Have a timeshare you are not using? Do you wish to rent your timeshare to cover annual maintenance fees and expenses?
If you have not thought about timeshare rentals before, then an array of options can leave you quite confused. It is difficult to know what websites are trustworthy and how you can protect yourself without getting caught up in fraud. Some people may even think that staying away from timeshare rentals is the only safe way out, but that is, in reality, a bad idea.
Did you know that timeshare rentals generate more than 9.2 billion US dollars in the United States? Around 92% of timeshare resorts offer rental programs. The best part is that most timeshare owners have several options they can use to generate income sufficient to cover yearly maintenance fees and other bills.
If you are interested in renting your timeshare, you are in the right spot. In this guide, we shall look at all there is to know about income generation through timeshare renting. Let’s get started!
What Is A Timeshare?
Vacation ownership or timeshare is, simply put, a lifetime agreement. According to this agreement, you are supposed to pay for yearly trips to one resort or a family of resorts.
You will have to pay upfront and yearly maintenance fees beforehand when you decide to invest in one.
Moreover, upgrade/exchange fees are charged if you wish to reside at a different location or want to exchange the property you initially picked. Most tourist trips are around a week long.
How Does It Work?
There are 2 timeshare contract types. These contracts indicate who owns the property and how someone who pays for a timeshare can visit and stay.
A Right-to-use/shared leased contract divides a certain property amongst several parties that pay for a timeshare. You will be allowed to use the timeshare for a fixed number of years. However, you cannot sell the timeshare as this contract will not give you ownership rights.
Shared deeded contracts divide property ownership amongst all individuals who pay for a timeshare. Each individual is allowed to use it for a specific amount or set of weeks. This type of contract allows individuals to gift, sell or bequeath ownership.
What Are The Different Types Of Timeshares?
The timeshare industry came into being in the mid-1970s. The ARDA (American Resort Development Association) states that these were a way to unload excess condos. Various types of timeshares have since come forth over 50 years, some of which include:
- These are the original timeshares.
- Owners are allotted specific dates and locations at a similar unit yearly.
- Less flexible approach but suitable for people with stability and routine.
- There is no need to compete with other owners for location or dates.
- Came to be in the early 1980s.
- Allows owners to make use of timeshares for 1 week during a particular season or other slots during the year.
- Holiday weeks are less easy to book using this method.
- A biennial owner is allowed the same week stay each year.
Point System Timeshare
- It first started in the mid-1970s.
- This type gives each timeshare owner points every year or every 2 years. These can be redeemed for stays at specific properties each year.
- Points collected can be redeemed based on stay dates, location, room size, etc.
- Larger and more popular timeshares cost added points.
- Each owner must initially purchase a set number of points, depending on how frequently they hope to stay every year.
- Point packages cost different at different places and companies.
What Do Industry Leaders And Timeshare Owners Say About Timeshare Rentals?
Brian Rodgers of TUG (Timeshare User Group) says not many people know that they can rent out their timeshares and earn a significant amount. He further stated that renting out is a great option if you want to avoid paying membership, especially if you have not used your timeshare in quite some time. It is also a great way to cover yearly maintenance fees.
A timeshare renter and owner, Anthony Martin, states that you get a lot of financial freedom through rental income. It is better to have cash in hand rather than points.
Jason Gamel, CEO/president of ARDA, mentions that renting out is a great option for those who cannot use their timeshares for a number of reasons. Travelers can live in timeshares this way, and it also helps tourists understand how a timeshare investment can add value to their vacation trips.
He also mentions that owners must research and always work through reputable companies when renting out their timeshare. You can also find a list of ARDA member companies on the website that offer rental services.
Where To List Your Timeshare Rentals?
Since there are various options you can make use of for timeshare rentals, it is necessary to choose wisely. These choices are different due to the commission you need to pay and the effort you have to input into finding suitable tenants.
Plus, there are advantages and disadvantages to each pick. Some options require zero or minimal effort, and people have been using these since 2005 to make easy money. Let us look at the top 5 timeshare rental options:
Your Social Circle
Your social circle means immediate family and friends. If you love to tell stories about your vacation or have taken your family/friends on trips with you, then it is easier to convince them.
The best part is that the more you talk about it, the more likely someone who needs a timeshare rental will reach out to you from your social circle.
Your family and friends can also help you find strangers or suitable tenants by word of mouth. Therefore, it is a good idea to spread the word and let others know you have an opportunity they can avail of.
This option is great as it is possible to make more compared to a resort’s rental program. You will not have to pay an agent a hefty commission to find good tenants.
Friends and family who book once are most likely to return each year. You can also make use of social media channels to reach out to followers and out-of-reach family members. Share eye-catching resort pictures, videos, and highlights, and let them know how renting can help them save money on the trip.
- You know your tenants well and can guarantee timely payments.
- It is easier to build a repeat relationship for your rental with family and friends.
- You will have to deal with payments yourself.
- Sudden cancellations or changes of mind can get super awkward.
Resort Rental Program
The second best option is to make use of the resort rental program offered by your timeshare resort. If you are not sure if your resort offers one, all you have to do is ask.
This option gives you peace of mind and is quite secure, especially regarding trades.
- All you need to do is sign some paperwork, and you are good to go. You only sit back, relax and watch the money pour in. The resort handles all rental aspects for you.
- Rental amounts are higher as resort-direct prices define them.
- You will have to pay a high percentage of commission as the resort does all the job for you. In most cases, the resort keeps 45% while giving the rental owner only 55%.
- You will have to sign an annual rental agreement that prevents you from listing your timeshare for rent elsewhere in that period.
Koala is a relatively new rental timeshare marketplace created by a timeshare veteran in the industry.
The company has made millions of dollars in just the first half of 2022. This marketplace has listings similar to Redweek. The best part is that Koala researched all the cons of other services and came up with new ways to provide a better and more interactive user platform.
A major feature that stands out is that Koala first looks for tenants and lets timeshare owners know about these individuals. These offers are made to timeshare owners with a set number of points they have not used.
You can join Koala’s new program if you are a timeshare owner at the Club Wyndham/Hilton Grand Vacations. These resorts are booked with Koala, so instantly making use of points is easier.
You can also make use of 2 chain-specific booking hubs to pick a booking, get hold of a resort using your points, and send the confirmation to the Koala team.
As soon as a tenant checks into the resort, payments are immediately cleared. Koala promises great payouts that amount to nearly 22 cents per HGV point. They offer 9.5 US dollars for about 1000 Club Wyndham timeshare rentals.
- Koala allows free listings, and there is zero upfront listing fee.
- Contracts, escrow payments, and regular payments are channeled through secure gateways.
- Offers immediate bookings for Hilton and Wyndham timeshare owners.
- Offer a full-service concierge program.
- Relevantly new, so it is not as popular amongst travelers and tourists.
- Demand is lower as compared to other more popular services.
- Charge an 8% commission fee.
Randy Conrads created Redweek as he loved to vacation. He had spent nearly 20 years spending his holidays in upscale timeshare resorts.
He disliked the commitment that came with owning a timeshare which is why he thought of bringing travelers and owners together through his platform.
Redweek is currently one of the most popular services and an A+ Better Business Bureau-rated organization. Redweek has around 3 million users that make use of the site to book and list timeshare rentals.
Redweek is also the biggest online marketplace for by-owner timeshare rentals. This has made it very popular amongst timeshare owners. Redweek offers 3 different timeshare rental options that you can choose from. This includes full service as well as DIY. All these rental options are reasonably priced, so owners can pick one based on their pay management situation and time.
- $30: Do It Yourself Basic
- Timeshare rental listings are kept on the site for nearly 6 months.
- Payment details and the rental contract has to be managed by the owner.
- No commission is charged.
- $45: DIY Verified And Protected
- The listing is shown as a Redweek verified listing for up to 6 months.
- Owners can use the online booking system for card payments, fund disbursement, and rental agreements. A $15 fee is charged for this platform’s use.
- No commission is charged.
- $80 listing fee to $99 for a flat commission charged upon successful renting:
- Redweek handles advertisements, rental payments, and contracts with this package.
- Listings stay live for 10 days before the check-in date, no matter how long after the date is from the time of listing.
- Provides fund exchange security.
- Offers 3 different plans to choose from.
- Charges commission for management services.
The first service launched to aid timeshare owners was TUG (Timeshare Users Group). They now have a marketplace that allows owners to market timeshare rentals while allowing potential tenants to see listings.
TUG has rented around 21 million US dollars worth of timeshares since 1993, and verified owners made all these transactions. You can pick a DIY package and get unlimited rental ads. This will cost you a yearly $15 membership fee.
- Zero commission.
- Great marketing and a wide audience.
- Low listing fees.
- Fully DIY and does not offer a package for availing marketing, renting, and other services.
Tips To Follow For Successful Timeshare Renting
Now that you know where you can list your timeshare or the options you can use to obtain tenants, it is time to look at some important tips you must know before doing so:
- Always read timeshare agreements and contracts thoroughly. Never sign without making sure you agree with the terms.
- Check the rules of your timeshare resort or company to ensure your property can be rented. Staying updated with their policies will prevent contract breaches on your part in the future as well. This also helps make sure you rent out to tenants within a company’s other set policies.
- Always research well and learn about the market. Go to popular online timeshare rental marketplaces or websites to see what properties have already been rented out. Take notice of dates, seasons, rental duration, etc. Place your listings accordingly.
- Offer a flexible cancellation policy, as most travelers/tourists are likely to take more interest in a listing that offers this.
- If you choose to DIY, make sure you are up for the effort you will have to input into agreements/contracts, timeshare advertising, and successfully renting out.
What Are The Advantages Of Renting Out A Timeshare Rental As A Traveler?
- Timeshare rentals offer spacious living rooms, several bedrooms, and a full kitchen.
- Resort amenities and hotel services can be enjoyed without paying hotel prices.
- Verified online listings mean paying/receiving money is safer.
- Saving up through offers/deals can help you save money while traveling, especially if you are on a budget.
What Is The Cost Of Timeshare Rentals?
Most owners offer timeshare rentals for a night at a minimum of $50. This may go as high as $12,000 per night based on the timeshare rental size, location, luxuries, etc.
An average timeshare rental costs between 50 and 1500 US dollars for a night. Factors that affect this pricing include:
- Rental size.
- Property type.
Properties at popular tourist spots and locations will cost higher. These prices will also double or even quadruple during the peak season.
Are Timeshare Rentals Suitable For All Travelers?
A timeshare rental is suitable for you if:
- If you found a resort you love that is offering a great deal or discounts, then disregarding the opportunity is a bad idea.
- Timeshare rentals can be easily found through an online marketplace. Some of these also offer off-season discounts and cancellation options.
- If you are a last-minute planner or traveler, then timeshare rentals are your best bet.
- You can live in luxury at a popular tourist spot without paying hotel prices.
- Rentals are great if you want to visit locations that most tourists would not opt to go to.
- Great for adventures and living amongst nature.
- You can take your family and friends along to stay with you.
Timeshares can be easily rented out at prices greater than the initial cost plus maintenance fees. However, timeshare rentals do not offer complete property control.
Some regions like Hawaii and Wyndham have also restricted timeshare owners from renting out timeshares during the peak seasons. The Covid-19 pandemic also brought huge losses to timeshare owners as there were no tourists or travelers around.
Timeshares are depreciating assets so make sure you weigh both pros and cons before investing in one.
The good news is that patience, time, research, and a substantial starting budget can help you get a timeshare that can make enough money for trips, annual expenses, and other luxuries. Good luck!