Cheshire-based Villa Retreats features 300 properties in the Algarve, Majorca, Andalucia, the Balearics and Greek islands and hopes to increase sales through agents from 10% to 25%.
“We’ve always had a few specialised agents who work with us, but never really publicised the fact that we can deal with them [agents] as such,” said managing director Simon Rowland, who started the business 25 years ago. “We find some agents find it tricky to get involved with the villa market, but it can be a simple process – as long as you dig into what the clients need.”
Rowland said he was “in talks with a few consortia” and was considering which events to attend to grow awareness of the brand in the trade.
“We felt that the time was right to start reaching out to the wider trade and hope that this move will allow us to find like-minded agents and partners to work with,” he said.
The company’s website will be relaunched in six weeks, Rowland said, including a feature where agents could register and access live availability. Agents can also access non-branded and non-priced PDF brochures for every property to share with clients.
Rowland said details of incentives, product training and small fam trips would be revealed over the next six months, but added that his team would be happy to make training conference calls with interested agents in the interim.
Key properties new to the programme for 2017 include a modern four-bedroom villa formerly owned by Formula One star Rubens Barrichello, in the Quinta do Lago resort on Portugal’s Algarve, where the company first started out.
“We know that area like the back of our hands,” he said. “In fact, we’ve all seen the properties between us, so can speak with the agent and pinpoint all the information their client needs.”
Rowland also highlighted Villa Retreats’ concierge service for organising elements such as private yacht charters, private jets and chauffeurs, security, childcare, specialist chefs, party planning, spa treatments and sports coaching.