Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why fixed week timeshare is better than floating type

If you're familiar with floating model you can jump directly to fixed week concept

eNidhi India had been a severe critic of timeshare Industry in general and Club Mahindra in particular. Timeshare industry in India appears to be in a mess, mainly because of following reasons:

Timeshare companies enrolling members far beyond the capacity of their resorts, resulting in several members not being able to get accommodation despite planning months in advance (for 7 days an year membership, for each resort unit time share company shouldn’t enroll more than 52 members. If they do, 53rd member onwards are guaranteed to get rejected, never mind how early they plan-this is simple mathematics)

Strong marketing tactics by sales team which makes unrealistic promises to un-suspecting customers and tempts them to sign up on the spot, leaving such members at the mercy of timeshare company, when they realize that ground reality is totally different than the picture created by sales staff.

You may read few articles by Outlook Money in support of above opinion-"Will timeshare work for you"| Happy Holidays| Beware of those time bombs|

While the above is called floating model of timeshare, there is a concept called Fixed Week Timeshare wherein a member gets a unit designated to him for a specific week every year (unlike floating type where member needs to approach the company every year and fight with rest of the members to get confirmed accommodation)

Before we discuss fixed week timeshare, let us look at the currently used model of floating type timeshare
*A timeshare company sets up few resorts (say 10 resorts), each resort having 100 number of units (Approx)
*For 10x100=1000 resort units, company should not enroll more than 52000 members (If each member is promised one week of holiday every year), but aggressive sales team doesn’t cap memberships to 52000 but enroll far more members than that.
*A prospect buys timeshare membership “assuming” that he/she will get to take one week holiday every year. But Rooms are “subject to availability” and there’s no commitment from Timeshare Company in with regards to availability of rooms or compensation if the company fails to provide accommodation. But member is forced to keep paying money “irrespective of usage”.
*Because there’re more members than resort capacity a bunch of members are denied booking every year-resulting in increased disappointment and bad name for the company in particular and industry in general. Members won’t have a peace of mind since their chances of getting an accommodation depends on how early they plan, the preferences of other members, luck and several other factors which are totally beyond their control.

So despite paying lakhs of rupees members has no control on the resort unit he is supposed to be owning and every year he/she is at the mercy of so many factors to get a booking.

Fixed Week Timeshare concept, if implemented, will resolve above issues and make timeshare much more meaningful.


First, timeshare company shall assign a specific unit to each member for the entire duration of membership between specific dates every year. Example: When I enroll for membership I get to choose a particular room (unit) (let us say Room no. 301 at Jujuba at Club Mahindra’s Coorg Resort) for next 25 years between Jan 1st to Jan 7th every year. In other words, whatever happens I own that room between the given dates for next 25 year. Similarly each member gets permanent ownership of a specific room in one of the resorts for seven specific days every year.

Q: Does that mean a member is stuck with a specific resort for his entire membership tenure?
A: No. These members can then exchange the units among themselves and stay at different resorts. They need not be at the mercy of Timeshare Company to get the booking and exchange among them at par, for premium or for discount (as per demand/supply). Timeshare company needs to provide a platform for its members to trade/exchange their units.
For members
1. Timeshare company cannot enroll members in excess of the resort capacity as they need to assign a physical unit to each member while sign up.
2. Eliminates dependency on Timeshare Companies to get accommodations. Which room a member owns in which resort is well known.
3. Full control on the unit they own-Exchange with other members or sell it in open market, gift it to someone etc.
4. Guaranteed holiday every year and full peace of mind. They own a specific unit every year between two dates-No need to worry about possibilities of not being able to get a booking.
5. The days of ownership are well known-So it is easy to plan the vacation.
Creates a perfect investment platform. Easy to trade units like stocks-Buy a good room at a good resort for a popular season and sell it later for premium in open market.
6. Protection against change of seasons (Timeshare companies usually have a tendency to increase Red weeks (popular seasons) over a period of time-if you buy weeks during less popular seasons chances are that your options come down every year, as a number of blue and white seasons are silently converted into red season)
For timeshare company:
1. Members can’t complain that they are not able to get reservations.
2. Focus can be diverted from marketing strategies to maintaining the resort and providing good member services.

Risk factors:
Not being able to exchange units with other members-if you happen to own a least popular week, there is a remote probability that no one will be interested in exchanging their units with you. This may force you to holiday at same resort every year or sell it for heavy discount.


hari said...

I can see both advantages and disadvantages to this fixed timeshare business.

The big problem is that you cannot guarantee that every year you will take the same dates unless you're in a job that's very predictable.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

You dont necessarily have to take holiday on that specified week-you can sell it, gift it, exchange it with some other member...

timeshare company just needs to provide an interface wherein members can put their days on the table and declare if they want to exchange it with members owning similar room during some other week, or sell it off etc.

The dependency on the timeshare company gets eliminated. Else you've to see for which date a room is available and then plan your holiday accordingly. There's no guarantee in floating type you can get when u want...

Trupti said...

I m a timeshare owner from over 10 years. Could go for holiday only twice!!! I dont ever get weeks in advance (planning a year ahead) and maintainence charges keeps spiraling.I m really mad at their booking service which I did figure out , just as the way you told.Now I only want to get rid of it and have some peace. Have you found a way out of it?? Please email me on


Shrinidhi Hande said...


That's really sad.

Since I never took such membership I an not sure how you can come out of it.

The least they can do is refund ASF and extend membership by an year, which they dont do.

Sheldon said...

It all depends on what fits your travel lifestyle. If you buy it cheap enough on the resale market like I did I think floating is the way to go. I had a fixed week with Silver Leaf Resorts and that was hard to sell although
finally got it sold for me.

Trupti Parab said...

I want to sell my blue studio club mahindra membership valid 2035. Balance days 15.