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, each and every year. 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 the background of timeshare presentations. This will include their general locales, as well as strategies to extract the best package offering.
What’s the Purpose of Timeshare Presentations?
Sales leads! The resort property uses timeshare presentations to pitch their offerings, experience, and vacation potential to you, the prospective buyer. It is a highly lucrative business, with initial sales ranging from about $10,000 to upwards of $40,000-$50,000, and annual maintenance and processing fees of hundreds to thousands of dollars. These presentations are a powerful attempt to elicit emotion and the desire for stable, more cost-effective vacationing, typically for couples and families.
Free things! Knowledge!
What type of free things?
The range of gifts include hotel rewards points, dining, entertainment, or travel credit, or the simpler cash or prepaid gift cards.
For prospective buyers, presentations are an opportunity to learn more about timeshare offerings and properties, view them in person, and discuss which options may work best for their lifestyle and future travel plans.
Where can I find them?
Because timeshares are deeded properties and usually resorts in their own right, they are typically located near tourist attractions and major entertainment centers. This would include Las Vegas, New York, Orlando, etc. These would house the major timeshare players (Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, Wyndham, Westgate, etc.) as well as many other medium size or smaller size timeshare companies (such as Tahiti Village).
The less frequently travelled tourist attractions, such as Williamsburg, Virginia, may have just one or two of the big players, and several smaller sized companies. Regardless, the premise, experience, and engagement with the potential buyer are similar.
On the Hunt!
Within these areas, you can find and sign up for timeshares in several ways. Before your trip, you can scope out which properties online, simply by searching for the region or city, and “timeshare” or “timeshare presentations”. Or, you can sign up for a special deal and discounted stay beforehand, with the requirement of attending a presentation during your stay.
My way (and the lazier way) of signing up is simply enjoying yourself during your vacation and walk around. Most likely, you will head to a heavily foot-trafficked area, such as an outlet mall, casino, or tourist attraction. The representatives will approach you, usually offering some sort of gift such as a free stay, food credit, or entertainment voucher. Or, look for a vacation travel agency sales booth, with pictures of fancy resorts, nice pools, and happy, smiling people.
Pro Tip: Understand that the timeshare companies hire marketing agencies to sell their timeshare packages. Because of this, the gifts offered in the timeshare package may be different from location to location, even with the same marketing agency! Play them off each other, do some comparison, and push to get the best offer you can. I talk about this more in a future segment.
How can I sign up?
Before you can sign up, verify you meet the various requirements. These are different from company to company, and I have provided the approximate ranges below.
- Gender: Single Female, or Cohabitating Couple. No single men (their research shows single men are least likely to purchase)
- Age: 25 to 29 and up
- Income: $50,000 to $80,000 annual combined income
- Employment: currently employed
- Residence: Cohabitating – either matching addresses on IDs, or show verification through bank statements, utility bills, etc.
- Recency: Must not have attended the same company presentation within last 3, 6, or 12 months
One of the best parts of my late 20s is each birthday “unlocking” a new company’s world of timeshare presentations. While 21 was alcohol, and 25 was renting a car without additional fee, later years exposed me to this fascinating world of deeded properties.
To Sign Up
Because they have allotted presentation slots, you may have to reserve your spot with a deposit. I have a paid deposits ranging from $20 to $125, which was always in cash. This deposit is refunded to you in addition to your gifts that you have negotiated, once you have completed the presentation. However, it is forfeit should you not show up.
If you are interested, try to find a marketing booth offering timeshare presentations. Do not be afraid to walk away, and be sure to push for the gifts you want (for example, food credit over show tickets). The better informed you are, the better decision you will make.
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 Pixabay: Jockey Club Timeshare between Cosmopolitan & Vdara. A lifetime of Las Vegas and vacation!
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