© 2015 David V / J Zam
Cura Services Inc. is a company in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands which has dedicated itself to providing real estate and related value added services. Their professionals help domestic and international clients in property management, property maintenance, entrepreneurship, business consulting, general administrative services and any other type of business related need. Their commitment is to partner with clients so that they may grow, maintain or dispose of portfolios and assets on the islands. Because of the wide range of services and advice offered, clients are relieved of the hassle and burden of shopping around and hiring different companies and crews to perform various tasks. Cura Services Inc. has been selected to receive the BID Quality Crown Award for 2015.
History of the British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands, located just to the northeast of Puerto Rico, are a part of the British Commonwealth. They have a quiet, idyllic pace and do not suffer from the level of overdevelopment that one finds in the U.S. Virgin Islands and other neighboring spots in the Lesser Antilles.
They were christened by Christopher Columbus during his second voyage to the New World. To him, the many islands and cays invoked the memory of the 11,000 virgin followers of Saint Ursula, who was martyred in the fourth century. At first, there was little European interest in the chain since there are no mineral resources and not enough land to establish significant plantations. Pirates, however, soon discovered that the many hidden coves provided a perfect base of operations to plunder ships laden with gold and other New World commodities headed to Europe. The shallow waters, tricky currents and complex reef systems made it easy to force ships aground. The area became notorious and its lore includes such names as Blackbeard, Bluebeard and Sir Francis Drake.
Eventually, the British took control of the Virgin Islands, which in those days also included what is now the U.S. Virgin Islands and Vieques. They developed a sugar industry, discovered copper on Virgin Gorda, and made the Virgin Islands a thriving outpost until the abolishment of slavery in 1838 and the end of the plantation economy. The islands became depopulated and quiet.
It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the tourism business was established by Laurance Rockefeller and businessman and yachting enthusiast. Development has been done at a more deliberate pace than in many other parts of the Caribbean, in part due to a building code that requires that structures may not rise higher than the islands' tallest palm trees. Nonetheless, the British Virgin Islands is a popular spot for tourists who want an unspoilt Caribbean experience, and the lack of high rise hotel properties means that single family homes and other small rental properties are popular with investors.
The third largest island in the group is called Virgin Gorda, the “Fat Virgin” because of its plump geography; Columbus imagined that it looked like a supine pregnant woman. With about 3,000 residents, including the likes of Morgan Freeman and Sir Richard Branson, the island oozes a laid back sense of luxury unique in the world. This was the place that Rockefeller chose to build the exclusive resort on the “wilderness beach” at Little Dix, and it is here that Cura Services has established itself as the premier provider of real estate services on the island.
On the south end of the island sits the picturesque settlement of Spanish Town and The Baths, a beach area that attracts because of its surreal, boulder strewn landscape and otherworldly tranquility. Divers are welcome to explore the many sea grottoes formed by boulders just offshore. And visitors who wish to mix leisurely sun bathing with some moderate exercise, a hike up Virgin Gorda Peak rewards with spectacular views. The old copper mine is a great place for history buffs, and all of it is close on the eight square mile island.
With fine sandy beaches, world class shopping, and numerous sailboats as the preferred means of travel, Virgin Gorda offers something for every discerning traveler who wants to experience a vacation that is much more than just a getaway.
Managing rental property can be a nightmare. The intersection of legal, maintenance and social issues is often beyond the scope of the typical investor’s experience and often requires significant blocks of time on short notice. Cura solves those headaches with a full suite of services such as regular home monitoring, access control, relationships with the most reliable service providers on the island, a 24 hour emergency line, as well as management of bills and creation of monthly reports. The result is peace of mind, increased return on investment, and maintenance of the client’s home in its best condition.
Property Maintenance deserves special mention because of the vast number of professionals who may be required. Cura Services performs all maintenance, from the mundane to the complex, in compliance with all local statutes, including light bulbs and fixtures, air conditioning systems and filters, electrical repairs, plumbing repairs or replacements, drains and pumps, windows and doors servicing. Vendor Management for pools, garden, landscaping, pest control, insurance or any other specialist service provider means that the homeowner can be sure that the proper professional is on site when the need arises. © 2015 David V / J Zam
The people at Cura are entrepreneurs themselves, and make their experience and knowledge available as consultants at every stage. They are adept at finding solutions to problems such as entity selection and set-up, crisis management, change management, succession planning, and all other business related needs.
Clients can meet with a Cura professional to brainstorm ideas, construct business plans, develop strategic plans, and evaluate performance for improvement. The BID Committee was particularly impressed with the scope of value added services provided by Cura which are not traditionally available at real estate agencies that they have evaluated in the past.
Administrative Services are another time and headache saver available to clients, and run the range from typing services, faxing and copying, printing, binding, and laminating to drafting and delivery of business and general correspondence.
Not all real estate agents are created equal, and investors looking for an agent who understands their needs often find the task challenging. Agents have a reputation for trying to obtain the highest price possible for a property and for not understanding enough about cash flow, accounting, finance or return to identify appropriate investment properties. At Cura Services, the focus is on finding the right investment property in terms of profitability, long term return, and minimization of vacancy. They also are able to provide timely and reliable estimates for renovation and rehabilitation, another area where traditional agents are often lacking.
The wide range of services provided by Cura is not surprising given the background of its Managing Director, Mr. Flynn J. Williams. Mr. Williams not only has more than 15 years of business experience, but has university and high level education in Small Business, Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations, Project Management. Stephanie Williams, co-owner and COO, also boasts an impressive resume with a degree in Economics and International Development Studies and broad experience in the local real estate market. The combination of education with real world experience is what sets Cura apart. The Committee took note of the fact that there is no other business on the island that matches the range of integrated services available at Cura.
The ultimate goal of any Quality driven enterprise is superior customer service, and a testimonial from one of Cura’s clients speaks volumes: "My experience with Cura Services Inc. can only be described as exceptional. From day one, Cura associates treated my home as if it were their home. Their personal attention to detail is a passion, not a nine to five job. Cura Services is the very essence of what professional home management and villa hospitality should be."
The BID Committee considers the innovative approach of melding such a wide range of related but disparate services to be a significant sign of commitment to Continuous Quality Improvement and Customer Service, and because of that commitment, Cura Services has been selected to receive the BID Quality Crown Award for 2015 at the convention in London.
ABOUT BID AND THE INTERNATIONAL QUALITY CROWN AWARD:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.