About 10 million families across the United States have stakes in a timeshare rental property. While many of those families enjoy their purchases, others don’t as they do not end up realizing the value that being part of a timeshare community brings.

Our goal with this post is to make sure you are one of the families that fall into the former camp.

Vacation timeshare rentals have several facets to them that can bring value to you, both monetarily and via the experiences they facilitate. Understanding each of those facets so you can make a smart investment is paramount to you not regretting your purchase.

Below, our team breaks down a handful of things we recommend each family do/keep in mind to ensure they get the absolute most out of their timeshare experience. Keep reading to learn more!

1. Talk to Other Community Owners

When you walk into a timeshare rental pitch, you can expect to hear nothing but good things about what you’re being sold. After all, timeshare salespeople are paid largely on commission and have a vested interest in making sure you sign on the dotted line.

Because of the salesy nature of timeshares, you won’t get a great idea of your timeshare rental community until after you start using it. That is unless, of course, you take the time to talk to other timeshare community members before taking a pitch.

Current community members can give you an unvarnished overview of the rental community you’re considering. Armed with that, you can become savvy to any red flags that might bring down the value proposition offered to you when talking to salespeople.

2. Buy Into a Good Deal

The bang for your buck you get from your timeshare rental will largely depend on what you pay for your timeshare. For example, if one family spends $10,000 on a timeshare deal, they would need to receive less annual value from that purchase than someone that spends $25,000 to realize gains from their investment.

The best way to get a good timeshare deal is to know what members in your community paid for what you’re being offered and what comparable deals look like at other communities. With that information in hand, you can quickly filter through bad offers that are bounced off of you and can arrive at deals that make sense.

3. Plan on Making Memories

A lot of people get into timeshare deals with the intent of reselling. We’ll talk about various reselling considerations throughout this post and acknowledge that being able to resell your time in your timeshare is part of the value puzzle.

Still, your primary motivator when stepping into a timeshare should be to create memories in it. That way you won’t have to worry about flipping your deal for a profit to feel good about your investment.

To that end, make sure that the timeshare you’re considering is one that you’d actually want to stay in.

Does the property feel safe? Do you love the vacation community it exists in? The more positives you find, the more likely you’ll be excited to use your timeshare throughout the year which will maximize its value to you.

4. Know When to Reserve Your Slots

Timeshares can be tricky because they’re properties you share with other people. To that end, you’ll have to know when to reserve your vacation slots.

The Marriott timeshare booking window might differ from the booking window that is considered standard for timeshares sold by Hilton. As a matter of fact, we can say confidently that every timeshare company has different reservation expectations and knowing them can either add or subtract a lot of value from your investment.

All of that to say that you should brief yourself on how best to make reservations at a timeshare as early as possible so you’re not surprised later.

5. Purchase Your Timeshare in Busy Vacation Communities

Having a timeshare in a relaxing, secluded part of the country is nice if you like the area and plan on visiting often. If part of your timeshare rental strategy is to re-rent your unit, make sure demand exists.

It’s much easier to market “timeshare rentals Florida” than it is to market “timeshare rentals Boise”. Why? Because Florida has beaches, theme parks, and tourists.

Keep that in mind as you weigh what you’re being asked to pay for a timeshare. Ask yourself, “Are there going to be enough travelers to the area that I might be able to turn a profit on my timeshare?”

If you’re unsure whether the answer is yes or no, make sure you plan on using your timeshare enough yourself to justify buying into it.

6. Examine Competing Communities

We always say that you have no idea how good of a timeshare deal you’re getting until you look at what else is out there. You’d be surprised by how vastly prices can differ between timeshare communities that are even across the street from one another!

With that in mind, when you take a timeshare pitch, make sure to schedule at least one other pitch at a nearby community, even if the initial pitch you receive is good.

You may find that the person that pitches you initially puts pressure on you to not take other pitches. People who do that don’t have your best interests in mind.

7. Understand Your Exit Options

Timeshare rental companies have a bad reputation for trapping people in bad deals. Hopefully, you’ll be able to avoid bad deals by leveraging some of the tips we’ve already shared with you. Still, even if you love the timeshare deal you’re considering, we recommend learning how to get out of it.

Exiting a timeshare is a complicated process. So complicated, in fact, that attorneys build their whole practices around enabling people to exit their timeshares.

Talk to your salesperson about exit options if you find that you’re not in love with your purchase. Have them point out in your contract prior to singing where, if anywhere, exit pathways exist. You may also want to talk to an attorney preemptively to understand common exit strategies.

8. Watch Out for Mandatory Fees

Did you know that most timeshares will charge you annual fees? Those fees can pile up quickly and may ruin any hope you had of your timeshare representing a good investment.

Pay close attention to your time share’s fee schedule and which fees are mandatory even if you don’t use your time during the year. Also, inquire how often those fees go up.

Fees like maintenance costs can set you back hundreds of dollars and may find themselves swelling anytime your timeshare’s management is hungry for a raise.

9. Consider Future Community Plans

Nothing makes a timeshare more valuable than when the community around it builds up. For example, if you buy into a timeshare and then the surrounding community adds an amusement park that attracts tourists, your ability to stay at your timeshare rather than a local hotel and ability to rent your timeshare both become more valuable.

If you can talk to your timeshare’s city hall to find out what plans they have for the area around your unit, that investigative work can pay dividends when it comes to assessing what your deal will be worth years from now.

10. Talk to Your Friends and Family

When you’re not using your timeshare, passing it off to friends and family members can represent a great means of income. Of course, your friends and family can’t borrow your timeshare time without knowing you own it.

Be sure to announce at your next family gathering that you scooped up a great deal on a timeshare. If you do and sell your timeshare well, don’t be surprised when your loved ones call you and ask if they can pay you to stay at your property.

A Timeshare Rental Can Be a Good Deal If You Do Your Diligence

Usually, when people are talking about a timeshare rental property, they’re talking about it in the negative. While there are plenty of bad timeshare rental deals out there, by leveraging our tips, we’re confident you can get the most out of the time you own!

Our team wishes you the best as you create memories and income opportunities out of the timeshare you purchased. If you find yourself in a pinch with your timeshare purchase, even after using our tips, we recommend talking to a lawyer to explore what your options are.

If you’d like additional, general timeshare advice, consider exploring more of the helpful lifestyle content on our blog.