Autumn 2018 - Things have changed!
We have always known that after-sales support for owners of property in another country is vital to ensure buyers enjoy a successful and satisfying experience. A key element of good after-sales is the ability to get things done...fixed, replaced, cleaned etc., we have been effective in doing just that for several years. We developed a group of trusted trades people and others who were mostly looking for extra work and this arrangement of getting ad-hoc jobs done has benefited everyone. This has changed dramatically in recent times.
Working people are now leaving Croatia in large numbers to find well paid jobs in the EU, particularly in Germany, Austria and Ireland. Effectively, all of "our people" are no longer available to us. It is also true that we cannot afford to pay them as much as they can earn abroad, incomes in Croatia simply cannot support that level of costs.
We are now left with a single option - in order to continue our support to our clients we must now approach an appropriate company to get anything done. No matter if it's for un-blocking a drain, fixing an electrical fault, garden work, even simple cleaning. This means we must pay call-out charges, job estimates are never free and there are usually waiting lists - not to mention VAT.
In summary: We continue to support owners in any way we can, we will continue to find the appropriate skilled people to do the jobs you need. The difference now is that the process will be more formal, obtaining a free quote is no longer an option and deposits will usually be required. The fact is, Croatia has caught up with the rest of the EU.
Maintenance, repairs and bigger works - taking care of your property.
Our support services are available for all your needs, from preparing for your visit, making small repairs or managing major projects.
1. Small repairs.
Beyond our regular cleaning and general upkeep work covered under our 'SleepEasy' programme. We offer ad-hoc small repairs and/or renewals as and when they become necessary. Of course, nothing gets done without your express approval. Such tasks as a dripping tap, a broken window, a stuck door/window lock, minor household electrical work, blown bulbs, leaky gutter etc. If you advise us of what you'd like done or we spot something which you agree needs to be fixed or replaced, we are happy to oblige at minimal cost. Indeed, if you are already a SleepEasy programme member, we'll do the work during our regular visits and thereby save fuel costs unless the problem is such that immediate attention is required.
2. Gardening work.
We undertake minor grass cutting and keeping driveways clear of weeds as part of our SleepEasy programme service. Gardening work beyond this will require us to employ people to cut bushes, trees, do some landscaping work, mowing, weeding etc. We will quote you for any work of this type and suggest the best way to get it done at minimum cost, you can leave it to us to organise the experts and heavy tools where this may be necessary. We have access to power mowers, power rotavators.. even tractors with heavy land clearing machinery. As always, we will not start any work without your express permission and agreement to do so.
3. Substantial repairs.
We are often asked to oversee works where tradesmen are required, recent jobs include replacing external doors/frames, replacing old windows with new, replacing roof tiles, breaking up old tiled surfaces in order to relay a waterproofing membrane, adding radiators to an existing system, repairing a fallen ceiling.... the list goes on.
In these cases, we work with you to devise a programme to address whatever work is necessary and provide you with a quotation from one of our local trusted trades companies. There's normally a small charge for this to reflect the need to transport the builders/engineers to your property, investigate the problem and provide a written quote. In many cases, the cost of the quotation is waived if we award the contract. In these cases, it is normal that we act as project overseers to keep a check on progress and ensure everything is kept 'in focus'. As always, we never commit to spend your money without clear instructions from you to do so.
4. Major projects.
We are not builders and, to date, prefer not to manage major projects unless we feel the work involved and associated risks are within our capabilities to control. To date, we have managed a complete roof replacement, a complete replacement of all windows and doors and a land clearance job. If you plan to undertake a major project, please feel free to contact us so that, together, we can decide if we can manage it for you, manage parts of it or find a local project manager.
5. Preparing for your, or your guests' visits.
We often provide a service which is aimed at making all the required preparations for your visits or those of your guests. If you are already a SleepEasy Programme subscriber then your property will already be clean and in a condition to receive your guests. In order to reduce your travelling baggage and make things easier for your arrival, we offer a number of activities to help you enjoy your time here in Croatia. These include providing towels and other linen, we'll start the fridge, switch on heating and/or hot water etc in readiness for your arrival, we'll do some shopping so the cupboard and fridge are not empty, we'll make sure there's wood for the barbeque...... If we know your date of arrival, we will schedule our normal visits to clean windows, wash and iron the bed linen and make sure everything is as good as it can be before you arrive. Airport pick-ups and drop-offs can also be arranged to suit.
Briefly, our property management activities are all aimed at meeting the needs of foreign owners by providing assurance that your property is being well cared for in your absence.