|Your Location: Timeshare Users Group Advice: Timesharing - All the right places for all the wrong reasons |updated: 2/9/08
"All the Right Places for All the Wrong Reasons"
President, Holiday Timeshare Resales www.holidaygroup.com
Ring! Ring! The phones ring. "Hello
They call with eager anticipation, searching for their perfect vacation, their piece of paradise. Timeshare buyers calling for all the right places . . . for all the wrong reasons.
Most first time buyers call with a specific destination in mind: Next year's vacation, a resort not far away or that favorite theme park they remember as a child. All are the right places, but, statistically, they are for the wrong reasons. Let's look at why focusing first on the resort may be the wrong reason.
In a recent survey of timeshare owners*, the primary benefit of owning was flexibility to exchange. Furthermore, this survey reported, only 26% of Owners intended to return to their home resort. Wow! Let's stop and grasp the importance of this.
That is three quarters of Owners took advantage of their exchange company and banked, saved or traded it to go other places. The survey strongly suggests that exchanging is the greatest single contributor to timeshare use and enjoyment. For most of us the place to start our timeshare search is the exchange. That's the right reason.
Some are content to return to their home resort year after year. The majority, however, will choose new and evermore exciting places to vacation. For them the value of their timeshare is its capacity to successfully trade within the exchange system. All too often first time buyers wait months and even years for that one special property, which, statically, they will return to less than half the time. Unless you are a statistical anomaly, your first consideration should be to understand how to exchange. And the secret to that is trading power.
This is the term used by RCI, Resort Condominiums International, to describe their valuation of a timeshare deposit in the exchange system. Interval International, the other major exchange company, is similar enough for our purposes.
The exchange is based upon 'like for like'. What you deposit is what you get. Deposit a one-bedroom high season and choose a one-bedroom high season. Oh, if only it were that easy! In all, there are five factors that go into the weighting or valuation of your week when you make the deposit.
Seasonal Designations. High, mid or low seasons beget the same. While there are plenty of stories of low and mid season Owners making exchanges to higher use periods, we should consider these 'urban legends'. Stick to the rule until you have more timeshare experience.
Size. It does matter when it comes to exchanging. You may request something equal to or smaller than your deposit. When getting there is more important than size and comfort, a two-bedroom deposit may get you a one bedroom in a hard to trade location. Hint: Just leave the in-laws at home.
Resort. The exchange company surveys owners after their vacation exchange to determine the quality of their stay. This is not the same as the designations of gold crown, five stars, etc. It's as much a measure of the quality of service as the physical facility itself. Service does, after all, count for something.
Location. Resorts located in popular destinations will have more trading power over those in less desirable ones. What might be a fun and popular location for you may not budge the needle of world opinion.
Deposit. This is the amount of time you deposit in advance of your desired vacation. It is the only one that you have control of after you purchase. And no, you cannot deposit far enough in advance to make up for a bad season, size or location.
For the sake of simplification I've broken this down into one easy rule:
It's more important to buy what everyone else wants, than what you want.
Your first timeshare is no time to be penny wise and vacation short, or so narrow as to lose sight of your timeshare’s long-term use and enjoyment. The difference between an average timeshare and a great one is usually not the money. It's the trading power. To go to all the right places, purchase for all the right reasons. You'll have years of enjoyable vacations ahead. Enjoy!
*Source: Ragatz Associates Resort
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