Cayman Villas – Celebrating 50 years of business in the Cayman Islands
Founded by Penny Cumber, what began as a one-woman property management business run out of a home office has grown into Cayman’s leading vacation rental firm. Now managed by Penny’s daughter Juliet, Cayman Villas has over 100 properties on all three islands, a staff of 13 and high hopes for the future.
Penny moved to Grand Cayman in 1969, when it was still a sleepy backwater. With the islands developing apace and overseas investment in real estate growing, she saw an opportunity to manage beachfront properties for non-resident owners. Having founded Grand Cayman Property Management in 1970, she quickly branched out into short term rentals, then expanded to cover the Sister Islands. Now retired, she is proud to reflect on how she and her daughter have built a leading tourism business in Cayman.
RL: What was your inspiration to establish Cayman Villas (CV)?
PC: In the 1970s, the ‘snow-bird’ owners of Seven Mile Beachfront properties needed a property manager while off the Island, so GCPM was formed. That eventually branched out to include short term rentals, at the suggestion of the first Director of Tourism.
RL: How has tourism changed over the last 50 years?
PC: Vastly! The ‘Islands that time forgot’ have been transformed into a major financial centre, a first-class dive destination and a gourmet capital. Advertising was originally by word of mouth, and technology was limited to typewriters, so we have also had to adjust quickly to new technology and marketing methods.
RL: What have you enjoyed most about your job?
PC: The happy owners and visitors alike who are wonderful to work for... but the people of Cayman are a special delight as they are bright, cheerful, exceptionally friendly and highly motivated! How lucky am I to be here.
RL: What changes do you see happening in the future for CV?
PC: As the Islands become more well known, investments will continue to grow, and with our stable government and respect for our fauna, flora and environment, the sky is the limit.
RL: What involvement do you have in CV since passing the business on to your daughter?
PC: Almost none! My daughter has been interested in the company since she was a teenager, which now allows me to enjoy my retirement knowing the business is in extremely capable hands and I trust her to take the company to new heights.
Born and raised in Grand Cayman, Juliet is a true island girl. Schooled in Cayman, the UK and the US, she has a degree in Marketing and French and has worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years. Although she has travelled extensively and lived in different cultures and environments, she will always consider Cayman the best place on earth to live and work.
RL: How long have you been a part of CV?
JC: I think my first summer job was when I was 14. Mum was running Cayman Villas out of the house and seemed to always be on the phone. So, in offering help, I started to learn the business from the ground up.
RL: What drew you to the business?
JC: I loved the fact that there were so many facets to the business, from going out and seeing new properties, to inspecting current properties, meeting new people, and dealing with many challenging situations.
RL: What do you enjoy most about your job?
JC: Every day is different and exciting. There is never a dull moment in this business and making both our owners and guests happy is what makes me smile. I also love that this business allows me to work remotely so that when needed I can spend quality time with my three children.
RL: What services does CV offer to property owners?
JC: With 50 years’ experience and a solid reputation behind us, we handle all aspects of their investment. We offer full-service property management, and effectively market their properties, leveraging our long-standing relationship with the Department of Tourism and our widespread social media platform.
Investing in short term rental properties is a great venture for any buyer, local or foreign, especially here in the Cayman Islands where tourism is thriving. We are always looking to take on new properties and continue to grow the business even when it gets challenging. We have great ideas to boost revenue after a hurricane or during the current pandemic.
RL: What services does CV offer to visitors?
JC: The Cayman Villas staff are all Caymanian and know the islands like the back of their hands, so we strive to provide our guests with a fun, unique, local experience, and a vacation that they will never forget.
RL: How has the CV team evolved?
JC: The business started with just Penny running the show. Fifty years later we have a team of 13 employees with three Reservation/Concierge agents, two full-time Property Managers, a bookkeeper, an accountant, five housekeepers and I oversee the day to day operations and deal with Business Development and Marketing.
RL: What changes do you see happening in the future for CV?
JC: The short-term rental business is so fast-paced and is expanding and changing at such an incredible rate, that it can make your head spin. A knowledgeable team and support from expert colleagues and professional partners are essential in this business. I hope to see Cayman Villas go from strength to strength. With the team we have in place right now, I am very confident that we can achieve this.
For more information contact Cayman Villas:
Ask a Question
Can't read the image? click here to refresh
comments powered by Disqus
Carolina Hane has joined TRIO Architecture as Lead Interior Designer, with over 10 years o...
Dr. Doull, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncturist and a Fellow with the Ame...
Rugs Oriental is excited to announce the arrival of additional designs in the ‘Caribbean...
Robert Towell Architect (RTA) has relocated their office to the recently completed fo...
Provenance Properties is proud to be named a Christie’s International Real Estate Affili...
Paramount Carpet supplied 60,000 sq ft. of Crossville ‘Structure’ porcelain tiles...