I think, therefore I transfer.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Smart Timeshare Innovations to Watch Out in 2010

During the last two years, we had witnessed an economic meltdown that affected everyone severely. And just like any other industry, the timeshare industry is not exempted from this. Since the crisis broke out in the late of 2007, many owners are starting to get out of their timeshares as a way of cutback spending. This also resulted to low sales for this industry. As the industry’s ability to thrive during the downturn has been put to the test, developers are evolving their business models in response to the new realities of the market. This has also made an interesting discussion in the last half of 2009, as more than 500 delegates from around the world met for the Vacation Ownership Investment Conference in Orlando, Florida.

The guest moderator at the said conference is Howard Nusbaum, the president and CEO of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), who spoke to the challenge and to the opportunities ahead. As discussed, timeshare companies are rethinking the way they do business. This year, we’re likely to witness many businesses revisiting, recalculating, recalibrating, and redefining themselves. As forecasted, they’ll be even more focused on new ways to increase their cash sales and they’ll be building strategies to run their business more efficiently. Also, they’ll place more importance on profitability, less on revenue and growth. And they’ll be listening closely to what the consumer has to say.

This year, we might expect to see the following from shared-ownership developers: more affordable products in order to augment traditional sales; short-stay products and points programs which will allow greater flexibility for owners; adoption of more trial products; increased marketing to existing customers; encouraging upgrades or purchase of additional products.

Nowadays, we might be already sensing the way to economic recovery. However, owners who are trying to get rid of their timeshares are still increasing. Some even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart just to get rid of such property. As this still remains a challenge for the timeshare operators, let’s just see how those innovations will improve the industry.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Walley’s Timeshare Owners Face Special Assessment Fee

Timeshares are closely associated with a number of fees that usually increase over time. For some owners, this may be the main reason why they decided to get out of their timeshares. But one type of fee involve in timesharing is the special assessment fee which may arise anytime the operator needs some amount to cover certain cost. Recently, this is the issue among Walley’s timeshare owners.

According to Mr. Grottke, it is true that the level of nonpayment of dues has risen dramatically in the last three years and it's an industry-wide problem. He added that the Florida-based Celebrity Resorts, which bought most of Walley's real estate and management contract in 2008, held a meeting to discuss a special assessment fee, which may range from $494-$939, that owners are being asked to pay on top of their annual dues.

Grottke said he has a fiduciary responsibility to the owners association being a board member, but also a vested interest in seeing the resort succeed, as Quintus still owns more than 500 timeshare weeks. According to a meeting notice distributed to timeshare owners in January which was signed by board secretary Craig Lewis, the operating funds are depleted, and in order to continue operations, a special assessment is necessary. If the special assessment does not get approved, it is anticipated that the 2010 operating expenses will deplete the Association's assets within the first quarter of 2010. With a positive collection of the special assessment fee, the Association will be able to eliminate the deficit and move forward with operations.

Nowadays, numerous owners are trying to get rid of their timeshares while others even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart. For most of these owners, cost involved is cited as the main reason in doing so. There are numerous costs involved in timesharing such as maintenance fee but the other hefty fee which may add burden to the owners is the special assessment fee. Such fee is the current issue face by Walley’s timeshare owners.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Exchange Companies as a Smart Way to Make the Most of Your Timeshare

For some owners, the benefits of timeshare exchange hold them to get out of their timeshares. As such property has been known for a number of disadvantages, the privilege of a timeshare exchange may offset them. A timeshare exchange can also be a way for the owners to travel and not get bored with the unit that they regularly visit each. In other words, this can add variety to the owner’s vacation experience. However, most owners who go for a timeshare exchange are affiliated with some exchange companies as they may provide them ease in the process of exchange. Here are some popular timeshare exchange companies that most owners belong to.

First, maybe the most popular of all is the Resort Condominiums International or RCI. It has over 4,000 affiliated resorts in more than 100 countries and has become one of the dominant timeshare brokers. Their models for timeshare ownership flow through two main exchange programs which are the weeks and points.

We have also the Interval International or II. It boasts over 2 million members and has more than 2,200 resorts under its belt. This company allows their users to deposit their weeks and exchange their weeks with II's available inventory. One of the benefits of this is that it has affiliations with some of the higher end resorts, including Marriott, the Four Seasons, and Westgate.

Then, there’s also the Trading Places International or TPI. Like Interval International, this exchange company allows the owners to deposit their timeshare weeks at their own timeshare in exchange for use at another one of their resorts.

While others finally decided to get rid of their timeshares by hiring a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart, a number of owners realize that there may be more to timesharing through timeshare exchange. However, most owners find it comfortable and effective to avail of such benefit by being affiliated with timeshare exchange companies. So, if you want to consider such benefit, try to look at those above-mentioned companies.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Transfer Smart News: OTE Intensifies Measures to Reduce Timeshare Scams

As scams in the timeshare industry has increase dramatically nowadays, the Organization for Timeshare in Europe or OTE augmented their spending on its Enforcement Project in Spain last year to €130,000. Such scams may victimize either potential owners or current owners who are eager to get out of their timeshares. Meanwhile, the said project launch by OTE has logged a series of key successes over the past year. This includes the closure of 10 fraudulent Discount Travel Membership Club (also known as holiday clubs) sales decks and 23 bogus Resale and Class Action companies.

On the other hand, a further 3 Discount Travel Membership Club sales decks closed down voluntarily as a result of pressure from the authorities. Such results are just part of OTE's concern to reduce fraudulent practices which severely affect the timeshare owners and other holiday makers. Over the past year, OTE had intensified the measures in the Canary Islands primarily in Tenerife, where fraud has been more prevalent. The measures include the identification of sales decks for Discount Travel Membership Clubs leading to heavy on-street sales activities.

According to The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), there is an estimate that 400,000 Britons lose £1.2 billion each year to bogus Discount Travel Membership Clubs. Such figures compare starkly with complaints about timeshare, which have been reducing steadily year on year.

Nowadays, as there are many owners who are eager to get rid of their timeshares, scams also increases. That’s why some owners hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart just to get rid of such property. On the other hand, as such frauds had caused so much damage to the tourism industry in general and legitimate timeshare operations in particular, the authorities and some stakeholders like OTE are active in their efforts to mitigate it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Smart Buying Guide for Timeshare Resale

Timeshare resales maybe the answer for those eager vacationers who want to avail of such property but want a lower cost as it is much cheaper compared to buying from a developer. Meanwhile, while many owners today are trying to get out of their timeshares, a number of individuals see timeshare resales as a great opportunity to enjoy a vacation at a cost of 30%-50% compared to a new timeshare.

However, one should try to consider a number of things when buying a timeshare resale.

First, it is best to see the timeshare unit yourself before buying it. Although it cost much less, it still involves money and you should know you are buying a right one. Consider also buying a timeshare on a prime season which will provide you with more options for exchange later. Take into account also well maintained and well kept units as these might represent a good management.

Meanwhile, be cautious about the reduced prices of timeshare resale as this might overshadow the underlying cost such as maintenance fees, property taxes, costs to travel to your chosen destination and any special assessment. It’s important to buy a timeshare resale unit in a resort which has low maintenance fee, as this is an annual fee the usually increases over time.

Moreover, when buying through an agent, choose a licensed broker as scams and frauds are prevalent in the timeshare industry. Finally, it is important to do your research regarding the prices of timeshare units in the area you are curious about buying. Internet auction sites like eBay can be a good place to start with.

Compared to buying a new unit from a certain resort, timeshare resales are a much better deal. Take note that at this economic period, timeshares are considered a costly purchase. That’s why many owners are trying to get rid of their timeshares. Some of these owners even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart. So, when planning to own such property, why go for an expensive one when you can avail it with a cheaper price.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Timeshare Scams in Spain Involve Illegal Deposits

Timeshare industry has been considered on the top list of consumer complaints due to the scams and mis-selling practices involved. The scams operate in various ways targeting prospective buyers and are those owners who are eager to get out of their timeshares. Recently in Spain and other neighboring areas, there are cases reported about a timeshare scam that involves a company accepting illegal deposits from prospective buyers.

In the last three months, the Claims Directive has processed several illegal selling claims on timeshare purchases in Spain, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza.

Based on timeshare contracts displayed by the Claims Directive, there are a number of timeshare developers who are still accepting illegal deposits from prospective buyers, which goes against laws set by the European timeshare directive. The banning of timeshare deposit was implemented under the 1994 Timeshare Directive. However, most European countries did not adopt such directive until years later.

Moreover, numerous timeshare developers did not return the initial payment deposits, even though prospective buyers had cancelled within the allotted cooling off period. In Spain, the acceptance of these deposits is considered illegal. However, fraudsters have come up with new ways to work around the directive and operate their illegal deeds.

These days, we usually hear stories about owners trying to get rid of their timeshares. Some of these owners even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart. While those owners are finding ways to exit from such property, other prospective owners on the other hand are facing a certain kind of scam that involves illegal deposits such as the case mentioned above.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Interval International Adds Argentinian Timeshare Resort in their Network

Currently, there may still be a lot of owners trying to get out of their timeshares, but that did not stop some of the timeshare companies to further develop and expand. Just like the recent effort of Interval International, a leading global provider of vacation services and an operating segment of Interval Leisure Group which announced that Solaz de los Andes Hotel & Spa has joined its vacation exchange network.

The said resort is located in downtown Mendoza City in the heart of Argentina’s premier wine region. This boutique property also features 40 units designed with a contemporary urban d├ęcor. Timeshare owners on the other hand, can try out over 150 local wines at the La Cava wine cellar, which is situated onsite. Moreover, timeshare owners will also expect other services like a gourmet restaurant, which is a 5,300 sq ft Spa Solaz with a gym and a variety of spa services. Outdoor pool as well as a sundeck is also available.

According to Marcos Agostini, vice president of Latin America resort sales and service for Interval International, the timeshare company is pleased to offer members the chance to enjoy a holiday in one of the most exciting wine regions in the world. Interval International also recently announced that Porto Vacation Club had joined its exchange network.

Owners who are trying to get rid of their timeshares are common in the timeshare industry. Some of them even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart just to get rid it. But as this year was forecasted as great for business recovery, many timeshare companies are already showing efforts of expansion and further developments.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Compilation of Smart Tips in Selling a Timeshare

Owners getting rid of their timeshares sound pretty common these days. This may even gave birth to new industries such as the resale and timeshare transfer companies like the Transfer Smart. But for whatever reasons, a number of owners need to dump their timeshares as much as possible before it will drain them out financially. There are also various ways to get rid of a timeshare and this article will try to compile those.

One of the most common tips given to owners trying to get rid of their timeshares is to never pay an up-front fee. Either it is for appraisal fee, market analysis fee, marketing fee, advertising fee or even new fee terms not been heard in the timeshare trading market. Today scams are everywhere in the timeshare market and most scams operate by asking for an upfront fee.

Another tip is try to be as realistic as you can in pricing your timeshare. You need to know that timeshares being sold in a resale market will have a par value of only 10%-30% of the price when you bought it with your developer.

One great move is to advertise your timeshare extensively, offline and online. You may try advertising through your local town through fliers, newspaper ads, radio or TV and inform friends. Also, online advertising can be done by visiting websites that offer free timeshare resale services that you can advertise for free or for a low cost.

If your timeshare have an outstanding loan, the best way to deal with this is to consider refinancing your loan. You may get a financial institution that offers a low interest rate with a monthly payment plan that will not hurt your budget.

However, if you’re not successful upon doing all the necessary tips indicated in this article, the last option to do is to donate your timeshare and make a tax deduction claim for it. Generally speaking, getting out of your timeshare would really take a lot of your time, effort and patience.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Owners Eager to Negotiate for Their Timeshare Rentals

Due to the many owners trying to get out of their timeshares these days, some owners are making their units available for rent while waiting for a deal. Recently, according to the Consumer Reports' magazine, ShopSmart reports that because of a glut of timeshare properties for rent these days, owners are eager to negotiate. Timeshares may give you a great vacation experience but according to ShopSmart, these days you do not have to buy in order to enjoy what many people like about timeshares.

The benefits of such vacation package include resort facilities, a lot of room, including a kitchen and living room, and maybe in exotic locations. Mandy Walker, of Consumer Reports said that, in this economic downturn, timeshare owners are anxious to rent. So you can negotiate a really good deal. She added that some units are as low as $400 a week and many in the $600 to $1,200 range.

Meanwhile, if you to avail of vacation offer, be sure to check out reviews of the resort where the timeshare is located, either on rental sites or on free travel sites. As Mandy Walker advised, keep in mind that most timeshares require at least a weekend and sometimes a week-long booking.

When you are looking for a timeshare rental, Consumer Reports said to check out prices for comparable properties. That will place you in a better position to negotiate. Also, ask the owner about what amenities are available, including restaurants, and if you have to pay extra for housekeeping.

There are many owners today who are trying to get rid of their timeshares. Some of these owners even hire a timeshares transfer company such as the Transfer Smart just to get rid of such property. Meanwhile, large portion of these owners also are making their units available for rent while waiting for a deal to finally get rid of it. These can be beneficial for those vacationers planning to avail of such vacation package as the owners are willing to negotiate due to the oversupply of timeshares for rent.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Interval International Adapts to New Travel Trends

A timeshare exchange is one of the great benefits of owning a timeshare. That’s why instead of getting out of their timeshares, many owners still hold on to their units despite the disadvantages brought by it. The concept of trading one locale for another is what a timeshare exchange is all about.

One of the companies that operate such kind of business is the Miami-based Interval International, the operating arm of Interval Leisure Group. But due to a tough economy, the way timeshare owners want to spend their vacations were affected badly. Thus, challenging the company to come up with new ways to boost trades.

Interval International is an affiliated exchange company that arranges vacation exchanges for timeshare owners. Their exchange network comprises of more than 2,200 resorts and nearly 2 million member families worldwide. According to Jon Fredricks of Welk Resorts based in California, in this economy, more people want to drive to their exchange, with less use of airlines. He thought that Interval has had to adjust to those changes alone.'

As the trends show, vacationers want the option of cruise lines and other themed travel. Also, shorter vacation breaks that don't require booking a year in advance. Flex systems adopted by many resort developers have also impacted the exchange practices. Last May, Interval debuted their ShortStay Exchange program wherein the gold members can deposit a week of their timeshare, or points, for one or more vacations lasting two to six days. Trading is also done online at IntervalWorld.com.

Getting rid of a timeshare is a common decision for many owners today. Some even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart just to get rid such property. However, some owners are still attracted to such property with the benefits of timeshare exchange. With the timeshare industry being challenged with this tough economy, timeshare exchange firms like Interval International has taken a proactive approach in adapting to new travel trends and enabling vacationers to take shorter breaks and stay closer to home.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Rising Property Taxes Raise Concerns Among Hawaiian Timeshare Owners

Recently, there are reports claim that more and more Hawaiian owners who are getting out of their timeshares as well as getting it foreclosed due to property tax surges. The property values around the region are dropping and Maui, the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands is no exemption of this. As we recall last year, the property taxes on Maui have doubled and this raised concerns from timeshare owners.

The timeshare owners around the area are complaining that they are burdened by a consistently growing property tax that is not applicable to permanent residents in the island. Meanwhile, as the county government of Maui has been experiencing budget shortfalls, it is recuperating some of its losses through property tax increases. Such move is made at the expense of Maui timeshare owners, thus, resulting into hundreds of foreclosures.

The American Resort Development Association or ARDA says that the case is the first of its kind. Maui is the first local government to set up a separate tax category for timeshare owners based on a legislation that was approved in 2005. This resulted to the island’s tax rate for timeshares being the highest in the nation. On the other hand, timeshare default rates on the area are still low at 5%.

The surge of taxes in Hawaii resulted to the many owners trying to get rid of their timeshares. Some of these owners even hire a timeshare transfer company such the Transfer Smart. Moreover, this also led to many foreclosures in the region. As it has opened up a new market for timeshare bargain hunters, such foreclosures sell timeshare properties at very low rates and likely will to be taken advantage of by foreigners.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Wyndham’s Fourth-Quarter Report Confirms a Stabilizing Timeshare Market

Since the economic crisis broke out, the timeshare industry suffered from low sales and several owners getting out of their timeshares. But just as the economy is not in its full recovery yet this year, a number of timeshare operators reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. One of these timeshare operators is the Wyndham Worldwide Corp, franchiser of Days Inn, Ramada and Super 8 hotels which revealed it was fetching a three times more quarterly dividend.

The said company witnesses its net income of $73 million, or 40 cents per share compared to a net loss of $1.36 billion, or $7.63 per share, hit by charges linked to its vacation ownership program, a year earlier. However, analysts had projected that the company will fetch a 37 cents earning on average.

After last year's recession spurred vacationers and business travelers to cut back on spending, the hotel owners are facing difficulties to lure customers. For the Wyndham, it reduced construction and other costs at its timeshare unit as demand dropped. Meanwhile, its fourth quarter revenue rose to $913 million from $911 million a year earlier. In its hotel group on the other hand, the revenue per available room fell 11.9%.

The past two years had been tough times for the timeshare industry. It was characterized by low sales and many owners trying to get rid of their timeshares. Some of the owners even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart just to get rid of such property. But just recently, the Wyndham Worldwide reported fourth-quarter and full-year results that confirm the expectations of a stabilizing travel market. On the other hand, next year’s forecast is generally in line with the firm's initial 2010 outlook and expected to leave a fair value estimate unchanged.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Tokyo Attracts Timeshare Owners as a Low-Cost Destination

These days, as many owners try to get out of their timeshare units in the US, these eager vacationers look for cheaper alternative timeshare destinations without sacrificing the vacation quality. Meanwhile, one of these great alternative destinations is the capital of Japan, Tokyo. Contrary to what many people believe, timeshare owners do not have to spend considerable sums of money if they want to head on a trip to this place.

According to Reiko Tani, director for City Sales at the Tourism Division in the Bureau of Industrial and Labour Affairs of Tokyo Metropolitan Government, many English people believe that when they go to Tokyo it will be an expensive trip. But this is not the case. Take for instance, if timeshare owners in the city need to ride on the metro, prices start from just £1 and they can enjoy lunch for around £6 or £7, as Ms. Tani stated.

Some travelers also believe that they will find hustle and bustle in Tokyo. But there are a number of gardens, temples and shrines where timeshare owners can have a more sedate time. Moreover, the Post Office Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer recently ranked Japan as the ninth cheapest destination, with a basket of eight tourist items, including meals and drinks, costing £58.52 in the country.

This year, consumers are wiser in ways of looking for budget-wise alternatives. With regards to timeshare ownership, while several owners try to get rid of their timeshare and some even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart, other owners finds alternative destinations with all the benefits of a great vacation. One of these destinations that timeshare owners should consider is Tokyo.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Transfer smart News: Leading Timeshare Ownership Magazine Forms Marketing Deals with 11 Companies

As we can see today, timeshare companies are hurting as much as any business. Since the economic crisis broke out, it has produced a record number of timeshare foreclosures and the owners getting out of their timeshares increase dramatically. However, the key players in this industry are doing their best efforts to revive the once considered lucrative industry. One of these efforts is through extensive marketing.

Recently, the Perspective Magazine, the leading shared ownership magazine, secured media sponsorship deals with 18 major conventions and events around the world every year. It has also announced that 11 new companies have selected the timeshare and fractional ownership publication for marketing campaigns. The magazine also added that the deals had been secured since the news broke of the launch of Perspective Magazine North America, which will be introduced in both online and print forms later this month.

Within seven days of the first announcement, the 11 firms bought advertising and advertorial packages. It will be officially distributed via delegate registration bags to all attendees at the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) Convention in Las Vegas.

The Perspective Magazine believes that the first print issue which will focus on timeshare and fractional ownership issues within the US, Canada, Mexico and Caribbean regions, will see a launch circulation of over 7,000 subscribers. Moreover, it expects that the Perspective Magazine North America will be the biggest monthly publication for the timeshare and fractional ownership sectors in the US.

Due to the economic condition during the last two years, many owners are trying to get rid of their timeshares. Some of them even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart just to get rid of it. But as this year is already showing signs of a recovering economy, it will take a while for the timeshare industry to attract more consumers and one of the ways to do it is through active advertising campaigns like that of the Perspective Magazine.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Publisher of Timeshare Magazine Teams Up with Mobile Content Provider

While suffering from low sales and many owners getting out of their timeshares, it seems that the timeshare industry needs extensive promotions and advertising to attract consumers this year. One of the methods to advertize is through the internet and recently one publisher of timeshare and shared ownership online magazine the Trades Publishing Company, has joined forces with 6 Dimensions Consulting (6DC), an operations and technology consulting firm providing mobile content. The said company is the publisher of online magazine Resort Trades.

According to 6DC co-owner Jay Edmonson, their first project with The Trades have been engaged to create mobile sites for their timeshare industry online newspaper, www.ResortTrades.com, and the online news-and-social media site for the resort management segment of the vacation ownership industry, www.AskMandO.com.

Edmonton’s wife and partner Dora also added that there will be other, additional activities in which their two companies will be cooperating to provide industry professionals with the latest advances in marketing and communication technology.

On the other hand, the Trades’ managing director David Kerr said that 6DC’s ‘Everything Mobile’ services appealed to them because they were the only resource in the resort industry to provide advanced applications of this type. He added that they are looking at 2010 as the beginning of an entirely new and exciting era for them.

This year, it shows that there are still many owners trying to get out of their timeshares. Some of these owners even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart just to get rid of such property. To battle this and to improve the timeshare industry in general is for the major players to extend their advertising methods and one of the effective and efficient advertising methods today is through the internet. In this way, it is capable of extending to a wider audience and eventually turns them into consumers.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Starwood Loses Money on Timeshare-Related Charge

Since the latest recession began, the timeshare industry shows that it has been shrinking as characterized by low sales and the many owners trying to get out of their timeshares. But this year we can see the full extent of the pullback among the industry’s biggest players. Like the Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. which disclosed in its fourth-quarter earnings report that it is taking a $362 million write-down as it stops most of its construction of timeshare resorts.

According to Starwood Chief Financial Officer Vasant Prabhu, their view of the timeshare business was that it was a nice adjunct to the hotel business as long as there are high rates of return achievable and they can get a nice spread on our capital. But today, the results of the business are at a level where you wouldn’t put more capital in.

Also included in Starwood’s fourth-quarter charge is the $255 million write-down of raw land where Starwood no longer intends to build timeshare complexes. Moreover, there’s a $17 million allowance for price cuts on existing timeshares and a $90 million write-down of goodwill from Starwood’s previous purchases to assemble its timeshare division.

The timeshare industry, which became a popular way of vacationing for many people, has struggled as some buyers no longer can afford the discretionary purchases. Several owners also are trying to get rid of such property as a way to cutback spending. Some of them even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart just to get rid of it. On the other hand, big industry players like Starwood had been hurt largely since the economic meltdown broke out which resulted to a dramatic decrease in sales.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Timeshare Owners in Maui Hit Hard by Swelling Taxes

One of the disadvantages why some owners get out of their timeshares is that there are taxes involve in owning such property. Just like the case in Maui where the timeshare owners have been paying nearly double and triple in property taxes than what local residents are paying in the past year. Despite the decreasing property values, timeshare owners feel that they are getting hit too hard with a four-year-old tax. Thus, they blame the county officials for trying to balance the budget by requiring more money from them than Maui’s full-time residents.

According to the American Resort Development Association or ARDA, Maui County became the only local government in the nation to develop a tax rate category solely for timeshares in 2005. At $14 per $1,000 in assessed valuation, it has the highest tax rate on timeshares in the U.S. In 2005-2006, the county collected just $8 million from taxes. It was the first year the $14 rate went into effect. Before that, timeshare projects were combined in with hotel and resort properties and taxed at a rate of $8.30 per $1,000 of valuation.

One ARDA representative feared that the higher tax bills may lead to timeshare buyers avoiding Maui for their purchases. It may even cause the existing owners to get rid of their timeshares or increase possibilities properties of going into foreclosure. Take note that several owners these days are trying to get rid of their timeshares due to a number of its disadvantages. Some even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart just to get rid of such property.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Transfer Smart News: BBB Warns Consumers of Timeshare Sales Misrepresentations

Recently, the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois warns the owners planning to get out of their timeshares by selling it in the hopes of getting extra cash or save money should be on the watch for predators who promise fast sales for a fee but don't deliver.

The said bureau has received several complaints here and across the country from consumers about companies claiming to be in the timeshare resale business, but who misrepresent sales potential and make promises that they aren't keeping. One of the complaints is the one in the Chicago area on Irving, Texas-based Resorts Condos Management, which has an F rating with the bureau. The complaint alleges that the company's telemarketers tell consumers that buyers are lined up and the transaction needs a deposit from the seller to proceed. But after paying upfront fees of more than $2,500, the supposed buyers don't materialize and the refunds are difficult to get.

Meanwhile, one Chicago-area consumer said the company called and said they had a buyer who would pay $31,000 for a timeshare condo. The consumer allegedly was told to pay $3,000 on a credit card and the deal would close within six weeks. But no buyer ever came through. According to the bureau, the out-of-work-married couple tried to get a refund for months, but received it only after filing a complaint with the bureau.

These days, as many owners try to get rid of their timeshares, the deceiving resale companies also increases. That’s why some owners hire a reputable timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart just to get rid of such property. On the other hand, the bureau reminded the consumers to scrutinize contracts before signing them and beware that in a typical real estate transaction, the fee is paid from the proceeds of the sale at the same time of the sale, not upfront.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Wyndham Vacation Ownership to Close a Call Center in Margate

Despite the forecast that the timeshare industry is soon to bounce this year, some companies are still on their efforts of cost-cutting. One of such companies is the Wyndham Vacation Ownership that will close a call center in Margate this April to cut costs. This also results to the laying off of 83 employees. On the other hand, the recovering economy may have alleviated the plights of the timeshare companies but along with these is still the increasing number of owners who are getting out of their timeshares.

Wyndham Vacation Ownership is currently headquartered in Orlando, Florida and is the largest vacation ownership business in the world. This company includes a network of 140 properties, 20,000 individual units, and over 800,000 property owners.

Meanwhile, its call center functions from the Margate office will be consolidated at the company's Orlando headquarters. According to the company’s spokeswoman, the Margate employees will not be offered relocation packages but may be considered for jobs in Orlando if they move on their own. Last year, the said company announced layoffs of about 50 people at Palm-Aire resort and 20 at its Royal Vista property in Pompano Beach.

These days, although the economy already shows a slow recovery, there are still many owners trying to get rid of their timeshares. Some of them even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart. These, with the small increase in sales force some timeshare companies to cut off some of their operations in certain areas like what the Wyndham Vacation Ownership is currently doing.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Transfer Smart News: Pensioners Get Conned in a Timeshare Scam

Unfortunately, while the timeshare industry continues to enjoy a steady business, its popularity has also opened up the doors for scammers worldwide. Timeshare scams succeed in conning potential or current owners and extract a considerable amount of their hard-earned money. An example of this case is that of pensioners Brian and Winifred Tillotson, who decided to get out of their timeshare but fall into the wrong hands of a fraudulent company.

Like any other holidaymakers, Brian and Winifred Tillotson invested in a timeshare plan. Back in 1992, they paid £2,000 for the exclusive right to use a brand new one-bed studio at the Sunny Coast complex in Malta for seven days each March or week 11. But recently, their timeshare has gone unused. So, when the couple received a cold call from a person claiming that they could sell the week for £5,500, they leapt at the chance.

Within a period of 18 months the Tillotsons were contacted by salesmen working for World Networking Sales or WNS, Secure Leisure and Montemar Estates which are all based on the Costa del Sol, Spain who all claimed they could make the pair thousands of pounds. The trusting pensioners parted with almost £3,000 in fees in order to market their week but the week never did sell and today the Tillotsons are still stuck with the week's timeshare that continues to cost around £200 a year to maintain. According to Sandy Grey, the founder of Timeshare Consumers Association or TCA, this is a perfect example of a resale scam that has already netted crooks £500m.

Recently, there is a growing case of timeshare resale scams. On the other hand, to avoid such frauds, some owners hire a reputable timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart. However, this also serves as a call for timeshare owners to be cautious when dealing with resellers if ever they decide to get rid of their timeshare units.


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