It’s time for an update regarding the goings-on of Gary and Linda’s Eagle and Condor Internacional–our real-estate business–Pro-Ecuador.com, our tour business and our vacation rental business.
Just tonight, two of our clients who recently came to Cotacachi walked up to me on the street and said, “Is it true that you are going to shut down your website? Oh, I hope not.”
Well, rest assured, we are not going to shut down our website. In fact, we are continually working to improve the service the site provides. Linda is getting so prolific in her writing, and enjoying it so much, that it would be out of the question to close it down.
But some significant changes have been made, and more are in the air. One of our intentions for the website is to make it more interactive, with greater opportunities for readers to contribute. We also want to offer more advertising opportunities to people who want to reach our mailing list which now numbers some 3,800 people. We are averaging around 1,000 hits per day on the website and blog.
OFFICES AND REAL ESTATE
Oct. 1st, we closed our office on Bolivar below the property registers office. We temporarily moved to a small office right beside Serendipity restaurant, but we closed that one on Dec. 30th. This was always part of the transition plan.
We have moved back to the way we originally sold real estate when we started—operating out of our house, and meeting people in restaurants.
This does not mean that we are leaving the real estate business, (at least not in this moment) only changing the form. We are no longer taking exclusive listings of Ecuadorian properties. It was too time consuming, and not profitable. But we are continuing to show a wide variety of properties from gated communities to farms to individual houses.
Interestingly enough, as soon as we made the decision to close the office, sales picked up quite dramatically. Go figure.
Blanca, who many of our readers have come to know, is no longer working for Eagle and Condor. As of January 1, she moved to the new position of General Manager of Primavera I condos, or as her new position is called in Spanish, “Generente Legal.”
I can tell you that she is quite proud of her new official status. It’s a good step up from Gary and Linda’s house cleaner, then condo and rental unit maintenance person, and super efficient go-fer. It means she will have more time for her family and to volunteer at UNORCAC, the local Indigenous organization.
Frankly, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see her some day take a major leadership role in this excellent organization. Blanca has a lot to offer the community.
One of the delights in our lives has been to see Blanca grow in ability and confidence in the years she has been working with us.
Stan continues with us as webmaster and is now our only employee.
Finally, after several years, we are no longer in the condo or housing rental business. We may continue to offer rentals on our site, but only as an advertising service, not as a rental agent. A recently arrived expat is exploring the possibility of assuming this function, so watch our website for an announcement.
In the meantime, you can contact us with rental questions, but if you don’t get an answer to your emails, you know the reason is that we have no one that we can send you to.
We are continuing our Introduction to Ecuador and Real Estate Tours, as we enjoy doing these tours, and they have been a nice source of income as well as an excellent service to our clients.
We currently have three-day tours scheduled beginning Feb. 20th and March 17th. In April, we are taking a group to Machu Picchu and in May we are returning to the U.S. for the marriage of one of my daughters. Yes, this is very exciting for me.
We are exploring possibilities to offer tours even when we are away. Watch the newsletter for announcements. Dale Oelrich has been at his home Alaska for the past two months, and will return on Feb. 1. At that time we will see where Dale is at regarding his work desires.
ECO-COMMUNITY AND OUR HOME
Many of you know that we have been working to create a small self-sustainable project on our land just outside of Cotacachi. That project continues to move ahead, however slowly. The first set of permissions has been granted from City Hall. Within two weeks, we should have the final approvals, at which time, we can begin work.
If you read my View from the Roof column in this issue, you can get the idea that we are all about getting out onto our land and getting our hands dirty planting and building.
We are looking for a few like-minded people to join us on seven lots as we set about to create a little community that will be self-sustainable in food and lively in Spirit. If you feel a nudge as you read this, contact us. We should have pricing in about a month, after we get our infrastructure cost studies complete.
So as you can see by the above, Linda and I are slowly pulling away from the work we have been doing, and are moving into a new and different phase of our lives. No one can tell the future, but as the saying goes, “If the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise….”
Stay tuned to www.pro-ecuador.com and Living in Ecuador blog for all the latest happenings. We appreciate your interest and your readership. Thank you.