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Timeshare tour: Wikis

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A vacation timeshare tour is a form of advertising used by many timeshare resorts to encourage individuals to consider purchasing a timeshare ownership or vacation club membership interest. Most timeshare tours consist of a minimum 90-minute sales presentation of a timeshare resort or sales center, guided by a salesman, an offer of some sort of snack or meal, and ending with one or more salesmen (and often the sales manager) encouraging and even pressuring for a purchase. The company sending the guest to the timeshare resort normally receives some sort of referral fee, which has resulted in a large number of companies that offer timeshare tours as an incentive.

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Prerequisites

In order to go on a timeshare tour, each timeshare resort has a different set of qualifications, usually consisting of age and income and occasionally must be citizens of the country where the resort is located. Timeshare companies decide which countries they will accept guests from. If married or cohabiting as a couple, both spouses or partners must attend. Singles are qualified differently. Men must usually be married, while women can often get away with being single (and sometimes they even lower the minimum income requirement). This is because of the perception that it is easier to sell the timeshare to a woman than it is to a man. Each resort usually allows one tour per year.

Benefits

Normally a timeshare tour is thrown in as either a bonus or a requirement for purchasing some product from a company, often one that is travel related. Telephone surveys, vacuum cleaner salesmen, and more, offer incentives to customers who are willing to listen to them such as a "3 day/ 2 night stay" in Las Vegas, San Francisco, or other popular vacation destinations. These incentives are, in reality, a commitment to take a timeshare tour.

Travel companies leverage their existing contracts with timeshare resorts to offer more competitive vacation deals, such as free hotel stay, show tickets, etc... These will usually be offered in the form of a "$99 dollar vacation package", which will involve a several night stay, tickets, etc with the requirement that the traveler qualify for and take the timeshare tour.

Drawbacks

Some timeshare tours can extend well beyond the amount of time originally quoted for the tour and can involve the application of high amounts of pressure by multiple sales agents. Occasionally, a free benefit will be denied or delayed until the guest agrees to purchase from the resort, but this is only the case if the company is a credible one or not.

Mechanics of timeshare tours

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Booking a tour

Most guests take sales presentations as a result of either being booked for an appointment by a representative in the area of the resort, or as a result of direct mail, call center contact or internet response. Many offer "off-site presentations" to preview ownership in a sales gallery in the prospect's home town, while some offer "preview getaways" or mini vacation packages to preview the resort. Credible timeshare companies and marketing vendors hired by timeshare companies provide accurate and complete disclosure of all terms, conditions and costs of a timeshare tour. This includes any a sales presentation or tour that is required. Sales presentations are usually listed as 90 minutes to two hours based on interest.

Length of time

Most tours are pitched as being very brief, but in reality the time taken depends on several factors:

  • How quick the salesman is at their presentation
  • How many questions the prospects ask the salesman during the presentation
  • How quickly the prospects answer the salesman's probing questions during the presentation
  • How evasive the prospects are on their answers to probing questions
  • How long negotiations take at the end of the tour (normally not included in the tour time estimate)

Getting the incentive (or not)

Tours are usually required in order to receive the promotion/incentive and are not optional. Most mini vacation promotions involving timeshare tours have cancellation and/or reschedule fees based on the how far in advance cancellation or reschedule is requested. Cancellation with refund is usually only allowed for a short period of time after the package is purchased. The amount of time is regulated by the state or country where the purchaser lives. Most companies offering these packages have some reschedule provisions if the traveler requests the change with ample advance notice.

Taking the tour

A typical timeshare presentation will include an introduction to a one-on-one sales representative, an explanation of what to expect during the tour and a conversation about the guest's current vacation lifestyle before the salesman begins to describe the product and the offer. The representative will describe the type of product their resort or company offers, the uses and rights of ownership and any fees associated with those rights. Some galleries have a podium presentation and/or require the preview of a video or film. The sales person will escort the guests to a typical or model unit and show off the amenities of the resort and the accommodations. Assuming that the guest sees something that they like and could use, the sales,an will discuss pricing, terms and any incentives available for immediate purchase.

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