We are longtime owners at two really nice resorts, but we are reducing our travel as our circumstances change. We need some help renting or selling our units, because our timeshare association does not have an in-house program for either. What do you recommend?
To answer this question, we consulted Gary Prado, RedWeek's Vice President of Business Development. Gary has many years of experience in the timeshare industry and develops new programs for RedWeek that help owners and resorts make the most of their timeshares.
This is a common issue in the industry, particularly for owners at legacy resorts that are not affiliated with any of the big-brand timeshare chains. Those companies typically have the staff and resources to help manage owner rentals and, in some cases, resales. Many older timeshare resorts, however, simply don't have the infrastructure on-site to manage properties for owners who are cutting back on travel. One obvious solution is to post your timeshare for sale or rent yourself on RedWeek.com, which is the largest online marketplace for owners to reach potential buyers and renters. You can also post your weeks with a legitimate real estate broker who specializes in timeshares — but make sure that broker is part of the Licensed Timeshare Resale Brokers Association (LTRBA).
RedWeek has seen this problem grow in recent years as many original timeshare owners started shifting into full-time retirement and reduced travel schedules. To address it, RedWeek just launched a new program that helps legacy resorts rent and resell unused timeshares. We call it the "HOA Solutions Program." In addition to helping HOAs use their inventory (and create revenue from potentially delinquent accounts), the program helps associations keep a lid on rising maintenance costs.
The HOA Solutions program is currently in a beta testing phase at several East Coast legacy resorts. In short, it provides a platform for HOAs to publicize what's available for rent or sale to a dedicated timeshare audience of interested renters and/or buyers.
Here is how the program works: First, upon approval by the HOA Board of Directors, RedWeek will give all HOA members a free RedWeek membership (value $18.99) so they can keep tabs on rentals and sales at their resort, as well as learn about key issues at their resorts and within the industry. RedWeek then works with the HOA to develop brochures and flyers, photos, and facilitate resort reviews. The HOA, in turn, then has the opportunity to post the resort's available inventory for free on RedWeek.com, which reaches 2,000,000 subscribers. RedWeek will also provide the resort with additional exposure in its monthly newsletter.
While focused on enabling HOAs to recycle inventory, the program helps owners directly. In addition to the free membership to RedWeek, all owners are entitled to a 50 percent discount on RedWeek's Full Service Resale Posting fee — (which normally costs $125). Upon a successful sale, owners would also pay a $399 commission, which is dramatically lower than the industry standard commission of $1,000 or more per week. In the meantime, owners who sign up for the Full Service Resale Posting program will receive a full service rental posting on RedWeek.com for free (compared to the normal price of $79). If and when your timeshare rents, owners will pay a $99 commission while RedWeek.com handles all of the paperwork and communications with the people who rent your unit.
As part of this service, RedWeek staff will verify all owner postings and attach a "Verified" banner to the offer. That designation gives the posting additional power on the resort's pages.
"We think this online marketing program has great potential for legacy resorts," Prado explained, "because most of them have inventory that is just sitting idle. By renting or selling HOA-owned units, RedWeek helps the resort generate new revenue, stabilize finances, and keep assessment fees under control."
Using RedWeek as an advertising platform for timeshares, Prado added, is far more effective than the traditional means of listing a timeshare for rent or sale in a newspaper or magazine.
A four-day classified ad in the Orlando Sentinel real estate section, for example, costs $97, and reaches a potential audience of 496,000 people, most of whom are NOT timeshare-focused travelers. A 12-month resale ad on RedWeek, meanwhile, costs $59.99, with the site receiving more than 5 million visits per year.
"Only a small fraction of Orlando Sentinel readers are interested in timeshares," Prado said. "At RedWeek.com, 100 percent of our subscribers and visitors are looking to buy, rent, or sell timeshares."
For more information about the HOA Solutions program, call RedWeek staff at 866-RED-2200 or e-mail email@example.com.