Are there any other benefits apart from the income when you rent your home?
I’ll be the first to admit that there is a certain satisfaction in preparing your home for others to enjoy. I remember the feeling of being able to justify equipping the villa with high-end products, new exterior furniture and an outdoor Jacuzzi all under the category of a business investment and not a whimsical frivolity. I have seen many of our owners claim that the villas they rent out are nicer than the home they live in…. better still you get to stay in this home when it is not occupied. Home away from home…
Can I expect to cover the cost of my expenses or my mortgage when I rent my home?
Yes. One of the most common reasons why people choose to rent their villa is to cover their expenses or indeed completely cover their mortgage repayments and then some. It depends on the availability of your property to the market and the price you charge on a weekly basis. The tourist season in Sitges runs from end of May through to Sept peaking in the first 2 weeks in August when demand is extremely high.
Can you guarantee an income on my home?
Yes, we can and we do in many instances. This guarantee makes it even easier for you to make the decision to let your home. We have a number of models we use with our owners from commission based reservation only to a fully integrated service with a guaranteed income. Everything depends on you and your personal requirements so feel free to call us or email us and we will talk you through anything you may need to know or anything that may be specific to your circumstances.
What makes Utopia Villas different from other agencies operating in the market?
I think first and foremost our differentiator is that we set up our business having rented our own home – this means we know intimately what it means to take a family home and prepare it for commercialization in this sector – both the emotional and financial aspects.
It may sound cliché to say we don’t see ourselves as an agency as our aim, unlike others in our market, was never to build a database of properties which we would coldly market & sell and subsequently bill based on commission. What exactly does this mean? Well, we are very serious about our business and our business pivots around our relationships with owners, villas and ultimately and most importantly our guests. We absolutely see ourselves as a partner to our owners as they make serious decisions with an important asset – their home. We have a lot of value to add as a partner to the long term strategy of their home and we actively help owners from the outset to set up and manage their villas to get the most from them both for the owners themselves and for guests that stay.
What are the upfront and ongoing costs to managing a villa rental?
The upfront costs will depend entirely upon the current state of the villa and its contents, however, you will need to consider the following: Mattresses should be new and in good condition, bedlinen and towels for the capacity of the house, replacing any old or broken items which guests will use such as showers, pots, pans, sunbeds etc ask if the villa need to be painted? How is the exterior furniture? etc. You must look at the project from a commercial perspective and consider that the first year may require significant investment and we recommend an annual re-investment cost of about 10-15% of revenue.
What advantage is there to a full managed service with Utopia Villas?
A full managed service means you can get on with your life without feeling restricted by the property. While initially you may think the role of check-in and check out is a mere meet and greet, the reality is that there is much more to being a service provider in this space. When we manage the process from end to end you benefit from handing the following over to us:
- Coordination & management of interior design team in the case that the property is new.
- Professional advice on creating a luxury villa aimed at rental market.
- Arrange photo shoot of dressed villa for advertising & marketing purposes.
- Design & implement advertising & marketing campaign to ensure maximum profitability of villa in
- Finance a full international online marketing campaign to ensure maximum visibility
- Manage client queries in relation to special requests, specific requirements during stay.
- Concierge service for clients during their stay and catering for ad-hoc demands and requests.
- Management and coordination of maintenance, pool, garden, cleaning & laundry services
I speak English and am happy to meet and greet people – in fact I like it, would it be possible for me to do this? How exactly does your service work?
Yes, of course everything is possible although you may want to consider the full aspect of managing the guest experience which is not only being available for check in. Also while English is the most widely spoken language, not all of your guests will speak English. One of the advantages for guests is at Utopia Villas we speak English, French, German, Spanish, Swedish and Catalan which covers almost all of our nationalities. If you prefer to manage the property yourself, we can include your property in our portfolio and send you details of confirmed bookings only. This service is provided by email and phone contact only and does not include any key holding responsibilities, concierge services, maintenance or check-in or check out services.
If I decide to let my villa on the holiday rental market, can I stay there from time to time?
Yes, in fact this is one of the great benefits of letting in this market. You simply tell us the week(s) you want the villa for yourself or for your family/friends in advance and we will block them in our calendar. Bear in mind though that you might prefer to do this out of high season when your villa will be in less demand.
I have heard about villas getting destroyed by guests who do not respect the property. What is the likelihood of this happening?
In our experience this is simply not the case and as we tend to have ongoing communication with guests prior to arrival and can sense when we are dealing a group that is not going to be respectful to the property and so deal with it upfront. Thankfully though in our experience those who stay in our villas live in similar types of homes in their home country and are most respectful of the villa, garden and neighbours. We also operate a policy where our guests must comply with the civil code which pertains to all neighbours and so at the slightest indication that anything is untoward, the guests may be asked to leave the villa and forfeit their security deposit.
I have a villa in Sitges which I rarely use and I have been thinking about letting it to tourists. How do I know if my villa is suitable?
After several years working with a discerning international tourist we feel obliged to maintain highest standards with respect to the villas that we represent. We are very happy to meet with you and review your villa with a view to its potential in this market. In brief, we ask that villas are presented and maintained to a high standard, offer privacy, a private pool and within a short drive to Sitges if not located in the town. Where villas are new to market, we will provide a proposal on preparing the villa for this market – an upfront investment is usually necessary to ensure that high standards are met for the capacity of the villa. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk you through the process.
Where is the nearest supermarket?
This really depends on where the villa is located but your check in assistant will guide you to the nearest supermarket or you can read about it on our blog.
Can we have a maid service at the villa during our stay?
The cleaning fee will ensure your villa is cleaned and prepared with fresh bedlinen and towels for each registered guest. Should you wish for extra maid service this can be arranged for a couple of hours each day or as you prefer – just let us know what you need.
We are celebrating a birthday – can you recommend a good restaurant?
Our pleasure. As residents in Sitges we love recommending restaurants to our guests. Let’s talk by phone and understand better your celebration and preferences and we will help you with your reservation.
We are travelling with a baby – can you provide a cot and a high chair?
Yes, of course. We love to look after our smallest guests. We provide one travel cot and a high chair free of charge in each of our villas.
We may have 2 more people joining us, will the villa cost more or is there an addit?
No. The villa is rented on a fixed cost and so you can accommodate up to the maximum capacity of the villa at no additional cost.
Can you organize transfers from the airport or boat rentals?
We have partnered with an excellent concierge service operating in Barcelona and with local service providers so that you can have access to transfers, chefs, babysitting, massages, tours and lots more. Just let us know what is on your mind and we will do our best to facilitate the very best.
What happens if I have a problem during my stay?
No problem. You will have an emergencies telephone number, where you can notify us of any problem (with installations or utilities for instance). Our aim always is to respond to issues with a sense of urgency and with as little impact on your as possible. We do everything in our hands to ensure you have a great holiday.
What documents do I need?
When you arrive, we will provide you with a copy of your contract for signing. You will need to present valid ID/passports for each of your registered guests -this is required by us from Spanish Police. Any monies owed in relation to your reservation is paid on the day of arrival.
What happens when we arrive or how do we collect the keys?
On your day of arrival – Saturdays in high season, check in is after 4pm and agreed in advance by email. You will always be accompanied to your villa by one of our team members, regardless of what time you arrive. After 8pm and on Sundays check in fees apply. We simply ask you to be in touch with us on the day should you experience a delay.
We have read that there is a lot of fraud in the villa rental market. How do we know that the booking is for real?
This is a very genuine concern for all of us. There are a couple of pointers we can provide to give you peace of mind. You can see from the online advertising that our adverts date back to 2010. You can also see several reviews on all of the portals we use for adverts. Typically a fraudster might last up to a year online before being washed out but our online history supports our long term commitment to vacation rentals in Sitges.
You will also see our official website here www.utopia-villas.com and our physical address in Sitges on Carrer Jardi 16 allows our customers to contact us either by phone, email or indeed in person at any time.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept payment via bank transfer, credit card or in cash.
How does the security deposit work?
The security deposit is used as a guarantee of the proper use, and care of the furniture, equipment and proper compliance with the terms and conditions for entering and leaving the villa.
The deposit varies according to the villa. It can be paid by bank transfer or in cash upon arrival and is returned within 7 days of departure once all is in order. The deposit is not to cover small breakages such as plates, glasses etc. but rather where there is obvious maltreatment or vandalism of the facilities.
What is included when we rent the villa – do we need to bring towels or pay for WIFI?
The price of all our villas includes: Fully equipped accommodation, all taxes associated to the villa (VAT, local taxes, community taxes ), bedlinen and towels: hand, bath and pool towels for each registered guest. WIFI is included in all our villa and all utilities such as water, electricity, cleaning of swimming pools and garden maintenance are all included. The security deposit varies per villa and a cleaning fee per week varies per villa and are paid along with the villa rental.
How can I book?
To reserve a villa a booking deposit of 30% is required. Once this is received the villa is booked in your name and the balance is due either 6 weeks prior to arrival or in cash upon arrival. All reservations are confirmed in writing and accompanied with a rental agreement.