Rental Property Owners Urged To Attend Meeting

January 15, 2020

The Bermuda Rental Association of Vacation Home Owners [BRAVO] is urging all vacation rental property owners and managers to attend a meeting tomorrow [Jan 16] at 6.00pm at Ignite Bermuda on Wesley Street in Hamilton.

A spokesperson said, “All vacation rental property owners and managers are invited to attend a meeting to learn about the new vacation rental membership organisation to be launched soon. The meeting will take place on Thursday Jan 16th at 6PM at Ignite Bermuda, #12 Wesley Street Hamilton.

“In 2018 the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] invited all vacation rental owners to attend a meeting at their offices to view a presentation on the benefits of setting up an organisation to represent the vacation rental owners. Approximately 35 vacation rental owners and managers attended that meeting.

“Toward the end of the meeting the question was asked whether any of the approximately 35 attendees would like to begin the process of setting up a structure for a formal representative organisation. Eight of those attending volunteered to form a steering committee which spent more than a year in near monthly meetings to establish a formal ‘Constitution’ document and a name for the organisation [BRAVO].

“While the BTA offered their assistance through the use of a meeting room for their meetings, the BTA did not participate in these meetings, except for the first few meetings. The steering committee did not want to give the impression of any conflicts of interest.

“While the concept of private resident rentals to tourists is more than 50 years old in Bermuda, organisations like Airbnb and Vacation Rentals by Owner [VRBO] established a presence in Bermuda, creating rapid growth leading up to the Americas Cup event in 2017, when there was an extreme shortage of visitor beds on the island. This caused a somewhat temporary peak in numbers which saw an expected decline after 2017.

“One can consider the Americas Cup numbers as an anomaly for vacation rental numbers. The subsequent drop in numbers in 2018 simply reflected the post Americas Cup reality. Removing the 2017 anomaly reveals that there had, in fact, been a steady increase in vacation rental owners in Bermuda with 630 plus current owners representing over 1,000 tourist beds, which is an increase of at least a third over existing hotel beds.

“Anecdotally, guests lodging in private homes in Bermuda represent tourists of all types and contribute in ways normally expected of visitors with added revenue for taxis, grocery stores, restaurants, other means of personal transportation such as rental cars, scooters, public transportation, shopping, and direct revenue to the property owners. The growing sector, in effect, brings increased overseas revenue to the island and augments Bermuda’s overall tourist product.

“The meeting this week, on Jan 16th is being held to discuss the benefits of membership and why a single representative body is necessary and how the organisation could be of benefit to the entire vacation rental industry.

“It is hoped that a high percentage of vacation rental owners will attend this meeting and later ap- prove or amend the constitution document and hold an election of executive officers to lead the organisation for agreed terms [example one or two years], after which regular elections will be held for executive positions.

“The steering committee members will remain on the assist, however after having completed their work, are not necessarily seeking leadership roles and are prepared to pass on the work carried out to the general membership. There will be no membership fee, although the general membership may decide in the future to initiate an annual fee to cover expenses as they arise.

“Membership will allow the property owners and managers to vote in elections and attend all meetings. Associate members may consist of service providers, such as cleaners, agents and transportation providers who may attend some meetings with no voting rights. Contact BRAVO at email: bravo.bermuda@gmail. com

“A few key benefits for membership:

  • Single representation for the Industry for negotiations with Government regarding policy development etc
  • Power to negotiate supply discounts with selected wholesalers
  • Develop pricing structures and encourage growth of flexible cleaning service businesses
  • Sharing common challenges and solutions for issues that arise for members
  • Assist members to develop minimum standards for member owned properties
  • A directory of members by location so that overflow can be shared amongst members
  • Work as a group with the BTA for promotion of the industry
  • Other benefits as established by the members

“In order for the organisation to succeed, a reasonable number of the property owners will be required. The volunteer group simply took on the task to build a structure and draft policies. The members will have the full power to vote for changes to the constitution and elect their own executive team.

“Much work has been carried out over the past 18 months and the vacation rental organisation [BRAVO] can now move the industry to new levels of success. It is hoped that a significant number of the 600 plus own- ers and managers will attend the upcoming meeting on Thursday Jan 16, 2020.

“For membership forms and general question contact via email at:”

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Comments (8)

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  1. Wahoo says:

    Gee, there was a shortage of beds leading up to America’s Cup that must have been a good thing.

    • CS says:

      Probably a shortage of more affordable and reasonably priced accommodations. This island is too damn expensive.

    • Jevon Ray says:

      Shortage of beds BEFORE the Americas Cup, but during a hotel was laying staff off because of low hotel occupancy….go figure

  2. Total smoke screen says:

    You do realize that AC failed miserably to hit attendance targets and the extra cruise ship that I worked on to bring to Bermuda to house overflow was not needed!!! Sales was less than 50% of projections!!!

    • question says:

      The nonsense you people come out with.

    • Eve says:

      Some of us questioned the number of visitors Hanbury and Isley (BTA) were saying we could expect for AC and were criticized for being negative. Yes, the BTA failed miserably to hit attendance targets they projected and when AC was over no one was held accountable to explain why. There were stakeholders who invested in their rental property and other AC ventures expecting a positive ROI based on BTA projections, didn’t happen. The BTA celebrated at AC, collected their bonuses and started work on taxing vacation rentals that would soon affect the owner’s expected ROI. This new group should make sure BTA doesn’t take over what they are trying to achieve.

    • saud says:

      When comparing the AC to the PLP’s events…which brought in more people/$?