January 2020 - Newsletter #2
Happy New Year from Baja!
As the tourists arrive, your houses are filling up! Whether you are a seasoned renter or new to the game, surprises come around every corner. This newsletter is to keep you updated on the latest and greatest in the area, and with our business.
We have officially hired a new part-time employee, Danny. Danny is the office manager at the Hacienda Cerritos. Rachel and Danny worked together previously and he comes with the highest recommendations. Danny speaks English and Spanish, and has multiple resources for vendors within the community. Danny will help negotiate work with these vendors for our clients, he will coordinate timing and work completion, and will also oversee our invoicing. We are working on streamlining our systems to ideally get our invoices out in a more timely manner. We are very excited to have Danny as a part of the Tu Casa team!!
We have had a few break-ins in the area. Luckily, Alex was able to be onsite within minutes of one situation on New Years Eve. The thieves mainly stole electronics. (Thank our small children for us being at home at 11:30 at night!) In all seriousness, we’ve been fairly lucky for a while, but we can never let our guard down. We will discuss with guests, cleaners, and vendors that ALL windows and doors must be locked. We will also ask that outdoor lights are left on if renters are going out in the evening. If you are interested in further home security systems, we do have a few contacts that can install cameras, charlie bars, or sensor lights. We want you, your home, and renters to be protected and have a sense of security. Let’s hope these incidents were isolated and we continue on a positive path.
Business and Monetary Updates.
Facturas and Taxes
If you would like us to provide you with a factura for our transactions, we will need to charge the 16% VAT tax. We will have a corporation bank account in Mexico within the next week. To pay us directly to this account, you will be charged the 16% VAT tax, which also means you can claim this as an expense. Otherwise, we can continue our payments through Venmo, Zelle, direct deposit (US BANK), or Paypal.
Paypal has further fees than they have had in the past. We are trying to avoid Paypal as much as possible for this reason. Please know the client is responsible for fees.
Now that we do not have a source of getting peso cash on hand (Hacienda), we have to pull money out of our US account to pay for any items that we do not receive into our Mexico account (which needs to include that tax). You will begin to see our ATM transaction fee for up to 6,000 pesos we pay out of pocket for items. The ATM fee is 14.87 USD per money pull. You will begin to see this on your invoice as it has greatly impacted our bottom line. We love offering you this service of paying bills, but need a system where we are not negatively impacted. If you have a better system, ie - you have an account you would like us to draw directly from for your payments, we are happy to do this - or if you would like to give us pesos on hand to use for your specific needs, we are also happy to use this as an option. We are also open to other ideas.
We have a new client with a different mode of payment. They opened a Mexico specific bank account in the states. We hold the bank card and they transfer money in as needed - to pay vendors (gardener, CFE, etc.) and to pay us our invoice. We withdraw out of the ATM in pesos as needed. We think this is an excellent method if you are able and interested to do something similar. Please let us know.
Administrative and Combined Inspection Fee:
After being operational for one year, becoming legal (and all that comes with it), and understanding individual property needs, we have an understanding of our business and each property’s scope more completely. For full transparency, to maintain our level of service, for a typical rental property, we will be charging a flat monthly fee of $100 USD. This price includes the 4 (security) HOME INSPECTION checks per month. As we know, new charges are never fun and we understand you may have some questions. Please feel free to contact us as we are happy to discuss. You will see the change on your January invoices.
We have many clients that use our services for more than vacation rental management - but home management or construction oversight. We love offering this service for our clients. If you would like to discuss a set monthly price for this service, please let us know; otherwise, we will continue to bill hourly. (ie meeting contractors, opening the home for services, and any outside work from the rental management and four monthly Home Inspections.) We can create a specific price depending on your needs.
Go Slow to Go Fast.
We are exploring the option of expanding our service area to Todos Santos and further north. We have a couple, Meghan and Kevin, that will begin working for us as contractors to service northern properties. Alex and Rachel will continue to manage all communication and online forums. Just as our business grew slowly with our Cerritos and Pescadero properties, we will keep the same model for further growth. We are looking to expand to between 1-3 houses maximum for the time being until our systems are in place. Our goal is to ensure our customer service for owners and guests alike always remains constant. We always appreciate referrals!!
IN HOUSE CATERING: We have a fantastic local chef that will cook delicious multi-course meals delivered to your home. The chef and his wife deliver the food, set the table, and then return a bit later to clean. We’ve had a handful of guests take advantage of this and absolutely LOVE the whole experience. Prices: Between 28 - 55 USD per person depending on meal specifics and number of people. (plus tax and service fee)
IN HOUSE MASSAGES: We use a local and licensed massage therapist. She will visit your home to give a professional massage on your private patio or in your room. This is a great offering to guests that are looking for the full relaxation experience. Prices: 65 USD for 60 minutes or 90 USD for 90 minutes
Please help us promote these offerings as it makes your guests stay absolutely memorable!
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Co-Owner of TCCPM