The timeshare sales module is an important element of Merlin Software. With over 30 years’ experience in the timeshare and fractional industry, the Merlin team has come across a vast number of product types – and indeed many of us have had direct experience in selling these products. From straightforward fixed or floating weeks to fractional developments with complicated calendars and usage rights, we have built Merlin to be able to handle every timeshare and fractional product on the market today (and those still in development).
In a recent discussion with Merlin’s chief architect, Mike Pnematicatos, we asked for his views on Merlin’s timeshare sales module and how it can support resorts during the sales process:
Tell us in a few lines what the Merlin timeshare sales module is all about
The sales module is where contracts are created and ownership is tracked and managed.
It includes features for developer sales, owner resales and for rescission. Contract printing and storing of signed paperwork is also accommodated.
Finally, all transactions that have an accounting impact can be recorded on the contracts in the sales module and will be picked up automatically in Merlin’s back office module, which includes a fully integrated double entry accounting package.
These transactions include sales revenue as well as product and commission expenses.
What are the top three significant advantages Merlin offers over other software providers?
Merlin is built by people who understand timeshare from the inside.
We are not just software developers, but have actually developed timeshare projects and have designed and built Merlin Software to cater for actual operational needs
Merlin is in the cloud. No servers or IT department are needed. It’s all provided as part of the service with professional security and back up.
At Merlin we are passionate about support and leaving no user on their own. Our focus is not just on building superb software, but also on ensuring our users receive a celebrity service
Can the Merlin sales module handle all timeshare and fractional products – fixed week, floating week, points, holiday club, trial product, fractional, odd/even?
In a word: Yes. We were involved as property developers in fractional and points products from as early as 1986 and developed the rules on which most of today’s fractional and points systems are based.
Can Merlin handle more than one type of product per property?
Merlin has three-dimensional logic as far as product types per property are concerned. Merlin can manage a hierarchy of product types in the same units and in the same property.
Can Merlin produce sales contracts without having to manually type them up?
Oh yes. And once signed and scanned the final document can be uploaded and stored on the contract record in Merlin.
Can Merlin hold a price list so that we don’t have to type in any amounts?
Again the answer is: Yes. Merlin allows you to have multiple price lists for both revenue and expense with multiple line items per price list and then you can have rates in multiple currencies.
Did I mention that Merlin has a fully integrated accounting system and deals seamlessly with multiple currencies?
Can we structure the sales debt and add interest?
You are able to structure the deposit/down payment into multiple installments and then structure the balance into installments with or without interest.
Does Merlin keep a history of all the previous owners of the inventory?
Merlin has a full audit trail of every owner of every piece of inventory.
We know who owned what and when they owned it. Also who is obligated to pay the annual dues each year and who may use the timeshare each year.
Does it track the commissions owning and paid?
Yes we do. And we deal with a phenomenal number of commission systems and rules. Too many to mention here.
Does the Merlin timeshare sales module connect with other functionality such as reservations and accounting?
I have alluded to this above and again the answer is: Yes.
When a sale or resale is made Merlin links the sales revenue and expenses including commissions into the accounting package in the Back Office Module.
In addition Merlin will adjusts any future annual dues already invoiced to the previous owner and re-invoice these to the new owner. It does the same with future bookings and it all happens automatically.
Can Merlin handle different currencies?
Yes we do. Merlin tracks all transactions in three currencies:
The home currency of the company, the currency of the debtor’s or creditor’s account and the currency of the transaction.
In simple terms, your home or company currency can be in USD, the debtor can have an account in GBP and they can settle in EUR.
Merlin does all the currency conversions using the exchange rate valid for the transaction date. Exchange rates are stored in the system and there is a full audit on these rates for what they were in the past.
At the end of each month when the accounting period is closed, Merlin revalues all foreign accounts (assets and liabilities) and writes the adjustment to the Forex P&L account.
What future enhancements do you have planned for Merlin’s timeshare sales module?
We are at that stage with Merlin where we already have so many features and so much functionality that it is difficult to think of something more to add!
What we are doing in many areas of Merlin is building front end apps for specific types of users and to deal with repetitive processes or workflows.
These apps consist of customized front ends that incorporate workflows for specific users.
For instance, we have a call centre Agent Desk Top that integrates with a client’s auto dialler and pops calls onto the call centre agent’s desktop.
From there they are able to follow a predetermined workflow which may include selling a mini-vac on the call, actually finding and booking the accommodation, the hooked tour and taking the payment and sending the confirmation, all in real time and all part of a workflow.
We may consider building a sales contract take-on app to do something similar although our present rapid contract take-on workflows seem to be doing just fine.
To find out more about Merlin’s timeshare sales module, ask for an online demo today.