Known as "home away from home," timeshare properties offer individuals the luxury of traveling away from home while still being able to enjoy all the amenities they enjoy at home, such as full kitchens and bedding accessories. Timeshare salesmen make a living by acquiring multiple owners of a timeshare property. Their salaries are earned largely via commission, which means they can make next to nothing or as much as six figures.
Timeshare salesmen are required to undergo real estate training and must possess a real estate license before selling timeshare. As such, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average salary of real estate agents, including commissions, at $40,150 as of 2008 with the middle 50 percent earning between $27,390 and $64,820 as of 2008. On the lower end, the 10th percentile earn $21,120 while the 90th percentile of earners make an average of $101,860.
A Closer Look
"The thing that really attracts people is the income potential; there is no limit to your income potential," states Patty Coen, director of recruiting for Fairfield Resorts, (Wyndham as of publication) one of the nation's leading time share resorts in a January 2004 article for "Pacific Business News." In fact, top salespeople at the company earned as much as $200,000 annually according to vice-president of sales Michael Turolla. Those in the middle range earned between $60,000 and $70,000 annually. These figures are comparable to the more recent 2008 figures reported by the BLS.
Cohen notes that a timeshare salesman is more likely to earn his commissions quicker because buyers typically make their decision within 24 hours as opposed to buyers of residential real estate who may take several months to make a decision. However, timeshare salesmen often have to make a certain amount of money to keep their positions. This is the case with Fairfield, which mandates that salesmen generate a minimum of $100,000 in income annually.
An Executive Quest study shows that timeshare salesmen may receive a number of noncash perks such as company vehicles, health and life insurance, and salary-matching employer 401k contributions (employers contribute as much as employee earns) and relocation expenses in the event a representative wants to work for a company in another state or region. Thus, a timeshare salesman can earn an additional six figures in perks.