How Timeshare Marketing Has Changed

The marketing of timeshares has changed greatly over the years. No longer do timeshare buyers have to expect the dreaded hard sale in the timeshare marketing pitch. Overall, the sales approach is softening. More people “get” the timeshare concept and are now out to compare the options and offerings of various timeshare companies. Like a car sale, marketers don’t have to describe the car to a potential buyer, they just need to tell them about the best features of the product.

More Bang for the Buck

Today’s timeshare marketers need to convince new buyers that their product offers more value for the money. Second home buyers understand that it is better to be part owner in a home that is only used 1-2 weeks per year. They also like the idea that timeshares come free of maintenance responsibilities, have all the comforts of home, and are located in some darn good locations! And they “get” that timeshare ownership makes their lives easier by eliminating the time and often stress of planning a vacation. Now, what they want to see is the extra value a company is offering over the competition. Buyers in today’s economy of rising costs and eroded discretionary income want every dollar to count. What’s a timeshare company to do?

Fly-Buys, Mini-Vacs

As the saying goes, "Seeing is believing" and timeshare sales and marketing teams know that the best way to sell their product is by letting prospects experience it. Some timeshare companies offer a vacation at their property at a low price, but with a "hook" (contingency) that you attend a 90 minute presentation on the property that includes a sales pitch that may be high pressure. Other properties may offer a vacation for a price below the rack rate with "no-hook" (no contingency), in hopes that just experiencing the property’s wonderful location and amenities will persuade you to buy.
Positive reviews posted by vacationers can have a big effect on potential buyers and can overcome reluctance to try a timeshare. Here’s one of many positive reviews for Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa in Loreto, Mexico posted by Les on Travel Advisor: 

"The Villa Del Palmar had a timeshare offer that I reluctantly took since the price was fantastic. Wow! What an incredible resort! The staff made you feel like you were the most important person there and with the all-inclusive you just don’t have to pay attention to what you are ordering or drinking. The food was great and the margaritas just kept coming. One of the best vacations we have taken in quite a while. There are hiking trails that lead to secluded coves and make us feel like we’re on our own private beach. I highly recommend this property! All the rooms are ocean view. I don’t think there is a bad one in the place."

Off Property Contact

Although Off Property Contact (OPC) is still popular in some areas -- particularly at ski resorts, and in the Caribbean, Mexico and Spain—it is developing more sophistication with real concierge type services being offered. The tactic uses salespeople to operate off property (such as at a kiosk in a tourist area), who offer vacationers already in the area an incentive to tour the resort. Who wouldn’t enjoy free lift tickets, zip-line tour or bay cruise! 

Marketing Aids

Analytic Data

The digital age has hit the timeshare industry big-time. Timeshare marketers no longer need to rely on their gut instincts to determine why some timeshare and vacation ownership marketing works and some doesn’t. Now they have "analytics" (real time data that aides sales and marketing centers in being as profitable as possible) just as many Fortune 500 companies are using. According to a Wall Street Journal report, "Timeshare Software TrackResults Software has permanently changed the way timeshare developers process their sales data. Through the state-of-the-art real-time analytics software that TrackResults has developed, sales and marketing centers are able to better hone in on exactly what is effective when it comes to landing sales."

Internet Marketing

For resales and for timeshare rentals, the internet has become a more than viable way to market. Online timeshare resale can either be by a licensed broker or by “For Sale by Owner.” A broker can help you through the sales process and may have access to more potential clients. “For Sale by Owner” helps to save money by eliminating the broker fee and giving the owner 100% of the proceeds.
Companies that rent timeshares like RedWeek make it easy for an owner to rent out their timeshare. Owners are able to create their own postings and interact privately with travelers, while vacationers can peruse the websites’ offerings in the comfort of their home, compare prices, read consumer reviews and evaluate which resorts best fulfill their vacation needs.
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