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Renting a TS week you own - does it ever cover the MF?

chapjim

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This advice is for buying for personal use, not a rental business.

Suppose you are considering acquiring a week at good ol' Mugwump Swamp. You love it there, your family loves it there, you go every year. You've been able to rent that same unit pretty reliably, and you typically pay $2,000 for the week. You find someone who owns a week/unit that works for your annual trip. The current owner is offering to transfer it to you for free. Fees are a steal, only $1,800 a week! Seems like a great deal! You're saving $200 every single year!

In the words of Lee Corso, not so fast, my friend. You are obligated to stay there (or to rent it to someone else) every single year, good times and bad. If the week goes to waste only once every ten years, you will end up paying the same money to just rent it when you wanted it than you would have owning it. What's more, being an owner means that's where you are going most years, even if you get a little tired of it, want to take a break, whatever. If you are a renter, and you want to take a break, you just do.

--------------

I will admit that I am intentionally painting one of the best benefits of being a timeshare owner as a drawback. That benefit is: owning is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. Being a timeshare owner means you are much more likely to actually take a vacation, because you've already paid for (part of) it. I can gaurantee you that owning timeshares has not saved me money vs. what I would spend on vacations if I was not an owner. But, that's because I take more vacations, in more places, more often. These aren't things I can't afford, but if left to my own devices I might not have done them. It's another example of paying yourself first.
Fixed weeks are like that. Fixed weeks are great if you have great fixed weeks. (I think that's called a tautology.) But, even great fixed weeks can bite you as noted above.

I have eleven weeks -- a mix of fixed and floating weeks -- on top of quite a few Wyndham points. Tax year 2018 my business income was $3,000 because I got stuck with some of the fixed or floating weeks. Either had to rent at super-bargain rates or didn't rent at all. Don't know why, just happened. It is almost impossible for me to lose money on the Wyndham points unless I pull a Rip Van Winkle.

Anyway, $3,000 comes out to maybe $2/hour for my labor. You decide.
 

CPNY

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It is about $1900. Reasonable for Atlantis. It is about the same as the 1 bedroom premium because they are almost the same size. Curious to see if and/or when it becomes part of the "Marriott family" what they will offer for it in terms of vacation club points. I might be worth my while. SVV on the other hand, will be awful for sure but I always trade it so don't care about the points value. They had better not interfere with the SVN structure or I am going to be pretty upset!
Yeah I use my options for other destinations. You never know how they value SVV and HRA... it’s all up in the air. They could base it off room size but maybe not. I really don’t know
 

silentg

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We have had luck exchanging on TUG Marketplace. Not too many rentals, usually we are the ones renting. At one time we owned 10 weeks of timeshare. Now we have 3 weeks at 3 resorts. Still getting use of these 3 and made many excellent exchanges, direct, RCI, and II. Everything is different because of Covid. We haven’t lost anything and have been given bonus week at VV and extra points with HIVC. Going to try to use by the end of 2020.
Staying Masked and safe for now.
Silentg
 

chapjim

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Yes, I believe @ronparise had hundreds of rental units (if not more). I haven't seen any of his posts for a while and hope he is still doing well.
Ron had millions of Wyndham points -- make that tens of millions of Wyndham points. Not units, points. He is/was in the real estate business so unlike a lot of us, his "day job" wasn't too far removed from his timeshare business. He also had multiple accounts and a staff. On the first possible booking day for an event week, he and his staff would man the phones and almost literally wipe out a resort (often Avenue Plaza in New Orleans for Mardi Gras and other event weeks). Avenue Plaza probably has his picture on the wall and a statue out back in the courtyard.

Ron worked his whatever off -- he cultivated relationships with Wyndham execs, he found seams in the Wyndham structure and worked his way into them. He worked hard and played the system to the max. Then Wyndham made an offer he couldn't refuse (and that he can't talk about) and as far as I know, he's out of the timeshare business -- certainly out of the Wyndham timeshare business.

Ron Parise is somewhat of a legend here on the Wyndham forum and rightfully so. But, he is also part of the reason Wyndham put limits on overlapping transactions, the number of transactions at a particular resort, and, most of all, rendered obsolete the old cancel-and-rebook routine. I think Ron canceled and re-booked every reservation. So did I. I heard about the concept somewhere -- not from Ron but probably here on the Wyndham forum and kind of worked out the details and procedures myself.

Someday, I hope to get to meet him in SW Florida.

And, here we are!
 
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chapjim

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If you want to get into the timeshare rental business, start a website and collect money on other peoples rentals. Koala will make a pretty penny at 8%. Truthfully I wouldn’t post on that site. Way too much commission for me.
My initial impression of Koala is that I haven't had to worry about an 8% commission.

There was a little flurry of posts about Koala a couple weeks back so I looked into it and listed a handful of reservations. I removed a few after having canceled the reservation or rented through some other site. Then listed a few more. At the moment, I have seven listings on Koala (I deleted four obsolete listings just now when I went to the site to count). All told, I've probably had 15-18 different listings on Koala. Results? No commissions paid; no rentals; no nibbles.

I'll keep some listings on Koala. Why not? Listing is free. It's pretty easy to register with the site and create a listing on Koala. The listing process is much more like RedWeek.com than ebay or Craig's List. Koala's 8% commission is less than ebay's 10% final value fee.

Koala requires sellers to register and the listing process requires the reservation confirmation number and the name on the reservation so they do a certain amount of seller screening. They do confirm reservations with resorts. I put my name on one of the listings but my wife's name was on the reservation. Koala asked me about it.

Being new, Koala is still expanding its resort database, concentrating on the larger systems and resorts. I listed then took down a couple of listings at smaller or independent resorts because Koala hadn't gone through the process of entering those resorts into their database, so my listings stayed in the Pending category.

I'll stay with Koala for a while and see what happens. My modest rental business has been so unsettled the last couple of months that I can't blame Koala for the lack of "action." If more people list with Koala and the word gets around among potential renters, Koala may be able to make a go of it.
 

chapjim

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I've always looked at it this way: If it was generally profitable to rent intervals, why do the developers need to sell them to people like us? Why don't they just rent the weeks themselves? <snip>

Jim
Developers sell to us so as to recover costs as quickly as possible. It's about timing of payments.

Why don't they rent weeks themselves? Many of them do!
 

CPNY

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My initial impression of Koala is that I haven't had to worry about an 8% commission.

There was a little flurry of posts about Koala a couple weeks back so I looked into it and listed a handful of reservations. I removed a few after having canceled the reservation or rented through some other site. Then listed a few more. At the moment, I have seven listings on Koala (I deleted four obsolete listings just now when I went to the site to count). All told, I've probably had 15-18 different listings on Koala. Results? No commissions paid; no rentals; no nibbles.

I'll keep some listings on Koala. Why not? Listing is free. It's pretty easy to register with the site and create a listing on Koala. The listing process is much more like RedWeek.com than ebay or Craig's List. Koala's 8% commission is less than ebay's 10% final value fee.

Koala requires sellers to register and the listing process requires the reservation confirmation number and the name on the reservation so they do a certain amount of seller screening. They do confirm reservations with resorts. I put my name on one of the listings but my wife's name was on the reservation. Koala asked me about it.

Being new, Koala is still expanding its resort database, concentrating on the larger systems and resorts. I listed then took down a couple of listings at smaller or independent resorts because Koala hadn't gone through the process of entering those resorts into their database, so my listings stayed in the Pending category.

I'll stay with Koala for a while and see what happens. My modest rental business has been so unsettled the last couple of months that I can't blame Koala for the lack of "action." If more people list with Koala and the word gets around among potential renters, Koala may be able to make a go of it.
Great points. I generally only rent once every few years or so. I usually use Facebook (free) and Redweek. This year I tried redweek full service and NEVER AGAIN! I don’t mind the verified listings but full service where they hold payment will never happen again. Did you know they charge a service fee to the renter also? I will just list my unit on redweek when needed. I’ll try koala if I don’t have to use them for payment. I don’t want to deal with escrow, just PayPal me, agree to no cancellations and move on :)

I did offer a 50% refund to my renter for end of August rental and they took it. 5 days later, Bahamas shut down again. I guess I lucked out there.
 

chapjim

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A service fee from both parties is not unusual. A good example is StubHub. The difference between what a buyer pays and what the seller gets is shocking!
 

MizzouBJ72

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Looking for positive/negative experiences from those who have rented their TS weeks....is it worth the extra work and hassle and what are the risks?
I only have my limited experience to go by, but my answer is "yes" it is worth it and if you do it right, there is minimal risk. I have a highly desirable location on the north shore of Lake Tahoe and the last three years now I have rented it at about three times the maintenance fee. I use Redweek. They handle everything for a small fee, including the third-party holding the money and releasing it to me once the rental commences. I was not planning to use my timeshare personally these past three years, so renting has been ideal for me. Hassle free, very profitable, very little risk, via Redweek.
 

klkaylor

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One thing that was not mentioned is the "renting" of points rather than "weeks" . We have offset our MF almost completely the last few years using a business/website that aggregates our "excess" points and pays us per point used. This is good as we are not responsible for the behavior of the guests and is very flexible for all three parties, us, the aggregator, and the "purchaser/renter". Sometimes the site uses our points to make a reservation and then rents that specificly request week and location and many times it transfers points to other marriott owners accounts. This has been a difficult year with lots of cancellation/points moving in an out so not sure how we will do this year. We go from using most of our points (family reunion years- great stay for 16 folks at Vail Stream Side Evergreen - great location and management) to years where we use just one week to ski and hit the adventure trail and sell the rest or "bank". The site works with us to insure we bank if they have not used the points by Aug. The payment per point is greater than the average MF/point so our "profit" is totally dependant on how many point we give to the site to use. Best part for me is that is very little work - Tax calculations are the biggest effort. Happy to share contact information via private message for those interested.
 

csxjohn

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I bought to use but occasionally rent out my units. I have extra units at a resort in Daytona Beach Shores and have no trouble renting for about $200 to $250 over my annual fees.

I also own Bluegreen Points and this year I have reservations that I don't want to use. Those are harder to sometimes even break even. I have decent reservations but many owner pay a lower price per point than I do and can rent for less. Because the owners know the cost in points they want to rent for less then they pay in fees.
 

klkaylor

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After reading MBJ72 post let me advise you that you need to know the local rules when you rent your timeshare yourself. There are occupancy taxes, fees, and income tax issues. Lake Tahoe aggressive went after timeshare renters several years ago - letter from sheriff wanting 3 yrs of tax returns and threat of hefty fines. The point rental/sales prevents problems with local rules but you still have the income tax issues. I agree that it can't really be a hobby but you must treat it like a business even if you only do it occasionaly due to all of the regulations now with renting/renters. ABNB/VRBO have intensified the local oversight and enforcement actions.
 

47vampire

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My sister and I owned a number of units together. After her death and others begin to get older and the younger family members decided they liked cruises, I started renting. I was fortunate to have only good experiences. I only rented to cover fees which was my main objective. I owned in Hawaii and got a return renter who lived on the West Coast and liked my resort. I also owned in Myrtle Beach and found 2 return renters for those units. The properties I rented were Sheraton/Vistana units which were desirable and well maintained. I have worked at getting rid of units and now only keep 1 unit we would use or rent. I don't believe I would want to run it as a business, too much work. With Covid, I did refund my renters this year. That was my big push to get rid of the last 2 units because I wanted to be free of the fees.
 

NOLA47

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Even though I own timeshares, I rent from timeshare owners for places my family enjoys going each year that I don’t have access to. i will admit the initial rental makes me (and I’m sure the owners) a bit nervous. But since then, a trusted relationship has been formed with several owners. I, as a renter, feel relieved that the units are accessible to me as well as feel that the cost is fair on both ends. i consider mine a renters success story.
 

mamasnow

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Thanks so much @Marathoner ! Excellent summary and I didn't know the mega-renter term. Will definitely search more here on TUG. I live in Colorado so very much have a great knowledge of the ski/summer resort micro-markets here. Could always just use the weeks myself as a last option ha!
Hi, Colorado Kid. We are in Denver and have a week in Marriott Canyon Villas in Phoenix. We were of course not able to use our week this past April due to the pandemic, and now have that week deposited with II and have no idea how we'll use it. Where is your Vistana time? We used to live in Steamboat Springs but I don't know if Vistana is there. Interested in talking exchanges?
 

Tank

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Trial and error when you start renting.
I make a Enough profit that allows us to go for free and than some.
I will not take a loss, the point system allows us to cancel and rebook something that might work better.
I found a way to even make a profit in Orlando so you need to find what will work for your system.
I would not go thru the hassle if I only broke even.
C19 has put quite a damper on traveling at this time. A good time to pick up some good TShares.
Good luck!
 

bankr63

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I wouldn't buy a TS to rent, but I have a small list of friends who will gladly take my Orlando weeks off my hands and cover my MF's. Since they are all friends, I don't worry about being stiffed. That said, we had a deal with a friend for March break this year who backed out the day before the ressie because of COVID. DW and I were on the way out the door on the way to HHI about an hour after they called. We ate half the fee on that one as DW felt guilty leaving them on the hook for the whole thing. Would have been able to get a tiny bit of value if they had backed out a couple of days earlier, but nothing I could do with no notice at all.
Next year will be tough too, as almost no Canadians are planning to travel to USA for an extended period. Will probably deposit all my weeks and keep extending until I can use.
 

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It can be based on your portfolio. I only rent to help pay for our vacations. I am MVC family/HGVC/Independents. Many of ours are in CA Desert/Beach or Arz because that is where we reside and travel. They do have high MFs but it’s because of the area.

This year all my rentals have gone south due to Covid but it has not hurt me financially.
 

suzannesimon

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Looking for positive/negative experiences from those who have rented their TS weeks....is it worth the extra work and hassle and what are the risks?
I have 10 timeshares that I rent. Prior to this year I was clearing about $23,000 over maintenance on them. It’s a nice extra fun money in retirement and I use it for cruises and renting different resorts from other owners. This year is a nightmare, of course, but there are always risks with anything. I do feel that when there is a vaccine there will be a big bounce because everyone has cabin fever. You have to be able to withstand downturns. I believe you need to buy based on rental value regardless of whether you are planning to rent or not. I looked for weeks that rented for at least $1000 over maintenance. That way you always have it as a fall-back measure if you can’t use it or the maintenance gets out of control. Then you have to be absolutely focused on getting the best weeks possible for rental. In my case it means staying up until midnight on the first day to reserve Vistana or being on the computer at 9 am for Marriott weeks.

Also forget about financing a timeshare purchase. You’ll never get out from under that. This is a bad year for everyone, not just us. Imagine owning investment properties and your tenants are out of work and can’t pay rent. Everyone has some kind of situation this year.
 

PcflEZFlng

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IMO, the only TS system that consistently delivers a rental profit, and with much less effort, is DVC. Except this year.
I thought about acquiring more DVC to rent out as a side gig, as the spread can be lucrative, but decided it's too much work. Then Covid hit and tons of problems with DVC renters because of a closed resort. Glad I nixed that plan last year.
I considered keeping my DVC vs. selling it because it would be easy to rent out. But then I realized that a 'black swan' event could come along at some point and upend that plan, and I would have no control over that (little did I know what was about to actually happen!). So I decided to sell it instead, and pocket the profit and not pay any more MFs. That was in August of last year. One couldn't begin to know how fortunate I feel for making that decision.
 

rickandcindy23

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It's a pain to rent timeshares. We have been doing it, and I do not recommend it. This year, we have weeks left that I had to deposit into the exchange company, which is fine. We also have Wyndham points we have to move to 2021 because Covid has hurt those rentals. I am pretty sorry to own way more than we can use. We have three kids that travel, and thank goodness for that because they pay for their own exchanges and they are on our exchange accounts, so no guest certificates required.

I am pretty tired of having to prove to GREEDY RCI constantly that we have those units in our kids' names too. I have to send them proof every year or two. It's maddening. I started keeping the deeds right by the fax machine.
 

heathpack

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We own weeks or points that we generally want to use but more of them than we’d typically use each year.

We have an EOY even Marriott Mountainside (Park City) and an EOY odd Marriott Barony Beach (Hilton Head), so that counts as one timeshare week per year. We have an annual Hyatt High Sierra (North Lake Tahoe) and and EOY odd Hyatt Highlands Inn (Carmel, CA), so that’s 1.5 more weeks per year, bringing us up to 2.5 weeks per year. We have an annual Sheraton Broadway Plantation (Myrtle Beach) that is purely a trader and 115 DVC points (Most at VGC at Disneyland) which is around half a week per year more. So in total about 4 weeks per year.

We can easily rent the Barony week for a few hundred over MF, the DVC will turn a big profit easily renting for 2x MF, and we’ve pretty easily rented the Hyatt High Sierra week as well. Our week in Carmel would likely rent well, as would Mountainside if I booked 4th of July week (which I can). We could turn a good profit in Carmel probably and a more modest one in Park City.

I keep the rental aspirations small. Mostly I own what I own (with the exception of SBP) to make it a sure thing to be able to book those resorts when I want to go to them. But I purchased with the intent to rent or exchange when I wasn’t personally using my weeks. Meaning all my TS purchases were made with an eye on both the rental market and exit strategy.

PS A friend of mine texted me yesterday. She likes Hyatt Highlands Inn in Carmel and has stayed in the hotel room side of the property in the past for a room rate per night in the low $500/night range. Yesterday she was getting quoted $1250/night for a HOTEL ROOM at the property. Jeeper. I think I’ll be ok to rent my week, or split it and rent the weekend portion, should I ever decide to do so!
 

The Colorado Kid

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We own weeks or points that we generally want to use but more of them than we’d typically use each year.

We have an EOY even Marriott Mountainside (Park City) and an EOY odd Marriott Barony Beach (Hilton Head), so that counts as one timeshare week per year. We have an annual Hyatt High Sierra (North Lake Tahoe) and and EOY odd Hyatt Highlands Inn (Carmel, CA), so that’s 1.5 more weeks per year, bringing us up to 2.5 weeks per year. We have an annual Sheraton Broadway Plantation (Myrtle Beach) that is purely a trader and 115 DVC points (Most at VGC at Disneyland) which is around half a week per year more. So in total about 4 weeks per year.

We can easily rent the Barony week for a few hundred over MF, the DVC will turn a big profit easily renting for 2x MF, and we’ve pretty easily rented the Hyatt High Sierra week as well. Our week in Carmel would likely rent well, as would Mountainside if I booked 4th of July week (which I can). We could turn a good profit in Carmel probably and a more modest one in Park City.

I keep the rental aspirations small. Mostly I own what I own (with the exception of SBP) to make it a sure thing to be able to book those resorts when I want to go to them. But I purchased with the intent to rent or exchange when I wasn’t personally using my weeks. Meaning all my TS purchases were made with an eye on both the rental market and exit strategy.

PS A friend of mine texted me yesterday. She likes Hyatt Highlands Inn in Carmel and has stayed in the hotel room side of the property in the past for a room rate per night in the low $500/night range. Yesterday she was getting quoted $1250/night for a HOTEL ROOM at the property. Jeeper. I think I’ll be ok to rent my week, or split it and rent the weekend portion, should I ever decide to do so!
Thanks @heathpack ! Nice strategy....when you rent is it on specific platforms or just depends on the property and the time of year?
 

dioxide45

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If you want to get into the timeshare rental business, start a website and collect money on other peoples rentals. Koala will make a pretty penny at 8%. Truthfully I wouldn’t post on that site. Way too much commission for me.
One would want to make sure they have a real estate license before starting such a venture.
 

dioxide45

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Yes, I believe @ronparise had hundreds of rental units (if not more). I haven't seen any of his posts for a while and hope he is still doing well.


.
I think there is a reason you don't see those posts anymore. Didn't it all come crashing down with Wyndhams crush on mega renters with the locked accounts? This is why you can't rely on timeshares as viable long term rentals. The rules can change in an instant.

The problem with something like this is that years worth of profits can be wiped out with a single year like we have this year.
 
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