June 9, 2017 — If I could go back in time to the early 1980’s and if I approached lenders explaining to their loan officers (LO’s) that I required the funding because I wanted to convert full ownership condominiums into intervals so that my staff could then sell ‘time’ to consumers who in turn would use their ‘time’ (and accommodations) during their future vacations, etc., one or more of those LO’s may have thought I had lost my frickin’ mind.
So Here’s The Scoop: Back then LO’s for other lenders might just have been stunned by my ramblings and had me immediately escorted out of their offices by armed security personnel while they stamped my application multiple times – REJECTED – and, at the same time, barked at my backside as I was being hauled away – “…and don’t ever come back here again you nut…”
And for all you puppies working for one of the timeshare ‘Brands’ you’d probably be “shocked-SHOCKED” to know that during that same era some of the executive management folks of the hotel companies that are timeshare ‘giants’ (‘Brands’) today loathed the timeshare industry and eagerly voiced their disdain for ‘the biz’ when interviewed by reporters about the hospitality business and that thingy called ‘timeshares’.
Yet, here we are today and it would appear that since vacation timesharing started in Europe during the 1960’s, globally, our industry has collectively sold a couple hundred billion dollars of ‘time’ and this year alone it has been reported that global sales in the Land of Time will be around $21 Billion (USD).
So much for all those timesharing naysayers back then who also remind me of a quote regarding people in general: “Some people make things happen. Some people watch things happen. And then there are those who wonder – What the hell just happened?” (Actually, I thought it ended with “…how the hell did that happen?’)
Anyway, what a lot of people haven’t seemed to have noticed the past few years is that from both a business and consumer perspective that damn idea of timesharing has really caught on around the world and we are rapidly becoming awash with “collaborative consumption” (CC) – aka: the “sharing economy” (SE).
For those who may not be familiar with “collaborative consumption”, according to Investopedia.com “CC” is described, in part, thusly: “The shared use of a good or service by a group. Collaborative consumption differs from standard commercial consumption in that the cost of purchasing the good or service is not borne by one individual, but instead is divided across a larger group as the purchase price is recouped through renting or exchanging.”
As for the “sharing economy”, again, according to Investopedia.com that is, in part, “A sharing economy is an economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else. The sharing economy model is most likely to be used when the price of a particular asset is high and the asset is not fully utilized all the time.”
And like vacation timesharing, CC is exploding because the SE now includes a plethora of niche services & specialized skills, equipment use, a wide variety of products, crowd-funding, ride-sharing and other services — especially those products/services that are often expensive when traditionally purchased and used by just one person (aka: consumer).
But that really shouldn’t be surprising because ‘renting’ as well as CC and/or SE has been around for millennia in the form of bartering when people, then and now, trade something (anything) of perceived value for something else (anything else) of an equal assessed worth that fulfills the needs and wants of the parties involved.
All that said, what has baffled me for years now in our corner of CC and/or SE is why aren’t there more companies timesharing or offering ‘clubs’ whereby their members/owners have access to (e.g.) “Park Models’ (small homes) or mid to full size 40 ft. luxury motor homes and other types of RV’s with all the bells and whistles, etc.?
And how about various sizes, styles and shapes of boats to ‘share’ like houseboats, sailboats and motorboats or, while I’m at it, why not small private airplanes like Cessnas or Pipers and those ‘flying shares’ could include a flight training (licensing) component as well?
I’m just thinking out loud but from a leisure perspective I’m pretty darn sure the only thing holding back a whole bunch of ‘consumers’ (aka: ‘buyers) from owning a top of the line (e.g.) boat, a 40 ft. luxury motor home etc. or getting a pilot’s license and buying a very popular new or used Cessna 172 Skyhawk that seats 4, etc. are the price tags.
Hmmm, I wonder if there is a way to get around those hefty costs?
Good luck out there!
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