Timeshare Sales and Developer Strategic Responses – Part III

This is the final post in a three-part The Timeshare Authority blog. (Timeshare Sales and Developer Strategic Responses – Part II) Parts I and II looked at how the credit crunch is impacting timeshare developers and timeshare sales, as well as what adjustments some timeshare companies are making to deal with it. Today’s post looks at what appears to be a growing recognition of the values in timeshare resales during these tight economic times.

Looking First at Wyndham Timeshare and Marriott Timeshare Sales

In the 4th quarter 2008, Wyndham timeshare reported that their gross vacation-ownership interest sales (timeshare sales) dropped 11 percent. In 2008, Wyndham timeshare segment contract sales declined 23 percent to $1,076 million. (source: Wall Street Journal)

Declining numbers like these in timeshare sales are no longer headline news; we’ve been hearing this message since last fall when Westgate Resorts timeshares and Bluegreen timeshares first began to send up red flags that they were feeling the pain of the troubled economy. But let’s consider the changes in timeshare sales patterns from all angles.

Sell My Timeshare NOW Saw Timeshare Sales Climb in 2008

At Sell My Timeshare NOW, the overall number of offers to buy or rent timeshares increased by 85 percent from 2007 to 2008, totaling 132,470 offers. The dollar amount of these offers also increased during this period, reaching $461,470,158.00, which represents a 68 percent increase over the dollar amount of offers to buy or rent timeshare in 2007.

Even in the 4th quarter of 2008, when US financial experts had stopped calling it a troubled economy and switched to calling it a recession, Sell My Timeshare NOW saw a 73 percent increase in the number of offers to buy or rent timeshare over the same quarter in 2007. Quarter-over-quarter, we experienced a 43 percent increase in the dollar amount of these offers.

Clearly people are tightening their belts, and personal financial situations range from ‘nervous about the economy’ to those who are dealing with the trauma of foreclosure, job loss, or both. Yet timeshare, both new and timeshare resales are selling. Before the credit crunch, Westgate timeshare was reporting strong sales of new timeshares as well. Westgate timeshare President and CEO David Siegel told the Orlando Sentinel, in an article that ran last September, that Westgate was managing to pay all its bills and will continue to meet all its obligations. But that there is no money for new business. “We’re having a record year. We’re in the most profitable year in our history and the banks are freezing our money. So we have no choice. In order for our company to survive we’re going to downsize until the money starts flowing again.”

And in a time when just about everyone is looking to get his or her dollar’s worth, it is not surprising to see a migration from closed timeshare sales offices to the excellent values available by shopping online for timeshare resales. Timeshare buyers are recognizing the value in timeshare sales on the secondary market and the enormous opportunities in timeshare resales.

This is a challenging economy, but there is nothing going on that the timeshare and vacation ownership industry won’t handle in stride. The industry will come out of this economic period redefined and better and the changes will benefit both consumers and the industry alike.