Cindy Miller and her husband own a fantastic family vacation home on the Indian Wells community in Kissimmee. Her home has received some wonderful reviews over the past year – and she’s kindly agreed to share her experience on our blog.
“The first time we stayed in our Orlando home we rented it – because we were visiting Disney. My husband and I lived in Florida and we’d been going to the parks for a while, but we really stepped up our Disney trips once we’d had our son!” explains Cindy.
Soon afterwards, the homeowners at that time decided to put the three-bed, two-bath property on the market. They emailed all the guests on their mailing list with details of the sale. The news came at just the right time for Cindy and her husband.
She says, “It was the right opportunity at the right time. We lived 45 minutes away at that time, so we felt like it could be a good investment for us. The family who owned it were renting it out for vacation rentals already. And we were familiar with the home. We knew it was really close to Disney, so it was perfect.”
Choosing to buy the property
Because Cindy knew the home and its location, she felt very comfortable about purchasing it.
She says the features that guests love most about the home are:
- Proximity to the parks.
- It’s such great value – between $115 per night in low season to $145 over peaks seasons, such as the Christmas period. This is great value for families when compared to a hotel.
- It’s pet friendly.
- The pool.
When Cindy and her husband purchased the home in 2016, they chose to stay with the existing property manager. The previous homeowners had used them, so it made sense not to change too much.
However, Cindy says, “We were with that property management company for three or four years. Over that time, the service depreciated. Changing property managers seemed like a huge risk because we’d been with the existing company for a long time. However, I didn’t feel they shared my commitment to the guest experience.”
Switching property managers was a tough decision
“I am part of several Facebook groups dedicated to Disney and sometimes questions about accommodation pop up,” Cindy explains. “I reached out to people on those groups and got a few recommendations, including for White Rose Villas property management.”
The family began investigating local property management companies and talking to the companies that had been recommended.
Cindy recalls, “One of the homeowners I’d spoken with had been through the ringer with their property management companies too and he told me White Rose Villas are the most professional company he’s worked with.”
“I definitely had concerns,” admits Cindy. “I’d only worked with the one property management company, so I was jumping into the unknown. I spoke with White Rose Villas at length and going with them felt like the right decision. Even so, I was worried about the sales situation: could they live up to their promises? And would their service also decline over time?”
Despite these concerns, Cindy and her husband knew it was time to move on. The service from the incumbent property management company had declined so much, she knew she couldn’t stay with them. The transition process away from the incumbent property management company was a hurdle that Cindy was nervous to take on alone. Cindy and White Rose Villas created a transition plan together, which was executed with full support and guidance from White Rose Villas. In 2020, the family successfully switched to White Rose Villas for the management of their vacation home.
“It was a tough decision, but there’s been a huge payoff,” Cindy says. “I’m so happy I made the change.”
Alignment on the issues that count
The key differences in the property management service delivery have been in communication and the general ethos.
Cindy explains: “Overall, White Rose Villas are 100% more professional. I’d say the value they place on guest satisfaction and happiness is on a par with me. With my previous property manager, I felt like I had to fight for the guest. With White Rose Villas, it’s the opposite. They put the guest at the heart of what they do too. As a result, we work much more smoothly as a team.”
She says that the White Rose Villas team quickly helped her overcome any reservations she had about making the switch.
“They earned my trust. And they maintained that trust by keeping the lines of communication open. They tell me about issues. And they help me resolve them quickly. If I ever raise anything with White Rose Villas, someone will be over there the same day or the next day having that facetime with the guest and fixing it. They are attentive. They have the right staff to understand the issue and what needs to be done. And they execute on that plan and make sure the guests are satisfied.”
Managing from a distance
Cindy has now moved out of state. Instead of being 45 minutes away, she is now several states away. Not being able to attend the property herself in the case of an emergency has made the relationship with her property management company even more important for Cindy.
“The White Rose Villas service has definitely been consistently positive,” Cindy says. “If anything, I have more trust in them now. I turn to them for advice – and 99% of the time, I go with what they recommend.”
She lists the main benefits of making the switch as:
- Maintenance: White Rose Villas are really on top of the cleanliness and the repairs and the aesthetics – and that’s really important to guests.
- Communication: It’s always timely and thorough for me and my guests.
- Representation of our home as a brand: White Rose Villas are always friendly and professional and I feel like we are on the same page.
“Bringing money in isn’t part of the dynamic for me,” Cindy explains, “because I market the home myself on VRBO. I do a lot of my own bookings. Because they are mostly local, we’ve seen a steady occupancy, even through the pandemic.”
Cindy is a super host on VRBO. Her home now has a 4.7 star rating on the website.
“I have 72 reviews and most of them are five star,” Cindy says. “It has been a turnaround from what I was hearing from guests prior to switching. Things are now perfect and kept to the standards I expect. I feel like I can sleep well at night, even though I live many states away. My guests are now free to focus on having a good time and creating great memories.”