“Kathleen, do you recommend apartment rentals in Las Terranas for investment?”
–Lesley G., Canada
Indeed, I do. You can find out about the best current opportunities available for this kind of investment by getting in touch here.
“Kathleen, I’ve been eyeing Belize since reading about it in your and Lief’s newsletters (and I bought your Belize report just over a year ago).
“I’m paying off a few more things, and then I want to travel to Belize to see if I can see myself living there. I’m only 36, but, once I’m out of debt, I’m thinking I’d much rather invest abroad than slave away here in California to maybe own a house in 30 years after all that work.
“Based off what I’ve read, I’m thinking I could set up my Web consulting business there, which is work I can do remotely. Can you recommend resources I should read or contact for setting up my business in Belize?
“Thanks, in advance, for your help!”
–Sam Y., United States
Sounds like a great plan.
If the idea is to live in Belize while running a Web business, probably the best thing would be to incorporate in another jurisdiction and keep the business out of Belize. This would keep you from paying taxes in that country.
One resource I’d recommend would be Joel Nagel, a U.S. attorney with decades of experience both helping Americans set up businesses and corporations abroad and, as well, specifically, decades of experience doing business in Belize.
Joel will be joining us as a presenter for our Retire Overseas Conference taking place in Orlando, Florida, Sept. 13–16, along with other key Belize contacts. Belize will be one of the 21 countries featured throughout the program. It’d be an ideal opportunity to talk through your plan in person.
Managing A Rental Investment Property In Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
“Kathleen, I’m writing to both you and Lief.
“I’ve been following you guys since your International Living days, and I tip my hat to your incredible talents and the success of Live and Invest Overseas.
“I live in Boquete, Panama, and have picked up properties in Ambergris Caye, Belize, and Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic.
“I am trying to get a handle on the property management fees in Las Terrenas, and I’m finding that property managers size you up (profiling) and charge you whatever they can get away with.
“I am seeing fees anywhere from 10% to 25% on rental fees and US$80 to US$400 per month for routine basic management. There is a slow season here that coincides with the change of seasons in North America. The property managers here know this and have made routine basic management their income stream and profit center, with a far subordinate concern for procuring tenants (owner suffers).
“My question is: What are fair market fees for percentage on rental fees and also routine basic management in Las Terrenas? I know you are busy, but I would very much appreciate your thoughts on the above U.S. dollar amounts.
“On an unrelated issue, when is the next time that you are taking a group to preview Los Islotes. Let me know, as I will try to shake loose and preview with that group (easy for me as I live in Boquete).
–Richard E., Panama
You have to consider the fee in the context of what it includes. Rental management can be structured a number of different ways.
Short-term rental management fees can reasonably range from 15% to 25% depending on the level of service, the market, and the location of the property.
I’ve heard of at least one agency in Las Terrenas charging 10% for short-term rental management. I’d say that’s too little. Ten percent is what you should pay for long-term management, which requires much less effort.
Property management fees can be included in the rental management fee, meaning a bigger percentage. We’ve paid as much as 35% for apartments in Paris, including rental management, property management, and cleaning.
The monthly property management fee varies, as well, again, depending on what is included in the service. If cleaning, maintenance, and simple repairs are included, then the fee is higher. If all the property manager is doing is paying your bills and checking on the property when it isn’t rented, then the fee should be minimal.
Remember that property and rental management are both time- and labor-intensive, low-margin businesses. Frankly, when I find a good rental manager, I’m happy to pay at the highest end of the market and sometimes even more. A good rental manager is the key to success with a rental investment… and good ones are very hard to find.