Buyer Assistance

First, be honest about your finances. On the home page I talk of a 700 or better credit score and cash. I have been selling resorts for 37 years and heard all the stories of optimism, just be honest and factual, because I will ask you to substantiate your qualifications.

If you are qualified this may be the best real estate market we have seen in decades. The "proper planners" that have made plans (homes sold etc.) and have down payment cash will be rewarded with an exceptional deal. In addition, we at Orion will provide operating consultations at no cost for one year. We have successfully operated a number of resorts and campgrounds and will pass on experience on how to prioritize, budget, plan rate structures, operating procedures and the best places to advertise. Be a Proper Planner and you will be rewarded.

When we council buyers, here is a sampling (the tip of the iceberg)

  • Review of first impressions:
    • Presence on the web
    • Image of brochure and stationary
    • Phone manners
    • Entrance to the resort
    • First greeter
    • Entrance of each cabin
    • General appearances of grounds, docks and equipment.
  • Procedures:
    • Daily routines
    • Change over days
    • Check in / out
    • Time saving devices and equipment
  • Prioritizing Improvements:
    • My rule of thumb is do nothing without a minimum of a 20% yield - Meaning no purchase of rental equipment or improvements to any cabin or revenue source without a net yield of 20% (The cost of money, a risk factor and a margin) A simple formula can save time and minimize risks.
    • There are some exceptions to this rule if it improves rates or occupancy.
  • Marketing:
    • External is getting guests to the resort; internal is getting them to spend more money once they are there. (Example: The use of discount coupons given upon arrival for equipment that is not rented prior to arrival.)
    • In the resort business we all have perishable inventory and need to manage it correctly. What we have to sell is an increment of time. If it doesn't sell, it should be wholesaled for last minute purchasers, traded for something the operator needs or given away for a future benefit.
    • Price cabins by demand, comforts, view and privacy.
    • You MUST track your advertising. Use what works and cut the unneccessary expenses.
  • Expense management:
    • Shop everything: Insurances, Credit Card Fees, Online purchase of supplies, pre-planning for turn over days to maximize labor efficiency and trade out labor.
  • Dealing with lenders:
    • Once you are an owner, first rule of thumb, never borrow money when you really need it. Set up your lines of credit when you are in the very best cash position. Make your payments just after cash flow peaks.
    • Don't store cash in a checking account earning 0 while your debt is accruing interest.
    • Make sure your banker is working with you, your loan is as much of a problem to the banker as it is to you.
    • Show your banker you are organized, feed them good information and always negotiate for a better rate.

Next Step: Read our Resort Buyer's Guide