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Listing Owners

The Complete Guide to Pricing Your Timeshare Rental

The best strategy for setting a price for your listing is to compare it to what else is out there. So how do you do that, exactly? Just follow this step-by-step guide!

Peter J. Frank - Jun 14, 2022

One of the most frequent questions we get from our community of timeshare owners is how to set a price for their listing so it rents quickly while maximizing their earnings. 

The short answer — as summarized in this blog post “How Do I Price My Listing to Rent on KOALA”? — is to base your price on the fair market value of your unit on the rental market. First, figure out how other websites are pricing the same or similar units. Then take into account whether it’s a retail site (like Expedia or the resort’s own website) or a place where owners are renting their timeshares directly (like KOALA, Facebook Groups, or TUG). If it’s a retail travel site, you’ll want to price lower — at least 25%.

While it’s tempting to set a price that will recoup your annual maintenance fees, or base it on your cost per point, that number might be higher than what vacationers can find elsewhere… which makes your unit much less desirable and therefore unlikely to rent. No vacationer is going to pay more for something they can get for less somewhere else — regardless of your personal costs! 

Looking to understand the value of your timeshare on the resale market? If you’re thinking about selling your timeshare, read this post first: What is My Timeshare Worth? 4 Tips for Mastering the Market 

Determining fair market value takes a little legwork, but it will make your listing more competitive and more attractive to potential renters. So we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to determining your timeshare’s value on the rental market, and using that information to set a great price.

How Should I Get Started?

The first step is to search for a unit at your resort just as vacationers would: by going online. The idea is to see a range of similar listings so you get a sense of how the prices might vary.

Start with looking on a popular retail site such as Expedia. Search for your resort by name, and use the calendar to choose the dates you’re considering for your listing. You should also include the total number of guests (adults and children) based on the number of rooms in your unit.

If you find exact results for your resort, use the filters to find close matches to your unit. For example, you can specify the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and whether there’s a kitchen or outdoor space. (Don’t select too many filters, or the options will get too narrow.) 

Many factors impact the fair market value of a vacation rental, so it’s important to find the closest match to your listing as possible. Dates are critical: If you can’t find the same unit for the same dates, look for a listing that’s within a few weeks, and be mindful of holidays, when demand goes up. (For more advice on when to list your unit, read our post on the Secret to Creating a Successful Listing.) Be sure you’re comparing apples to apples when it comes to the number of bedrooms and baths, kitchen and laundry facilities, and overall square footage. Views fetch a premium, too.

Now take note of how the listing(s) that you’ve found are priced. As mentioned above, timeshare rentals listed on retail sites tend to be around 20% to 30% higher (or more!) than sites where the listings are offered by owners. That’s because the listings are put up by the resorts themselves, which can be more flexible about cancellation policies and rates. 

The same goes for Extra Holidays, which is where Wyndham Destinations lists excess inventory for its various brands (Club Wyndham, Worldmark, Shell, etc.) and tends to price them quite a bit higher than what you’ll see on Vrbo, Airbnb, KOALA, and others. 

What if I Can’t Find my Exact Resort?

First, try searching with more specific terms; we often find that adding the location name helps (for example, searching for “Grand Islander Honolulu” yields more precise results than just “Grand Islander”).

If your resort doesn’t show up, or if it’s listed as “sold out,” look for resorts in the vicinity that offer similar amenities, such as a pool or lazy river, hot tubs, dining options, and so forth. New or recently renovated resorts tend to fetch higher rates than older ones. Of course, location is critical: A resort directly on the beach can be much higher-priced than one across the street. Again, use the filters to narrow down the options — just as a vacationer would do. 

Anyplace Else I Should Search?

It’s a good idea to check the prices on a site where owners list their own properties for rent, such as KOALA or Vrbo. Use the same method to find your specific resort or something very similar, and see what prices come up. In our experience, prices on platforms like these tend to be less expensive than the retail sites, so this is a good way to gut-check your own price.  

PRO TIP: Selecting the “Premier Host” filter on Vrbo will show you listings from experienced owners, as well as professional aggregators. They tend to be savvy about pricing, so consider following their lead.

Wait, So Should I List my Timeshare for Rent on Vrbo?

Listing on KOALA is, of course, much faster, simpler, and safer than “hacking” other sites meant for home rentals. But that’s just the start. As owners ourselves, we know how hard it can be to navigate the rules of timeshare for your own use and enjoyment. Managing a rental for someone else — from understanding the market to managing the booking process to ensuring a successful check-in with the resort — can be downright mind-boggling. Timeshare rentals should never be more risk than reward. For example, did you know that without specific insurance, you could be personally liable for damages to your timeshare by a guest? That’s why we built KOALA, a platform using technology and services (like insurance) that are purpose-built for timeshare owners LIKE YOU. 

Let’s face it, timeshares are a different animal from home rentals, which is what those other sites are designed for. Sites like Vrbo and Airbnb are designed to display 365 days of availability, not a single week that you’ve uploaded. Creating a listing on KOALA is quick and easy, because it’s designed to help timeshare owners like you rent their place — regardless of what brand they own or whether they have weeks or points. 

We built sophisticated search and calendar functionality on KOALA to make it easier for vacationers to find resort stays that suit their needs, regardless of the check-in date of the reservation (or even if the reservation has even been made). And we handle everything for owners, from check-ins to payments. We also provide $1 million in timeshare-specific Host insurance for every listing — free and automatically. 

Should I Look at Redweek?

Redweek is another timeshare rental site with listings put up by owners, so you can see how they assess market pricing. 

If you’re wondering whether you should list on Redweek yourself, check out this blog post comparing our services — for instance, they charge upfront fees to both owners and travelers, something we don’t do.  And if you’re already listing on Redweek, and you’ve paid that upfront fee already, you should list on KOALA, too — you’ll be on both sites for the same price!  

Is Cancellation Policy Important?

Absolutely! Travelers are looking for flexibility, and they’re willing to pay more for a rental that lets them cancel for free as close to check-in as possible. Just like with airfares, a “nonrefundable” stay is going to be cheaper than one that’s more flexible.

So when you’re comparison shopping, make sure that the listings you’re looking at have a cancellation policy that’s similar to the one you’re considering putting on your own listing. Our overall advice on that is to choose the most flexible cancellation policy you can. We’ve found that listings with strict cancellation policies are rented a lot less frequently — even if they’re “priced to move.”

Just remember: If your resort’s cancellation policy is strict — and you need your listing to reflect that — it’s even more important to compete on price. 

OK, I Found Some Comparable Listing. Now What?

Great! Maybe you’ve found listings for the same unit at the same resort over a similar timeframe. Or perhaps you’ve found a few close, but not exact, matches. Now look at the range of prices they’re asking, and see if you can determine why some are higher than others: Maybe the view is better, or the dates fall over a holiday, or it’s a “Deluxe” rather than a standard unit. Is it a retail site or a “by-owner” platform? Sometimes there’s no clear rationale for a higher or lower price, though: It’s just how the owner decided to list it.

Next, divide by the number of nights so you can see the average nightly rate. Now you know the fair market value!

So that’s the price you should use, right? Not so fast! You can certainly price your listing for around the same amount. But if you really want to make your listing stand out, set it significantly (anywhere from 20% to 25%) below the fair market value you’ve found on retail sites. In our experience, vacationers are willing to overlook other factors, such as dates or specific unit, if it will save them money. So make sure your price is attractive compared to what they’ll find elsewhere.  

Ready to get started?

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If you have further questions about pricing your listing, reach out to our Customer Success Team at hello@go-koala.com or (833) 562-5226.

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