Think hard before your rent on VRBO in Costa Rica
My office phone is ringing while I’m on my cell phone with a lawyer discussing some details on a real estate closing. I’m alone in the office and the office phone is ringing off the hook, a local call. You never know how you can miss out on a buyer, so I told the lawyer I’d call him back as soon as I could and picked up the office phone.
“Buenos días, GoDutch Realty, en qué le puedo servir?” is my usual introduction and the lady at the other end says in English “do you speak English?”. This is very customary in our office because if I’d answer the phone in English, the Ticos who don’t speak any English generally hang up on me, not knowing what to say.
The lady on the other end started telling me that she knows it’s a very unusual request but she rented a house in Sarchi and it has a solar heating system on the roof. The solar system is leaking and if I know a plumber to get it fixed.
I answered the lady “I assume you’re calling because you rented the house from Brooke Bishop, our agent who covers the Sarchi area, I can give you Brooke’s phone number and I’m sure Brooke can help you”.
The lady answered “no, Brooke had it also listed but we rented through VRBO in Costa Rica, directly from the owner.”
Now I felt like I’m hit by a freight train, and I’m thinking “WTF…”
She apparently thought it was silent too long on the other end of the line, so she volunteered “the water is running all over the roof and I need help”.
Now I recovered from the shock and said “what about the owner”? “The owner doesn’t live in Costa Rica”… silence…
So I answered, “if you would have rented the house in Sarchi from Brooke Bishop, we would have done everything possible to help you out, even if our company doesn’t service the owner with property management. But why should I now spend time and effort on trying to find a plumber for you, if you didn’t bring your business to us when you could have”?
My question was answered with another question “why does everything always turn around money”?
I told the lady that she is not calling social services, a free phone directory or help desk for expats in trouble, it is a real estate business. Well, she hung up on me. I guess I said something I shouldn’t have.
I hope the lady (she never gave me her name) reads this article so she can read my apology for not jumping in the car, find a plumber and drive all the way to Sarchi to fix her solar heating system on the roof. I should have been more thoughtful of being able to help a fellow expat who is in serious trouble, but she hung up on me.
We are a Costa Rica real estate agency but we always try to help our clients, whenever we can. Just check out this testimonial Brooke got from Michael and Ed titled “We say Brooke is the Role Model for post-sale services!” that she received just a few weeks ago.
I hope this blog shows that if you expect people to help you, you should bring them some business. Next time when you’re in the market to rent a house in Sarchi, or any other place in Costa Rica, call a real estate agent and don’t go VRBO in Costa Rica.
If any of you think I should have tried to help the lady, which I’m sure some of the readers do, my blogs are a free public service to my readers, and they are seldom a sales pitch and designed to show readers what life in Costa Rica is all about. It’s my way of helping those who need help and I hope they are smart enough to bring us their business when it’s in their power to do so.
If you do understand this, feel free to contact us at any time.
If you don’t, feel free to use VRBO in Costa Rica to rent but don’t call any real estate agency for help when you need it.
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I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. I know you all meet people on the plane, in the supermarket, at yoga, at the gym, at the Blooms ladies club, at the potluck organized by your community. Please remember the GoDutch Realty agents when you talk about your home in Costa Rica, when you meet someone who wants to purchase one, we appreciate it.