John C Botdorf
September 20, 2017
Subject: Booking a $950 a night Villa for little or no cost?
Dear MYTS Fans,
Yes, the above is possible and I will share with you how in this blog.
We have discussed in our book www.masteringyourtimeshare.com, the advantages of owning the right time share in the locations you prefer to visit. We have also discussed and identified the top seven global operators that provide over 90% of the time share product worldwide. I am often asked which Time Share program (TS) is best. That is a bit like asking “what is the best car to buy”. It clearly depends on what you are looking for, how you spend your vacations, are you married or single, do you like to host guests and visitors. Other factors include do you like more moderate villas at lower costs, or do you prefer 4.5 star and up villas that come with premium services. Factors like cost of ownership, trading rights, exchange rights, the ability to rent, etc, also might favor one program over another.
In addition to deciding what type of TS is best for you, many time share owners are fascinated to learn that it is indeed possible to stay in $950 a night (or more) time share for little or no money. Many want to learn how this is done and what do they need to do to make such a reservation. First of all, it helps to understand how the time share business works and what drives operators to offer such a low price. Once this is understood it is possible to regularly book these stays using the methods we discuss in our book.
Remember in one of our chapters in MYTS, we are reminded that people do not book reservations anymore, that is done by computers. Even when you call in for personal service you are just asking someone else to log into a reservation system and interface with you guessed it, a computer. Understanding how computers work and why most places have several different reservation buckets is key to understanding how to book the best locations at the best resorts.
In essence their are two (2) kind of ways to get terrific bargains. One is through promotional offerings that can be repeated over time but this type of reservation requires you sign up for a time share tour and depending on the operator, time of year, and degree of promotion you can get a voucher to use for generally a year at a number of sites owned or controlled by the operator. Many of these do not have black out dates and some do. Interestingly these vouchers are sometimes the only way into a crowded summer or winter site because operators reserve a block of villa’s for marketing purposes and these villas are booked under a separate reservation pool. I have often been able to extend or procure my stay(s) even though my resort is sold out because I used a voucher to block an extra 3 or 4 days. If you go and enjoy the project, you should engage in the tour and see if the program is right for you. We emphasize the tours are staffed by commission only salespeople for the most point, and you should remember their time is also valuable. Be attentive and do your homework. What you will get is a voucher to stay for usually 3 nights up to week in some cases. Prices range from $50 to $100 a night, well below what these villas rent or sell for. Good luck and happy hunting. These promotions are part of the business and can help to lower you vacation cost by 25-75% per stay.
The other option is more complicated and involves a much higher level of TS knowledge. Essentially I have used this method year after year for over 25 years. It works well and works every year. If you were to reverse engineer math for a $950 a night suite and actually pay zero for the stay you first need to learn this does not come from one step. There is no such thing as going onto a web site and booking a five star 3 bedroom, $1500 a night villa and hit the “free” button. However, by following the steps we outline in MYTS, you can do it every year, year in and year out. It comes from starting with getting to the top of your program on those programs that offer their customers short term discounts. This is no different that going on any one of a number of cruise ship web sites and booking a last minute cruise for $1500 that sells for $8500. This happens every day of the week. In the time share business it is more complicated but not difficult to do once you understand the rules. So, in essence you start with booking right after or before the season changes when you still have either prime summer months or winter skiing. I stay every year at the beach right on the water in September, when all of the kids go back to school. Frankly I love kids but don’t need 15 of them in the Jacuzzi with me when I am there to relax. Go in September and you will notice 90% of the kids are gone. You also can get short terms discount with many of the large TS operators as the season is about to turn.
Next you play the “Platinum”, “Presidential” of “Chairman” card when you book you villa. Remember you got 30% for booking off season, now you get another 30% when you book at the highest level because your operator may well have a discount for their top customers. You need to research this clause because not all operators offer it. Even when they do, you need to understand all of the rules. I get it every time I book, 365 days a year. This is why I spend six months a year in times shares. I love $950 a night suites, providing I do not pay much or anything for them.
Lastly, to get to free to you need to generate some income to pay for the 33% bill that is left. As we discuss in MYTS, only the top ten percent of time shares are “highly rentable”. These times shares command $900 a night and some a lot more. Once you own them, you own them. Renting is done on line and takes minutes once you master how it is done. This provides the income to pay your maintenance fee and also covers your remaining cost to occupy. There are several more methods we recommend that will and can significantly lower you cost of ownership. Once you understand how to manage your RRC ratio (rental rate over cost per day) and that number turns positive, all of your stays for the rest of your life are free. It does not matter if the villa is worth $1,000 a night. The principals are the same.
Happy Hunting and God Bless your next trip.
John C Botdorf