Algarvillas: Cheers to 40 years!

Kevin Owenson Algarvillas

Algarvillas celebrates four decades of hard graft and dedication to their homeowners and holidaymakers

– December 6, 2021

Algarvillas was first inaugurated in 1981 and Kevin Owenson’s aunt (who still works for Kevin today) bought the company in 1989. Kevin was the main rental agent for his aunt Cathy and uncle Jim during this period and when the opportunity arose to head the company himself, it was a no-brainer. He had fallen in love with the people, the area, and the business. Today, Algarvillas, also known as Kevin Owenson Property Management, has an excellent reputation, with a portfolio exceeding 40 holiday homes, all within five minutes’ drive from his office in Carvoeiro.

In a previous life, Kevin worked in the hi-tech micro-electronic manufacturing industry, travelling all over the world in senior management positions for a Japanese company. In 2002, he closed the door on his career to dedicate all his efforts to his aunt and uncle’s robust business. No doubt, he travels far less but he works harder than before, and his phone hasn’t been switched off since. He believes his 24/7 availability is what sets him apart from other property managers.

Algarvillas decorated unit Algarve

Managing your own property in Portugal can become a minefield, especially if you are not a local. Kevin and his multilingual team are experienced with all Portuguese systems and bureaucracy, from gardening and housekeeping through to legal and financial services. They are well connected with the best, local lawyers and tradesmen who are tried and tested over the company’s 40 years of service. And as for holidaymakers, the proof is in the pudding, as an impressive 50% of his rental guests are returning customers. Some of their longest returning guests have been holidaying with them for over 30 years.

Carvoeiro Beach View Algarve

It is no doubt that Kevin has seen “almost everything” in his 18 years of property management and there is no problem he hasn’t solved. He will go over and above for his clients such as renting medical aids from wheelchairs, electric scooters, equipment for dialysis and even oxygen tanks for breathing problems. He even helped a holidaymaker retrieve their crash-landed drone from another property at 10.30pm on a Saturday night.

Refreshingly, Kevin is very positive about the future of the Algarve. He saw an improvement in 2021 compared to 2020 from both owners and rental guests and believes this will only continue to grow. “Although up to July was quiet, things have really picked up since the third week of July with August and September looking very good as well.”

Algarvillas Living Room

When talking to visitors of various nationalities, he is often told how they feel so comfortable in the Algarve with the mask-wearing and social distancing regulations. “Portugal has handled everything throughout the pandemic very well,” he believes. Kevin has even met a lot of first-time visitors in the Algarve this year “due to the positive reputation the area has been receiving across Europe”.

Lounge C Algarvillas Algarve

With so many tourists having their holiday dreams shattered for yet another year, Kevin and his team have bent over backwards to ensure minimal disappointment. “Everything we do is for the holidaymaker and now more than ever, I try to put myself in my customers’ shoes and imagine what I would want if I was in that position,” he says. “It doesn’t mean that I am throwing refunds around left, right and centre, but we have made various adaptations to help our customers so they can trust and rely on us when there isn’t much reliability these days.”

Pool Algarvillas Algarve

Since 2020, they have often allowed customers to pay their remaining balance up to one week ahead instead of 10. And, for homeowners, they have undergone many cost-cutting exercises to help them in this tough period. He has also allowed any holiday that has been cancelled to rollover until 2022.

Algarvillas Bedroom Algarve

Looking to the future, Kevin would like to expand his property portfolio by adding around half a dozen four- to five-bedroom, modern-luxury properties. Although his business was down by 40% in 2020 against 2019, this year he only forecasts to be 20% down and next year’s bookings are already surpassing this year’s. Carvoeiro is constantly winning awards for investment opportunities in rentals and for holidays and Kevin is staying optimistic.

8B Pool Algarvillas Algarve

Text Alex Brennan

Author: Inside Carvoeiro

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