Dealing with the unexpected tends to be a common theme for those that buy into the timeshare industry. Aggressive upgrade tactics and surprise revenue streams are easy ways for resorts to make money off of vulnerable travelers that are now stuck with a contract that isn’t benefiting them. Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked a lot about the frustrations regarding assessments and timeshare maintenance fees. These expenses tend to catch timeshare owners off-guard due to a lack of detail during initial sales presentations. When fees become unpredictable and finances are strained, many begin to inquire about the resort’s ability to take back timeshare mortgages or paid off contracts. Once the request is denied and reiterated, regret normally transpires. If you’re reading this and feeling trapped, just know you’re not alone.
The Sad Truth About Timeshare Ownership
Hundreds of thousands of timeshare owners are forced to continue dishing out cash against their will. They’re either left reeling for value or frantically looking for a way out. Although the loss of hope is a common occurrence, it’s important that you don’t act irrationally out of emotion. The repercussions of walking away from the contract only heighten the cost and grief of the purchase.
After talking to thousands of timeshare owners about the possibilities of getting rid of their agreement, we’ve been able to itemize some of their questions and concerns. Aside from their skepticism towards relief programs, many buyer’s don’t understand how they’ve gotten into the situation they’re in. A good number of them simply want clarity on what’s actually transpiring and what their realistic options are. It’s difficult to comprehend why the resort won’t let them give back the timeshare so they can sell it to someone else. Especially when the timeshare owner has spent thousands of dollars towards a less-than-stellar experience that was rarely used.
The Disheartening Reality of Timeshare Companies
Unfortunately, a large percentage of timeshare owners seemingly forget that they signed a perpetual contract with obligations to pay the resort consistently. If you ask any organization, residual income is the foundation of the business. Moreover, timeshare companies specialize in selling shares and upgrades, not re-allocating them. Once you’ve agreed to terms, there’s no incentive for them to relieve you of these obligations.
Customer service representatives are basically sales teams that are incentivized to persuade you to spend more. They’re not trained or encouraged to help you get out of a timeshare contract. Even after your mortgage is paid off, they still lean on your annual fees for consistent profits. You’re nothing but a number to them. Understanding this from the get-go is important.
When timeshare owners communicate their intent to cancel the contract, all they’re doing is initiating the preparation of a sales pitch or legal battle. When you think about the situation, the resort has all the leverage. What makes you think they’re going to cave because you wrote a bad review or challenged their integrity? All they have to do is point out the terms you agreed to. Your pursuit of justice is essentially laughable to them at this point.
Acknowledging this reality can be difficult for many. Trying to make sense of it all on your own can be extremely discouraging. It goes to show how rewarding our timeshare cancellation services can be. Either way, educating yourself on the reasoning behind your experience will help you better understand what your options are. But, before you decide to move forward with a timeshare exit company, let’s talk a little bit more about why timeshare companies won’t take back timeshare mortgages or paid off contracts.
1. More Fractional Owners = More Residual Revenue.
It’s important that timeshare owners comprehend the competitiveness of the travel industry. It’s extremely cut-throat and everything is predicated on anticipation. Planning and contingency is valued because cancellations are frequent. At the end of the day, this is why the timeshare model was created. When resorts are able to guarantee revenue streams, they’re able to hike up prices during premier seasons and maximize profits when availability is limited. If you own a timeshare, you’ve probably already experienced booking frustrations because of this.
If timeshares took back properties that buyers were disappointed with or disinterested in, their ability to profit would drastically decrease. Locking you into a contract with annual maintenance fees allows them to cover their costs while focusing on margins. If retail occupancy is low, the resort can always count on fractional owners that pay like clockwork, annually. When damage occurs, they’re able to spread out costs through assessment fees.
The more timeshare owners there are at the resort, the easier it is for them to cover unexpected expenses and other development costs. If they voided the contract of every unhappy owner, they’d end up with more unhappy owners that would want the same. Since most timeshare owners experience some sort of frustration after the purchase, it’s easier for them to point to the terms instead of refunding regret. We can assure you that canceling recurring revenue and investing more money into sales is not ideal for timeshare companies.
Smaller corporations value recurring revenue more because it’s what’s keeping the operation afloat. Any type of set back risks the chance of filing bankruptcy and the entire thing sinking. It they keep throwing out life vests to everyone that wants to jump ship, it’s going to be extremely difficult to stay above water. The last thing they want is to spend thousands of dollars acquiring new fractional owners only to allow their guaranteed revenue streams to walk away.
2. Timeshares Spend Exorbitant Amounts on Acquisition
When it comes to understanding why resorts won’t take back timeshare mortgages or paid off contracts, you don’t have to look far for a comparable example. Think about how much work goes into closing on a house. Although the timeshare sales process isn’t as extensive, resorts put a lot of effort into acquiring fractional owners.
In order to acquire new vacation owners, timeshare companies strategically schedule ‘tour’ dates. This means, they provide just enough information to intrigue potential buyers by disclosing little about the opportunity itself. This process includes the development of marketing and advertising gimmicks. A handful of people are generously compensated for their role in creating compelling methods that persuade consumers. The presentation itself is only one small piece of the overall acquisition strategy. If the resort discloses too much when promoting the event, then less people will attend and their closing rate will suffer.
If you apply the planning costs, an individual ‘tour’ (one couple that attends the presentation) costs the resort approximately $1,200. When analyzing the efficiency of the presentation, the closing percentages of one tour is normally around 30-35%. If you don’t have a calculator handy, this means the timeshare company’s acquisition costs per client is at least $4,000. This is just to cover the marketing costs of the tour. On top of all that, they still have to pay hefty commissions to incentivized sales teams around 20% of the sale. To give you perspective, most realtors are lucky to get 3% of a home sale. These overall expenses don’t include overhead to run the sales operation or the cost of a closing gift – which is normally a “free” weekend at the resort, dinner or an activity.
Once you add up all the costs, you can see the resort spends a pretty penny, to say the least. All of these elements work in unison to get you under contract. If they’ve taken all of this time and invested all of that capital in closing you, why would they be willing to take it all back because you’re upset? They worked extremely hard to keep you from the realities of the contract. A lot of people have sold their soul and invested in the commission of your deal. They’re expecting your contract to pay for a lot of costs that went into the marketing strategy and presentation. Most importantly, they’re really looking forward to the ballooned amount you’ll be paying them over the next few decades – or lifetime. Why would they give that all up when they have your signature and all the leverage?
Timeshare Ownership is Just Like Homeownership
When something goes wrong with a home purchase (like a major repair) or you realize the investment is too big, you can’t just cancel the mortgage. If you’re struggling to make payments or decide it’s not worth your while, the bank isn’t going to adhere to your demand to buy it back. The contract you signed is binding and the outcome isn’t going to be favorable. In this sense, homeownership is really similar timeshare ownership. The only difference is, consumers invest time in buying a home while timeshares invest time and money in manipulating you to buy.
If you’re currently looking for a way to get out of your timeshare contract, we’re only a phone call away. Don’t expect to be bombarded by a sales team and empty promises at VOC. We take the time to understand what you’ve gone through and help you piece together a congruent timeshare exit strategy that’s best for you. Feel free to schedule a FREE consultation to learn more or proceed below with our detailed qualification from.