How to Manage your Paris Apartment from Abroad?
In our previous post, we spoke about the challenges of finding reliable service providers for the renovation of your property in France, this is made more difficult if you are not there day to day and need to manage everything remotely.
This type of work goes beyond the framework of renovation and leads to several questions when it comes to the daily management of your holiday home or investment property when you live abroad.
How to Manage your Apartment from Abroad?How to avoid spending most of your holiday in France dealing with fixing issues that could have been anticipated earlier and cheaper? How to ensure you return to your apartment in the exact state you left it several months ago before you left? How to find the right local artisans and avoid any many pitfalls and scams, especially if you don’t speak French?
This is when your Property Manager comes in, Benoit Ochart an independent Exclusive Property Manager based in Paris shares what makes his company different and why he enjoys dealing with international clients.
Specialist Property Manager in Paris"In my mid 30's, I have been managing luxury apartments in Paris on behalf of international clients for several years. Most properties belong to American, European and French owners and I know each one like the back of my hand. I inspect them regularly to make sure that everything is running smoothly, coordinating regular maintenance checks and anticipating on potential issues or problems requiring repair.
Here's a few examples of the kind of work I carry out; change a worn out carpet or have a faulty thermostat replaced. Breakdowns of electrical household appliances are common, even more in low-traffic properties. I have to keep a sharp eye out to identify any unusual situation that could quickly deteriorate.
In Paris strange things can happen, I recently had to change a window that had been smashed by a 'suicidal' diving pigeon. And if you live in an older flat, you'll know that there can sometimes be issues with the lift.
I am happy to share my expertise in high-tech; update computers, negotiate internet/TV channel packages, or advise on mobile phone plans. In recent months, I had a few Mesh systems installed to improve / extend the Wi-Fi range in large apartments with thick walls.
My missions are diverse and require flexibility, a perfect knowledge of Paris, and above all a strong and reliable network of high-level partners in all types of trades. Here in Paris the best artisans cannot be found on the Internet, everything works through word-of-mouth and by recommendation.
I am also able to oversee larger projects, I am currently working on the renovation of an apartment (1,722 sq.ft) on the Ile Saint Louis in the heart of Paris. The American owner originally decorated in "Rocaille" style which typical from the Louis XV period. Fifteen years later he wants to change to a more contemporary style to the apartment.
My first task is to sell the antique furnishing of the apartment (the furniture, sculptures, paintings), then I contact craftsmen for estimates (upholsterer, marble specialist, wooden floor experts, plumbing, painting…). I negotiate prices and then submit their quotes to my client, indicating the most relevant choices, and highlighting the technical, financial and regulatory constraints. Once the work has began, I oversee each intervention and keep my client updated in real time.
Over the years, I have built strong relations with my clients. When they come to Paris, I take them to a local auction house, or to the antique dealers in the 7th quarter, or perhaps to the flea market of Saint Ouen. This market started in 1870, is the biggest in the world, it consists of a maze of streets and alleyways where it's easy to go around in circles for hours.
Sometimes they ask for the full "Parisian experience", off the tourist path, I always have good recommendations for restaurants, bakeries or bistros, the kind of places where locals go. And I try to keep up to date with the best exhibitions concerts, and events, adjusting to the clients preferences.
It's always a pleasure to see clients soaking up the atmosphere and gradually feel as they've adopted the city of light yet without the burden of the day-to-day issues.
There's always something new to do or discover in Paris, if you'd not sure just ask me, and remember that the Olympics are coming in 2024, allowing plenty of time to have everything arranged for you, your family or your own clients, right on time for Les Jeux."