Last updated: 03:00 PM ET, Thu January 28 2016

Selling Villas: Agents Will Find It’s Easier Than They Think

Travel Agent | Rich Thomaselli | January 28, 2016

Selling Villas: Agents Will Find It’s Easier Than They Think

PHOTO: A villa in St. Martin (Courtesy Villas of Distinction)

So you’re thinking of pitching your clients about staying in a private, high-end villa on vacation, or your clients have approached you.

Red flags were dropped and alarms just went off, right?


That’s where Villas of Distinction comes in to help educate agents on one of the hottest new travel trends in the industry – the upscale, luxury villa away from the maddening crowds.

“I think it’s as simple as the whole world just doesn’t understand it, that’s all,” says Kim Palmer, one of the top-selling Villa Specialists for Villas of Distinction. “They know Airbnb. They know VRBO. They aren’t sure yet about villas.”

Time to get to know it, then.

Renting a villa started out as a high-end corporate getaway and celebrity hideaway before morphing into a couples-style retreat. Now villas have blossomed into a business – everything from families of four to multi-generational families with a dozen travelers.

Think about it. If you’re doing a trip with 12 people and need si rooms, it can be phenomenally expense to stay at a high-end hotel resort. Are villas just as expensive? Yes, but you’re also getting common areas where the family can just hang out – amongst themselves, not with fellow guests. A pool that the family can use – amongst themselves, not with fellow guests. Meals, including oftentimes prepared by a chef – amongst themselves, not with fellow guests.

“Not a lot of people ask about villas,” says Alicia Geiger, a CruiseOne franchisee who is experienced in selling villa vacations to her clients. “They have a misconception that they can be very expense. If you have a villa and split it between three or four families, it’s very economical. You can do it very nicely.”

Geiger said she has been working with Villas of Distinction for years.

“The nice thing about Villas of Distinction is, it’s a quality supplier,” she said. “It’s somebody I know and trust. I build my business on referrals and clientele. I don’t market. I have to make sure my clients get the very best.”

So what should agents know about going to market to sell villas? Here’s the one and only tip.


Talk to Villas of Distinction.

This is a company where the average Villa Specialist has 14 years of experience, where each specialist personally visits the properties that Villas of Distinction rents, where a personal concierge is assigned to every home, where the inventory is as intimate as a one-bedroom apartment to a 42-bedroom estate in more than 50 destinations across the globe.

“The most important step is to understand what you are looking for,” Palmer says. “As long as you know the parameters or the type of vacation you want, I can help you with the rest. We will ask the agent a lot of questions – the dynamics of the family, what they like to do on vacation, your budget, any amenities, are you looking for a villa with a maid, with a chef, a fully staffed villa with a butler, and so on. Whatever you want, we have.”

Check out all of Villas of Distinction’s properties on its website.


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