Inside the Villa Group Timeshare Presentation in Loreto

What exactly happens at a timeshare presentation by the Villa Group in Loreto?

We’ve all seen, and complained at times, the peddlers at the cozy Loreto airport wooing arriving gringos, promising all kinds of freebies. Free breakfast. Free souvenirs. And, of course, free tequila. All you need to do, they say, is hop on a bus at a pre-arranged time, and be whisked away to a special “presentation”.

All of us know instinctively there is some kind of pressure cooker sales process involved. In this case it’s a new condo development south of Loreto.

Loni mentioned earlier in a post, that we took one for the team. So what happened?

The Hook

VillaGroupTimeShareLoreto-3As we strolled downtown Loreto, taking in the colors, the shops, the overall sleepiness, and as usual scoping out new places to eat or snack, a “tourist information” official approached us. I think it took us less time than a Loreto mosquito identifying it’s next victim, to realize, ok here we go, timeshare hustle!

This was a new location for the sales people to hang out though. Typically we’d see them across from Cafe Ole (close to the Villa Group sales office) or, as mentioned, at the airport. They caught us on Salvatierra after a light lunch down the street at La Cascada.

They were most gentlemanly this time, unlike the often hyper aggressive guys we’ve encountered annoying visitors. After all, these were “tourist information” officials, not commission-hungry reps.

The Pitch

VillaGroupTimeShareLoreto-2So we entertained these 3 fine Villa Group chaps, seated at their table, map of Loreto behind, and important paperwork in front. We were interested to know more about the new development. Pricing? Location? Floor plans? Time frames? All the usual things we like to dig into when evaluating real estate.

The lines were the same: a lot of free stuff for an hour of your time.

When it seemed like we were going to walk away, out came the sweeteners. Tequila! Luxury spa!

No obligation. Just sign here for one of the presentations which is offered “every hour” for a group of people. Translation: we have a sales person hungry to talk just to you.

We agreed on a time to be picked up at the Inn at Loreto Bay. 9:30. They would arrive. Drive us to Hotel Posada de las Flores for a sunny rooftop breakfast, followed by a presentation at the sales center across the street.

The Pick-up

VillaGroupTimeShareLoreto-8Just before 9:30, Loni and I headed curbside to the roundabout at the Inn at Loreto Bay. We were greeted on time by a standard taxi. We were the only two. We hopped in. The taxi proceeded to the Paseo, where a second van, with Villa Group logo and sales person in tow, followed us to Loreto.

This Bourne Ultimatum like arrangement must be a workaround for the ban the Inn has on Villa Group entering it’s grounds.

So we have two vans headed North to Loreto. A/C blasting fine. Stomachs anticipating the breakfast ahead.

The Butter-Up

We were dropped at the steps of the Flores Hotel. There we were greeted by a hostess seated at what appeared to be a makeshift table, again with lots of paperwork. She was to sign us in. We needed to show a credit card while covering all the digits for privacy save for the last 4. Sign more paperwork. Take receipts.

VillaGroupTimeShareLoreto-10We meet our sales person, a pleasant enough woman who will escort us upstairs and join us for breakfast.

It turns out she lives in Loreto Bay, renting a Casa Chica. She speaks well of the development, but occasionally emphasizes the flexibility of a time share arrangement.

Another gorgeous, sunny day in Loreto. The sun streams across the rooftop, and I’m thankful that Loni again made me slather sunscreen all over myself. SPF 55.

The buffet style breakfast is very good. Nice European and Continental selections. I splurge. Two pastry, sugar-encrusted, twisted something-or-anothers. Something like a donut, muffin and cake combined to look like legitimate breakfast food. With Loni’s low-fat Fruit & Yogurt special a distant memory in San Jose, these pair wonderfully with the decent drip coffee.

VillaGroupTimeShareLoreto-4Conversation with our sales person is going fine. She worked at Villa Group in other locations such as Cabo San Lucas. While we are talking she is taking notes, filling a form. Lead qualification continues.

We discover some math about the cost related to our lifetime vacationing habits. Hotels, airfare, meals, entertainment. It all adds up. Our long weekend drives up to Bodega Bay are looking like a real steal.

The Cooker

Now we’re seated in the small, wooden office of Villa Group. Breakfast was good, actually very good. We’re comfortable and on track. No surprises.

VillaGroupTimeShareLoreto-7Photos of the upcoming resort, Villa del Palmar Loreto, line the walls. We’re offered sodas and water.

We learn about the development, the location, and the success of the developer. A draft term sheet sits in front of the rep and she attempts a close at seemingly predetermined points in the process.

The key highlights:

  • Timeshare condos are the only offering at this point, to be completed in 2009 (?)
  • Fully owned units may be offered in 2010
  • 1 bedroom condo for 1 week/yr, about $30,000
  • Special promotion if you sign, an extra week included, price also drops to about $25,000
  • You can choose floating or fixed dates, the latter more expensive
  • There are two seasons: winter (peak) and non-winter
  • HOA for 1 bd about $750, 2 bd $800s per month
  • You can use the Villa Group swap program for properties in the network, across the world

VillaGroupTimeShareLoreto-6The floor plans were nice, if not typical, with a lock-off option for the 2-bedroom providing rental flexibility.

Then it came time: are we interested? Now’s the time to buy! Sign here. We didn’t. And explained we preferred full ownership. At this point, the sales person called in her superior. A gregarious man walks in, firmly shakes are hands, and makes small talk. Then asked if we would buy if the price were $5,000. Really?! Wow. Well not really… a standard sales technique to discover if price is the real objection. We danced a little, all in professional manner.

The Takeaway

When it was done, we shook hands, and parted ways with the information, thanking them for their time and vice-versa.

Villa Group delivered on their promises.

We never felt like they were wasting our time, considering we obliged to the process and were legitimately interested in what they had to tell us. The sales tactics were not overly aggressive or beyond standard real estate practices that we’ve seen many times over.

They provided all the information and answered all of our questions.

In the end, though, for us, a timeshare is not the right fit.

However, if you are interested in timeshares, I think the Villa Group is worth at least checking out. They do have a successful network of properties in Baja. You will be treated fairly through the pre-sales process, although we can’t vouch for actual purchase experience. Perhaps we’ll hear from folks over time that have purchased.

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  • cathy getman

    So, they never took you out to the location? Dan and I went out there on our own this week and it's an absolutely beautiful beach – although in the middle of nowwhere. But I&quot;d think that it'd be a big seller. Everyone beware – the hookers are also at the cashiers in Pescador.<br />
    <br />
    Thanks for the great review of the process!!<br />
    Cathy

  • Loni Kao Stark

    No they didn't. At the time they said the power had gone out at the construction site and that it was a bad time to go out there. They did note if it was critical to our decision to buy a timeshare, they would take us out there. <br />
    <br />
    I do wonder what the incentive is for each qualified lead they bring in. Must be pretty good for such motivated behavior.<br />
    <br />
    – Loni

  • cathy getman

    So, they never took you out to the location? Dan and I went out there on our own this week and it’s an absolutely beautiful beach – although in the middle of nowwhere. But I”d think that it’d be a big seller. Everyone beware – the hookers are also at the cashiers in Pescador.

    Thanks for the great review of the process!!
    Cathy

  • cathy getman

    So, they never took you out to the location? Dan and I went out there on our own this week and it’s an absolutely beautiful beach – although in the middle of nowwhere. But I”d think that it’d be a big seller. Everyone beware – the hookers are also at the cashiers in Pescador.

    Thanks for the great review of the process!!
    Cathy

  • Loni Kao Stark

    No they didn’t. At the time they said the power had gone out at the construction site and that it was a bad time to go out there. They did note if it was critical to our decision to buy a timeshare, they would take us out there.

    I do wonder what the incentive is for each qualified lead they bring in. Must be pretty good for such motivated behavior.

    – Loni

  • Loni Kao Stark

    No they didn’t. At the time they said the power had gone out at the construction site and that it was a bad time to go out there. They did note if it was critical to our decision to buy a timeshare, they would take us out there.

    I do wonder what the incentive is for each qualified lead they bring in. Must be pretty good for such motivated behavior.

    – Loni

  • Clinton Stark

    Hi Cathy, thanks for the comment. It will be an interesting development to follow, as well as JW Marriott. <br />
    <br />
    So that's what was happening at Pescador!

  • Clinton Stark

    Hi Cathy, thanks for the comment. It will be an interesting development to follow, as well as JW Marriott.

    So that’s what was happening at Pescador!

  • Clinton Stark

    Hi Cathy, thanks for the comment. It will be an interesting development to follow, as well as JW Marriott.

    So that’s what was happening at Pescador!

  • Linda Kuehl

    Just to clarify. Timeshare maintenance fees (the $800) are paid annually for the use of the one week per year, not monthly. $30,000 is a very expensive timeshare. Most Mexican timeshares are not deeded, but have a fixed life – say 20-40 years. I personally own 5 timeshares, most purchased resale, but my most expensive was $8,000 and my least expensive was $750. My 1 bedroom timeshare in Puerto Vallarta(which I paid $750 for) has annual maintenance fees under $350, so $800 is on the high end of maintenance fees as well. I'm actually looking forward to being able to stay at the Palmar in Loreto through an exchange while I am building my house in Loreto. <br />
    <br />
    If anyone has thoughts of wanting to stay at the Palmar in Loreto, don't buy directly from developer, but buy a resale Club Palmar membership based at one of their other resorts. You'll be able to trade into the Loreto property and save a lot of money. Redweek.com is a great place to shop for resale timeshares.

  • Loni Kao Stark

    Great info Linda. You are right that it is not deeded – Palmar is over 30 years.

  • Linda Kuehl

    Just to clarify. Timeshare maintenance fees (the $800) are paid annually for the use of the one week per year, not monthly. $30,000 is a very expensive timeshare. Most Mexican timeshares are not deeded, but have a fixed life – say 20-40 years. I personally own 5 timeshares, most purchased resale, but my most expensive was $8,000 and my least expensive was $750. My 1 bedroom timeshare in Puerto Vallarta(which I paid $750 for) has annual maintenance fees under $350, so $800 is on the high end of maintenance fees as well. I’m actually looking forward to being able to stay at the Palmar in Loreto through an exchange while I am building my house in Loreto.

    If anyone has thoughts of wanting to stay at the Palmar in Loreto, don’t buy directly from developer, but buy a resale Club Palmar membership based at one of their other resorts. You’ll be able to trade into the Loreto property and save a lot of money. Redweek.com is a great place to shop for resale timeshares.

  • Linda Kuehl

    Just to clarify. Timeshare maintenance fees (the $800) are paid annually for the use of the one week per year, not monthly. $30,000 is a very expensive timeshare. Most Mexican timeshares are not deeded, but have a fixed life – say 20-40 years. I personally own 5 timeshares, most purchased resale, but my most expensive was $8,000 and my least expensive was $750. My 1 bedroom timeshare in Puerto Vallarta(which I paid $750 for) has annual maintenance fees under $350, so $800 is on the high end of maintenance fees as well. I’m actually looking forward to being able to stay at the Palmar in Loreto through an exchange while I am building my house in Loreto.

    If anyone has thoughts of wanting to stay at the Palmar in Loreto, don’t buy directly from developer, but buy a resale Club Palmar membership based at one of their other resorts. You’ll be able to trade into the Loreto property and save a lot of money. Redweek.com is a great place to shop for resale timeshares.

  • Loni Kao Stark

    Great info Linda. You are right that it is not deeded – Palmar is over 30 years.

  • Loni Kao Stark

    Great info Linda. You are right that it is not deeded – Palmar is over 30 years.

  • eufemio

    NO you didn't feel like you wasted YOUR time because you got a &quot;news&quot; story out of it to post on this dumb blog of yours. But did you accept their gift? and didn't you waste THEIR time?<br />
    <br />
    I have always thought people who bought timeshares were stupid so I don't feel sorry for them parting wth their money. Kind of you ***** that bought into the Loreto Bay mentira. At least the Villas Group has a PROVEN track record in MEXICO more than you can say about that failure Loreto Bay Group, same guys who bailed out when the echo in the well was heard last year. They're laughing all the way to the bank while you &quot;Founders&quot; are left holding the bag. BWAHAHAHAHA

  • eufemio

    NO you didn’t feel like you wasted YOUR time because you got a “news” story out of it to post on this dumb blog of yours. But did you accept their gift? and didn’t you waste THEIR time?

    I have always thought people who bought timeshares were stupid so I don’t feel sorry for them parting wth their money. Kind of you ***** that bought into the Loreto Bay mentira. At least the Villas Group has a PROVEN track record in MEXICO more than you can say about that failure Loreto Bay Group, same guys who bailed out when the echo in the well was heard last year. They’re laughing all the way to the bank while you “Founders” are left holding the bag. BWAHAHAHAHA

  • eufemio

    NO you didn’t feel like you wasted YOUR time because you got a “news” story out of it to post on this dumb blog of yours. But did you accept their gift? and didn’t you waste THEIR time?

    I have always thought people who bought timeshares were stupid so I don’t feel sorry for them parting wth their money. Kind of you ***** that bought into the Loreto Bay mentira. At least the Villas Group has a PROVEN track record in MEXICO more than you can say about that failure Loreto Bay Group, same guys who bailed out when the echo in the well was heard last year. They’re laughing all the way to the bank while you “Founders” are left holding the bag. BWAHAHAHAHA

    • Nina

      Hi all , I have a question so I had a story exactly like yours and the timeshare costs me 14500
      total and my annual maintenance fees were 580 with 4 weeks to spend a year the membership
      was again 30 years did i get a good deal or should i just buy off somebody else's timeshare
      better than from Villa Group itself????
      Thank YOu

  • Nina

    Hi all , I have a question so I had a story exactly like yours and the timeshare costs me 14500
    total and my annual maintenance fees were 580 with 4 weeks to spend a year the membership
    was again 30 years did i get a good deal or should i just buy off somebody else's timeshare
    better than from Villa Group itself????
    Thank YOu

  • Jeffsuomi1

    DO NOT buy from the Developer at a sales presentation. Look at resale ads in RedWeek.com and you can buy from present members of the vacation club for pennies on the dollar. Even if you would be interested in timeshare ownership (right to use 30 years), think hard about it with the Villa Group Developer. The annual maintenance fees will eat you up. If you want to visit Mexico at one of the Villa Group resorts, look at rental ads in Redweek. Much cheaper than buying a membership. If you really want to get into the “nuts and bolts” of the Developer and the Universal Vacation Club, go to http://www.universalvacationclubmembers.com which discusses issues and concerns about the operations.

  • Harriet Mendler

    Villa del Palmar’s Sales Practice has a well recognize reputation for the lies, scams and most likely to misrepresented the contract at the moment of signing. Villa del Palmar sales associate like any other sales person will tell you all the wonders you want to hear to make a purchase, most timeshare presentation last 90 minutes, but at Villa del Palmar you can be up to 4 hrs in there.
    Do not let their wonderful words lure you away, read the contract before signing, the contract clearly estates that any verbal promises made to the buyer that are not on the contract are invalid and that the purchasing of a membership at Villa del Palmar is not an investment, it only other way of saving for future vacations, it also states that if you wish to purchase the membership for the solid purpose of renting for profit, that you should reconsider your purchase of the membership. Villa
    del Palmar

  • teresasimmons

    The best advice is NEVER buying a timeshare anywhere. It is a scam and the so-called timeshare you buy is sold over and over again to other people. It is very difficult to sell your timeshare now and renting isn’t in the deal. It will cost you more to buy a timeshare and maintenance fee than to rent a hotel room or a full ownership of a condo. Don’t do it. There is good information about timeshare scams: http://www.timesharescam.com/blog/68-timeshare-scams-mexico-vs-us-why-are-there-more-situations-of-fraud-in-mexico/

  • The timeshare presentations are usually long lasting, and no one wants to spend their time hearing nothing but lies,

    I recommend you this article if you are interested in learning more about how to survive and avoid being scammed:

    http://www.timesharescam.com/blog/89-timeshare-presentations/