Options For Renting Your Villa in Grand Cayman
Once you have decided to rent your property in Grand Cayman, there are really only two practical ways to proceed; rent it yourself, or engage a professional bookings manager to do that for you. Regardless of your choice, you will still need to hire a local property manager to maintain your property, hire/schedule housekeeping, license/inspect the property with the DOT and meet/deal with your guests while they are on island. You can pay your own bills, taxes and utilities under either scenario or have your on-island property manager do that for you as well.
Should you decide to rent your home yourself, you will need to advertise & maintain your property on-line using various rent-by-owner websites (each has it’s own model and quirks). You will set your rates, booking rules, seasonal discounts and premiums, deposit/cancellation policies, damage deposit terms, etc. You will draft your rental contract, answer each rental inquiry, respond to guests’ additional queries; answer many of the same questions asked by different guests, exchange signed contracts, deal with guest complaints and demands as well as sort out cancellations and refunds. You will need to process credit card payments as well as keep accurate financial records/calendar, generate accounting statements (for your accountant) and also file occupancy reports and pay monthly occupancy taxes with the Cayman Department of Tourism (DOT). Lastly; you will need to be vigilant for abusive guests and on-line fraud/phishing/financial scams. The internet is a sewer and it only takes one group of bad guests or financial scam to sour you on the whole prospect of renting your villa.
The reality of the rent-by-owner path is that you will need the time, energy and experience to come down the learning curve to do all this successfully for your one property in a foreign country. You are basically creating a rental company from the ground up for just one property. By hiring a professional bookings manager, you may be able to avoid “re-inventing the wheel” and risk making an error in rates, terms, photography, double-booking, etc. A professional bookings manager may not only start building a rental calendar faster; but also be more successful in the long term; with better guests, fewer headaches and more total annual revenue; while you still control the calendar so that you & your family/friends can enjoy your vacation home.
Expedia/HomeAway/VRBO/AirBnB/Booking.com all either charge you the homeowner a commiison OR they charge the guest a booking fee of up to 5 % of your rental rate to facilitate the transaction. Gone are the days of paying $300/year to list your home on a website that will direct traffic to you for a direct booking.
2. PROFESSIONAL BOOKINGS MANAGER.
A professional bookings manager does everything listed above and usually much more. They have already come down the learning curve, have tested contract terms, deposit/cancellation policies, damage deposit insurance policies, process credit cards, have a reservation/accounting software system and generate accurate monthly statements and an IRS Form 1099 for your accountant. They have the rate-setting experience, guest-vetting experience, assume the risk of frauds/phishing and have multiple employees with specialized functions that range from website design/maintenance to digital marketing, social media and accounting; as well as have a guest services person that has the resources to make the guest’s stay as enjoyable as possible. The bookings manager also solicits property reviews in an effort to advertise the home to the next guest.
In terms of marketing, a professional manager also should have an E-Newsletter campaign to stay in contact with past guests, people who inquired but rented elsewhere, etc. The list of qualified prospects could be well over 10,000 names. A Professional Brand is a draw for repeat business. Additionally, if your villa has a maintenance issue or for some reason is not available for a guest’s arrival; a professional manager has the inventory of homes to move that guest to at the last minute. As an individual owner, your only option would be a refund (not well-received by guests who have planned for months and who have non-refundable airfare).
If you would like to discuss professional property management in detail; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be glad to send you the specifics of our business model including costs, accounting, calendar control by the owner, etc.
…It is our goal to provide our owners the best booking & accounting management possible
for a competitively-priced business model. Our mission is to be the first choice on Grand
Cayman for an owner or manager seeking professional bookings management.
We have assembled some thoughts on paper (and PDFs) for our prospective owner-partners to read regarding the rental villa process, some thoughts on setting rates, marketing, managers, photography, etc…
We are glad to send those to you. The key to our business success lies with our exclusive relationship with the villa owners and protecting their interests, hence the term “owner-partner”.
We have really big news for 2017. We have begun construction on Frank Sound Road for a Guest Services Office for our guests. Silver Thatch Plaza will offer a private fitness, yoga and a business center as well as a retail store for our preferred wine & spirits vendor, Jacques Scott. Our guests may pre-order their wine & spirits and have Jacques Scott deliver to our welcome center for guest collection on arrival.
Our direct-booking guests also receive our Silver Thatch Guest Card also saves you 10% (or more) at most of the restaurants, water-sports and specialty vendors in the eastern districts of the island where the villas are located.