Lisa Ann Schreier, the Timeshare Crusader, wrote an article for RCI Ventures, which we are reproducing here. Lisa Ann explains what she believes are the timeshare industry priorities for the future:
I go to a lot of timeshare events, talk to a lot of owners and am part of a network of savvy timeshare professionals that I’m honored to be associated with. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there’s a LOT of talk, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of forward motion. I have yet to discover whether it’s based on fear, apathy, confusion or something else.
The timeshare industry has taken a financial hit that it is very slowly recovering from, and the general non-timeshare owning public still eyes timeshare with a dose of skepticism.
However, I do not feel that all is lost. I do feel strongly that everyone associated with timeshare needs to put their egos aside and take an honest look at where we are, where we can, or should, be and most importantly, concentrate on the 85% of issues that we all can agree on and not concentrate on the other 15%.
Where to start? How about these four issues:
1. Value proposition. There’s no such thing as a new or a used timeshare. Timeshare developers and the legitimate resale market must come together, much like the car industry, and clarify the value of a timeshare.
2. PR and outreach communications. Timeshare developers and timeshare industry associations must reach out to the general public and the mainstream media about what timeshare is, how it works, why it makes sense and most of all, acknowledge the fact that there is a great amount of fear and distrust based on the past.
The past must be acknowledged and then and only then can we move forward. There is absolutely no reason for an exceptional product such as timeshare to struggle with a less than 7% market penetration after all these years.
3. Exit strategy. This is not the 1980s. People don’t want things forever. The timeshare industry must come up with a viable timeshare exit strategy. Timeshare owners are frustrated, angry and confused when the resort that sold them the timeshare for $20,000, 10 or 15 years ago will not buy back the exact same timeshare for even half of that.
4. Education and certification. Timeshare owners, timeshare salespeople, exchange company representatives, resort directors - in fact, everyone associated with the industry must be educated about what timeshare will and won’t do, and how to get the most out of it. Consumers need to know that they are dealing with honest people. Liars must be brought to light and thrown out.
Every month Lisa Ann answers questions from RedWeek members – read more here.
This article is reprinted by permission.