Ask RedWeek / May, 2022

How do I make sure my timeshare will rent?

I'm not using my timeshare this year and would like to rent it out to cover my maintenance fees. How can I increase the chances that I will find a renter?

You've come to the right place, since timeshare rentals are our focus. We believe renting it out is your best option if you aren't going to use it. After 20 years of helping timeshare owners with rentals, we have some ideas on how to make sure you find a renter.

What to Book When You Have Flexibility

If you have flexibility on what you have to rent out, find out what people are booking before making your reservation.

It is important to do your research beforehand, so start looking into when the busiest travel time of the year is for your resort area. Some destinations experience heightened tourism in the summer months, while others during the spring season or winter months. This past Ask RedWeek article shows how to use our free valuation tool to look at historical trends in popularity for rental bookings. We highly recommend running through this exercise for your resort.

In addition to seasonal spikes, 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. Most popular destinations will have a tourism website that lists these events – examples: Newport Beach, California | Hilton Head, South Carolina | Park City, Utah.

Chances are good that most prime weeks get reserved 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.

In April and May of 2022, renters are primarily booking their summer trips - lots of Hawaii, South Carolina, and some are getting a jump on the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years), specifically in more exotic destinations (Aruba, Hawaii, Bahamas).

Although we always see the most bookings in the big destinations, we are also seeing an increase in other locations - Tennessee, New Jersey, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, and Pennsylvania have all seen an increase in bookings this quarter. So, if you don’t own Hawaii, don’t despair. People want to travel this summer - and many renters are still more comfortable staying closer to home.

Posting When Renters are Booking Their Trips

On average, travelers are booking their vacations about 113 days in advance - just a little over 3 months. The majority of rental bookings we've seen in May are for check-ins in July - September. Current trends aren't necessarily true for every year, but right now South Carolina and California are booking on average 71-80 days before check-in (summer). Hawaii and St. John are booking out about 123-131 days (autumn). And if you have Utah, those are booking out 242 days (winter).

RedWeek’s DIY rental postings run for 6 months, so make sure to get it posted at least 6 months prior to check-in. If you have a prime week out longer than 6 months, your best bet is to list as a full-service rental – we run those all the way up until 10 days before check-in, regardless of when you post it, so it’s the best value for the longest run time.

Pricing it Right

When pricing your unit, be sure to see what the competition is renting for. Historical data should give you a good starting point, but you'll want to flip over to the "Active Rentals" tab on our What's My Timeshare Worth tool to get a sense of your most current competition. And, of course, you can look at your 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 a unit size that isn’t already being offered.

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. Just be careful not to list your rental for too low a price, as renters can be wary of a deal that looks "too good to be true".

We have seen rental rates climbing a bit in 2022 - our typical rental week had been about $2,300 (~$328/nt) prior to the pandemic and is now about $200 higher. Here are some of the current average nightly rates in our top destinations:

  • Aruba: $393.48
  • California: $363.92
  • Hawaii: $565.56
  • Florida: $347.61
  • South Carolina: $375.24

HOW You Post Matters - new info on success rates

We weren’t kidding when we recommended getting your rentals posted during our peak first quarter (January - March). Full-service rental postings for check-in dates within the first three months had a 75% success rate! Your odds of getting your week rented were a full 28% better if you used full-service rather than DIY with online booking.

Renters continue to be drawn toward the RedWeek verified, and especially online bookable weeks. When all else is equal (availability, price, unit size), having full-service and online booking to add the additional security is most appealing to renters and results in a better chance your posting will rent.

Renter-Friendly Cancellation Policies

Renters in a post-COVID climate are cautious about booking rentals without some reassurance that they can make changes if needed. When you post your rental on RedWeek, you can choose from a set of defined cancellation policies. If you are not using our online booking system, you also have the option to add a custom policy. We strongly recommend choosing at least "Moderate" cancellation to increase your chances of securing a rental. Rentals that choose our "Flexible" cancellation policy get featured on their own page, appealing to renters who need the most flexibility.

Another big draw for renters to the online booking system is that they can purchase travel insurance for their trip. Although travel insurance doesn't cover cancellations for any reason, it does potentially cover the renter in many different scenarios and adds peace of mind when booking travel. If you choose to use our online booking system for your rental, your renters will automatically have access to this option.

When DIY Might Make Sense

If you don’t have a reservation and don’t want to risk making a guess about what to reserve, you can always post it strictly DIY. With DIY, you can post whatever range is available to you - say 7 nights between June 1 - December 31, 2022, and it will show as "Availability varies" - renters will contact you to see if you can get the dates they need. This may be particularly desirable for renters if you own at a resort where there is not much available on RedWeek. If you are posting at a popular resort with lots of verified, bookable weeks available, renters are going to go toward the easy, secure reservations bookable online first.

*Hot Tip: if you still want to be able to use RedWeek’s online booking system, you can list as DIY until you get a renter request, reserve the dates with your resort, then edit your posting to the dates reserved, turn on online booking and purchase verification (only $14.99 additional). We now allow rentals to be booked as soon as booking & verification are purchased - you don’t have to wait for verification to be finalized!

Get Started

The most important thing is just to get started! You can always edit your offering later, so add your rental posting today to get in front of renters ASAP. Post your timeshare rental now.

Comments (4)

    Avatar for Vince C.
    Vince C.
    May 31, 2022

    Would RW consider having historical successful rental bookings available from the running past 12 months? This would greatly assist in research to know which timeshares to buy for the best rental profits.

    Avatar for RedWeek Support
    RedWeek Support
    May 31, 2022

    Vince: You can find our website's historical rental and resale data for any timeshare resort on the following page: What's My Timeshare Worth

    Avatar for Gregory O.
    Gregory O.
    Jun 27, 2022 (edited)

    If we were to rent our time share, what happens if something is damaged by the renters? Are they responsible? Is there insurance? Is this written in the policy? Thanks for your help

    Avatar for RedWeek Support
    RedWeek Support
    Jun 27, 2022 (edited)

    Gregory: If you are using RedWeek Online Booking, damages to the unit are addressed in the rental agreement. You can view a sample rental agreement here: RedWeek Rental Agreement

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