December 16, 2011 —Insider-Trading in stocks, etc. is illegal for all of us except the congress critters who conveniently wrote the legislation that allows them to profit handsomely from “inside” knowledge. If, however, under the prevailing laws such activities were permissible for the rest of us anyone with the financial means who didn’t take advantage to profit from a future certain event would be rather foolish. If you agree, read on!
So here’s the Scoop. About a decade ago, when submitting articles to ‘The Timeshare Beat’ for publication, I wrote a warning to developers that the day was coming when ‘tech-savvy’ sales guests would soon flood their sales centers and that the information era (aka: The Internet) would increase developers’ rescissions and ultimately have an impact on their overall sales and marketing efforts.
With those initial warnings I (and others) also recommended solutions. Yet there were the naysayers in the business who turned their backs on the reality of the Internet and as we all know today the information era (Internet) continues to affect every developer’s bottom-line!
In fact those early warnings were spot on and timeshare developers continue to lose millions in revenue simply because their newest generation of owners (buyers) get online at home or the office after attending a presentation and they become overwhelmed by the wealth of information they find, ranging from price variations to complaints, etc.
And most of that information they discover is very disturbing, causing many new owners to feel they were outright cheated and/or lied to. The end result and reaction, naturally, was (and still is) to cancel their timeshare purchase contracts within the time frame permitted by law.
A couple of years later I wrote more, cautioning developers that another generation of ‘tech-savvy’ sales guests was heading their way. This crowd, I cautioned, would be sporting handy little hand-held communication devices that would allow them to check, in ‘real time’, via their phone service, on the developers’ reputation, prices, etc. with other consumers/owners— if not right there at the tables then perhaps, say, on their way to the gift center!
Many in the ‘biz’ also reacted to those warnings as being pure hogwash but as it has turned out that forecast was also correct. And today as we close out 2011 we find the mainstream media such as Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, etc. reporting that 40% (and growing) of all consumers have those fancy ‘gadgets’ (aka: smart phones, etc.) in their possession 24/7/365.
Consumers, including us, have them in hand at the grocery store, while at church, when driving, shopping at the mall, taking the kids to school, visiting the doctors office, out and about ‘tire-kicking’ looking at the new or used car models, buying homes, visiting their travel agent, etc. and often turn to these devices for input, information, suggestions and counsel before making a purchase decision.
And that includes when attending a timeshare sales presentation as well. These devices have become almost human-like, having become one of the users’ most trusted friends (sources), part of their very ‘being/existence’ whereby they are lost and/or become indecisive without their input. And that, too, is indisputable!
For all practical purposes these new gadgets are nothing short of a miniature sized super powerful computer providing the users— timeshare sales guests (buyers) included— instant and full Internet access from anywhere allowing them to check on or verify ‘anything’ they so desire!
And the online revolution, including these ‘tech-savvy’ consumers (sales guests) and the technology they continue to embrace, are all evolving so rapidly that it is also being reported that generations Y and Z are now calling e-mail passé.
Today, for example, instead of using “antiquated” e-mail programs and services they are (at all ages I might add) opting for, relying on and preferring social networking platforms for their chatting, information and shopping needs, etc.
Some large corporations like IBM seem to agree this newest trend is taking place and the company is meeting that challenge head on.
IBM’s Karthik Padmanabhan, for example, who is the company manager in India for Lotus suit of software, said in a recent interview published in the Times of India that: “Emails and company intranets are throwbacks to the era of Web 1.0, a period when the web pages were static and digital communication lacked real-time interaction.”
Did you catch that? “Emails…are a throwback to…” an ‘era’ whose time has passed. The good news is that there is still the opportunity for any timeshare developer to cash in on this technology age, evolve with their market, be prepared for future trends and buyers, etc. and continue to prosper. Doing so will create the opportunity to ultimately lower their marketing and sales costs and ride the crest of the ‘information wave’ towards increased profits.
The bad news is many timeshare developers will likely continue to be as stubborn as a Missouri Mule even though the overwhelming evidence and foreseeable future is growing right before their eyes like the landfill outside the city limits of Shanghai, China that disposes of the daily garbage originating from the nation’s largest city of around 24 million people!
Indeed, and I say this with all due respect, many obstinate timeshare developers are reacting today as if they are stuck in another technology era going back nearly four generations to when the legendary comic book detective character, Dick Tracy depended on his handy dandy 2-way crime fighting wrist radio to battle the ‘evil doers’ of the day!
And because I believe that to be so I’ll go out on another limb today. I predict that those developers who cling to the status quo and continue to behave like a flock of ostriches with their heads buried in the ground will ultimately fall by the wayside and within a handful of years, by their own undoing, they will be forced out of the timeshare industry while their former competitors adapt with the ‘times’ and continue to laugh all the way to the bank.
Email Scoop: firstname.lastname@example.org
©2011 Inside The Gate