I remember going to Marine Drive as a kid, and telling my parents how I would love nothing more than to have a sea-facing apartment. As I grew up and realised the effort that goes into maintaining a sea-facing apartment, and as the city’s busyness started getting to me, this dream home moved to the mountains – away from Mumbai’s madding crowd. Through this transition, one thing remained common: I still harboured a desire to own a ‘dream home’. Currently living with my husband and an extremely jumpy pet in a 2-BHK minus a private terrace, balcony and a garden, I yearn for this life even more.
Over the years, our experiences keep modifying our dreams. (As of today, my dream is as small as being able to step out of my home without a worry.) Point being, much like a dream profession, we all have an image of our vacation home, an ideal life that resonates with our true selves. And so, they rightly say – ‘Home is not a place… it’s a feeling’. This quote beautifully sums up all the efforts that go into making a house, a home. Often, the home that we live in is not our dreamscape given the various constraints India’s metros present. And so, unlike our custom-made, tiny city apartments, when one builds a second home or a vacation home away from the concrete jungle, it is much like making your own pizza from scratch. It could be a beachfront home, a home in the hills or a plush den next to a vineyard, 2-6 hours driving distance from the owners’ primary residence.
Arunkumar Suvarna, homeowner, SaffronStays Ocean Pearl in Hejamady, says, “My roots are from Mangalore and I would often travel here with my family. However, we didn’t have a house here and would end up staying in hotels. As soon as we came across this piece of land, we felt it was perfect; river on one side and sea on the other. My wife and I unanimously decided to construct a Mangalore-style home; we’ve had this home for 14 years now. Our two caretakers – Chitranjan and Jitendra – are both from the hospitality industry. They are well-acquainted with the locality, know the local language and can prepare authentic local cuisine.”
To own or not to own!
Call it a smart investment choice or the desire to have a home away from home – purchasing a piece of land is considered a smart move. However, months of hard work – from finding the perfect plot and getting all the materials to build it, to travelling between your two homes and keeping a tab on its progress is a painstaking effort. Turning your dream into reality (or should we say realty) includes getting fixtures, art deco pieces, the upholstery and cutlery in place too.
Well, the story doesn’t end with the masterpiece created. Constant maintenance, upgrades, managements, and operations follow, which might seem like trivial tasks but are actually big responsibilities. Taking care of and maintaining your second home in a remote location often takes a back seat while keeping up with a busy city life. Consumed by our everyday lives, these lesser-frequented vacation homes slowly hit the skids. And apart from all the hard-earned money you spent on it, one fears it will be misused. Finding a trusted caretaker and a cook or relocating someone who you know entails a whole lot of pain points. After all, cleaning, cooking and fixing a broken lightbulb isn’t the first thing you wish to do when you head over to this home. Now, even the thought of the ‘still-in-my-dream’ home deteriorating to shambles bothers me.
Raja Varma whose 3 second homes – Villa 270 in Dapoli, Suvarna Sangam in Udupi and Sea Crest in Goa are exclusively managed by SaffronStays, shares his experience. “Way back in 2013, before I retired from my corporate life, I decided I need to have my own second homes. In 2015, I acquired 3 such properties. While my family was enjoying them, maintaining these homes turned out to be a big challenge in terms of the fixed costs. As luck would have it, I met the company’s founders through a common friend. They explained the company’s business model to me. Initially, I was reluctant but reached out to them after a couple of weeks,” he says.
This, among many other reasons, is when partnering with a home management company that maintains and operates second homes on behalf of the homeowners comes into the picture. Enter SaffronStays – A Curated Network of India’s Finest Vacation Homes and Estates. By exclusively styling, managing, branding and marketing vacation homes to discerning Indian families as getaways, it helps owners monetise these homes and keep them running. No labour of love is ever so easy but managing your homes with a professional partner network can make life a lot easier.
(Have you read our piece on ‘Why your second home should be managed by a trusted Vacation Home Partner’?)
Adds Mr. Varma, “My experience with the company has been great. The 3 biggest advantages that I derived from my association with the company were:
i. It added a lot of value to all my homes and improved their image,
ii. The quality of guest walk-ins has been extremely good &
iii. The fixed costs that bothered me have been well-addressed by the team. This partnership has generated decent income for me.”
Giving Each Home The Attention It Deserves
Every beautiful piece of creation needs appreciation. And when one lists their home with a home management company, these companies do exactly that. The company’s end goal is to ensure that homeowners have a seamless experience. For this, they put various measures in place. Right from having a 200-point checklist while auditing each home to having an account manager as the single point of contact for a hassle-free experience, marketing & branding the home, curating experiences and managing reservations via OTAs, travel agents and event managers – everything is looked after by them.
If you would like to see your vacation home in a trusted pair of hands, SaffronStays is the place to go. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will call you back. Or just click here – www.partner.saffronstays.com