“My tenant is saying the water heater is not working and the plumber wants to charge a fortune to replace it. Can you help?”

So went the conversation with an associate who is living in Australia for the moment. Her tenant in her house outside of Port Vila had reported that the gas water heater had broken down. He had a plumber look at it, and was told nobody had parts for it and it was too old to repair. The tenant and his family were not happy about the cold showers!

If you are a landlord living in the same town as your rental property this kind of thing is an annoyance, but not a hard thing to deal with. However in this situation the landlord is in another country.

Normally it would be handled by the Real Estate agent who arranged the rental. But as she is not renting it out through a middleman, she wanted to know if I could manage this problem on her behalf.

I advertise my Stand-In Concierge Service as your “Arms and Legs (& Brain) in Vanuatu” so it's logical she would have asked me if we would do it even though it's such a small job.

Sure we would.  First I checked to make sure the plumber was correct that the unit really was too old to repair.  Then we went to many sellers of similar size gas water heaters in Port Vila, took pictures, and sent her a list of about 8 retailers, brands, prices, and warrantys. She chose one. Then I contacted a plumber/gas fitter who was located nearby to her property (to minimise travel costs since the property is out of town) and had the unit professionally installed.

Even after paying our fees, she saved on the whole job, and has the peace of mind of a longer warranty period than that offered by the original plumber. And because I was here overseeing it, the fix all happened much faster than by her trying to do it remotely.

So? I hear you ask…

The insight I am hoping that you will gain here, is that there are HUNDREDS of opportunities to create a business in Vanuatu. Lots of times you can find a need and fill it. It doesn't have to be rocket science, and can be related to something you are familiar with.

So if/when you decide it's time to come to Vanuatu under the Citizenship By Investment programme, or on a Permanent Residency visa, get in touch.

And I would be remiss not to mention that if there's something that you want done in Vanuatu, you should consider this so it's done right the first time: https://lanceinvanuatu.com/stand-in-concierge-service/

Lance (your man with flip-flops on the ground) in Vanuatu

p.s. Although we don't have Winter as you know it, at this time of year the nights can get down to 20 C which most people here find is a bit on the uncomfortable side for a cold shower. Visitors from cold climes are not bothered by 20 C overnight – the days are around 26 C at present, which is delightful. But we locals are “soft” from warm days and balmy tropical nights.