For those who are unfamiliar, a timeshare is a deeded ownership to a property, usually consisting of one week at the property or a bundle of points to be spent on a combination of nights. Also, they are typically sold in a presentation format, where they show you the benefits of ownership, including a tour of the resort, finally culminating in the sales pitch and options by associates and managers. You may also pre-purchase a timeshare presentation (also called a package) and receive a refund once it is complete.
This article will focus on expectations, and the experience of timeshare presentation. See my first post on the why, where, and how of timeshares.
What should you expect?
You should expect it to be an overall friendly experience with some sales pressure. Of course, this depends which timeshare and which company you are touring with. Being experienced sales professionals, I liken the experience to that with real estate agents or car salesmen. Expect it to take longer than advertised. If they say 90 minutes, give yourself 2 hours, even 2.5 hours. Remember if the time period advertised include things such as travel time to the resort properties, and plan accordingly.
My experience with a variety of timeshares follows the general pattern below. Your mileage may vary.
Presentation -> 1:1 Agent Discussion -> Tour -> Sale Options, Benefits, etc. -> Manager or Closer -> Gifts
Timeshare Experience: The Welcome
After you sign in with a representative, you will be greeted by a sales agent, who will take you for a sit down discussion. This will be a one on one talk, unless you’re a party of two.
I have had this discussion usually in a large conference room, with many, many other groups, or sometimes in a semi-private area for a more intimate conversation. The agent will ask about your current travel habits and lifestyle, as well as your vacation desires. Where would you like to go? How do you travel now? Where do you see your vacation plans in a few years?
Alternatively, depending on the number of attendees for your time slot, you may follow your agent to an initial group presentation. The presenter will share the history, values, and vision of the company, typically talking about the number of current owners and showing pictures of happy people and motivational owner videos. They may also talk about their partnerships and the number and diversity of properties. After the presentation, you’ll then split off with your agent for a more private discussion.
Timeshare Experience: The Sale Tour
After the discussion, you will tour the property, and see the resort and its amenities. Then you will return with your agent to a table or office, to show you the purchase options, additional benefits, transfer opportunities, etc.
Timeshare Experience: The Close
Here comes the highest pressure. They may use ROI or try to sell you on the value, offering more and more varied purchase options. Should you still hold out, they will offer “Today-Only” incentives, or bring in 1-2 managers to understand your decision. Lastly, they will send in a closing agent to offer one last option or vacation package to tour again, or you will speak with someone as a presentation review for feedback, and then finally to the gifts department.
Do your due diligence and research, as timeshares are typically lifetime commitment with annual maintenance fees. It does not fit my current lifestyle, but for those who may be older or with families, it might be a good option.
If you are simply bonus and gift hunters, try to see what you can say to expedite the process. Do not be obstinate or overly difficult, but make it clear if you are not interested. Do not feel bad for taking their time. They understand people will be there for the gifts, and market the packages accordingly. Who knows, maybe down the line the best one may become a part of your travel plans!
Other articles in this Timeshare Presentation series include:
- Timeshare Presentations Intro: Why, Where, and How?
- Timeshare Presentations: All About The Experience
- 5 Pro Tips to Know about Timeshare Presentations
- Timeshare Presentations Finale: 4 Common Sales Tactics
Featured image from Walt Disney World, Orlando from Pixabay. Timeshares can get you here every year!
What do you think of my analysis? Let me know in the comments, or reach me directly at TheHotelion@gmail.com! Like my posts? See more here, on TravelUpdate! Follow me on Facebook (The Hotelion) or on Twitter and Instagram: @TheHotelion