October 2, 2015 — With last week’s endless news coverage of Pope Francis I found myself thinking about eternity late one night and what I concluded was that perpetuity is a very long time. Then I had an odd thought: Had there actually been room for them all at the Inn when Jesus was born but checking in was subject to paying the required denarii for their stay, quilling the parchment with the inn-keeper that guaranteed them their family accommodations each year and that the plan was inheritable and required an eternal annual floor-sweeping fee — what would Joseph and Mary have done?
So Here’s The Scoop: Now, there is no need to e-mail me claiming I’m being blasphemous and that I’ll surely rot in hell forevermore, because as the peace-loving turn-the-other-cheek Jesus did when he went after the money changers with a whip in one hand while turning the tables over with the other hand chasing the merchants out of the Temple — I, too, am just trying to make a point.
And that is simply this. Had there been our modern day version of timeshares a couple thousand years ago could you imagine how much the annual maintenance fees would be today for all those begotten souls who inherited the ongoing
financial burdens and obligations family vacation plan?
Who knows what that cost would be now? But based on the last 50 years of our industry, just 3 generations from now the successors of all timeshares owners with a perpetual vacation plan will likely be remitting to their Inn a $14,943.35 annual maintenance fee for each week they inherited.
Sure, hotel and motel rooms will cost more 60 years from now as will just about everything else; but IMO perpetual timeshare plans with never-ending annual costs, etc. are as obsolete in this era as would be a visiting guest preacher wearing their best ‘Sunday-go-to-meeting’ attire and arriving on a burro to spread the ‘Good News’ each week to the hosting congregation.
And, I might add, endless timeshare plans are just one of many of our industry’s original sins whereby we gave the everlasting vacation notion no more thought than to use it as a selling and closing shtick.
Reps sold most owners using ‘heart-strings’ tales suggesting how becoming a owner ‘today’ would guarantee them that their kids and their kids’ kids would love and dearly embrace them everlastingly because good old Mom and Dad (or Grandma and Gramps) had the financial foresight, wherewithal and wisdom to provide, sort of, for the ‘kids’ future vacations costs.
Yet over the years we’ve all met many inheritors who received a timeshare from a relative who had passed and the only thing the new owners saw was the annual maintenance fees, potential special assessments and the exchanging costs and for the most part they didn’t even know how to use and enjoy their new found vacation plan. In short, they wanted out and out now!
Then add to the equation short term timeshare plans and the success developers in places like Mexico have enjoyed over the past several decades. Sales guests gobble up their (e.g.) 25-year RTU (right to use) vacation plans because there is an ‘end-game’ and that is also why in places that sell limited time vacation plans have net closing ratios that are often much higher than most perpetual selling ‘sales centers’.
Another truth is that despite the popular opinion that every rep in Mexico is ‘pitching heat’ and it is their lying that generates those high double digit closing ratios – the reality is that many sales guests don’t and won’t buy anything with never ending costs, whereas with a RTU plan they can see that highly desired light at the end of the tunnel.
Sure, there are exceptions to the perpetuity model but I’d bet the farm that if ‘X’ developer in (e.g.) California, Nevada, Hawaii or Florida introduced their sales guests to a 5, 10, 15 or 20 year RTU TS plan they would see their sales soar.
And just like one Mexican developer has done successfully for many decades, this ‘X’ developer in the USA, etc., could always offer an option for the members to renew for another 25 years at the end of the initial term. It’s really a no-brainer and the most exciting aspect of RTU timeshares is they fetch the same selling prices as do those perpetuity vacation plans.
Of course it’s been thinking like this that has gotten me tossed out of my fair share of TS corporate offices and board rooms over the many years I’ve been involved in The Land of Time.
Can I get an Amen, maybe a little Hallelujah action or – NEXT!
Good Luck Out There
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