VIEWS AND INTERVIEWS
Q&A: Talking to five enthusiastic vacation seekers
about timeshare features and benefits – Part II
For our December episode of Q&A, we continue our chat with the five young timeshare owners we spoke to in November. In the last segment they spoke about planning a vacation, splitting your week into smaller slices, and upgrading your plan when possible. For the December segment, they talk about something that every new customer is wondering about – how to tackle a presentation by a marketing company. Now this can be useful.
Over to our guests of the month, on our Q&A session >
Q: We asked Martin Victor, a real estate professional, about the first presentation he was invited to …
A: When I went for my first presentation, I hadn’t done any homework on timeshare as a product offering, and what timeshare companies offered you as features and benefits. So everything I heard at that presentation seemed like good news. My advice to new customers would be to attend presentations by different companies - make comparisons in terms of resort locations, features, benefits and all charges that are applicable. After doing this comparison, making a choice will be easy – in other words, be well informed and ask the right questions.
Q: We asked Mohan Surya from the banking industry about his experience in sales presentations …
A: For me, things were relatively simpler – at least three of my cousins have timeshare plans, and I have gone with their families on holidays. So I was already familiar with features and benefits from timeshare operators. I just needed to negotiate a good deal and ask the right questions at the presentation. It is also important to make sure that the resort owners are reliable, with a reputation you can go by. My advice here for new customers: always go with a resort that is part of a regulated network – and you’re really safe under the AIRDA umbrella.
Q: We asked Lakshmi Vedant, a bank officer about her first presentation …
A: I went along with my husband for our first presentation – and that was a good idea, because when it comes to a long-term decision, it’s useful to get your spouse involved. I must say that the presentation was indeed very useful and informative – and the sales team explained all the features and benefits offered. They even took the time to explain the fine print and the fact that we were entitled to a cooling period – which is a good feature from the customer’s point of view.
Q: We asked Bhanu Prajapathy, an advertising professional about his first presentation …
A: The first presentation I attended was from a resort company that was not part of the AIRDA network. And the sales guys made a rapid-fire presentation that was over in 15 minutes. After that, the team spent more time talking about free gifts and gold coins, than actual benefits and features at the resort – they did not even encourage questions about annual fees, utility charges and other issues that I was keen to know about. Luckily, my second presentation was by an AIRDA member and that was enlightening. . .
Q: We asked Vikram Salura, a software programmer about his first presentation …
A: My first presentation too, was a little like Bhanu’s – the sales team was after my cheque. That was all they were interested in. The emphasis was more on signing up than making a proper sales presentation that talked about the properties, the locations, the facilities, the food, the activities and the charges applicable. Now that was what I was interested in. You can’t have a sales presentation that starts by asking if I have brought my cheque book along. From the above responses, it is clear to me that customers need to be better informed. They need to play safe and go with a resort operator in the organized market. Thank God, for regulatory bodies such as AIRDA – they ’re what the timeshare industry can really benefit from.
Please note: Names changed to protect the identities of the people interviewed.