Great Deals on Timeshares Over the last few years, it seemed as though the thought of buying into a timeshare was a dream many people no longer thought they could afford. With the economy finally on the rebound though, more and more are starting to see timeshares as a viable possibility. Timeshares have quite a […]
Fancy Vacationing Somewhere Different This Year?
Timeshares may get a lot of bad press for being associated with scams, but in reality the majority of timeshares are genuine (read our blog article ‘Ten Signs it’s a Timeshare Scam’ for advice on how to spot a scam), and make for a fantastic addition to your property portfolio. Timeshares in getaway beach destinations such as Florida, Colorado, and Mexico provide buyers with a relaxing holiday each year without having to worry about the cost of accommodation. A common reason people are put off time shares is the idea of having to vacation in the same place each year, but this needn’t be the case. As a timeshare owner you have the option of arranging a timeshare exchange. Not sure what a timeshare exchange is? Remember the film The Holiday with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet? Well, in the film Diaz swaps her luxury LA home with Winslet’s cottage in the English countryside for two weeks over Christmas. This is basically what a timeshare exchange is, except that you will only be exchanging holiday homes; not your actual home.
Finding a Timeshare Exchange
The best thing about a timeshare exchange is that you can arrange one with anyone, anywhere across the world; you are not required to stick to a single country. So if you fancy two weeks in the French Alps, or three on the Spanish coast, there is nothing to stop you from having the holiday of your dreams. The only problem is actually finding a timeshare in your desired destination, and arranging for the swap; this is where it can get slightly tricky. If your timeshare resort is owned by a company which also owns several other resorts across the world, it is possible they may provide an open exchange system. Speak to the resort company to find out where their other resorts are, and whether it is possible for you to participate in a timeshare swap. Another option is to go through an exchange company. These companies facilitate the exchanging of time shares, matching peoples’ requirement to what other timeshare owners have to offer. All you have to do is sign up for the exchange company and indicate potential places and dates for your holiday.
What can you do if you’ve gotten all you can get from your current timeshare but don’t feel like selling just yet? Go in for a permanent timeshare swap. Permanent timeshare swaps can be used if you want to retain a timeshare holiday home but in an alternative destination, and they work in a similar way to a regular timeshare exchange. There are various online platforms available where you can advertise your own timeshare unit, and browse other units you may be interested in. Though it would be possible to arrange an international permanent timeshare swap, it would be easier, and likely more beneficial in the long run, to swap within the country.
Alternative Ways to Use Your Timeshare
Many people are driven to increasing their mortgages to pay debt off; a process called ‘debt consolidation’. The thinking is that as interest rates on mortgages are low, it is the best way to pay off debts quickly without accumulating loads of interest. This thinking is not entirely correct, as there are lots of potential pitfalls to consider. In short, consolidating your debts in this way is only recommended as a last resort. If you are a timeshare owner, you may wish to consider using your timeshare as a way to boost your financial situation. Renting out your timeshare when you are not using it is a potential route to go down. In this scenario you have the flexibility to dictate your cost and terms of rental, but you will need to check you are abiding by the terms of your contract with the resort company. Alternatively you could sell your timeshare to release the funds as a short-term solution to financial difficulty. Take a look at the ‘Sell Your Timeshare’ section on our website for more information on how to successfully sell.
This blog was written by our guest blogger, Evie Pearce.
If you are interested in writing a guest blog, please send an email to : firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration
About the author
Evie Pearce is a freelance writer and mother of two. After giving up her career in the hospitality and tourism industry to become a mother, she turned to writing about it instead. A keen traveler, she likes to have her dogs take her for a walk most evenings before pretending her husband is a good cook.
Check out this Infographic from FlipKey and Consider a Lake Tahoe Timeshare Rental
- South Lake Tahoe is the #1 vacation destination in the Lake Tahoe area (followed by Tahoe City and Incline Village)
- South Lake Tahoe is the #1 Lake Tahoe destination for Large Groups – more than 1/3 of ALL Lake Tahoe reservations are for parties of 8 or more
- During holiday weeks, hotels can cost close to $400 per night! Look into timeshare rentals to save hundreds.
- About 70% of Lake Tahoe vacationers live witting driving distance of Lake Tahoe.
Don’t you love it when your smart-phone actually makes you feel… well, smart? Oombaga, a mobile application for timeshare owners aims to do just that.
The new app company, that allows owners to pay maintenance fees, make reservations and carry out transactions with their resort in real time on their smart-device, has just signed-on to become a 2013 Signature Sponsor of ARDA.
“We are devoted to ARDA and to assisting resort management help consumers make timeshare decisions from booking reservations to making payments right in the palm of their hand,” said Delaina Probus-Staley, President of Oombaga. “This sponsorship will add to that visibility to as we move forward in our plan to simplify all things timeshare.”
Oombaga makes it easy to manage all aspects your vacation ownership in one intuitively designed place. Their high-level of ARDA sponsorship speaks to the growing role of mobile technology in the travel industry.
Owners and Oombaga members can use their mobile device to:
- Pay maintenance fees online
- Make mortgage payments online
- Receive statements online
- Initiate internal trades for individual resorts
- Choose Float/Flex assignments
- Purchase and pre-pay for Guest Services (like pre-arrival shopping and ski-lift tickets)
Oombaga has been designed and incorporated to interface with any participating property management system; offering a seamless integration from resort’s back office to your owners’ online and hand held devices.
“The ROI on our investment with ARDA has paid off big time over the years,” noted Probus-Staley. “This year we decided to commit to an even higher level of involvement.” Oombaga is also an ARDA Fall Conference Contributing Sponsor as well as an ARDA WIN (Women in the Industry) Friend Sponsor.
We love anything that simplifies the vacation ownership experience and improves industry communication; and we love to see the timeshare industry embracing new technologies.
With even more new properties and innovative technology developments, it’s been a big few weeks for RCI.
More New Affiliated Properties
Firstly, RCI has just announced the acquisition of 22 new properties; bringing the grand total of newly affiliated resorts for 2012 to 98. Add that to the nearly 4,000 affiliated vacation properties around the globe, and you’ll have an understanding of why timeshare exchange is so incredibly valuable in today’s vacation ownership climate.
“One of the things that makes RCI unique is the quality, size, and breadth of our exchange network,” said RCI’s president Gordon Gurnik., “which is why we are continually working to expand our portfolio of affiliated resorts.”
In addition to RCI’s newly expanded portfolio of resorts, they’ve also rolled out new tech innovations to streamline the data-sharing process for both timeshare owner/members and affiliated resorts; and to improve accessibility with new mobile capabilities.
Site-Wide Updates to Streamline Data-sharing
The first online initiative creates an easy way for RCI® subscribing members to pay their maintenance fees by adding a link to their maintenance fee website directly on the RCI deposit verification site. This will streamline the deposit and verification process for both members and affiliates and help facilitate payment of maintenance fees.
The second initiative facilitates the sharing of data between affiliated resorts and RCI. When RCI affiliates need data on inbounds and deposits, they’ll no longer need to enter the data manually. With the new updates, it’s now possible to have the data feed directly into their own property management systems. This will reduce the hours spent entering this data and help facilitate more accurate reporting.
New Mobile Capabilities
Continuing its series of industry innovations, RCI has also updated its mobile website to now allow RCI Points® subscribing members to complete transactions, including confirming and booking vacations, from their smart-phone devices.
“At RCI, we are always striving to leverage the latest technologies, like this website for smartphones, to make our members’ lives easier and to give our affiliated resorts a competitive advantage,” said Gurnik. “We are tailoring our web presence to the needs of an increasingly mobile consumer audience with this site, which can be accessed on the go from anywhere smartphones can be used.”
In today’s vacation ownership climate, the flexibility of exchange is one of the driving forces for timeshare consumers. RCI’s continually expanding portfolio of affiliated resorts and innovative technology developments can only mean good things for timeshare consumers; and hopefully points to good things for the vacation ownership industry as a whole.
It’s that time of year again! For many timeshare owners, late October/ early November marks the dates when annual maintenance fees are once again due. While maintenance fees are an expected expense, the arrival of the bills often provokes an upswing in resale interest.
For owners who weren’t able to enjoy their timeshare for the previous year, a maintenance fee can feel like an undeserved burden. It’s during this time that timeshare resellers like us field lots of calls about reselling vacation properties, or renting properties out for next year.
If you’re one of those timeshare consumers who wasn’t able to use or rent their property this year and you’re looking to avoid paying maintenance fees next year, now is a great time to list your property for sale. Simply contact one of our licensed timeshare brokers to discuss listing your timeshare for no upfront fee.
Sick of Maintenance Fees? Sell Your Timeshare for No Upfront Fee!
As licensed and BBB accredited timeshare brokers, we believe our no-upfront-fee policy is the only way to ensure a safe and secure resale transaction and to assure our clients of our ability and promise to get it done. In fact, our brokers don’t collect a cent until the resale transaction is complete and your property has been sold.
Rent Your Timeshare for Cash
But we don’t just help connect owners and buyers – we’re also timeshare rental experts. If your annual maintenance fees were a stark reminder of your unused vacation property, but you’re not interested in selling your interest, you can still rent out your property to help cover maintenance fees for next year. We have especially attractive rental packages for Wyndham timeshare owners. With our Wyndham timeshare rental program, we’ve even helped some owners cover their maintenance fees and still have points left over!
If you own a high-point (500,000+) Wyndham ownership package that you’re looking to rent out, or you’re ready to sell your timeshare for no upfront fee contact us now at 1-800-985-9946 for timeshare resale and rental programs specially tailored to you!
Attention licensed real estate brokers and fellow members of the LTRBA: Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is warning all state licensees about a new license renewal scam that targets Florida. At least one real estate licensee has already been targeted.
Even those of us well aware of scamming techniques in the timeshare resale industry can be vulnerable to scammers in other industries. Unfortunately, no industry is safe from scammers; and as licensed real estate brokers we must practice what we preach to our clients and research carefully – especially when it comes to answering unsolicited emails and cold-calls.
Scammers rely on their victims to trust them while creating a sense of urgency by utilizing authoritative language and making veiled threats. Without conducting careful research of your own and taking the time to cross-check references, you could find yourself the victim of an identity theft scam.
Florida Real Estate Broker Targeted
The following example illustrates something we advise our potential clients all the time: Do Your Research.
According to a warning statement issued by DBPR Secretary Ken Lawson, a “real estate broker recently received an unsolicited email claiming his brokers’ licenses were the subject of disciplinary action from an entity posing as (DBPR).”
The broker was advised to call a toll-free number and provide personal identification information to an “investigator with DBPR.” Of course, DBPR did not send the email, nor was the phone number in any way related to DBPR.
In his warning statement, Lawson asks real estate licensees not to respond to any email in which DBPR warns of a disciplinary action, and not to call any phone numbers listed in the email.
Instead, licensees should call DBPR’s official phone number as listed on their website: at 850.487.1395 with any questions about the status of their license and/or to report a potential identity phishing scam.
Florida Ranks First in Identity Theft
Scammer attacks on licensees represent the latest twist for identity theft scammers, an increasingly sophisticated crime. Florida ranks first per capita in identity theft complaints nationwide and sixth in fraud complaints according to the Consumer Sentinel Network.
Contact agencies directly if something doesn’t seem quite right, never give out personal information without verifying credentials, and like we always say, never pay money up front for any services. Instead visit official websites to get contact information and use references like the FREC, DBPR and BBB to ensure legitimacy.
We know how difficult it can be to handle a timeshare transfer on your own. From document preparation to acquiring the right forms and consulting with lawyers, the entire process can feel daunting and prohibitive.
At Timeshare Broker Sales, we’re always looking for new ways to simplify the timeshare resale process, and as experienced and licensed brokers, we handle timeshare closings every day. We understand the often confusing ins and outs of transferring a timeshare deed; and we only work with licensed and bonded escrow companies.
Now, in conjunction with our preferred reputable closing companies, TBS offers complete timeshare closing services for everyone – TBS client or not. For a low, one-time flat rate (to be added to transfer costs), we’ll handle all aspects your resale timeshare transfer; even if you bought or sold with someone else.
Our innovative timeshare closing services include:
- Title Search and Examination (aka Account and Usage Research) – This phase includes a thorough search of relevant public records including: deeds, mortgages, liens, wills, divorce settlements and other documents potentially affecting a property’s title.
- All ‘Purchase and Sales’ Documents Preparation – After the initial research phase, we’ll then review legal and loan documents, parse out lender instructions and requirements, assemble charges and prepare closing documents. These documents will outline for each party exactly what they are buying or selling and what their financial responsibilities will be at the time of closing.
- Mailing and Collection of all Documents and Contracts
- Mailing of Contracts to Selected Closing Company
- Follow Closing to Completion (including overseeing the dispersion of escrow funds) – Once both parties are aware of their financial obligations the collection of funds can begin. A reputable closing company will collect all the funds necessary to transfer timeshare ownership and hold the money in a secure escrow account until the timeshare transfer is complete.
- Transferring of the Deed – During this phase the seller will sign the deed and the buyer will sign their new mortgage. The old loan will be paid off and a new mortgage signed. The seller, real-estate professionals (timeshare brokers), attorneys and closing companies then collect their payments.
- Recording of the Deed with Local Authorities – Official documents are then recorded in the county in which the property is located.
Are you looking to close a timeshare resale but aren’t sure how to make it happen? Even if you didn’t buy or sell your property with us, we’re here to help. Contact us today to ask about our timeshare closing services. We look forward to helping you transfer your timeshare safely and securely.
Wondering how that timeshare presentation you signed up for will play out? There’s a reason resorts offer such enticing prizes for attendance. While each presentation is different, there are a few things you can expect to plan for. Being aware of these things in advance can help you spot these patterns and, perhaps, remind you of your original goal: get in and get out.
Expect to make a new best friend. During timeshare presentations, things start out real chummy. The salesman is your best friend. He or she will do everything to set an easy tone and make you feel as comfortable as possible. They’ll likely ply your favor (and your judgment) with food and drinks, and when you’re pleasantly satiated they’ll begin by asking you some questions to determine your vacation lifestyle and budget. When they find an in, they’ll begin their pitch.
Expect a High Pressure Situation. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Timeshare salesmen are notoriously aggressive. While there is less of a chance for an excessively hard-sell with major resort brands like Marriott Vacation Club, Hilton Grand Vacations Club or Hyatt, all timeshare presentations are designed to get you to act; right now.
Expect to Meet a Few Different Characters. In many cases, once you refuse the offer placed by your new best friend (ie. the first timeshare salesman) enough times, you’ll be handed off to their manager. He or she will likely drastically reduce the sale price (sometimes by as much as $20,000) on the condition that you sign today. If you still say no, it’s time to meet The Closer. The Closer will sit down with you for one final pitch; attempting to win you over with a free or discounted vacation at the resort.
Expect Time to Run Over. While most timeshare presentations are sold as either 90 or 120 minutes; most will run far over that limit. Timeshare salesmen will do everything in their power to keep you from walking out that door – including keeping you in the room for several hours. That’s why most timeshare presentations offer child-care (generally consisting of a supervised game or TV room) – even your children aren’t an excuse to leave.
These certainly aren’t all the scenarios you might see play out in a timeshare presentation; and it wouldn’t be fair to say that the above situations speak to the motives and practices of all timeshare salesmen. The best thing you can do before walking in to a vacation ownership presentation is to prepare ahead of time. Here are a few simple things you can do to help reduce your risk of getting suckered.
- Practice Saying “No” – it sounds so simple, but for many people, issuing a firm and confident “No” isn’t as easy as it sounds.
- Negotiate Prizes or Rewards Beforehand – You will be spending between 2-4 hours at a high pressure sales event so make sure you’re getting something valuable in return. Go for items of real value like cash, free (or heavily discounted) vacations and/or tickets to theme parks.
- Don’t Fall Victim to Emotional Manipulation – Don’t let a salesman make you feel guilty for not buying, no matter how much time you’ve spent with him or her.
- Don’t ask Questions – Unless you’re genuinely considering a purchase, don’t engage too much. The more you talk, the longer your presentation is going to be.
- Leave your Wallet at Home – If you don’t have it, you can’t use it.
The truth is many people attend timeshare presentations for the prizes, with no intention of purchasing. If, however, you are genuinely interested in learning more about timeshares – skip the high pressure sales presentations. Go online and do some research, then contact a licensed timeshare broker who’ll work on your behalf to find you the perfect resale timeshare for your lifestyle and budget, without the high pressure sales pitch and without an upfront fee.
Are you a Marriott Rewards member? Now you can use your Marriott Vacation Club Rewards points to support our troops.
In partnership with Fisher House Foundation, Marriott Rewards points can be donated to provide free hotel rooms for ailing military servicemen and women and their families during treatment.
Similar to the UK’s Give Us Time program that we discussed a few weeks ago, this new partnership gives Marriott Rewards owners a unique opportunity to support US troops who have been injured in service to our country.
For recovering soldiers injured in the line of duty, having the support of friends and family is crucial to the healing process. But the costs of long stays far from home can be prohibitive. Fisher House Foundation’s Hotel for Heroes partnership with Marriott Rewards means members can give the gift of family to those service-people who need it most.
“Our company truly appreciates the dedication of our service men and women and the work they do to protect our freedom. That is why we are so proud of this partnership with Hotels for Heroes,” said Ed French, senior vice president, Marriott Rewards. “Now we can offer our members the option of helping those who’ve been injured while serving and protecting the USA.”
Points can be redeemed for Hotel for Heroes Charitable Awards in the following denominations:
- 1,000 Marriott Rewards points
- 5,000 Marriott Rewards points
- 10,000 Marriott Rewards points
- 25,000 Marriott Rewards points
The nonprofit Fisher House Foundation administers the “Hotels for Heroes” program in partnership with the Department of Defense. All requests for a free hotel room are verified by an authorized government official. Donations are tax deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law.
Want to Donate? Simply visit www.marriottrewards.com.