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Timeshares promise vacationers unforgettable getaways, but those experiences come with substantial recurring payments in the form of mortgages and annual maintenance fees. Many people who purchase timeshares ultimately have buyers remorse and want out, only to find that getting rid of a timeshare isn’t as easy as they hoped.
Timeshare owners who have passed the recission period (during which the agreement can be cancelled) have few ways to dispose of their timeshare. Resorts often won’t agree to cancel timeshares and, since timeshares depreciate faster than cars, selling doesn’t bring in much money. In many cases, owners aren’t even able to give away their timeshares.
Timeshare exit businesses help timeshare owners get out of the agreements they’ve signed. With 1.15 million or more owners wanting out of timeshare agreements, there is strong demand for this type of business.
Who is this business right for?
Anyone who is detail oriented and not afraid of conflict may enjoy running a timeshare exit business. In many cases, helping customers get out of timeshares involves heady legal battles that call for attention to detail and confrontation.
What happens during a typical day at a time share exit business?
Running a timeshare exit business is a legal proposition that has three primary aspects:
- Explaining the process to customers, who may be upset, confused, and frustrated
- Researching applicable laws and preparing legal paperwork
- Communicating with resorts, which may involve phone calls, letters, and court appearances
What is the target market?
The target market for a timeshare exit business is timeshare owners. Timeshare owners tend to have at least some discretionary income, but that’s not always the case. They are usually people who like to go on vacations.
How does a time share exit business make money?
A timeshare exit business makes money by charging customers to help them get out of timeshares. Because the process can take months or years, many companies charge their fee up front.
What is the growth potential for a time share exit business?
Most of a timeshare exit business’ work is done remotely, so it’s easy to grow. Some businesses may remain smaller law firms, but many expand quickly once they specialize in timeshares. Primo Management Group is a one-attorney practice specializing in this work. Finn Law Group and Timeshare Exit Team are examples of larger companies handling timeshare exits.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful time share exit business?
In order to help people get out of legally binding timeshare agreements, business owners must be qualified to practice law. In most states, this means completing law school, passing the bar examination, and becoming a lawyer.
Business owners can theoretically start a timeshare exit business and hire attorneys for the legal work, but at this point the business owners add little value to the business. There’s a risk that the attorneys would start their own, competing company.
After passing the bar exam, business owners may need to study laws specific to timeshares in different states and countries. There are some books on these subjects, such as The Condominium Concept and How to Cancel a Mexico Timeshare. Business owners will gain more knowledge, however, by spending a short time working for a timeshare exit business before striking out on their own.
What are the costs involved in opening a time share exit business?
Aside from the legal training required, the costs associated with owning a timeshare exit business are minimal. Business owners need a printer, copier, computer, website, phone, and fax machine. Any legal fees can be paid using funds that are collected up front, and there’s no need for an office since most work is done remotely.
What are the steps to start a time share exit business?
Once you're ready to start your time share exit business, follow these steps to ensure that your business is legally compliant and avoid wasting time and money as your business grows:
- Plan your business. A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. A few important topics to consider are your initial costs, your target market, and how long it will take you to break even.
- Form a legal entity. Establishing a legal business entity prevents you from being personally liable if your time share exit business is sued.
- Register for taxes. You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
- Open a business bank account. A dedicated checking account for your time share exit business keeps your finances organized and makes your business appear more professional to your customers.
- Set up business accounting. Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
- Obtain necessary permits and licenses. Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
- Get business insurance. Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.
- Define your brand. Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
- Establish a web presence. A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Where can I find a business mentor?
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
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What are some insider tips for jump starting a time share exit business?
The timeshare exit industry is rife with complaints from consumers that claim businesses are dishonest. While there are plenty of honest businesses in the industry, there are also many that don’t have good reputations. Several are even being sued by timeshare sellers.
For long-term success, timeshare exit businesses should carefully build up a good reputation. Businesses can develop positive reputations by being accredited with the Better Business Bureau, being transparent in what they charge and do, and offering timely communications with customers.
How to promote & market a time share exit business
Timeshare owners who want to cancel their timeshares typically do at least some research online, so most timeshare exit businesses focus their advertising efforts on internet campaigns. Search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and retargeting ads are a few ways to market this type of business.
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How to keep customers coming back
Timeshare exit businesses can set themselves apart from most of the competition by simply being honest and transparent. Timeshare Exit Team has largely built an entire company on simply cultivating a good reputation, although even they have some negative reviews online.
How and when to build a team
Because timeshare exit laws are detailed and vary by location, business owners will want to hire some legal experts as soon as a business secures its first customer. Paralegals and other attorneys can help a business handle and win more cases.
Many business owners also either hire an administrative assistant or outsource their administrative work so that they can focus on the legal work that actually generates revenue.
How much can you charge customers?
The costs to get out of a timeshare vary depending on the complexities of the agreement and applicable laws, and a lack of transparency in the industry makes it difficult to know exactly what competitors are charging customers.
What are the ongoing expenses for a time share exit business?
The ongoing expenses for a timeshare exit business are manageable. A business must pay for an office if it has one. Otherwise, the main expenses are the cost of a phone line and internet access, and employees’ salaries.
How much profit can a time share exit business make?
A timeshare exit business can bring in a substantial revenue. At the time of writing, the Finn Law Group has 16 pending cases. From those cases alone, the group likely saw $80,000 or more in payments (based on the $5,000-plus price noted above).
How can you make your business more profitable?
Most timeshare exit businesses don’t branch out beyond timeshare law. Instead, they may expand their geographic reach when they want to grow.