Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a place you could go to get the answers to all your timeshare questions? How about a place where you could get advice about timeshare from people who are experienced in dealing with the issues…the owners? Timeshare forums for owners and potential owners are a good place to start looking for answers.
Owners Supporting Owners
Inside these forums owners share their experiences about owning, selling and buying timeshares. Forums contain a wealth of information. They can be used to choose a resort or location for your next vacation, find out about potential scams and how others avoided or handled them, and learn about bargains or how to use points. You can also find information to questions such as managing all the ins and outs of successful exchanging and making the system work for you, or issues on maintenance fees, or resort improvements, that are all freely discussed in the forums.
In last week’s blog, we talked about how important it is for new buyers to do the research before they buy, and one of the points listed was to talk to owners about their experiences. The forum is a good way to reach them and in the forum format, it may be easier to get your questions answered.
Where to Start
Many timeshare and vacation companies have their own forums and/or use social media platforms for owner communication. For instance, there’s a Wyndham Owner’s Forum, Occidental Vacation Club uses Facebook for postings, and Trip Advisor has a Timeshares/Vacation Rental’s Forum. Other forums include:
- The National Timeshare Owners Association: The National Timeshare Owner Association (NTOA) is a platform to advocate for timeshare owners, and to educate and help owners find answers and resolutions to ownership issues. Aligning itself with industry and community partners, NTOA has created a multi-media internet education center. In addition to their Feedback Page, NTOA recently initiated a new toll-free consumer helpline (1-844-ASK-NTOA). Owners can access the association for assistance with timeshare related issues and give feedback on great experiences.
- RedWeek: Though you may think of RedWeek as a site to go to rent or buy timeshare units, it also contains several timeshare discussion forums. The latest forums cover such topics as point systems, timeshare exchanges, buying renting and selling, plus travel tips and advice, timeshare resorts and an open discussion.
- Timesharing Today: Another site for timeshare owners to share ideas, find answers to questions and communicate with other owners is Timesharing Today. The company states that it "offers its members independent, unbiased information."
Positive vs. Negative
It’s important not to let your site become a forum for negativity. Though it’s good to identify problems and work on ways to resolve them, too much negativity works against one of the purposes of the forum–to help educate others to the positive aspects of timesharing and help bring more members into the fold. Forums excel when they are used to provide a platform to bring owners together by sharing ideas and experiences, and providing support and protection for members.