Villa owner tells agents the price is right

CABIN JOHN, Md. -- The following are some tips from Linda Smith, owner of Villas by Linda Smith, to help agents sell villa vacations..

• Agents should provide clients with specific costs, breakdowns and comparisons so they understand the dollar value of a villa vacation.

For example, she said the price for the four-bedroom Noble House villa for seven nights in October (low season) is $7,000, or $1,000 per night for eight guests in four bedrooms, which breaks down to $125 per person, per night.

Additional accommodations for two more guests are available in the pool cottage for $71 per person, per night. The high-season rate at the same villa is $9,000 per week, or $161 per person, per night. High season is traditionally mid-December through April.

• Clients should know the etiquette of tipping villa staff. Guests should add 15% gratuity to the rate in low season and 10% in high season. Groceries average $30 per adult, per day, and less for children.

• The larger the villa, the larger the group and the lower the cost. For example, Hanover House, a 7,000-square-foot villa overlooking Montego Bay, has seven bedrooms, five-and-a-half baths and can accommodate up to 13 guests. In low season, the villa rents for $5,000 weekly for 13 people, which prorates to $54.95 per person, per night.

The weekly rental in high season is $7,000 for 13 guests, or $76.92 per person per night. Gratuities and food are priced identically to Noble House. -- C.C.

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