An apartment in Panama City can be a perfect combination of fun and investment. On one hand you can rent it to one of the local corporate executives for a steady revenue stream. Or you can use it for a vacation home in sunny Panama.
But an apartment can be a lot of work. Regular maintenance is required to protect your investment and the environment. Screening and servicing rental clients can be a demanding chore fraught with risk. Profits margins—and patience—can disappear quickly.
Nevertheless, some owners try to do it themselves. They decide they don’t need a property management company or, even worse, they link with a firm with questionable ethics, bad employees and little experience in servicing high-end clients.
At PPR, we’ve been in the property management business in Panama City for many years and we’ve experienced all the challenges and pitfalls of property management in this city firsthand. Sure, we’re biased, but we always recommend that clients link with an experienced, secure property management firm.
There are a wide-range of problems and obstacles to going it alone in Panama City, which many owners never consider:
- Attracting the Best Tenants: Good tenants are hard to find. Bad tenants can quickly ruin an investment, causing damage, legal hassles and expensive conflicts. Finding great clients in Panama City takes connections. You can’t just post a classified ad. Are you ready to do background checks on potential clients? At Punta Pacifica Realty we have existing relationships with top corporations in Panama City, including Caterpillar, Proctor & Gamble and Maersk. Why go searching for tenants when a firm can provide access to pre-screened, well-paid executive tenants?
- Finding Reliable Help: An apartment needs top-notch maid service and a maintenance team, which can be hard to find, especially for absentee landlords. In Panama City this can be the difference between a happy experience and a nightmare. Who are you letting into your home? Are they dependable and trustworthy? At PPR, we always try to limit the number of third party vendors. We use full-time employees to manage apartments, conduct repairs and clean, ensuring consistent, secure service.
- Late night calls: When something goes wrong, the tenant is going to get on the phone and demand help. Do you really want to get the call at 3 a.m. about a clogged sink? Tenants expect problems to be fixed quickly and reliably. If they can’t get immediate help they will be unhappy tenants.
- Working the Accounts: Renting an apartment is a business and it requires its own structure and organization. That means clear and accurate ways to track revenue and expenses. Who has time for that? A top property management firm will provide regular and transparent reports on all income and expenses, making it easy to evaluate the business and improve operations.
- Security: More than anything, a solid property management company can provide peace of mind. Do you know where your keys are? Do you know who is entering your apartment? Can the people working in the apartment be trusted? The anxiety and tension of managing your property—one of your biggest investments—can be harrowing. A good property management firm can help you sleep at night. They are on the job, so you don’t have to be.
At Punta Pacifica Realty, we take great pride in our property management services. We realize apartment owners have choices and we work hard to provide the level of service, technology and security to make everything run smoothly. If you have any questions at all—even if you just want to talk about the market and the challenges—please feel free to contact us. No obligation. We’re happy to help.
Eddie Montes is the head of Property Management for Punta Pacifica Realty, a Panama real estate agency focused on Punta Pacifica, the exclusive neighborhood of 18 towers perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.