Number 1: Verify that you can rent your timeshare. Some resorts may have stipulations in their contracts that forbid rentals. Review your contract for the following: verify that you are allowed to rent your timeshare and check for any associated fees or obligations.
Number 2: Set your price. Check out the competition. Look into what other rentals in the area are offering and at what price. You do not want to make the mistake of pricing yourself out of the market. Make sure you are offering your rental at a competitive price to comparable rentals in the area.
Number 3: Advertise, and start the process early. Renters rarely plan their vacation a week prior to their departure. Start advertising at least 3 months prior to availability. Advertising 6 months to a year preceding availability will yield better results.
Number 4: Don’t break the bank. There are numerous inexpensive and effective options available to meet your advertising needs. Go for maximum exposure online by posting to free services; craigslist.org is always a good start. Be careful with “paid” online listing services but make sure to list the rental on ebay.com. Traditional offline resources are still very effective and word of mouth can really pay off. Add a listing in the local classifieds, if the price is right.
Number 5: Do not put yourself in a situation of desperation. When this happens you may make poor choices about the type of renters you are getting. You do not want to rent to 15 spring breakers in your 3 bedroom unit. That is asking for more problems then you need. Putting the property at risk of damage is not something you want to get billed for later!
Number 6: Rent weeks, not days. It may be tempting to split up a week in order to accommodate renters who only want to rent a couple of days. Dealing with one renter is easier than dealing with multiple renters, multiple contracts, and in some cases multiple fees.
Number 7: Contracts are important. You should use a contract. Work with your lawyer to draft a contract or make use of legal document services to obtain a standard timeshare rental contract.
Number 8: Keep a list of good renters. Keep a list of past renters, that worked out well, and send them an offer to rent the week again. This can work well for both parties; Past renters may want to return, and you will be working with a known party. It may even save you advertising fees.
Number 9: Use an escrow service. There are numerous escrow services available that will enable a secure transaction.
Number 10: Let the resort manage the rental. Some resorts will take care of the process for you, for a price. The resort will take a commission of the rental price. Read the contract thoroughly if you decide to go this route. Make sure you have a good understanding of the complete process including when you will get paid and what fees are paid.
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