Do you know Sarah Booth?
Sarah Booth is one amazing lady. I want to be just like her when I grow up. Many of you probably already know Sarah or have at least heard of her. And if you don't know her you’re going to want to meet her. Sarah has an infectious personality. She loves life and it shows. You can't help but happy and excited when you are with her. She is always the life of the party. I posed some questions to Sarah recently, the owner of Panama Holiday Homes www.panamaholidayhomes.com , and thought that I would share her story with you.
Sarah has traveled the world extensively... and has lived in: The Middle East, British Columbia Canada, South East Asia, Puerto Vallarta, Playa Del Carmen (Mexico) and now Panama.
Having a home base in Panama, it offers her a more convenient gateway to travel through South America and has already covered 2 countries there extensively. Upcoming trips include Venezuela and Colombia. With her trusty man on the ground in Panama City.. “Jose” taking care of transporting guests from the airport to their rental apartments, offering tours and anything else the guest or the apartment might need... Sarah is free to be a gypsy with a laptop, still providing speedy responses and great service, almost hourly online. After a couple years of extensively renovating the Panama City apartments and setting them up for executives (she includes computers and cell phones!)... She finds a new freedom to travel more while never compromising guest service. The internet is a wonderful thing... not to mention skype and blackberry! “Traveling, learning different cultures and languages is a truly inspiring lifestyle for me!”
Sarah immigrated to Canada from England in her early years, and in 1995, with $1,000 saved; she started her property management business in Whistler, ultimately responsible for 85 high end ski in /out condos and chalets
Her lifelong goal has always been to travel, so she figured out a way to do what she loved and earn a living at it. (Something others of us are still trying to figure out.) “.. With my Whistler business I was able to write off a lot of cool trips, usually involving software training, vacation rental conferences, training etc.” Her business became so successful that in 2001 she sold it to Resort Quest International and then took 2 years off to travel South East Asia (while returning to Whistler each summer to run her ultrasonic blind cleaning business out of her garage!). Upon her return, she settled in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where she lived for 2 years and created another small, personal rental business (which she still runs on line.. www.stayinpv.com and has an extensive repeat guest base as well) . She said she discovered Panama with an International Living Conference as a real estate investor, saw some great opportunities and made some investments and got busy renovating! Panama Holiday Homes now has six properties in Panama City and two casitas for rent on her property here in Coronado.
Sarah loves people, making friends all over the world. Perhaps that is why the motto for her business is so appropriate, SERVICE SERVICE SERVICE and EVERYONE DESERVES A WORLD CLASS GREETING. “Its the unparalleled and sincere guest service offered by Jose on site and myself, a phone call or email away, that sets us apart. Hence the high ratio of repeat and referral guest base, 80%. Sarah beams... “I often invite my city clients to my property in Coronado for a swim, lunch or a beer. My work IS my social life. I get to meet interesting people from all over the world. It’s awesome!”
In my observations Sarah seem to really love life and thrive on chaos, I asked her how she did it as a property management business seems to be a 24/7 type job. Her secret; humor, wine, friends and social life. “I am a high energy person, an entrepreneur... I love my work. That's the difference, if you love what you do it's not “work” its life!” But she says you also have to be flexible. She checks her emails hourly and often takes calls on Sundays. She carries her blackberry everywhere, even to the golf course and assists clients between shots! Her office is set up on her back deck here in Coronado and she makes time for an hourly cool off dip in her pool. She will rarely say no to social invites... even if it means checking emails and helping clients between midnight and 4am!
Though Sarah has never been married and does not have children she does have a world famous parrot named Pooper. (Pooper has her own Face book site!!) Pooper talks a lot and she’s the life of the party... She says Hola Pooper and Pretty Girl and does the world’s best car alarm routine! Her wolf whistles are enough to boost anyone’s confidence level!
Besides Pooper Sarah has a Panamanian family as her onsite caretakers...they are her family here who she loves dearly. Their 4 year old grandkids have adopted Sarah as grandma #2 (with the funny Spanish accent)
Life hasn't always been one big party for Sarah. Nothing has been easy or given to freely. Sarah has been married to her laptop and her backpack for many years now. But she says she chose this life and she loves it. “I don't know if you can have everything... I made some different choices. But when I travel, I prefer chicken buses and backpacks... as long as I know internet service is near!” I am also in the process of downsizing slightly and have placed a couple of Panama City properties for sale (www.panamarentalsbyowner.com)
Sarah is just one of many interesting expats living in the beach community. We are very glad to have her here and if you haven't had the pleasure of meeting her, say hello the next time you see her. I'm sure she will have a huge smile for you and a great story. Love ya Sarah!!!