Vacation Rental Renovations   

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Elegant Villa Alicia, launching this season! Vacation Rentals and Corporate Events.

Photography courtesy of Smiths Gore

The months of September and October have historically shown reduced activity in the vacation rental market. This slump in occupancy is linked to the onset of the peak hurricane season. This, coupled with warmer weather in the continental US from where most of our tourists originate, means that the islands are less frequented then.

With this slowing of occupancy, most property owners cease operations, some going so far as to barricade their houses in hurricane mode. More astute owners view September and October as a time to prepare their properties and operation for the upcoming high season. Ironically, while this is a period of no rental income, it may be the period of highest expense as vigilant owners address outstanding maintenance and upgrade needs.

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If you are the owner of a vacation rental property, the months of September and October are perfect to prepare for the upcoming high season with its promise of back-to-back rentals. Take advantage of the affordable workforce available at this time, as the larger resorts are also closed, freeing up their staff.

Here are some of the activities that should be done now:

  1. Have professionals assess the status of all appliances including fans and air condition units, and have all appliances serviced
  2. Repair, refinish, or upgrade all furniture, hand rails, and decks
  3. Power wash exterior walls, decks, and deep clean windows. Deep clean the entire house!
  4. Check swimming pool lights and change as needed. Sometimes this requires the pool to be drained which can only be done when there are no guests. Service the pool system
  5. Check all linens and towels. Replace any items that are frayed, stained, or worn
  6. Trim trees and prune bushes so that the views can be maximised
  7. Update the ‘Guests Note Book’ to include brochures and contact details to new providers
  8. Check and replenish stock of complimentary offerings such as toiletries, coffee/teas, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent
  9. Check the condition of all amenities including games, music/movie discs, books and snorkel gear, beach umbrellas and chairs. Replace as needed
  10. Have a professional chef check the condition of all kitchen utensils and replace as needed
  11. Orientate new providers such as chefs, supermarket deliverymen, taxi drivers, or massage therapists to the villa
  12. Meet with your management company to review financial records and rental policies
  13. Most importantly, review contracts with rental agents and wholesalers. Inquire about new rental companies and enter into contract with them. Update marketing materials. Take new pictures that testify to upgrades and re-release your villa to all rental agents. Increase rental rates and circulate to all agencies
  14. Invite rental agents to tour your property or even to enjoy a complimentary stay. Agents who have seen your villa personally and know it intimately are more likely to recommend it to guests

While September and October traditionally have the lowest occupancy rate, if used wisely, this period can result in a more successful rental property. With improvements to your villa, upgraded amenities, and updated marketing, your vacation rental property can enjoy higher occupancy in 2017.

Smiths Gore

Smiths Gore

Smiths Gore is one of the preeminent real estate advisers in the British Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. Contributing authors include Kate Henderson, Morgana Tilling, Bernadette George, and Lucienne Smith
Smiths Gore

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