We, Laurie and Norma, ex academics (boring!), retired several life times ago, lives of leisure, travelling and partying. One day, we were begged to rent our Italian abode to the family of a young violinist, who had been booked to perform in the Spoleto festival. This was in the days before the concept of holiday rentals had taken off in Umbria. And, our house was on the home-exchange circuits. We did not want to exchange with this family so we agreed to the rental.
That was it!! From that point onwards, our house immediately became a highly successful holiday rental. We still had one foot in London at the time. So, we sold up in London and reinvested in Spoleto. This was the birth of our holiday rental business in 2003.
Our first purchase in central Spoleto brought us into contact with the owner and the real estate agent. The owner, a retired builder and restorer of palazzi, observed what we were doing over the following year. He asked us to go into partnership with him, offering us a number of his central Spoleto apartments plus a few mountain ones too. This was a big jump from marketing a couple of holiday apartments. We had never been in business before. But, his properties were wonderful. We were unable to reject his offer. And, with some nervousness, we embarked on an expansion of our business. Then, the real estate agent immediately approached us with a line like, “whatever he is doing with you, I want to do it too!!”. She had known our new partner for yonks and hugely respected his business acumen. She set about buying properties on my “Nero” say so…..thumbs up or down. She would buy or not.
Thus, our tiny empire was formed. Now, we offer about 60 apartments, villas and pool properties, mostly in and around central Spoleto, all owned by our small partnership group.
And, word of our success is spreading. We are approached constantly, by property owners all over Italy, all wishing to come on board with us. Consequently, we are starting to develop our business beyond Umbria.
We specialise in really beautiful properties and perfect locations. To date, we have concentrated our efforts on central Spoleto, where you do not need a car because there is a train station close by, from where you can get to practically anywhere in Italy.
Now, we are by far the largest provider of holiday apartments, villas and pool properties in Umbria. And, we will retain our commitment to beautiful properties and perfect locations, as we slowly creep beyond Umbria.
As I write this in Jan, 2015, I am 67 and my husband is 77. Let age be no barrier. This is the best time of our lives. We are both in great health. And, we intend to continue for ever and a day. For all of you reaching retirement age, for all of you who are unable to find fixed employment, embark on something that brings you joy first and money second. Do not be held back by fear. Just do it….because, you can!