In episode 024 of the My DVC Point's podcast, we're getting to know Melissa Mullett of David's Vacation Club Rental. Melissa calls (BRV) Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge home. We discuss the birth of the point rental industry and circumstances that arise that prevent members from using their points. We discuss how DVC is in a unique position in the timeshare industry in the fact that they're the #1 vacation destination in the world, they own pop culture, they own magic, and DVC members can benefit from this draw through rental and resale. We discuss member education on banking and borrowing as it related to Use Year and banking and borrowing and Disney Cruise Swaps.
Disclaimer: At the time of recording and publication, My DVC POints does not have a financial relationship with a point rental or resale company. This episode is not sponsored content. However, due to the use or lose nature of DVC points, My DVC Points does highly recommend that every member develop relationships with a reputable point rental company and a resale company. Alternatively, members can explore the risks and rewards of making private arrangements to ensure their precious DVC points never go to waste. We reached out to David's Vacation Club Rental because David was the first entrepreneur to start a DVC point rental business.
This episode was recorded in early winter of 2019 after listeners requested to know more about renting out their points.
Melissa tells the story of her parents, Cathy and David, buying into DVC. It wasn't long after they bought in that David realized points are on a use or lose basis. What happens to your membership when you cannot use your points? You cannot bank a point more than once. He realized that he couldn't be the only person to have this problem. He saw this gap in the DVC program and thought, what if other people would be interested in renting the points to stay at a DVC resort? They started advertising on MouseOwners.com and started getting about one rental a month. Within four years, the business picked up, and Melissa left her corporate job in banking and joined her father in business full time.
Melissa and I are in complete agreement. The best use of my DVC points is to book a vacation for my family at a DVC resort. However, we discuss frequent life events that happen, which prevent members from utilizing their membership. People change employers, and the new employer doesn't offer as much time off as their previous one, or the member may be between jobs and a Disney vacation does not make sense for the family's finances. In that scenario, rental income from DVC points makes perfect sense. Members report that as their kids' age, they may need to use their vacation time to attend travel sporting events of their children lose interest in going back to Disney every single year.
As a DVC member, you can bank on this fact: Disney owns pop culture. Month after month, Disney studios is always releasing a box office hit. Significant intellectual properties drive people to the parks such as Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and now the Fox movie proper. They are always opening up new lands, new experiences, and building strong consumer demand for their products and services. Disney is excellent at creating consumer demand for its parks and resorts. As a DVC owner, this benefits us as owners. People want to use our points when we cannot and own our membership when we no longer wish to be owners.
If Tinkerbell were to give Melissa 2,000 magical DVC points to be booked anywhere in the DVC system, she would choose to stay in the Polynesian Bungalows for a week and then move over to Beach Club for a second week. She likes to visit Walt Disney World with family, including her husband, their child, her parents, and her brother and sister-in-law. While they have all stayed in a grand villa, the family prefers a two-bedroom plus a studio.
Melissa attends the annual DVC member meeting. The first half of the conference is very formal with official voting of the board, review of budgets, etc. and the second half is more informal that DVC presents new upcoming policy changes, changes to the resorts, shows future refurbishments, and has a general meet and greet with the members.
11 Steps Process to Rent Out Points Through David's:
Step 1: Contact DVCRequest.com by phone, email, or chat. At the end of that initial contact, the rental company will present an intermediary agreement. The intermediary agreement is the contract that outlines all three parties roles and responsibilities: DVC Member, per renting points and the intermediary role of the rental agency. You will need to provide:
- Home Resort
- Use Year
- How many points you have to rent.
- Status of your rental points: banked, current UY points, or borrowed points.
Step 2: Accept the Intermediary agreement by replying to the email and indicate that you agree.
Step 3: After you provide the information and accept the terms, David's will queue your points. David's is unique in that once you give them all of this information, they queue the points and contact you when they've found a request that matches your point inventory. David's claim to fame is that if you give them at least three months notice before your points expire, they have a 100% success rate of finding a renter for your points. (This is due to the strong demand for point rentals and the fact that they actively manage their rental queue to ensure everybody who wants to rent out their points can do so).
Step 4: You will receive an email from Team@DVCRequest.com when they have a match. You need to respond as quickly as possible.
Step 5: David's contacts the renter and validates they still want to move forward.
Step 6: David's will send you all of the information you need to book the resort stay such as resort, dates, booking category, names on the reservation. David's provides all of the information you need to book a room for your family. It's the same process you use to book your vacation. The two differences: 1) you fill in renters names and addresses and not your own. 2) You check the box that this person is not a DVC member. David's does not get your account information. You have to complete 100% of the communication with DVC. David's is just an intermediary who facilitates your agreement to rent your points to the renter.
Step 7: You provide David's with a DVC reservation confirmation number.
Step 8: David's validates the reservation number using a Disney website and requests payment from the renter.
Step 9: Within a few days, you will receive 70% of your rental income via PayPal. 30% is paid out after the renter checks into DVC. Note you may want to inquire about who pays the PayPal fees when you select a rental company.
Step 10: As it gets closer to the arrival date for your guest, you may need to change names on the reservation, add magical express, or the dining plan.
Step 11: On check-in day, you will receive the remaining 30% of the rental income via PayPal.
Interesting concepts covered in the podcast:
Distressed Points: Members that have less than three months before their points expire usually elect to discount the rental rate around $9 to $12 a point. If you're booking a stay within 90 days, you may want to consider renting distressed points and keeping your points or renting your points out at full rate and keeping the difference.
DVC Point Rental to Cruise Swap Program: Most rental companies are Disney travel agents as well. They offer a cruise swap program. My family of five is going on a four-night Disney Dream cruise from August 10th to 14th in 2020. The opening day cash price for the reservation came to $6,176.91. DVC would require me to spend 863 points purchased directly from DVC for my family of 5. They are essentially paying $7.16 per point. My direct points are at Copper Creek and have annual dues of $7.43 per point. At $176 per point, my cost per point was $3.52. So my cost per point is $10.95 plus any interest paid. Assuming one pays cash for their direct DVC contract and can exclude financing fees, the direct cruise swap program could have cost me $9,449.85 directly from DVC. The math on using DVC points for a cruise swap directly with DVC does not add up. However, if I rented those points out at the 11-month window and were paid $14.50 a point, I would only need to spend 425 points through the rental company, and the rental company is also offering an onboard credit of $130. While booking a cruise with DVC is convenient, it's not the best use of points from a financial point of view. If I were to rent out all 863 points, 425 go towards the cost of the cruise and the other 438 points would generate $6,351 of income.
One Time Banking Exception: Melissa brought up an interesting point that I had not heard of before. It's not an official written policy, but member services been known to offer members a 1-time courtesy to bank their points beyond their banking window once over the life of the contract. Member services will note the account so that this does not get offered again.
For more information about products and services offered though David's Vacation Club Rental, please:
- Click to their website: https://dvcrequest.com
- Call Toll Free: (800) 610-5791
- Hours: Mon-Sun 9:00AM to 5:30PM EST
Although My DVC Points does not have financial relationships with rental and resale companies at the time of publication, if something we published leads you to use one of these companies, please tell them about our podcast. (This helps us schedule interviews and allows us opportunity to make great content for the DVC community.)