With 54% of American workers failing to use their time off, Americans are just plain bad at taking a break. This figure includes plenty of people who’ve made the effort and spent the money on a timeshare investment.
Whether it’s work that catches up to you, a need to schedule vacations a year in advance, or not enough money, fewer workers than ever are taking vacations. Taking a break is important to your mind and your body. An increasing number of people will go on vacation and remain connected to their jobs via mobile devices the whole time.
Whether you’ve already invested or are thinking about making a timeshare investment, you need to make a plan to get the most out of it. Otherwise, you could be wasting money and your precious vacation time. Follow these tips to make sure you’re getting a bang for your buck.
1. Invest In Memories, Not For Returns
A timeshare is a great investment for a family that doesn’t want or can’t afford to purchase a vacation home. It’s a great way to have memories, host friends, and invite family for a getaway. If you’re thinking of your timeshare as a way to get a return on your investments, you might be disappointed.
The timeshare market isn’t a market that will appreciate in value. Timeshares are a great way to have a “home away from home” and to relax. They provide plenty of value to your life, just very little of it is measurable financial income.
If you buy into a great network, you’ll be able to be part of a timeshare exchange that allows you to go to different places, all for the same price.
2. Balance Your Budget
Timeshare maintenance fees can be a turnoff to some timeshare owners. In just the last 10 years, the average fee has doubled to around $1,000. On top of that, if you take advantage of a timeshare exchange, you might pay an additional fee.
If you’re paying $20,000 for your vacation time every year, you might not see any returns for a decade or more. Unless you really love your timeshare, this could be a little more than a drag.
If you buy from a developer, you’ll pay more than it could cost you to rent a hotel for the week. Buying secondhand from another owner could be more cost effective than buying a brand new contract.
An entire secondhand timeshare market exists online where you can buy a timeshare for next to nothing from someone who is trying to get rid of one. If someone feels buried under the costs of their timeshare investment, they’ll be glad to sign the responsibility over to you for free.
Hire a real estate agent to ensure that you ask all of the right questions before you write a check. You will likely have a certain kind of property in mind, so be clear with your agent so that they can point you in the right direction.
3. Love Your House And What Surrounds It
If you want to get the most out of your timeshare investment, you need to love the destination itself. Even a beautifully designed luxury building can be useless if you don’t have anything to do during the day. You need to ensure that your timeshare is located in an area that you like to spend time in.
Before you invest, make sure you spend a few days in the area where you plan to get your timeshare. Find a few places you enjoy eating, relaxing, and shopping. When you leave, you should feel like there’s more to see if you’re planning on spending a week or two there every year.
You should fall in love with the property as well. If you’re in a large complex, take a walk around the courtyard and meet some of the people living there. Make a few connections so that when you arrive for your vacation, you’ll have some people to show you around.
4. Rent Out Your Timeshare
While owning a timeshare can be appealing, you could be paying a lot of money for space you don’t get to use that often. If you’ve booked out a week and realize you won’t be able to make it, consider renting it out.
With the rise of Airbnb and other short-term rental websites, you should be able to easily recoup your costs. Have some friends or neighbors nearby who can help you out in case of any emergencies.
Check with local regulations and your own contract to ensure you’re not violating anything that you’ve signed. You might be able to make some extra money on the side if you decide you’ll be vacationing somewhere else this year. You could also make this process easier on yourself by announcing your rental to friends, neighbors, family, and colleagues.
Renting out to someone who you already know comes with fewer headaches than renting it out to a stranger.
5. Buy Outright If Possible
If you want to make money with your vacation space and can’t find the perfect timeshare investment, perhaps you should consider buying a property.
While this is more like opening up your own timeshare company, renting it out short-term will be based more on your own rules. If you make enough money, you might be able to hire someone locally to take care of the space while you’re away.
Many foreign countries now report that much of the new investment in real estate comes from people who are buying vacation properties.
A Timeshare Investment Is An Investment In Yourself
You work hard all year round so that you can enjoy your time off. Finding the perfect timeshare situation goes hand in hand with getting the most out of it. If you can find a place that feels like a second home, you might start finding ways to work remotely and extend your stay.
If you’re looking for other ways to get the most from a timeshare, contact us for more tips.
Attending a timeshare presentation is a great way to get free stuff. All you have to do is listen to their 90-minute presentation and say no to the timeshare. Easy peasy, right?
Well, kind of.
The timeshare industry is a big one generating revenues over $8.6 billion a year. The whole reason a company does a timeshare presentation is to get people to buy. The salespeople are under extreme pressure to make sales.
They are very good at what they do and have no qualms about using strong tactics. Here are a few things to consider before going to an infamous timeshare presentation. If you do it right you might make it through without losing your life savings.
Be on your guard about everything. Don’t sign anything without thoroughly reading it first. Don’t accept any gifts without understanding the terms and conditions.
Oftentimes you receive a free or discounted vacation for listening to the spiel. They will use that against you as they try to coerce you into buying.
Accepting the gift doesn’t legally require you to buy anything. But they’ll sure make it sound like it morally does.
Negotiate Your Gifts, First
That being said, make sure that any gifts you do receive are worth it. You will be giving these people several hours of your time. And you will have to withstand a lot of pressure throughout the process.
The value of the gift needs to be worth what you will be going through. Sometimes they offer stuff like luggage or cameras. To be honest, that probably isn’t worth the onslaught that you will face.
Understand the Pressure
The pressure to buy is intense. The salespeople have a long list of tactics to convince you that their timeshare is an awesome deal.
These include but are not limited to
- Guilting you for what you’ve already accepted
- Putting a time limit on special offers
- Arguing with your objections
- Keeping you for longer than the allotted time
- Not disclosing cancellation information
- Outright lying about the investment value/actual ownership costs
- Teaming up against you
Take a moment and look through a few online message boards and you’ll see. There is story after story of someone not intending to buy and being pressured into it. Timeshare salespeople are scary good at what they do.
Don’t Bring Money to the Timeshare Presentation
Don’t bring your checkbook and don’t bring extra credit cards. Most of the time they will require you to bring at least one major credit card. Pick one that has very little available balance on it to ensure you can’t use it.
Don’t get cocky and think you can withstand their tactics on your own. Make it less stressful for yourself. If you don’t have the money in hand, you can’t buy on the spot.
Don’t Spend Money You Don’t Have
The only thing worse than buying a timeshare is buying it with money you don’t have. Salespeople will offer you all sort of amazing financing deals.
They want to help you buy on the spot. That way you can take advantage of whatever deal they’re offering. They’re only trying to help.
That’s how they’ll present it, at least. But if you stop to think about it, you would have two large, ongoing financial obligations. You’ll have to keep paying the maintenance fees and all the interest on the buy-in.
Imagine what would happen if you lost your job? You can’t even sell it for a reasonable amount to get out from under it. Which brings us to our next point.
Know the Resale Value
Do a little research and know the resale value of that company’s timeshares before you go. This can help you in a couple ways.
First, the salesperson will often tell you that if it doesn’t work out you can always sell it later. Of course, the idea is that you would recoup what you put into it. The salesperson will either outright lie and tell you that, or at least let you assume it.
The second way it can help is to get you out of there faster. Find their resales on eBay and bring in a copy of some completed auctions. You might find that your 90-minute timeshare presentation suddenly gets a lot shorter.
Know the Investment Value
A classic timeshare salesperson tactic is to portray the timeshare as an investment. Do your research beforehand so you won’t fall for this trick.
An investment is something you put money into, expecting to get more money out of in the future. You will never get more money out of a timeshare. Check out the real costs of a timeshare using this handy calculator.
You pay a huge buy-in up front. Then you pay hefty maintenance fees every year afterward. Plus, you can only sell it at a loss. There’s no gain in there for you, except maybe a couple of really expensive vacations.
Don’t Act Interested
Whatever you do while you’re at the timeshare presentation, don’t act interested. If you ask questions or appear engaged, they will take that as a sign they can make the sale. They won’t let you go until they do.
Enjoy Your Discounted Vacation
If you survive the timeshare presentation with your savings intact, enjoy! You deserve some rest and relaxation after the onslaught you endured.
Some people work the timeshare system against these companies. They figure out how to survive the timeshare presentation. Then they start calling up companies asking what discounts or free gifts they offer.
If you can stomach it, this can be a way to save big on your vacations. But you’ll need nerves of steel and no qualms about working the system.
What if You Didn’t Survive…
What do you do if you didn’t survive a timeshare presentation? Now you’re full of buyer’s remorse but don’t know how to get rid of it.
Resale seems to be your only option. But you’ll take such a loss that it doesn’t seem like much of an option.
Don’t worry, you do have another option. One that involves getting back much of your “investment”. Contact us today to learn more.