You’re a timeshare owner and you want your property to run smoothly and be managed well so it doesn’t cost you extra money, right? Why not get involved in your timeshare board? This doesn't have to take a lot of your time. You can start very simply by reading the newsletters, and attending a few board meetings, (at least the Owner’s General Meeting). Meeting other owners will help you learn a lot about what’s going on with your property. Find out who is on the board. When you meet the board members, be prepared with a list of questions for more insight on what’s going on with your resort: How do they see the future of your property? Is the budget being met? Who would they like to see on the board? After your discussion ask yourself: Would you hire these people to run your own business? If not, maybe it’s time you run yourself.
Most states require that toward the end of the initial selling phase of a timeshare resort the property should become self-governing and pull away from the developers. From an owner perspective, this is a good thing. You want the day to day operations of your resort to be under the power of a board that you vote in, not one chosen by the developer. The problem arises when the owners do not take over control of their property and vote that a management company be in charge instead. The chance that a management company-controlled board will "do the right thing" for you is rare. They will do what is in their own best interest. If a professional property manager is a part of your management team, you are normally better off. At least you have a potential check and balance system in place. Although that manager must report to the board, he can answer your questions directly and is likely to notify you if there are any problems.
If you currently do not know who is in charge of your association, it’s time to find out. If the resort has been running smoothly and most everyone on the board is pleased, when voting time comes around, you may want to keep most of those who currently hold seats. Most associations do have a wealth of talent with a resource of professional and business people on the board. Term limits are always a good idea, even in a stabilized environment with a permanent property manager. Again, if you have the time and background, you should consider becoming a board member yourself. Don't just assume that everything is fine, protect your investment. You will gain insight into your property and you can make a difference that can translate into cost savings for all owners.