A serious question. This could be a game changer!

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Offline charlie1

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A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« on: October 20, 2014, 19:48:34 »
Resorts with long-term products with out an exit strategy have been one of the main causes of many problems in this Industry.

They need to ask themselves what has been the true cost and damaged reputation caused by those Timeshare Companies without an exit strategy. This has been collectively ignored for the last 20 odd years when they could have adjusted and not only looked out for their members, but it would have benefited their business as well.

So what’s the damage?

Scam Companies have taken millions as it has allowed them to approach timeshare owners especially the mature and scare them half to death that they are leaving their beneficiaries with their maintenance debt.  Then fleece them of their hard earned eroding capital.

New members joining has been made more difficult for those companies that lock their members in
with long-term contracts with NO real exit strategy.  The Internet and collective voices of their despondent members that feel trapped are making this known.

Low Moral amongst their membership this must have an impact if some members voice their concerns around the pool/bars or on a forum.

The Internet does not allow subjects like Exit strategies to be brushed under the carpet anymore with debt collectors threatening them. The Internet evens up the balance as consumers can now voice their concerns if their company ignores them.

Soon prospective new members will be shopping around for companies that have an exit strategy with a support facility that will assist them genuinely to sell their product.

This will be one of the first questions prospective new owners are going to start asking. What’s your exit strategy?

Timeshare Companies response that don’t have an exit strategy could have two responses.

1) Umm we don’t have one but our sales team will help you sell this or you could rent it out or put it in your will.

2) Well you got to pay us a ton of money to come out of this binding contract but our sales team will help you sell this or we can put you in touch with a reputable Resales Company, other than that you can rent it out or put it in your will

IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!

Why not simply put in place now if you have a long term or perpetuity contracts without a fair exit strategy the option that all your owners can access an exit option every 5 years with just 12 months notice. Once they reach the age of 70 its every 2 years with 12 months notice.

Why not put the ball in motion and make this happen and just charge a nominal fee for members to change their contracts

1) That would stop all Scam Companies in their tracks that focus on a means to 'help' you get out of timeshare.
2) In the main you would have a very happy membership
3) This is very likely to enable you to attract new members
4) Would these new contracts be easier to re-sale by the resort or a Resale Company?

This would give a great opportunity for those thinking Companies to start marketing their new flexible contract that’s more in line with the 21st Century.

Now if you have a prospect asking you what is your Exit Strategy.

"Good question says the salesperson we have recognised that lifestyles do change and we have an exit option that you can access every 5 years just by giving us 12 months notice and you can just simply hand your product back. However this makes your holiday product more salable either for our sales team or a reputable Resale Company".

"We also have ensured that if anything was to happen to our members and they have a genuine lifestyle challenge that no longer enables them to holiday on proof of this our member can exit immediately".

Now wouldn’t that be nice.

In Financial Services we introduced short term contracts initially as opposed to our whole of life contracts (equivalent to perpetuity or long term timeshare products) I found that those clients who took up the short term contracts invariably did not take up another one or went on to another company after the short term contract.

Those with the long term contracts that had say 5 year break options maintained their contracts, to my experience it just gave them piece of mind.

We found it easier to write more business with this flexible contract with the opportunity of maintaining a client beyond a typical 5 or 10-year contract.

So what’s to stop a Timeshare Company creating either new contracts with exit strategies or simply converting their existing timeshare products to have exit strategies?

Here perhaps is a negative for some Timeshare Companies that at the moment they don’t provide a service and experience as expected by their members some might take up this first 5-year option. If your not providing value than your on your way out anyway! Survey your members and find out.

However this type of contract will sharpen up customer services and marketing because it does not need to happen with members leaving if your providing the service. This could help raise the profile of timeshare to meet the expectations of the consumer.

This does not help those owners now that want to leave within 5 years but my opinion is anyone with a lifestyle challenge that stopped them taking holidays and could be proven should be allowed to leave now.

If you converted your contracts to have these 5-year exit options could not you or a Resale Company find these easier to sell for those members that want to leave for whatever reason?

Does anyone have any thoughts or anything to add? Would you like your Timeshare Company to have this 5-year exit option introduced into a long term contract you may have?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 22:13:15 by charlie1 »
Timeshare Weekly is an Independent website working with those who share similar ideals. We are here to guide the consumer make the very best of timeshare. We encourage positive change and solutions. Your either living in the problem or your living in the solution. Contact graham@timeshareweekly.com

Offline daveh44

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2014, 10:14:25 »
Sounds attractive to me.

I stopped buying timeshare when I realised the "in perpetuity" clause. And subsequently have disposed of 4 weeks because of it.

I have said to salesmen in a timeshare resort we like very much, and incidentally still go to via direct rentals, IF they gave me an exit strategy I would buy!!
Their answer, after escalating up the tree, was that they couldn't.
So I said "no sale then".

Offline Norm de Plume

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2014, 10:50:31 »
It has yet to be tested in a Court of Law, but the general legal consensus is that Spanish perpetuity clauses are unenforceable, and that the same may well be the case in other jurisdictions.
If you have found the advice I have given useful and I have saved you some money, perhaps you would like to make a donation to the Prostate Cancer Charity, mentioning my name. (www.prostatecanceruk.org)

Offline jcorrea-lawyer

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2014, 10:44:10 »
In Spain, since 1999, Timeshare rights cannot last more the 50 years. The new Law 8/12 has backed it. The only exception is the pre existing regimenes, those regimenes that already existed when Law 42/98 came into force

These pre existing regimenes could benefit from their previous scheme of selling (if in perpetuity, or for 70 years, etc) if they so declare it in the Public Deed of Adaptation to the Law. Anyway, there is a jurisprudential line started by the Court of Appeal, Section 4, of Las Palmas, that says that even in this situation what can remain as it was is the Regimen in itself but not the rights sold within this regimen that have to have a final date of termination, not longer that 50 years. The Club may last forever but not the memberships, that must have a time limit.
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Offline Mavo

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 12:36:57 »
The idea of creating simple exit strategies as demonstrated above by Charlie1 will have many positive knock on effects once sales begin to become kick started and I think it is worth highlighting just one of them below.

One of the seemingly contentious issues that many timeshare users now have is the need of developers to rent out apartments to the general public. This situation is not what many people believed they bought in to when they acquired their timeshare products. They were of the belief that they were buying into an "exclusive club" of like minded astute holidaymakers who would value their resorts and treat them accordingly. Now because of the need to get revenue to replace delinquent owners and to also fill the gap left by a stagnant resale and new sales market we have the likes of Groupon and Bookings.com filling empty apartments with anyone and Hen parties, Stag Parties and small same sex groups are beginning to invade the once exclusive timeshare resorts. Owners are accountable, renters are not and so we see and hear of apartment abuse, rowdiness, bad language and even violence.
 
Once the resorts and developers create exit strategies and thus give the public the confidence to once more buy into the products then their need for rental income will slowly disappear and the resorts will once more be filled with accountable members.       
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Offline Bullockt

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2014, 15:02:32 »
When I purchased a timeshare week in 1997, the fact that I was tied in for 99 years wasn't even a consideration - the sales people had done a good job on me. Up to 2010 I had no trouble exchanging my week and was happy with the timeshare concept. However since 2010 I have failed to find any exchanges anywhere(in places that I want to visit). That means that I have lost weeks with no compensation, and no reduction in fees.
The conclusion that I have come to is that timeshare is no longer fit for purpose and I want out!
Good post Charlie 1.

Offline jcorrea-lawyer

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 18:22:41 »
In Spain is perfectly legal to rent out the units that are not used for Timeshare (art. 1.2 Law 42/98 and 23.2 Law 4/12) with the only limit that these have to be for specific apartments and concrete weeks. Floating is not elegible for this double business, and that's is precisely what Silverpoint and McDonalds are doing, moving to floating, so they are foreclosing any chance to have extra incomes by renting the units relinquished by the members... At least it is interesting to see how they "throw stones at his own roof".
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Offline timeshare_junkie

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2014, 18:27:07 »
Great info above.

Most timeshare owners I know want good value, bookings when they can travel, shorter contracts, easier exit strategies and better communication.

Too many are harassed on holidaying to buy more and more.

What a great product it would be if you chose to enter timeshare yourself and upgrade etc and not feel pressured.  I know of a few owners who bought and won't travel so they avoid presentations.

 

Offline charlie1

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 16:53:31 »
Timeshare may have created its own problems but I believe that we also have the solutions

That's why I would be interested in feedback from timeshare owners on this forum who have long-term contracts with no fair exit strategy.

This is about looking for solutions that can be considered and worked on.

The industry needs a product that can have multiple benefits not just for consumers but also for all those involved in timeshare.

1) The right product followed by a little research with specific marketing should attract new and younger members.

2) A product that is flexible and simple and caters for life style challenges.

3) Has a fair exit strategy that will support existing and incoming members.

4) Allows those unfortunate members that have proven life-style challenges the opportunity to leave.

5) This needs to be an attractive product that salespeople can readily sell without having to embellish or exaggerate its benefits. If a product could be created with exit strategies that a sales force could genuinely believe in and so sell effectively we would be half way there. Also how much easier would it be for Resale companies, and your members to sell privately?

6) This type of product could be more attractive for members to consider transferring to family and recommending to friends if they felt they were not locked in.

This would have various very positive knock on effects for the Timeshare Companies, the consumers and the Industry if those Timeshare Companies that currently don't have fair exit strategies, just for one moment listened and dared to consider the benefits. Its just about taking the right steps and personalising the process to suit your current status.

Mavo pointed out the false economy of renting out our ‘exclusive clubs’ weeks to booking companies and the likes of Groupon. This not only devalues timeshare but in the eyes of the members they genuinely feel betrayed as they feel the club is no longer theirs.

The Industry has to market to non-timeshare owners to really move timeshare again. This requires a product with exit options and that will get rid of one of the big stigmas that now holds back this Industry and that is non flexible products that do not cater for life style changes and lock owners in!

Life styles have changed dramatically over the last 30 years. Its time for the industry to get with the program and bite the bullet and take the steps required making exiting work for all. 

Timeshare Companies fail to appreciate how vital it is not only to maintain a happy membership but its said that it is now at least 10 times plus harder to replace an exiting member than it was to acquire them so why not do a better job of keeping them by understanding your members needs with good pro active communication and at the same time increase the chances of acquiring new memberships.

Any exiting program should also ensure that there would be a true after care service ensuring that all members are working their membership effectively. If for example a member of mine was unable to obtain the type of exchange they requested. I would want to find out why.

I suspect that the Timeshare Company is not aware of the plight of their member as highlighted in post by Bullockt (post 5) on this thread and their exchange availability issues. Resorts should and would be aware of this issue if they maintained good active relations with owners via a true after care service. The resort should then be considering or offering other Independent Exchange Company alternatives, as the unhappy member will not, as demonstrated, keep this a secret and why should they? This report of poor performance may be passed on to other timeshare owners here or on another forum.

So what’s to stop a Timeshare Company simply converting their existing timeshare products to have 5 year exit options?

Some resorts may consider an exit strategy to be an impossible dream especially those that have no sales force and a maturing membership. So what is the alternative future for them? Closure!

That is nonsense it is not impossible to plan to build in a fair Exit Strategy. There are many different steps any resort can take to achieve its objectives once it establishes where it is now and where it ideally should be. 

If you think it cannot be done outline your challenges on this thread or contact me privately in confidence!!!

Why not become a market leader? Be the first and reap the rewards of creating something that will benefit not just your resort but the whole industry of timeshare. I for one, and those with a similar mindset, will ensure that is the case.

I have said before that changes in the end may be consumer driven so back to my original question to timeshare owners, your thoughts and views are important. Would you be interested if your Timeshare Company offered you a product or changed your existing contract with the option to exit every 5 years by just providing 12 months notice and at age 70 or 75 if your opportunity to exit was reduced from 5 to every 2 years with just 12 months notice?

For resorts and developers.

We have to consider that new legislation by the European Commission is knocking on the door to force the industries hand and one day it will reach your organisation and they will apply their solution if you don’t have a fair exit plan of your own in place.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 13:29:00 by charlie1 »
Timeshare Weekly is an Independent website working with those who share similar ideals. We are here to guide the consumer make the very best of timeshare. We encourage positive change and solutions. Your either living in the problem or your living in the solution. Contact graham@timeshareweekly.com

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2014, 22:55:03 »
Completely agree that the lack of a sensible exit policy is turning people off Timeshare. I joined GVC now Diamond and have had many good holidays and breaks. I have had several friends who wanted in until I explained that Diamond insist that although you can resign by giving 7 days notice and paying all fees up to date their take on the GVC contract is that you remain liable to pay membership fees until your points are sold. This has never been accepted by many GVC members who were told that the leaving procedure was simple you resign pay your fees and walk away but you forfeited the points you had paid all that money for.
Well this had been gone over many times and debated to death but not much as changed.
I do believe that the unwritten exit policy is now that you simply walk away and when I have suggested this at meetings its usually met with a smile and a nod. I know of no member of Diamond who has been taken to court for walking away although I have met a couple of people who claim to have received refunds for complicated legal reasons to do with the financial side of the contract and payment by credit card. To be fair I have no way of verifying this and the contracts were made with GVC prior to Diamond ownership.
I use my membership to the full and enjoy my holidays although as Mavo pointed out the club atmosphere as almost gone as Diamond members are in the minority at some resorts. Non members are not all bad in fact I have met some lovely people but you do get some who ignore  the simple rules that the club has in order to ensure safety and comfort.
Over the years the rules have been changed many times and resorts have been sold so God knows if the original contract means much anyway.
Its a sad fact that you now get the same look of horror if you say you own Timeshare as someone who admits to having a 20 a day smoking habit.
What a shame !


Offline Mavo

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2014, 10:22:17 »
I cannot see this type of an exit strategy disadvantaging any organization generating an income from Timeshare...... and I can see some massive positives for all in adopting something of this nature as opposed to the current clumsy attempts by some developers to alter the status quo by installing new constitutions that many consider to disadvantage owners and attempt to take away their rights of peaceful possession of their holiday entitlement and hide those changes behind a so called exit strategy which is simply a "buy yourself out of your contract" moneymaker for certain developers.
The only question it leaves me to ask is why the rest of the industry is seemingly sitting back and allowing these events to happen.
 If, reported elsewhere, court cases do take place then the negative publicity can only bring this already besieged and mistrusted industry under yet more pressure.   
tomeluk

Offline charlie1

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2014, 19:25:50 »
Long-term products with say a 5-year exit options would naturally see a close relationship between the thinking Timeshare Company and their members grow. There would be obvious benefits for the Timeshare Company obtaining first hand how they could improve the service and perceived value from their own members.

Good communication through their website with private members only access, emails, (letters with those that don’t use the Internet) Telephone and ideally good interaction when members visit their resorts will assist the Timeshare Company. We cant please everyone but perhaps areas of improvement can be identified and prioritized and worked towards achieving a positive outcome that would be of benefit to all concerned can be a result of learning how to engage your members.

If you get this right your build a positive and loyal community. Share with your membership current challenges (once you have good rapport) and involve them positively and you may see some good suggestions that you could consider. We need to remind ourselves that our members come from all walks of life and they may have experiences or skill sets that could contribute to a workable solution. Why not ask them a specific questions. If you were in charge of reception what would you suggest or change? If you had the opportunity to suggest two changes that could save the resort costs or perhaps be a time saver what would they be? What exchange companies do you use and what one works for you? Start small with just one or two questions so everyone could get involved.

I have mentioned before that a number of successful companies have suggestion boxes from members as well as staff. Some provide incentives for the best ideas with members and staff getting recognized for their support.

The timeshare Company does not want members handing in a 12-month notice 4 years down the line.

Would good two way communication with your members not make them feel like they were a part of 'their' club. This would also make the Timeshare Company more attractive to prospective new owners if your working more towards what timeshare owners value and and the support that they feel they need? Get this right and in time your members will encourage others to consider membership around the pool, bar and on the forums.

Once you have good communication with your members, entice them to complete some simple but meaningful surveys and this would also enable you to craft your business to appeal even more to non owners and establish the most suitable type of new owners. Then its selecting the right platform where those new members are likely to be and how to engage them :)

Existing long term contracts with exit options would change a Timeshare Companies focus and be more attractive to consider. The solutions to timeshare challenges are available to all companies it just takes one Timeshare Company to start the ball rolling.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 13:44:55 by charlie1 »
Timeshare Weekly is an Independent website working with those who share similar ideals. We are here to guide the consumer make the very best of timeshare. We encourage positive change and solutions. Your either living in the problem or your living in the solution. Contact graham@timeshareweekly.com

Offline charlie1

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2014, 09:58:30 »
Have you ever requested from an Exchange Company for a resort or even an area and was told that nothing was available? Have you checked online and what your looking for is just not available?

Never happened to you?

However if phoning you may be told by some Exchange Companies that we have a week there that you can rent! Perhaps you have seen the very holiday week available online for rental!

It could be that you have even been contacted by your Exchange Company promoting rentals that are not available in the timeshare pool.

Have you ever wondered why this is?

Could this be that some timeshare resorts have either unsold inventory or had a number of repossessions and actually rent out those weeks to some Exchange Companies. Some Exchange Companies will usually add on a healthy profit margin to this and offer these out for rental.

So why do timeshare companies offer these up for rental? Its called caught in a survival zone of thinking where no new ideas come out for consideration beyond survival. This problem wont go away and will only get worse. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Einstein. We seem as an Industry with some Timeshare Companies just doing that and have done for the last 20 odd years.

What happens when the timeshare owner thinks this is not what I signed up for renting and now starts to look for a way out of timeshare adding to the problem of a shrinking membership.

So going deeper, why is this a problem? Because in the main most timeshare companies are not selling in any great volumes beyond some last throw at the dice by some companies offering up schemes like fractionals that most timeshare owners would not consider if they were not part exchanging a week of two that they have already paid for to be included in this deal as their timeshare was in perpetuity or had a long lease. In other words their Timeshare Company had no exit strategy! Timeshare Companies need non timeshare owners to start considering timeshare rather than trying to keep on upgrading their existing members.

This comes back around to three main areas that need to change.


1)In order to start moving this Industry we need all existing contracts to have an exit strategy it has been suggested that when a resort gets its self into a position soon, it should convert all existing contracts that don’t have a fair exit strategy to have say 5-year exit options with 12 months notice. When a member reaches say age 75 it should be 2-year exits with 12 months notice. Those with proven life style challenges that cant holiday should be allowed to leave if all other avenues have been explored.
2)Licensing sales people with ‘best advice’ involved by an Independent Body a little while down the road will bring back trust.
3)Real Marketing to non-timeshare owners and that can be done more effectively if you have flexible products in place have listened to your members so you can add relative value and consumers trust the professional sales people that are licensed then I believe we will see more consumers consider timeshare.

Perhaps then some Exchange Companies would not need to rent timeshare weeks and we would have a bigger pool of weeks to access for timeshare owners as more members may be enticed into a fairer system.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 10:31:12 by charlie1 »
Timeshare Weekly is an Independent website working with those who share similar ideals. We are here to guide the consumer make the very best of timeshare. We encourage positive change and solutions. Your either living in the problem or your living in the solution. Contact graham@timeshareweekly.com

Offline Mavo

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2014, 14:03:43 »
Have you ever requested from an Exchange Company for a resort or even an area and was told that nothing was available? Have you checked online and what your looking for is just not available?

Never happened to you?

However if phoning you may be told by some Exchange Companies that we have a week there that you can rent! Perhaps you have seen the very holiday week available online for rental!

It could be that you have even been contacted by your Exchange Company promoting rentals that are not available in the timeshare pool.

Have you ever wondered why this is?

Could this be that some timeshare resorts have either unsold inventory or had a number of repossessions and actually rent out those weeks to some Exchange Companies. Some Exchange Companies will usually add on a healthy profit margin to this and offer these out for rental.

So why do timeshare companies offer these up for rental? Its called caught in a survival zone of thinking where no new ideas come out for consideration beyond survival. This problem wont go away and will only get worse. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Einstein. We seem as an Industry with some Timeshare Companies just doing that and have done for the last 20 odd years.

What happens when the timeshare owner thinks this is not what I signed up for renting and now starts to look for a way out of timeshare adding to the problem of a shrinking membership.

So going deeper, why is this a problem? Because in the main most timeshare companies are not selling in any great volumes beyond some last throw at the dice by some companies offering up schemes like fractionals that most timeshare owners would not consider if they were not part exchanging a week of two that they have already paid for to be included in this deal as their timeshare was in perpetuity or had a long lease. In other words their Timeshare Company had no exit strategy! Timeshare Companies need non timeshare owners to start considering timeshare rather than trying to keep on upgrading their existing members.

This comes back around to three main areas that need to change.


1)In order to start moving this Industry we need all existing contracts to have an exit strategy it has been suggested that when a resort gets its self into a position soon, it should convert all existing contracts that don’t have a fair exit strategy to have say 5-year exit options with 12 months notice. When a member reaches say age 75 it should be 2-year exits with 12 months notice. Those with proven life style challenges that cant holiday should be allowed to leave if all other avenues have been explored.
2)Licensing sales people with ‘best advice’ involved by an Independent Body a little while down the road will bring back trust.
3)Real Marketing to non-timeshare owners and that can be done more effectively if you have flexible products in place have listened to your members so you can add relative value and consumers trust the professional sales people that are licensed then I believe we will see more consumers consider timeshare.

Perhaps then some Exchange Companies would not need to rent timeshare weeks and we would have a bigger pool of weeks to access for timeshare owners as more members may be enticed into a fairer system.
I can see the logic in the above ideas and and wonder if like me charie1 you can also see advantages for the legitimate resale industry? I can see the advantage of "Exit Strategies for all" bringing an end to the many scams and this in turn should create renewed consumer confidence in the resale industry. I just wonder if there will be other advantages to that area of the industry that you can see?
tomeluk

Offline charlie1

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2014, 17:51:13 »
I can see the logic in the above ideas and and wonder if like me charie1 you can also see advantages for the legitimate resale industry? I can see the advantage of "Exit Strategies for all" bringing an end to the many scams and this in turn should create renewed consumer confidence in the resale industry. I just wonder if there will be other advantages to that area of the industry that you can see?

Exit options within long term contracts would be a breath of fresh air for Resale Companies and I believe the results they could get with the right marketing and co-operation from the resorts would speak for themselves. This would entice more resorts to consider this.

I believe that if the leadership governing the various legitimate Resale Companies saw the long term benefits of promoting the Resale market more effectively they would be pivotal in turning around the timeshare Industry. For this to happen though the Timeshare Companies need to work more closely with the Resale Companies and not just point members to a recommended Resale Company.

Resale Companies have often had to work with those Timeshare Companies that have no exit strategies and that cant be easy to promote or sell. The poor publicity that has been caused by those Timeshare Companies that did not adjust years ago has made sure of this. What about the business that Resale Companies lose out to Scam Companies who promote themselves as Resale companies! These losses must be off the scale. Not just in lost sales but also with seemingly so many Scam Companies masquerading as Resale Companies out there whom can we trust?

Exit strategies in long term contracts would virtually close down Scam Companies as they would lose their scare mongering tactics that you are in timeshare for life and so are your beneficiaries!

It just needs the penny to drop with some Timeshare Companies to see the massive advantages they could have by getting their houses in order to offer say 5-year exit options within their existing long-term contracts that would become attractive to all those considering timeshare and be very popular with your existing members. Those thinking resorts would also be first and would steal a march on their competitors!

Those that chose introducing exit options to their existing long term contracts would be actively promoting this, for example "We have listened to consumers and made our products even more attractive to cater for changing lifestyles as we recognize that our members enjoy time out with quality holidays enabling them to share time with their loved ones”

The Industry needs a Paradigm shift virtually through out all areas governing timeshare.

For those that find themselves caught up with only a ‘survival plan’. There could be a reputable body investigating their problems and areas the that need to be addressed and advising on the steps that would need to be taken in order for bespoke plans to be tailored to individual resorts and developers. However its just one step at a time and would only be possible with the right knowledgeable body.

Perhaps its down to Timesharetalk to look for solutions, as the main organizations who could support various solutions seem to be caught up in either an attacking mentality or a reactionary Mindset.

There are age old problems highlighted below which are churned out year on year in various timeshare conventions and conferences throughout the world.

What is generally covered most years at these conventions consists of. "Lets talk about Perpetuity again with a maturing membership and rationalize why this has happened". Then on to Scam Companies and how to deal with them, availability issues, reselling in the secondary market, how to sell or reinvent timeshare. That all talked out, then it usually ends with something like “Lets all unite together and make a difference". Which in reality seems to mean "we can do the same thing again next year".

I am trying not to be too cynical here but we have to accept that we are talking years of this inactivity and yet the Industry has the capabilities and I believe the solutions. No one is saying it will be easy but the longer these issues are not tackled the bigger the challenges become and we just end up feeding the media with all this negativity.

Time to wake up and smell the coffee and start a plan of action that has timescales and objectives as it evolves. I have never known an Industry with so much potential that just seems either bottle necked or on a go-slow. Why on earth have the Industry made the process so complicated?  How many timeshare owners just want a quality holiday? The answer to that one is simple------All of them!!! Wake up timeshare, it`s 10 months into 2014 or have you not noticed!!

Resale Companies could be key and they also have a massive opportunity in time to become truly valuable independents where consumers would be looking for guidance. A talk for another time.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 17:55:42 by charlie1 »
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Offline ivyleague

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2014, 10:29:33 »
Surely the businessmen who set up and run timeshares are intelligent and realised that someone who buys a timeshare aged 25 was likely to be dead in 80 years time? I'd say the resort developers benefit the most from in perpetuity clauses for a one week holiday with no exit strategy, it's a pretence that it is for the benefit of the owners so they can pass it on to their children.

One company has seen the bad debts rising since the mid 1990's it has also been aware that there was no or little market for timeshare, because of the horror stories created by the resort owners over in perpetuity clause. Yet that some company was advertising hundreds of timeshares for resale on its website priced at £5000 - £10,000.

In 2010 a survey of timeshare owners at a resort 70% responded and 77% stated they were looking to exit the scheme within 5 years....but how if there was no exit strategy and the club & developer had repeatedly said there was no resale market. So the resorts maintained fees had to be paid but bad debts continued rise, the resorts were aware 70% of their owners were aged 64+ thus prolonging the agony for those concerned they'd be taken court.

It's an industry that appears to play on fears and threats and people argue it should be saved?

Now Timeshare is to be replaced by points on 10-20 year contracts without in perpetuity clauses as the exit fee will be paid upfront. There are also now to be fractional ownerships in blocks of 10 weeks with contracts lasting 20 weeks, isn't that timeshare multiplied by 10?

The company I am with has operated a points system for 10 years but apparently only 10% of 22,000 had opted for points, but hey get the 77% who want to exit to vote for a change in the club constitution they will no longer be a member of.

And where has the voice of the consumer been in all these over the years?

Offline Mavo

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2014, 12:11:55 »
Surely the businessmen who set up and run timeshares are intelligent and realised that someone who buys a timeshare aged 25 was likely to be dead in 80 years time? I'd say the resort developers benefit the most from in perpetuity clauses for a one week holiday with no exit strategy, it's a pretence that it is for the benefit of the owners so they can pass it on to their children.

One company has seen the bad debts rising since the mid 1990's it has also been aware that there was no or little market for timeshare, because of the horror stories created by the resort owners over in perpetuity clause. Yet that some company was advertising hundreds of timeshares for resale on its website priced at £5000 - £10,000.

In 2010 a survey of timeshare owners at a resort 70% responded and 77% stated they were looking to exit the scheme within 5 years....but how if there was no exit strategy and the club & developer had repeatedly said there was no resale market. So the resorts maintained fees had to be paid but bad debts continued rise, the resorts were aware 70% of their owners were aged 64+ thus prolonging the agony for those concerned they'd be taken court.

It's an industry that appears to play on fears and threats and people argue it should be saved?

Now Timeshare is to be replaced by points on 10-20 year contracts without in perpetuity clauses as the exit fee will be paid upfront. There are also now to be fractional ownerships in blocks of 10 weeks with contracts lasting 20 weeks, isn't that timeshare multiplied by 10?

The company I am with has operated a points system for 10 years but apparently only 10% of 22,000 had opted for points, but hey get the 77% who want to exit to vote for a change in the club constitution they will no longer be a member of.

And where has the voice of the consumer been in all these over the years?

Ivyleague What we have to recognise is the possibility that the survey conducted was in fact poorly constructed as it probably did not ask the right question(s) as it was based around the in perpetuity situation at those resorts and the fears that being locked in forever create not only for themselves as owners but for their next of kin.
The question should have been in two parts the first one being the original question and the second one being:
If there were future exit strategies created giving options to hand back ownerships at pre determined periods would this encourage you to remain an owner with us for longer?

I believe there would be a marked positive difference in the numbers opting to stay as owners if future opportunities to exit at given points were going to be created on lines similar to what Charlie1 advocates on this and other threads.
 
tomeluk

Offline charlie1

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2014, 15:38:04 »

It's an industry that appears to play on fears and threats and people argue it should be saved?

I again think that we need to put this into perspective that there has been a focus on mainly a few Timeshare Companies more recently that has dominated this forum. That is in comparison to over 5,000 resorts worldwide. So lets not let some Timeshare Companies represent the whole Industry.

My idea is to look at solutions for Timeshare Companies that are sitting on the fence knowing they have to do something but just don't know what or how.

There has to be a workable solution to a problem that is growing with those Timeshare Companies that ignore having a fair exit strategy. The consequences of not having your exit strategy in place has had far reaching consequences impacting on many aspects of timeshare including growth.

How many new members will want to consider your Timeshare Company if members are talking unfavourably about your Company around your pool or bar. What about if they can see lists of owners trying to sell on your website or through Resale Companies???? Is that because you don’t have an exit strategy?

Each Timeshare Company will be defined by how it works in a fair exit strategy not just for new members but existing members.

I suggested that resorts debate how they could consider say a 5-year exit option with all existing contracts but this could have exit strategies that could vary to protect the Timeshare Company.

I don’t think that Timeshare Companies fully appreciate that they must either tackle this issue of an exit strategy soon that is fair or there is the very real danger that the following will and is taking place anyway.

1) The European Commission will in time introduce an exit strategy to all those Timeshare Companies that still have their heads stuck in the sand. 

2) More legal companies are for a fee extracting timeshare owners from their Timeshare Company.

3) Timeshare owners are just leaving! They are thick skinned enough to know if they put forward a counter argument they realise that the Timeshare Companies are only threatening them with letters of court actions and verbal threats. Some Timeshare Companies are out of jurisdiction anyway or some timeshare owners have a justifiable breach of contract and will just walk anyway.

Timeshare Companies have to realise that there exit strategy will define their future as being a participative player in what is a great concept. Their days are numbered if they continue to ignore and tackle this problem.

For those thinking Timeshare Companies that don’t have a fair exit strategy then you need to effectively learn how to engage your membership to see where you stand. As Mavo has said this needs to be well thought through as a part of this needs to fully understand your member’s different thoughts on exiting for the future. This cannot be a knee jerk reaction.

The suggestion of what worked for the Financial Services Industry as I experienced is only a suggestion that can be adapted to the timeshare Industry. This I feel would have to be introduced to existing timeshare owners as well as for new members so existing contracts are changed to introduce an exit option. Clearly this cannot be everyone leaving in 5 years because if some resorts are not able to adapt within 2-3 years by providing real holiday value they will not be financially viable.

They have to get a great connection with their members and find out what they want, what does a valued holiday mean to them. If you don't bring real value to the table then there is the real danger that resorts could close in 5 years time.

At the same time they need to learn how to market to specific markets that are non-timeshare owners to increase membership.

Some resorts need to get their Timeshare Company in order to suit their members and that includes ensuring that their members know how to use their timeshare! There are a worrying high percentage of timeshare owners that just don’t know because their timeshare company has not put together an effective after care support that is pro-active to ensure that members take full advantage of membership.

Some resorts would need to factor in different exit options for their members so they don’t all have the same exit option on a specific date. Different exit options could be broken up for example by your member’s age or types of different contracts they have or health issues etc. Something could be worked relative to your membership that would be fair and help to protect the resort as you bring in new members with a more favourable contract.

Also as mentioned I feel that more members friends family would be happy to transfer their contracts with exit strategies. Also they would be more saleable privately or through legitimate Resale Companies with fair exit strategies.

I also believe that all those members that get swept up with the wave of emotion feeling trapped would not be banging on the door to leave through fear highlighted by the media, salespeople, forums and scam companies that your leaving a debt to your beneficiaries if you had a fair exit strategy that caters for life style changes.

The positive benefits not only for their members but the resorts would be far reaching if you get your exit strategy right.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 15:53:55 by charlie1 »
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Offline charlie1

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2014, 12:57:30 »
Resale Companies Part 2

There is a high percentage of Independent Resorts that need help as they are just standing still and barely surviving. If they have a membership that wishes to sell their timeshare approaching 80 plus members then they need to formulate a new selling strategy as the problem will not go away and will increase with an aging membership.

A solution to keep them locked in or to create some large multiple of maintenance fees so they buy themselves out is not the answer as it will not help you market for new members. Fractional ownership is also not an ideal solution for those that buy into this solely so they can exit at some stage and part exchange some of their weeks in for this Fractional scheme.

The part solution in my opinion is that you need to make your Existing product more saleable to entice new members in and a means to enable existing members to exit. As suggested say a 5-year exit strategy for new members and phased exit for existing members when they wish to take up this option giving 12 months notice. That’s so they don’t all have the option of leaving at the same time. There are ways of doing this to protect the resort and you will find as to my experience in Financial services not everyone will want to exit even if thats what there saying now. If you listen to your members and give them real value they will want to stay and be more happy to consider transferring their membership to family and friends with an exit strategy in place. The positive benefits not only for your members and your resort would be far reaching if you get your exit strategy right.

It is beyond this post to personalise the steps you need to take to turn this around for all resorts that find they have these challenges. I can only give you a flavor if you require any more feedback simply contact me. This is all only a suggestion but unless you debate something your standing still but the clock keeps ticking and existing members will leave one way or another.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” Albert Einstein


If you have the right pro-active leadership you need to know where you are now. The financials should be easy to consider and the personal in place to support a new strategy or you may need a temporary consultancy service. However you need to survey your membership effectively with the right questions and with a method that will ensure you get good feedback.

Once you have established that you have say 80 members that wish to leave asap and not those that will want to leave one day. Then you need to court either a reputable sales company with a track record or you search out and get around a table with a legitimate Resale Company.

My favoured method would be the Resale Company but you need to agree a selling strategy. This is not just about listing weeks on a website.

The resort prior to this should have identified its ideal new member based on your niche, if you don’t have one then create one! Golf, dog friendly, twitchers, great leisure facilities that locals could own a week and use on a regular basis, good for families, retired folk, hikers what ever it is, that should be the main thrust of your marketing.  Once established its finding this market where they are likely to be and how to engage them. This is a chapter on its own niche marketing and way beyond this post.

In preparation for this you need to review your website as this is the first port of call for anyone considering your resort. This should include member testimonials, video testimonials would be better but not the cold clinical scripted versions that some have of their members. What to do or see covering all seasons and comments by members etc. Each apartment should be seen online showing floor plans of your apartments and general images of the room plus a description and ideally a photo directly looking out of their apartment. If it’s not a favorable view for some apartments than put in general views that you have from the resort as for some folk it’s not that important. Then very importantly a link devoted to your niche. This link will need to be set up correctly to appeal to your ideal new member and your niche.

The Resale Company would promote your niche to the right market with a simple one liner with a link that was very similar to the niche link that you have but this one would have their contact details. This could be to doggie online forums or magazines, hiker clubs etc. The main reason this prospective new member would consider you is because they first and foremost have an interest in dogs, golf, whatever and the timeshare aspect is just the icing on the cake.

It’s all about presentation and focused marketing that gets most results. My personal experiences in Financial Services made sure that I knew how to market specific markets and in some cases I employed people that were already in that market and understood it. For example, if I wished to access the Chinese, Asian, Indian markets etc. I employed the right personal to work this market.

So in timeshare if I wanted to access the doggie market I would ensure that I ran my marketing through a keen dog owner that got involved perhaps with dog groups and not someone who took their pet for a walk! I would perhaps even speak to someone who ran a dog forum. There is so much that could be done but we need to speak their language and understand how to present that there pet also needs a holiday. The same can be done with golfers, fisherman, twitchers etc. If your resort is ideal for families, retired folk, and perhaps you cater for those with mobility issues etc. then speak to your members that fall into this category. Information is king and this will allow you to personalise your marketing and understand your existing membership more effectively.

Some resorts could do this themselves but most would need a helping hand and the right thinking Resale Company would be ideal. However I have approached some of the smaller Resale Companies in the past and they are too set in their ways and would probably not have the resource to do this.

If I had the time to start from scratch I would be forming my own Resale Company geared up for specialised marketing. If one area were golf it would be easy to group all the golf resorts together and market them for example.
I would break down where I could several marketing areas within my company and sale the right resorts to match that market.

On a separate note I feel legislation put to one side that timeshare owners should pay a small upfront fee for this type of specialized pro-active marketing but with reduced commissions on sale.

On another marketing initiative I would then go on to create a truly Independent team, eventually in satellite offices that would identify the right timeshare product to suit that enquiry. This would be easy to gear up and market.
This is all beyond this post but a Resale Company could be one of the keys to starting a movement that could turn this Industry around.

However they need the right products to promote from my experience short-term products in finance 5-10 years did not cut it in Financial Services and was not of benefit to us as a company with clients leaving. At least with a long term product your client remained with you as long as toy provided value. Short term contracts I would have these as an option but the best product was still long term but with break options.

Resorts need to sit down with the Resale Companies and they both need come to the table with an open mind. Sadly to my experience some resorts are just to slow to react and the committees only get together 2-4 times a year. However it only takes one or two resorts and others will follow. If I was a Resale Company I would be putting this into action and hitting the phones no doubt you may already have resorts listed for sale from these resorts so you will have some familiarity and will know whom to approach.

What would it do to the reputation of your Resale Company if you starting selling and moving stock. Would this harm your business?

As stated earlier by a very learned man “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”
Timeshare Weekly is an Independent website working with those who share similar ideals. We are here to guide the consumer make the very best of timeshare. We encourage positive change and solutions. Your either living in the problem or your living in the solution. Contact graham@timeshareweekly.com

Offline charlie1

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Re: A serious question. This could be a game changer!
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2014, 12:26:23 »
Can you help?

The example below is where a lot of Independent resorts are now. Some are far worse than the hypothetical example below where they have as has much as 50% of their member’s weeks listed for sale. The members cant even hand back their weeks as they are locked in. The resort can’t afford an exit strategy as there is a real fear that the resort will no longer be financially viable. In some cases the Developer has long since moved on and taken capital generated from the sales and now there maybe just a committee responsible for the resort.

So for this example how could a small Independent resort that has identified that it has a maturing membership and they are receiving more enquires on how to sell or exit. Their timeshare product does not have an exit strategy and has a lease remaining of 60 years.

They have no sales team and mainly have only low season weeks available. There concern is that they are unable to afford for members to just hand back their weeks as this may escalate and that could implications for the remaining owners and the resort.

Does anyone have any further questions, suggestions or advice they could provide?

Could this be your resort if not now but in the future? Can you see any alternatives solutions?
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 12:32:02 by charlie1 »
Timeshare Weekly is an Independent website working with those who share similar ideals. We are here to guide the consumer make the very best of timeshare. We encourage positive change and solutions. Your either living in the problem or your living in the solution. Contact graham@timeshareweekly.com