1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Ilse was born in Washington state, and her younger sister, who was born in Switzerland just 1.5 later, now stands by her side as a trusted business partner. Their childhood was spent in Switzerland and Germany, where their father began building the first of many chalet style homes. This exposure ignited a love for cabin building and handmade wood furniture in Ilse, a passion she carries to this day. Returning to the United States for their education, both sisters pursued degrees in Biological Sciences at university. Despite her scientific studies, Ilse's artistic inclinations were never far behind. In addition to wood-working, she had a love for photography and textiles, with a particular fondness for sewing and embroidery. This love for textiles was a legacy passed down from her grandmother, a skilled seamstress, and her mother, a fashion enthusiast.
2. How did you land in Sayulita?
Ilse’s interests also extended to language and climate. She had a profound love for travel & foreign cultures, for the Spanish language & long hot summers. This led her to move to Sayulita in 2003 with her two young sons. There, they immersed themselves in the local culture, learning the language, and embracing the vibrant community. This rich tapestry of experiences has shaped her into the dynamic and multi-faceted business woman she is today.
3. How long have you lived in Sayulita? What is your favorite part?
Ilse has been living in Sayulita as a local for 20 years. For most of these years, African dance was a serious hobby. She danced several days per week for years, organized dance classes, coordinated teaching travel and hosted musicians. The ocean is, of course, also a great love. It is an interface with nature that is both surprising and exhilarating.
4. What was the inspiration to start this business?
Ilse's start in property management was given to her by a business owner who saw her potential to excel. And excel she did, transforming an existing business into a thriving enterprise over 15 years, expanding its portfolio to nearly 15 properties. Ilse managed countless building projects over the years, including building perimeter walls, remodeling homes from scratch into stunning vacation rentals, and cultivating tropical gardens. Her artistic flair was evident in the furnishings, which were her own designs, including traditional wrought iron work, wooden tables & chairs, and cushions she sewed from local Mexican woven textiles to complement her commissioned wooden couches. It is also seen in her diverse gardens so prolific that wild birdlife settles there.
Several years ago, her sister Jennifer joined her, bringing a fresh perspective to the business. With a background in molecular biology and having lived and worked in Germany, Jennifer brings a unique set of skills to the table. She assumed responsibility for booking and advertising, and there expresses her appreciation of technology and analysis. This has proven instrumental in driving the business forward, complementing Ilse's creative and hands-on approach to property management. Together, they form a formidable team, each bringing their unique strengths to the table.
5. What services do you offer?
The services offered by Casas de Primavera are comprehensive. They cover everything from property care and improvements to simple accounting and photography. The team also handles listing setup, guest interaction, and price determination, ensuring a seamless experience for property owners and guests alike. Casas de Primavera specializes in multi-level and/or multi-unit vacation rentals exclusively in Sayulita. The properties under their care are not just buildings, but lush paradises, with large pools and extensive and diverse gardens.
6. Tell me a bit about your background with this industry?
Ilse's background in property management is rooted in her early experiences with her German father. While living in the US, she had the opportunity to participate in the construction of chalet-style homes. This hands-on experience not only provided her with an understanding of the building process but also ignited a keen interest in the quality and design of furniture. These formative experiences laid the foundation for her future career in property management, where she combines her practical knowledge of building with her passion for design to create beautiful and comfortable spaces for her clients.
7. How long has your business been in operation?
Ilse has owned and operated Casas de Primavera Property Management in Sayulita since 2006, so, going on 20 years. The base of operations for Casas de Primavera is located at Galeria Primavera, which is on the Plaza, directly across from El Espresso on Ave Revolućion.
8. What does your business offer that separates it from the rest?
Ilse's dedication is reflected in her long-standing relationships with homeowners, maintaining partnerships for 10 to 15 years. Long and stable relationships are important to her and are also reflected in her decade-long partnerships with her staff. Reviews authored by repeat guests and homeowners testify to the extraordinary longevity of relationships at Casas de Primavera.
Ilse's commitment is threefold: to her staff's welfare, to the security of the homes and guests under her care, and to maintaining a clean and beautiful environment for her properties. This uncompromising dedication ensures that every property is not just managed, but nurtured and enhanced, creating a safe and aesthetic environment for guests.
The enduring success of Casas de Primavera is attributed to its commitment to long-term relationships, staff welfare, robust house security, meticulous garden and pool maintenance, and the unique combination of Ilse and Jennifer's creative and hands-on property management with a data-driven approach to listing management. This distinctive blend of elements sets Casas de Primavera apart in the property management landscape.
What are your future plans for your business? Any new goals?
Since the early days of Casas de Primavera, Ilse has elected to decrease the number of homes in her care. Looking ahead, Casas de Primavera plans to leverage small size and local roots to provide exceptional property management services in Sayulita. This enables them to foster strong relationships with homeowners and guests. This approach underscores their dedication to quality over quantity, prioritizing highest standards of care and to creating unique, tropical experiences for guests. The company plans to invest in its team, providing a work environment that fosters growth, camaraderie, and dedication.
9. Can you share a happy memory with a client?
One memorable instance that stands out is when a homeowner was distressed about a tall building being constructed on the neighboring lot, which would impinge on privacy. Ilse, with her visionary approach, assured him that there were solutions to regaining privacy. She proposed constructing a tall perimeter barrier to block the view onto his property, beautifying it with climbing, flowering plants and vines. Additionally, she suggested building out the rooftop deck to gain a widened and bird's eye view. The implementation of these ideas not only restored the property’s privacy, but also added an unobstructed ocean view and significantly increased the outdoor spaces for guest entertainment. The property now has privacy, as well as an additional outdoor space and amenities where guests can eat and drink alfresco while enjoying the rooftop's stunning view. This transformation brought immense relief and satisfaction to the homeowner, making it a cherished memory for Ilse.
10. Is there anything special that you want to share?
Ilse and Jennifer are both committed to unlocking the full rental potential of each home. Jennifer views every listing as a living project, continually adapting based on guest feedback. Her goal is to garner a review from every guest, using this feedback to consistently update listings and identify opportunities to improve guest experience. Her focus is not just on filling the properties, but on making them highly desirable.
Jennifer also documents each guest visit along with its associated details for subsequent analysis. This data-driven approach helps address persistent issues, fine-tune pricing strategies, and identify subtle relationships between property features or management activities and their influence on success or failure. This strategic approach ensures a continuous cycle of improvement and optimization.