showed’ – which brings the marketing (labor) to around 1.5 billion hours.
Now add the sales center hours (labor) back into the equation and it may have taken upwards of 2,000,000,000 (billion) marketing/selling hours to generate all those sales around the world – and, using that 20% net CR I would also argue that 1.6 billion of those working hours was gratis – as in FREE!
That leads me to the last ‘number’ that I’ve been pondering lately. Since the 1960’s how many people worked in ‘the-biz’ be it for a day, a week, month, year or longer as a marketing rep, a liner, a closer, a front-to-backer, a podium speaker, a VLO (or Compliance) & management positions below the C-Level?
Well, I just don’t know – but if we did invite, meet/greet and ‘pitch’ somewhere around 167,000,000 (million) sales guests and sold at least $300 billion in ‘time’ to 33.4 million households during the past five decades then I’m thinking that upwards of 98% of the working stiffs who ‘processed’ all that ‘business’ over the past 50 + years have long since left the auditorium.
OMG, now I’m wondering how many of all those marketing, sales & management folks over all those years made a ‘killing’ and walked away with a tidy little bundle and/or nest egg Vs how many of them wound up with nothing but a good time? Thinking and more thinking…
Good Luck Out There
© Copyright Inside the Gate. All rights reserved.