Q&A: Why some customers have second thoughts about timeshare
This month we look at one aspect in the decision making process that sometimes stalls and delays the decision to pick up a timeshare plan. It’s about the thoughts and concerns that play out in the prospect’s mind before he makes that final decision.
We spoke to a few current customers and asked them to recall the first thoughts and concerns that crossed their minds after the timeshare sales presentation - concerns that could get them to delay, or rethink their decision to pick up timeshare.
My job involves field work and research – so I really did my homework on timeshare - reviewing features, benefits and the commitments that go with it. But when it actually came to signing on the dotted line, I took a little more time before I made the commitment. Not many people will understand this, but my concerns were REAL, and serious. You see, I come from a simple, middle class home, where the concept of going on a vacation is seen as a luxury – not on the essentials list. And this sort of weighed on my mind.
But looking at the changing world around me and the way young people enjoyed themselves, I was tempted. I also looked at life after getting married and the experiences my wife and I could offer our children. Just because I did not experience the good life, I did not want to deny my children a good time. At the end of the day, I’m glad I took that decision to go for a timeshare plan.
When I went for my first timeshare presentation, I was truly impressed with all that timeshare had to offer – both in terms of vacations in India and the big wide world of holidays across the globe, through exchange partners.
But I was 25, young and not yet married. In some strange lopsided way, I wondered if this was something I expected my husband to provide when we got married. Like I said, the thought was lopsided and I soon overcame that. I picked up a timeshare plan on my own and paid in installments. When I eventually got married, my husband appreciated this move that I made – especially since it freed up his money for other things that we needed to commit to, as a young couple – like housing, for instance.
Initially, during the presentation, while the concept of long term holidays was interesting, I was not sure about a few things. I was 28 years old and still in my first job, and wondered if I could postpone the decision till I was 30. I was not sure if I could add to my monthly list of EMI payments, or whether timeshare as such, made sense in the long run.
In today’s world, 30 is the age when you have to make many financial decisions – car, bike, apartment, investments. Timeshare was a good thing to do at 28 - I started enjoying the good life, earlier than most people of my age. I am 32 now and have finished with most of my EMI commitments – that’s a big relief.
I love travelling and after my five-year course in architecture, my father said he would gift me a timeshare plan. We have a rather successful family business and I knew that this would not send him out of pocket. He could well afford to gift this to me as a reward for really working hard during my architecture course.
But something told me that I just could not expect such a lavish gift - even though it was from my father. So, what would I do? I really liked to travel, and this was a great way to do that and study architecture all over the world. But I did not want to accept this as a gift and here’s what I did.
I had a nice chat with my Dad and told him that I was accepting his offer on one condition – which was treating it as a loan and paying back in installments. Eventually my Dad saw sense in my logic and agreed with me.
As we have seen in these examples and many others that we come across, money isn’t always the block in the mind of a customer. It could be a reason so personal and private you may not even get to know about it as a marketing person. It’s our job and responsibility to find out why people hesitate before they sign on the dotted line - to bring the customer to a level of comfort about a timeshare decision.
It’s all in the mind.
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What does an AIRDA membership mean to resort owners and developers? AIRDA comes in as your industry partner, conscience keeper and business catalyst - with a wide portfolio of support services.
What does AIRDA mean to holiday seekers and prospective customers? AIRDA comes in to provide information and offer guidelines on making the right timeshare decisions.