A Brief History of Timeshare
Thursday, April 27, 2006
You don’t have to be a super-genius to ponder the mysteries of the online timeshare universe. Here’s seven important, basic tips for anyone looking to sell or rent timeshare online.
In case you didn’t already know, there’s a lot of people trying to resell their timeshares. This usually happens because timeshare owners, for whatever reason, aren’t able to use their timeshares as regularly as they originally planned. Considering that the owner still has to pay maintenance fees even when the timeshare isn’t being used, selling (or renting) a timeshare could be a smart move for people in this position. After all, why pay for something you won’t use?
Here’s where the challenge lies: a lot of other people want to sell or rent out their timeshares, too! This means that if you are trying to advertise a timeshare property for sale or rental, you are competing with lots of other folks trying to do the same thing. When their first efforts at advertising don’t work, people become frustrated, and want to seek other options. Sooner or later, people will turn to the internet in order to get the most exposure for their properties.
Obviously, the internet has great promotional potential. However, with most new opportunities come new risks. Anyone who transacts business online should make an effort to become familiar with any potential problems they are likely to encounter. This holds especially true for the online timeshare space, which has its own set of unique advantages and challenges.
If you are one of the many people thinking about promoting a timeshare property for sale or rent, I’d like to offer a few important tips to keep in mind:
1. Don’t panic! Behaving impulsively or making hasty judgement calls can set you up to become a victim of resale fraud. Timeshare fraudsters prey on people’s fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Despite online misinformation to the contrary, know that it is quite possible to sell or rent your timeshare. In many cases it can be quite easy. Your best option is to make deliberate, informed choices. Blindly reacting to hype or negative publicity will hurt your chances of successfully selling or renting your property.
2. Know that you have choices when it comes to selling or renting your timeshare. If this sounds simple, consider that the market for timeshare resales currently favors buyers and renters. This can make for a daunting experience for those who want to sell or rent their properties. Unless There’s advertising companies who can list your property for an upfront fee, or you can enlist a licensed broker if you’re more comfortable paying a commission after the sale.
3. Don’t do business with cold-callers. Unsolicited telemarketing is a major red flag, as several resale fraud schemes depend on acquiring your personal information, by fair means or foul. If contacted, say “don’t call us; we’ll call you“.
4. Research similar properties to determine an aggressive sale/rental price. This takes time, which is why many people like to get a timeshare market value survey from a professional (another reason why a broker might be a good choice). This survey should be provided free of charge. In fact, you should never pay for a timeshare appraisal, comparative market analysis, or other comparative pricing. An informal survey is entirely sufficient to determine a competitive selling price, and plenty of companies/individuals are happy to do this for no charge.
5. Scrupulously research your resale company before entering into an agreement. Does this company have a spotless record with the Better Business Bureau? If not, avoid them! Though this is a vital first step when dealing with an upfront advertising company, this also applies if you’re looking for a timeshare broker.
6. Don’t be afraid to list your property in more than one place. The more exposure for your property, the greater the chance of finding a buyer/renter on the internet. If you’re listed with two companies, you can often pit one against the other, to see who sells the property first. As long as the “losing” company is willing to refund the advertising costs in full, this scheme has great potential.
7. Never rule out a “commission-free” advertising service. At the same time, never pay for this service “sight-unseen”! Advertising a timeshare property by yourself instead of paying a sale commission can in many cases save you thousands of dollars in the long run. The trick is to make sure that a timeshare-by-owner service can fulfill its promises. As with any online business, it is true that pursuing your own due diligence is absolutely vital before initiating a business relationship. Does this company’s website show up on the first page of Google’s search results? Are there any BBB complaints against this company? Are they listed with any consumer watchdog websites? If so, avoid them! When dealing with an upfront-fee advertising site, trust is essential. Companies accrue trust by treating their customers well. If a company is untrustworthy, customer complaints will be your first clue.
Following these timeshare tips is a good start toward success in selling or renting your property. However, it’s important to contact a reputable timeshare resale company or timeshare broker to discuss your goals, your situation, and the particular features of your resort or unit.