COBBLESTONE HISTORY PHASE 1: A Step Into The Unknown
The story of Cobblestone is an exciting tale of how a young couple accidentally turned their passion for Paris into full time business that now manages more than 20 apartments and employs a staff of 20 people.
In 2007, Ryan and Jennifer, a Canadian-American couple, purchased a small studio in the 11th Arrondissement near Republique in the hopes of having a little Parisian getaway and to perhaps make a little extra income by offering it as a vacation rental.
The plan worked, and that studio now known as STUDIO LA FONTAINE, was rented at nearly 100% for the entire time that they were lucky enough to be the owners of it. So often was it booked and demand so high, that they needed to schedule their own visits months in advance.
Happily, in ten years of ownership, the rent has covered all of the operational costs and it continues to do so. They required no management company to achieve this goal and they ran a very profitable and most importantly, a very enjoyable, business during that time.
COBBLESTONE HISTORY PHASE 2: The Idea Catches On.
Then phase two began. One year after our purchase, a friend and owner of a one bedroom apartment in the Marais, found himself quite dissatisfied with his French rental agency. Seeing that we were doing quite well on our own, he asked us to try managing it for him. We accepted, and suddenly, we found ourselves in the vacation rental business and Cobblestone Paris Rentals was born. Our friend’s apartment became a major success and it has been fully rented by short term clients since it came became one of the Cobblestone apartments. The owner is thrilled as he has no concern that his apartment is being properly looked after. He is more than pleased to accept his monthly fund transfers that exceed his monthly expenses by a wide margin.
Through word of mouth, more owners came to us in the hopes that we could do the same for them and protect them from the unscrupulous agencies that were unable to provide consistent results or a sense of comfort to them. My wife, Jennifer, and I handle every aspect of the daily operations, and as new owners joined us, their bookings went from virtually negligible to consistent and profitable.
CHOOSING YOUR FORMAT: Short-Term or Long-Term Rentals?
One question you might be asking yourself. Should you rent your apartment as a short term or a long term rental ? Many owners were contemplating this course before choosing to join Cobblestone and to their great relief, many of them decided to try the short term market. I cannot state enthusiastically enough why a taking a long term tenant may not be to your benefit and may have unintended consequences.
Firstly, a long term renter prohibits you from doing one of the things you most wanted to do when you purchased your Paris “pied a terre”, which is to enjoy your apartment and the city that you love when you have the time to come. Besides not being able to visit it yourself, the apartment can be damaged by uncaring tenants or worse, occupied by a non-paying renter which may be nearly impossible to evict. Short term rental, if done properly, can be the solution to both these problems. Allowing you the opportunity to cover your expenses, create a positive cash flow, maintain the upkeep of your property, and visit whenever you wish. Finally, the difference in income between these two types of rental cannot be overstated. As an example, a furnished studio apartment of 20 square meters can be rented long term (3-12 months) for approximately 900 EUR/Month. The same apartment, rented on a short term basis (3-7 nights) can earn approximately 3000 EUR/month. This is not a figure that can be easily ignored.
THE COBBLESTONE DIFFERENCE: Your Partner in Paris
Cobblestone partners with owners that have goals that are similar to ours. We want to keep our calendars full by providing excellent apartments, central locations, great service, and reasonable rates. When choosing Cobblestone, Cobblestone will also determine if your apartment is right for our agency and if your goals are similar to ours. We will be your partner in Paris and with your great apartment and our great services, we can make many Parisian dreams come true.
Cobblestone Paris Rentals is a small company that deals with excellent properties that offer everything that a traveler is looking for and more. It should be noted that the apartments are only a part of the equation of our success. In combination with our lovely apartments, it is our quick responses, friendliness, easy to use website, and exacting professionalism that gives tourists the confidence to stay at a Cobblestone apartment.
CURRENT OWNER COMMENTS: La Charme du Marais.
I am the owner of La Charme du Marais and I purchased this Parisian apartment in 2007.
Cobblestone Paris were introduced to me in March 2011, they have successfully rented out my apartment since.
I can honestly say I am delighted with the service they provide. Everything is taken care of for me. I live in Scotland and need an Agency I can rely upon and trust to not only rent out my apartment but to look after and maintain it for me too. Cobblestone have all the necessary contacts in their team to allow this to happen.
Cobblestone rented out my apartment immediately, they encouraged feedback from the Clients and acted on what was considered to be worthwhile and deemed to be profitable long term. I trusted them to make some changes and add some furniture and light fittings to the apartment with no regrets.
I always get an immediate or extremely prompt response from Ryan or Jennifer directly, which is always reassuring.
I shall soon be approaching my second year of business with them and have been given positive feedback from Cobblestone already with regards to the year ahead.
Prior to meeting with Cobblestone Paris, I did actually approach at least three other Agencies, but with no success, there was a language barrier of course, but there also seemed to be many excuses given to me by them, which had no real validity, this prevented progress massively. The situation grew very frustrating, and so for at least 3 years, my apartment was empty and unused, it all seemed pretty hopeless and disheartening until I met Cobblestone.
I hope the above information is useful to you.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss anything further.
F.Z. Owner of La Charme du Marais.
THE COBBLESTONE DIFFERENCE: Not All Apartments Make The Cut
We try very hard to maintain a select supply of very nice apartments instead of allowing low quality and unattractive apartments to mar the Cobblestone website and reputation.
Other agencies will accept any and all apartments, without regard to quality, in the hopes of making a little money on many apartments instead of focusing their efforts on a few great apartments.
I believe that this point may be the most interesting to you. Because Cobblestone is more selective, we will focus all of our attention on keeping our selected apartments fully rented month after month. Our success depends on maintaining a smaller and more select list of units. This is a formula that has produced consistently satisfied owners and very happy renters.
THE COBBLESTONE DIFFERENCE: Just like You Would Do It Yourself
Our small list of properties allows us to do something that many agencies cannot. That is to treat your apartment as if it were our own. We will care for your property, and your financial success, because it will be intricately connected with our own success and reputation. We will handle every aspect of your apartment’s daily operation, and you will be able to rest comfortably in the knowledge that someone as conscientious as you is acting in your best interest, 24 hours a day, 365 Days a year. Our goal is to ensure that you never have to reach into your pocket to cover any apartment expense. Commonly we are able to bring in enough rental income to cover all your monthly expenses and leave you with a decent cash income. Repairs will be organized by us and deducted from rental income, you will never receive a bill or invoice for additional funds, unless the work is enormous in scope.
Simply, larger agencies cannot keep all of their apartments consistently occupied or well maintained because this requires focus and responsiveness to market fluctuations, and their size is a major barrier to achieving this goal. They are more than happy to leave your apartment mostly vacant because they earn enough income from other apartments to comfortably neglect those that may need additional attention.
CURRENT OWNER COMMENTS: Studio en Isle
Dear Future Cobblestone Owner,
Ryan and Jennifer from Cobblestone Paris have asked me to share some comments about their special agency. I am happy to oblige and to be able to relate my own experience with Cobblestone to you.
My husband and I own a studio on the Ile St Louis ( Studio en Isle ), which we managed ourselves for over 2 years before we begrudgingly were forced to leave Paris due to a work transfer. This left us with the daunting task of finding an agency to manage our beloved gem on the Ile St Louis that would take care of our property, and ensure that we would make the same kind of money we knew we were capable of making on our own.
I was referred to Cobblestone by a client of mine. Having worked in Paris for 5 years in the real estate market, I was all too aware of the scare options out there for trustworthy, effective, and financially sustainable property letting agencies. One of my buyers – a very skeptical and business-minded lady – found Jennifer somehow, and was more than pleased with the way her apartment had been handled, the return she was getting, and the proactive responsiveness she got with Cobblestone.
I decided to give them a try myself – and while it was emotionally very difficult for us to hand over our business to Cobblestone – we are happy we did, for the following reasons:
Financially lucrative: Financially, on an annual basis we have done better through Cobblestone over the last year and 3 months than we were able to do on our own. We were worried that the fees involved in paying an agency would quickly dilute our take home earnings. This has not been the case with Cobblestone since they are experts in achieving a high occupancy rate and maximizing monthly profits. An example of maximizing monthly profits is that our studio is 27m2, and we had it sleeping only 2. Through some improvements and small investments suggested by Cobblestone, they were able to increase the sleeping capacity to 4, and thus increase our monthly revenues. We were very skeptical about this at first, but the proof has been in our revenues.
Little involvement: Jenni and Ryan are extremely proactive, and able to handle anything that happens to the apartment on their own, without our involvement. My husband and I feel that our apartment is in good hands, and take comfort in knowing that whatever trouble may arise in terms of maintenance, repairs or renovation, Jenni and Ryan are on the ball.
Transparent and detailed reporting: We are very careful, business minded people, and study each monthly income statement very carefully. Cobblestone is very meticulous in their reports, and we are able to see who rents our place, for how long, revenues associated, expenses, etc. When we have questions, Cobblestone is quick to reply and work out whatever discrepancy there may be. Many French agencies are not pro-active, or even reactive. We feel that we can trust Cobblestone wholeheartedly with our very dear and special investment.
Sustainable and mutually beneficial business model: The way that Cobblestone functions is such that they make money if we make money. It is in our best interest for Jennifer and Ryan to take home a nice sum from the Studio each month, because that means that, in turn, we have made money also – which is the most important thing for us.
Since working with Cobblestone, I have referred their services to many of my own very dear and loyal clients in the real estate market. Those who have chosen to work with Cobblestone have been more than happy to have done so. I am also a large advocate for Cobblestone on the tenant side – having had excellent feedback from friends and family who have stayed in Cobblestone apartments.
As two very meticulous people, who have a deep connection to Paris, to our apartment, and to the Paris property market, I could not recommend Cobblestone highly enough if you are looking for an honest and effective Property Management Company for short term lettings.
If you have any questions or would like to chat further about our experience, I would be happy to oblige.
J.A Owner of Studio en Isle.
THE COBBLESTONE DIFFERENCE: Keeping The Client Happy
We are professional travelers ourselves and we know what clients want. The majority of our renters are from Canada, USA, and Australia and this requires very specific operating methods.
We know exactly what it takes to satisfy our clients and this is a major difference between Cobblestone and French agencies.
WE KNOW WHAT CLIENTS EXPECT:
» Reasonable prices and good quality.» Emails to be answered quickly and completely.» Friendly and personalized exchanges.» Easy ONLINE booking procedures.» Clean apartments stocked with basic cooking items.» All Inclusive price with no hidden fees.
Customer Service is a culturally relative concept and not every country thinks of it in the same way. The assumption that as a customer, you will be treated the same in another country as you are at home is setting yourself up for bitter disappointment. We treat customers as they expect to be treated, and this does not go unnoticed.
France is a wonderful country, known for its gastronomy, culture, history, and its Joie De Vivre. However, it is not known for its customer service and if you choose a French agency, Western renters will think twice before booking your apartment.
THE COBBLESTONE DIFFERENCE: Vacant Nights Are Bad For Everyone
Our rental success speaks for itself, as we have been able to keep our properties rented at 85% and above, month after month.
The calendars on our website are accurate and they show that most of our apartments are fully booked for the next three months and the owners of these apartments can visit any time to see that once again, their income is secured. We required no assistance to achieve this level of success, we do not take reservations from other agencies and we work alone to ensure that the customer experience is not marred by different company methods, policies, and attitudes.
CURRENT OWNER COMMENTS: La Fleur du Bastille
To Whom It May Concern,
I have had an association with Cobblestone, Ryan, and Jennifer for a number of years and I would like to vouch for their integrity and
efficiency in managing my studio apartment in the Bastille area.
Although I am quite adept at managing properties there are some challenges in managing one’s own property if that is not your primary business that Cobblestone have proven that they could transcend. Not only do they have the ability to respond to trends in the market, they can constantly tweak prices or their presentation based on the feedback they get from their guests.
I trust their instinct in assessing how many people the property can sleep comfortably and all aspects of the property down to the decor and comfort of the quests. Although I was a bit worried about the expenditure that was requested in upgrading some of the furniture, the result was an higher price and higher occupation rate that could be achieved and I am not exaggerating if I say that this is the best property investment I have.
D.D. Owner of La Fleur du Bastille.
THE COBBLESTONE DIFFERENCE: More EUROS In Your Pocket.
f your apartment is right for Cobblestone, we want you to join us! Choosing the right agency is a big decision, and we want it to be easy for you. If you decide to offer your apartment through Cobblestone, we will offer you a low introductory commission rate of 19% for one year. This is plenty of time for you to see that with the right apartment, Cobblestone is as good as our reputation. We will show you that we can keep your apartment booked, maintained in good repair, and your mortgage paid.
After the introductory period, our commission will still be very low! Over the next 4 years, it will adjust to 23% of Total Rent + low cleaning and greeting costs which are below the industry average and do not fluctuate based on holidays or weekends. I hope that your research will allow you to see that our fees are a bargain when compared to market norms (25-40% of Rent) and our service is much more personalized than that which is provided by other agencies. Our success rate is unmatched when put beside the larger companies that are not able to focus on the needs of the individual property or owner.
There is much more to say and I am certain that you will have many questions. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss our possible collaboration further.
I hope this information has been helpful.
Ryan & Jennifer, Founders of Cobblestone Paris Rentals.
Cobblestone Paris Rentals