This article is printed with permission by author Lisa Ann Schreier.
I wish that the idea of renting a timeshare was more well known by the traveling public. Not only is the concept a win-win for the traveler, but it is also a win-win for the owners who are able to make money off of their unused weeks.
A short while ago I conducted an informal survey of 25 friends and coworkers and asked if they had ever considered renting a timeshare for vacation instead of booking a hotel room. I received the same two responses from most everyone: (1) "I didn't know you could rent timeshares", and (2) "No, I don't want to deal with the sales pitch."
This seems to clearly indicate some basic issues that timeshare is having. But, the good news is that both of those answers are easily overcome; it just takes getting the word out.
If you've rented a timeshare on vacation, tell people about it! Sure, everyone knows that you can book a hotel room, but obviously people don't know you can rent a timeshare, save money, and get more in terms of amenities, space, and luxury.
If you have a timeshare for rent, talk about it: to the grocery clerk, to the mailman, to the parents at your kids' soccer practice, anyone with an interest in traveling. Everyone likes to talk about vacation plans, so if you have a timeshare in a place where someone is going on vacation, don't be shy! Also make use of the online resources available to you on RedWeek.com.
As for the dreaded high-pressure sales presentation, I certainly hope all timeshare owners know that they do NOT have to attend a sales presentation: the same thing goes for anyone renting a timeshare. Timeshare sales presentations are NOT mandatory, unless your stay is part of a promotion you've signed up for.
So, for you timeshare owners who have had your timeshare on the resale market for some time, you may want to offer a "try it before you buy it" approach and advertise your timeshare for rent as well.
If you've had success renting your timeshare, we'd love to hear your ideas on what worked for you. If you've purchased a timeshare after renting one, we'd also love to hear from you.
And those of you who have used a timeshare rental for your vacation – tell us your experience here, talk it up, help get the ball rolling!
About Lisa Ann Schreier: Lisa Ann Schreier, The Timeshare Crusader, is a former timeshare salesperson and the author of both “Surviving A Timeshare Presentation…Confessions From The Sales Table” and “Timeshare Vacations For Dummies.” She is the founder and director of the consumer information site Timeshare Insights and is currently working on her third consumer book, due out later this year.