How To Survive a Timeshare Presentation
You go on vacation to relax and enjoy some much-needed time away. And, while seeing the sights you come across a visitor’s center. They offer free tickets or discounts on local attractions in exchange for attending a timeshare presentation. It’s only 90 minutes and before you know it, you’ve decided to go for the freebies. At this point, you might be wondering how to survive a timeshare presentation.
Timeshare Presentation Survival: What to Know
Before committing to a timeshare presentation, it’s essential to be well-prepared and informed about what the experience entails. The duration of these presentations can be quite lengthy, often taking up a significant portion of your day. Here are some detailed factors to ponder:
- Family Considerations: If you’re contemplating attending with your family, think about the members who will be accompanying you. For instance, if you have younger children, their patience and attention span might be tested during a long presentation. It’s crucial to gauge whether they’ll be comfortable and entertained throughout the session or if alternative arrangements should be made for them.
- Duration of the Presentation: A standard timeshare presentation can last anywhere from 3 to 5 hours. It’s not just a quick sales pitch; it often involves a tour of the resort, a detailed presentation, and a Q&A session. Assess your own comfort level and stamina for such a duration. If sitting or engaging for extended periods is challenging for you, it might be worth reconsidering.
- Physical Well-being: Your physical state can significantly impact your experience. If you’re someone who gets hungry often or has medical conditions like low blood sugar, it’s advisable to eat a substantial meal before the presentation. Feeling hungry or light-headed during a lengthy session can be distracting and uncomfortable.
- Scheduling Conflicts: Before locking in your attendance, review your itinerary for the day. If you have other activities or commitments planned post-presentation, ensure there’s ample time between them. Timeshare presentations can sometimes run longer than anticipated, and you wouldn’t want to feel rushed or miss out on other experiences.
Surviving the Timeshare Presentation: A Breakdown of the Resort Tour Framework
Knowledge is power. When you’re equipped with a clear understanding of what awaits you in a timeshare presentation, you’re better positioned to navigate it with confidence and discernment.
Let’s delve deeper into the intricacies of a resort tour to shed light on the sequence and strategies employed during timeshare presentations:
- Building Rapport: The initial phase of the presentation is all about establishing a connection. The timeshare greeter, often with a warm smile and friendly demeanor, will initiate a conversation to build rapport. Their goal is to make you feel comfortable and welcomed. They’ll inquire about your hometown, the purpose of your visit, your travel frequency, and perhaps even your favorite vacation spots. These aren’t just casual questions; they serve a dual purpose. Firstly, they aim to create a friendly atmosphere, and secondly, they gather information that will be invaluable for the sales team.
- Tailored Sales Pitch: Based on the information you provide during the rapport-building phase, the salesperson will customize their pitch. They’re trained to highlight aspects of the timeshare that align with your interests and travel habits. For instance, if you mention you love beach vacations, expect to hear about the resort’s beachfront properties or water-based activities.
- Visual Engagement: To make the offering more tangible and enticing, many timeshare presentations include a short film or multimedia presentation. This visual aid typically showcases the resort’s amenities, testimonials from satisfied timeshare owners, and perhaps even a glimpse into potential vacation destinations. The aim is to immerse you in the experience and evoke a sense of desire.
- Property Tour: After the multimedia segment, you’ll be escorted through select units or properties. This hands-on experience allows you to visualize yourself in the space, assess the quality of accommodations, and ask any questions about the facilities. It’s a tactile approach to selling, making the idea of ownership more tangible.
- The Sit-Down: Once the tour concludes, you’ll be ushered to a cozy setting, often a small table or private area, where the actual sales pitch intensifies. Here, the salesperson will discuss the various timeshare vacation packages, pricing structures, and potential benefits. They might present special offers or limited-time deals to entice a commitment.
While the process might seem straightforward, remember that every step is meticulously planned to persuade and influence potential buyers. Being aware of these tactics can help you make informed decisions and ensure you’re not swayed solely by the allure of persuasive sales techniques.
The Art of the “Today Only” Close
Now comes the closer with a deal you would be foolish to say no to. But, that’s where the price drops start. And, there are several before that sales rep gets tapped out with let’s “Meet the Manager.” All of this is by design, a scripted and rehearsed program to get you in front of the boss. That person is trained to overcome any objection and they have the authority to help you decide on the spot. Similarly to car sales, the manager is going to ask…What’s it take to do a deal today? This is often referred to as the “Today Only” close.
These high-pressure tactics can be intense during a timeshare presentation, which is why it’s important to be prepared. Remember, you are not obligated to purchase a timeshare just because you sit through the presentation or for any other reason, including gifts or incentives to attend. If at any time you feel like you’re being pressured into making a decision, simply say that you need time to think about it and excuse yourself. The worst thing you can do is make a rash decision that you’ll regret later. We’ve recently talked about buyers’ regret in our timeshare blog and how to avoid it.
How to End a Timeshare Presentation
After employing the tips mentioned above during a timeshare presentation, it’s important to know how to effectively bring the presentation to a close without making any commitments.
Here’s how to end a timeshare presentation gracefully:
- Express Gratitude: Thank the salesperson for their time and the information they have provided. This sets a polite tone and shows that you respect their effort.
- Be Clear and Concise: Clearly state that you are not interested in purchasing a timeshare. Avoid giving reasons that could be countered with more sales pitches. Simply say, “Thank you, but I am not interested.”
- Decline Additional Offers or Incentives: The salesperson might attempt to entice you with additional offers or incentives. Politely but firmly decline these offers without engaging in further discussion.
- Stand Up: Physically standing up signifies that the conversation has ended. This non-verbal cue is powerful and usually prompts the salesperson to wrap things up.
- Walk Away: Begin to walk towards the exit. If the salesperson continues to engage, repeat that you are not interested and this is the end of the timeshare presentation. Continue walking without stopping.
- Avoid Confrontation: If the salesperson becomes aggressive or confrontational, remain calm. Do not engage in an argument. Simply reiterate your lack of interest and leave the premises.
- Follow Up with a Written Notice: If you feel it’s necessary, you can send a polite written notice to the timeshare company stating that you do not wish to be contacted again.
By following these steps, you can exit a timeshare presentation in a respectful yet assertive manner. Remember that you are under no obligation to make a purchase, and it’s important to stand your ground while remaining polite
Undoing Your Timeshare: The Rescission Window
If you did make a purchase, your next chance at “survival” is to be aware of a rescission period, which will range from 5-10 days if you act within that timeframe. You have a statutory rescission period in which you can cancel or revoke your purchase and receive a full refund of all money paid, depending on the state where you made your purchase.
This is your only opportunity to walk away from your timeshare purchase without any hassle. If you choose to terminate your interest after the expiration of the rescission period, you may well find yourself on a difficult road to travel.
Understanding How to Cancel a Timeshare
Buying a timeshare while on vacation can be exciting, but sometimes people don’t read the fine print right away. If the resort doesn’t point it out, you might miss the chance to cancel or “rescind” your purchase within a specific time.
It’s super important to know how to cancel correctly. You can’t just call the resort and tell them you’ve changed your mind. You have to send them a written notice. The address to send this notice to is usually in the contract, and it’s often not the same as the resort’s main address.
So, always read your contract carefully! Just because the resort doesn’t make it easy to cancel doesn’t mean you can’t. As long as you send a written request within the time frame, they have to accept it.
Termination Options for Timeshare Owners Beyond Rescission Period
If you find yourself a timeshare owner and beyond your rescission period, your termination options are considerably more limited. They include attempting to re-market your interest, attempting to directly negotiate a termination with your developer, looking for a third party such as an “exit company”, should search out a timeshare attorney with considerable experience in dealing with these types of termination issues.
Although our opinion is arguably biased, it seems the best argument for whom to hire, is to recognize that since you are attempting to extricate yourself from a legally binding written contract, it makes far more sense to hire a licensed experienced law firm skilled in timeshare contractual issues, than an unlicensed un-credentialed exit company. Furthermore, an experienced timeshare lawyer can significantly limit or eliminate debt collection calls and communications, as well as oversee proper accurate credit reporting, services not offered by exit companies.
Surviving a Timeshare Presentation
It may just be a question of mentally preparing yourself for an extended hard sell sales pitch designed to wear you down over an extended period, arming yourself with knowledge in advance about rescinding a purchase in a correct and timely manner, or perhaps determining the best course is avoiding the experience altogether.
After all, if you do want to buy a timeshare, investigating and purchasing through a licensed real estate broker familiar with the timeshare secondary resale market at around a tenth or less of the developer’s price will avoid both the timeshare presentation itself and the retail cost of buying from the developer.
This article is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Always consult an attorney familiar with timeshare law for specific legal advice.
Led by Timeshare Attorneys Michael D. Finn and J. Andrew Meyer with over 75 years of combined experience. The Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare-related issues. If you feel you need the advice of an attorney, we offer a free consultation in our office, over the phone, or by video.
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