Renting Newbie

Discussion in 'DVC Member Services' started by Sarahraegraham, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Sarahraegraham

    Sarahraegraham Mouseketeer

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    Anyone willing to help a DVC rental newbie with a couple questions? I’m trying to avoid having to search through multiple threads and trying to feel confident in my decision to rent for the first time.

    So, I would like to rent two studio rooms at the GF for the end January 2020. I would be going through a broker service for peace of mind.

    My questions are...

    How soon should I put in my request with a service? I have heard studios can go quickly and I really want to make sure I can get 2 of them. With booking at 11 months, it is getting here quickly.

    How have your personal experiences been, and do you recommend any particular service over another?

    Lastly, do you have any specific tips or things that I should be aware of or look out for as a first time renter?

    I am assuming that by using a service I should have a pretty hassle and worry free experience, but still, nerves. Lol. It’s an important vacation for my family, and I’d love to be able to make this happen but I don’t want anything to go wrong. Thanks! :)
     
  2. Frederic Civish

    Frederic Civish “I’m just here for the Ears.”

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    1. Do it now. I have already made 2 reservations for people in the period around February 2020, at Animal Kingdom. There should still be good availability at most resorts, but it depends on where you want to stay. Some reservations are already booked out, even on the cusp of the 11 month window. If you go through a commercial broker and you want to reserve something in the future, beyond 11 months, you can talk to them in advance, and they can often have somebody ready to book right when the window opens up.

    2. I have not rented FROM a broker service, but I have rented multiple times THROUGH a broker services. In fact through 3 of them. I had an excellent experience and they were all very helpful and very professional. I suggest you look at one of the two or three that are most often mentioned on these boards.

    3. Make sure your vacation dates and plans are set up, fixed and firm. Once you make your rental, they will almost never allow you to change it or shift it to some other date. You could always ask them, but most of the time the answer is NO. So, I strongly encourage you to get Travel Insurance through someone like Squaremouth ( https://www.squaremouth.com/ ) Travel insurance for 2 adults and 2 children for a period of about a week should cost you less than $200. When the Travel Insurance asks you how much you are spending on the trip, YOU ONLY NEED TO LIST YOUR NON-REFUNDABLE EXPENSES, including the cost of your Rental. Why do you want this insurance? Well, it does provide emergency medical care if one of your kids gets appendicitis on the trip, or some catastrophic medical problem arises. But that isn't the main reason. The main reason is that IT WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A REFUND OF YOUR MONEY, IF YOU NEED TO CANCEL FOR COVERED REASONS.

    Do be careful and read the fine print. Covered reasons are very specific and very limited. For instance, typical covered reasons are: A car accident on the way to the airport or on the way to the trip. Severe illness or injury or other medical problem in one of the traveling party, or in a close relative of someone in the traveling party, such as parent, child, brother, sister or grandparent. Or death of one of the above. Your house is severely damaged by wind, weather, flood or fire. You INVOLUNTARILY lose your job. You have to relocate somewhere beyond 250 miles from your previous home. You as an owner of a business, or your business partner have a severe illness or bankruptcy. You are in the military or the reserves and you get called up, unexpectedly, to serve during a time of Natural Disaster or similar emergency. NOTE: THEY DO NOT COVER IF YOU ARE IN THE MILITARY AND YOU ARE CALLED UP TO BE SENT TO WAR, OR EVEN IF YOU ARE TRANSFERRED OR ARE JUST NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE LEAVE. Just about everything else IS NOT COVERED, but take a look at the details for Cancellation for Covered Reasons.

    You will get your best availability if you request a rental at the earliest date when you know your plans are firm.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  4. jennyq87

    jennyq87 Earning My Ears

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    Hello fellow renting newbie! As someone going through the same process, I thought I'd share what I've learned so far! Since I'm still new to this site, I'm not really sure which links/companies I can share and which I can't? Trying not to get myself into trouble :) But there are 2-3 companies that seem to be the main "go to's" for rentals. I did quite of a bit of research and put in a request with the one that doesn't charge for quotes and lets you pay ~60% up front (the rest is due a bit before actual check in - I want to say 30 or 45 days?). Most of the other companies I looked at charged for quotes and upon matching your request you're required to pay 100% of the costs right away.

    I, too, am trying for GF (or Poly) in late January 2020. I put my request in about a month ago - the company I reached out to said they accept requests 12 months out so I can be "in the queue" when the 11 month window opens up. So I would recommend putting in your request ASAP. I would also recommend having a second/backup option just in case there are a lot of people like me who put in requests early (that's why I'm looking at both GF and Poly). Anyway - hope I helped with part of your questions! Best of luck to you!!
     
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  5. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

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    It's going to be very hard getting two studios at GFV for January, especially if you are looking at marathon time or the holiday. it can be hard to find a member with GFV points through the brokers since most of them use their points. If they don't have an owner with enough points to book right at 11 months out when booking starts for the day, you might be out of luck. And the number of studios is very limited. It might be easier to try to book a two bedroom villa at GFV instead of trying for two studios.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  6. Sarahraegraham

    Sarahraegraham Mouseketeer

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    Thank you!
     
  7. Sarahraegraham

    Sarahraegraham Mouseketeer

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    Thank you! We are booked at Pop Century right now, so that would be our backup, as I don’t think any other resort appeals enough for us to book besides the GF.
     
  8. Sarahraegraham

    Sarahraegraham Mouseketeer

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    Hi there :) unfortunately the 2 BR is out of our budget. We are looking at the weekend after the holiday, so hopefully the availability will be ok. We have Pop booked as a backup right now.

    Would it be possible to try to get multiple companies to find a reservation for me and then go with whoever has it? Or am I stuck once I choose a company?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  9. jennyq87

    jennyq87 Earning My Ears

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    Well I wish you the best of luck!! Let me know how it ends up going for you!
     
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  10. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

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    You have 2 things going against you:
    1. VGF s very small, has only 47 studios total, and many owners who have small contracts with only enough points to book studios. Plus all studios are part of a lock off, so when a 2BR villa is booked a studio and a 1BR villa are taken out of inventory.
    2. VGF owners paid a lot for their points...more than any other DVC resort, to date. Agencies don’t pay them well enough for their points (an AKV owner gets the same $/pt. as a VGF owner during the 11-month home resort advantage). So, not only are there fewer VGF owners, not many of them will go thru an agency to rent them out. I think that this will be the bigger hurdle.
    What you have going in your favor is that late January is not a high-demand period. That means that unlike the busier seasons, studios at VGF will probably be available for a while following the 11-month window opening. However, they will get pretty well booked up by the time that non-VGF owners can use their points there. All it will take is a VGF owner with enough points to contact the agency you’re dealing with.

    Agencies are just a go-between for owners and renters. So, they all see the same availability. What they don’t have is the same pool of owners and their points. I suppose that it might increase your chance of success if you try multiple agencies. But what would you do if more than one of them is able to get you your studios? I know that at least one agency takes a deposit and they only refund it if they can’t get your reservation.
     
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  11. Sarahraegraham

    Sarahraegraham Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for taking the time to reply, that was all very helpful! :) I just put a deposit down with David's, so I will cross my fingers that the slow season and at least one owner is out there willing to rent them will be in our favor. I may try another agency if they are willing to check without a deposit and with no penalty.

    I won't be heartbroken if we don't get it, but if we do it would be a wonderful way to pixie dust the first vacation our family has had together in 20 years. We're all adults now, and never could really vacation when we were young. So it would be nice. I guess we shall see.
     
  12. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

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    VGF is amazing and you will love it if you can get it booked. Best of luck! Don’t be discouraged if it takes a few weeks past the 11-month window.
     
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  13. mort1331

    mort1331 DIS Veteran

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    Go right now and look on the rental boards here for someone....just as good as the agencies
     
  14. meekey7197

    meekey7197 Mouseketeer

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    How? Do you mean January 2020? Reservations are only open through mid January 2020.
     
  15. _auroraborealis_

    _auroraborealis_ I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.

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    An agency is a go-between - they don't make the reservation. When you request a reservation, they reach out to owners who have contacted them with points to rent, and say, "Hey, Sarah wants 2 studios at VGF, these dates. Are you willing to book this?" They can check the Availability Tool and see that a booking CAN be made, but don't hold the points themselves.

    Owners can look it over and decide. Maybe your dates don't fit their use year. Maybe you need too many points. Maybe you need too few points and they want to wait for someone with a bigger request to use what they need to rent.

    Past that point, another issue you may have is that as owners, we can't see how many units are available. So someone may pick up the request, book one studio, then go in for the second and... nothing there. So that is another reason a 2BR is often easier/more advisable.

    It's also why a company won't generally try to split the request between owners. If one owner books the studio, and the other comes up dry, the first booking would be considered a final transaction, even though the agency only procured 1 of 2 bookings, and they'd be on the hook, or you would.
     
  16. Frederic Civish

    Frederic Civish “I’m just here for the Ears.”

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    Yes. They are not IN February, they are in the last half of January and extend to about a week away from February. I was kind of surprised that I had two different groups of people who wanted AKV reservations right on the cusp of 11 months.I wouldn't have thought it was that popular of a time of year. But they contacted me only 24 hours apart.
     
  17. mustinjourney

    mustinjourney DIS Veteran

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    while mid to late january is usually not that difficult to book -- I anticipate that SW:GE opening this fall is going to increase demand EVERYWHERE, which is going to make it harder than normal.
     
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  18. Sarahraegraham

    Sarahraegraham Mouseketeer

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    Yes, so far with the DVC availability tool I found, I am seeing all green for the latest times in January you can view right now so fingers crossed :)
     
  19. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

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    It’s showing green for the latest times in January because no one can book those dates yet. At the very most, the nights of 1/14-1/20/20 can be booked at home resorts by members.
     
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  20. Sarahraegraham

    Sarahraegraham Mouseketeer

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    Right that’s what I mean. For example, If I put check in Jan 11 checkout Jan 21, all room types at GF are green. Just taking that as a good sign. AKL has a lot of red. Unless I’m reading it wrong lol
     
  21. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

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    All that means is that there is at least one of each room type. There could be one or there could be 47 available. The red units at AKV would be the Value View villas. You’re likely to always see them colored red. There are only 10 lockoffs and 8 dedicated studios. They’re high-demand all year and book immediately.

    But like I said before, your greater hurdle will be whether the agency you’re dealing with even has a VGF owner with enough points to book two studios. The second hurdle was brought up by @_auroraborealis_ ...no one can tell how many villas of each type are available when they go to book online, not even an agency. All an owner can see online is that there’s at least one. The only way to find out if there’s more than one is to place a phone call to Member Services.
     
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