AirBnB is at the vanguard of the holiday rental revolution, giving hotels a run for their money by making it easy – and cool – for property owners to rent out their homes in return for a percentage of each booking. Listings range from simple studios to opulent palaces. Numerous other peer-to-peer property rental sites such as HomeAway and FlipKey provide a similar portal for holiday home listings and the owner simply pays a commission on each booking or an annual fee to advertise.
The downside? Managing the property and guests can be time-consuming and troublesome – particularly if your property is a few thousand miles away. You need people on the ground you can trust to act quickly when things go wrong – otherwise, your little earner could soon become a loss-maker.
Online Villa Rental Specialists
Other holiday rental companies such as Le Collectionist and Villas of Distinction specialise in high-end properties where every element from booking to sheet-changing is taken care of – along with concierge services such as private chefs and drivers. Or you may use your holiday home as a way to get free holidays yourself – in someone else’s property – through a luxury home exchange site such as 3RD HOME.
Managed Rental Programmes
If you are looking at purchasing a property within a destination resort, the chances are the management will operate a rental programme of some kind. Resort home owners will typically have a team at their disposal to handle all aspects of rentals, from marketing to maintenance. Rental programmes may limit you to a certain amount of annual usage in return for a guaranteed rental income, with the property rented out to guests for the remaining weeks as hotel accommodation.
For owners who intend to use their property for a few weeks a year at most, this may be the most practical option, with the rental income covering the costs of owning a property on a managed resort. In the most extreme examples, such as on private islands, ongoing costs can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars a year – but that can be quickly recouped with a villa that fetches up to $40,000 USD a night.
Your Home as a Business
If you want your Caribbean home to earn its keep – but you want to live there too – turn it into a luxury B&B or a cultural or wellness retreat. Being a hands-on host can be hard work and you’ll have local small business bureaucracy to deal with, but it can be a sociable and financially-rewarding way to get the most out of your home.
Your Home as a Venue
And finally, if you have an eye for design and think your holiday home is something special, think about hiring it out as a location for film or magazine shoots or as a wedding venue. If you don’t mind the disruption, the payback can be as handsome as your house.