Ask RedWeek / July, 2017

Which resort and week should I reserve to maximize my rental success?

I want to rent out my timeshare, but I have access to many resorts and many weeks. Do I need to make a reservation before I advertise it? If so, how do I know which resort/week would be best?

Thanks for your question — after 15 years in the timeshare rental marketplace, we have some thoughts to share with you on this question. There are a few strategies you can use when you own a floating week, vacation club, or points. First, as always, make sure to check with your resort or point system to make sure you are allowed to rent out weeks that you book. Exchange companies certainly have restrictions on this practice, so make sure you are in the clear before you post.

Availability Varies

You don't need a reservation beforehand if you are posting it as a "DIY" rental with the full range of dates you have available at a specific resort. If you have a week available to you all year, you can post it like this:

There are a few of downsides to this approach. First, the process is a bit of a pain: renters will need to contact you to request dates, then you will need to call the resort to try to make the reservation at that point... likely before you can even collect a deposit from your renter. You might even lose the renter in the process.

Second, if you are hoping to advertise your week with a "RedWeek Verified" flag, which offers renters a bit of an additional reassurance, you should know RedWeek can only verify specific reservations. We can't just verify you own a floating week - we need an actual reservation to confirm those dates are solid.

We find it's far better for both parties if you make a reservation first.

Do Your Research - Area Attractions

Every resort area has special events that attract more visitors to the area. Find out what those are for the destinations you have access to. Is there a tennis tournament that draws worldwide visitors? A food & wine festival? A major flower garden that is only in bloom for a few weeks a year? You will need to know what is happening, and when.

Chances are good that most prime weeks book very early. Make sure you are doing the research before your booking window so you are poised to jump on the best weeks possible. The resorts are usually willing to give you this information if you call up — they know when they are busiest.

Past Rental Successes

Our "What's My Timeshare Worth" tool was built with resales in mind, but it's also an extremely useful research tool for owners looking to book and post a rental.

You can view historical and active rental prices for any resort. Keep in mind we rely on owners for the majority of the data used here — it is collected only if an owner removes their posting and volunteers the data. "Unknown" dots represent those where the owner didn't remove the posting and give us the feedback. Also, floating weeks (listed like the example above) aren't shown on the graph. So, a resort may have much more successful rentals than the charts indicate.

But, for most resorts, there are enough data points to see some clear spikes in traveler interest by week. Make sure you have a timeshare weeks calendar handy.

Here are some examples - using Marriott resorts:

California Coast

Notice there aren't any really bad times to book — the median price at time of writing is currently $270/night. But, clearly the spikes are weeks 25 - 34... late June - August. This is a summer hot spot.

Hilton Head

Also clearly a summer destination...

Aruba

Also not a bad destination to book year-round, but it's clearly almost the opposite of the other two examples. Even though the kids are out of school, people go to Aruba in the winter months. Beginning and end of the year command the highest prices.

Palm Desert

Here is a different spike — around week 10, which falls in March when temperatures in the area are ideal. This also happens to be during one of the world's biggest tennis tournaments, hosted at the resort. It pays to do your research...

Park City

Obviously a ski destination — not so much of an attraction in the summer weeks. From the week before Christmas through end of February, these resorts are the most likely to have good snow, and owners can collect big premiums during this period, especially if you manage to snag a holiday week.

Your Competition

Historical data should give you a good starting point, but you'll want to flip over to the "Active Rentals" tab on the What's My Timeshare Worth tool to get a sense of your current competition. And, of course, you can look at the resort page directly for full detail on what's being offered. Where possible, try to snag a week in the most popular season that isn't currently listed.

Or, if a week is already available, but prices are higher than what you require, consider posting yours a little lower. People are always searching for a deal — the least expensive posting for the same week will get the most attention.

Finding the Sweet Spot

A couple of last things to consider when choosing your dates. Think about the time remaining between now and check-in. Post prime weeks as early as possible, as travelers know they need to book those early. One year in advance is not too far to start advertising holiday weeks. One week in advance, even for the best weeks, is likely too late.

Most other, non-prime weeks have a sweet-spot. Don't post too early or too late. You have 6-months of advertising with one fee on RedWeek — we recommend you post about 7 - 8 months before check-in. Most people aren't booking full weeks last minute.

If you plan to use RedWeek's full-service rental offering, your rental runs "Until Rented" (or 10 days prior to check-in), so it's in your best interest to get your week booked and posted as early as possible. And you should keep in mind we currently aren't able to take weeks within 60 days of check-in.

We are anxious to hear what other factors our members use in making their decisions for which week to book. Have you done this? Leave your feedback below, and add to the discussion.

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    3 Comments

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  • Avatar for michaelg563
    michaelg563
    Jul 11, 2017 (2 months ago)

    Very helpful .. Thank you

  • Avatar for ethel18
    ethel18
    Jul 12, 2017 (2 months ago)

    excellent info; answers a lot of my questions