Almost through Year Two of Villa Ownership
After two years of working with Kristen Cox (four months of which was before we even knew we were going to purchase Great Expectations), we have decided to take over the property management of the villa. For the last 18 months, we have marketed the villa to renters, taken responsibility for supplies, renovations and maintenance, while contracting St. John Ultimate Villas to manage the cleaning staff, guest check-ins, as well as landscaping and pest control.
An end to the back and forth
Over the past two years, one or both of us was back and forth between Vermont and St. John every few weeks. We met several guests during their stays, and Carrie even had the opportunity to check-in two sets of guests last spring. I’ve met seven or eight different groups and checked-in one group myself.
This past March, we moved Carrie and Sadie down full-time and rented one of the Bogie’s Villa apartments on Gifft Hill.
We both worked our day jobs remotely and went back separately to Vermont twice this summer. Sadie acclimated to island living and seems to love her daily walks. She absolutely hates island cats - the ones that keep a nice control on island rodents.
Being on island let us get to know some guests, get supplies from St. Thomas, fix a few things that needed repair, and do a much better job of some longer-term planning than we did last year.
The next logical step
It was only natural that, as we said goodbye to our last guests of a very busy summer a few weeks back, we take the next step: lacing up our big-boy shoes and assuming full responsibility for our personal lives and loves beyond our day jobs - Great Expectations and St. John.
We packed up our belongings on Gifft Hill and moved into the Owner’s Suite (now called Honeymoon) on the top of the Guest House at Great Expectations on August 17th. Sadie took an instant loving to the little pool area and is now the as-yet-unchallenged 13lb Queen of Croton Road. We built an aggressive list of fall upgrades and work on them almost every night and weekend.
Our plan is to live in the apartment, as Chuck & Kristin did for many winters, and vacate as needed depending on the size of upcoming vacation groups. We have 10 weeks in 2020 already who are using all 8 bedrooms. For those weeks we will be back at a studio apartment on Gifft Hill before checking in the villa guests.
Expanding - not shrinking - our capabilities and capacity
We’ve already had multiple groups of 18-28+ people looking to stay with us next summer, fall and beyond. Just like our 10th year anniversary where we brought 11 couples down, we are actively planning groups that can overflow into 1 or 2 of our next-door neighbor villas (Calypso del Sol and RaRa Avis) when they need more than 7 or 8 bedrooms. We also have experience with St. John Utlimate Villa’s portfolio of options in Virgin Grande, Rendezvous & Fish Bays as well as Grande Bay.
Our mission remains: Provide a beautiful St. John rental villa that exceeds guests’ expectations every time.
On island, and on-site most of the time, we are poised to be able to fulfill that mission faster, better, and more efficiently than ever before.
Thanks again for all the support. We look forward to meeting you when you first come stay at Great Expectations or when you return.
Steve & Carrie Butcher
Owners AND Property Managers