VIEWS AND INTERVIEWS
Q&A: Talking to Subu Palamadai, a graphic design professional who is curious about timeshare
Thursday, August 01, 2013
Subu Palamadai is the Principal Designer at Bread Butter & Jam, a design house in Bangalore. With an academic profile that includes the Royal College of Art and the Faculty of Fine Arts in Baroda, Subu has worked with the Times of India and Maa Bozell.
Subu is always looking beyond the horizon and somewhere in this distant landscape, you’ll find his cravings for picking up his bags and taking off on a holiday. We chatted with him because he was so full of questions about timeshare – especially as a viable option on long-term holidays and vacation ownership.
This Q&A session is different, in the sense that he is asking us all the questions and we’re attempting to find the answers for him. Our little chat session with him might just clear some doubts in other people’s minds, if they are thinking and wondering about the same issues.
Q: Why does “long-term” in timeshare have to be 25 to 30 years?
A: The normal term of 25 to 30 years is the result of extensive planning and financial analysis. In addition to ensuring an inflation-free product, the term is designed around ensuring a fair return on investment for the people who put in money on property and resources; there is also the question of ensuring adequate fund flow to manage the property in a sustained manner. It helps to know that the scale of the investments is so enormous, investors and resort owners will not be able to stabilize in five or ten years.
Q: Can you be reasonable on maintenance fees that resorts charge?
A: The actual configuration of maintenance fees is primarily dependent on facilities and the quality of service at the resort. It is useful to remember that there are multiple cost and expenditure heads that resorts need to budget for on a monthly and annual basis. This could include general upkeep, maintenance and administrative costs that are shared across members.
At the end of the day, you also need to set aside funds, build up reserves and meet cyclical investments on upgrading the resort. Compare all this with the long-term cost of your holiday - you’re in a time machine that is actually future-proofed against inflation.
Q: Are memberships really transferable?
A: Thank you for asking us a simpler question this time. Yes, you can transfer your timeshare ownership – and your options could include a transfer to your immediate family, relatives and friends. To enable this please get in touch with your home resort for assistance on the documentation required.
Q: Can you offer a points system, like my supermarket does?
A: The points system already exists as one of the options. And your home resort will probably package it for you in some very unique ways. You can find out more about this at the time of signing up for your plan, or maybe later, on an ongoing basis. It is always useful to know about the goodies that are coming your way.
Q: How can I be sure that my money is in good hands?
A: There’s probably just one way of making sure your money is in good hands. Pick a resort from AIRDA’s member list.
The All India Resort Development Association is a self-regulated, independent advisory dedicated to the timeshare and vacation ownership industry. AIRDA’s primary members are resort owners, who benefit from AIRDA’s constructive sharing of ideas and strategies on the running and promotion of timeshare. All members are governed by a common Code of Conduct - AIRDA works closely with member resorts to cut a clean image in the industry and offer fair value to end customers.
AIRDA also represents the industry within government circles on policy issues that could have a bearing on timeshare and vacation ownership in the country.
AIRDA has a balanced end-customer focus and provides updated information on the official website. This covers the timeshare marketplace, advice on making informed choices on vacation ownership and assistance on complaint redressal, if any.
AIRDA is an affiliated member of the American Resort Developers Association.