Joanne Cimini: The Face Behind PV Residences

By John McCloud

For most of her life, Joanne Cimini had no interest in visiting, let alone living in, Mexico. But while on a trip to Florida in the early 2000s, the owner of local real estate company PV Residences met two brothers who told her how much they loved Puerto Vallarta, returning to it regularly. Intrigued, on her next vacation she headed to the Bay of Banderas to find out why they were so enamored. It didn’t take her long to find out.

“The first time I was here, I said I’d like to live here some day,” she recalls during a casual interview over lunch in El Sofa Café, her favorite hangout. “In 2007 I moved down.”

The decision to move coincided with the retirement of noted sculptor Charles Parks, whose business she had been marketing and administering since earning a belated college degree in Liberal Arts and Art History in 2002. Prior to that she had worked in marketing for a pharmaceuticals company in the Philadelphia suburbs, where she was born and raised.

During her initial period in Vallarta, Joanne worked in sales and rentals for two established real estate firms. Though she had earned a real estate salespersons license, when she worked for a real estate investment company, it was primarily for property management duties included in the job description. “I never sold real estate in the States,” she says. But she soon discovered she greatly enjoyed the field, with its opportunities to meet new people, explore the city and view the insides of a wide variety of Bahia de Banderas homes. After two years she went out on her own.

Today the resident of Colonia Emiliano Zapata has exclusive listings for properties ringing the bay from Boca de Tomatlán in the south to Punta de Mita in the north. Though the majority of her properties are located in the heart of town from Conchas Chinas through 5 de Diciembre, she notes she has listings in the Hotel Zone, the Marina, Sayulita and San Pancho and even represents a home on the beach in Bucerias. “I have three long-term rentals in La Cruz that are surprisingly inexpensive,” she adds, “and a somewhat funky but very charming place in Boca that also has low rent.”

While PV Residences specializes in vacation, seasonal and long-term rentals at all price points, Joanne emphasizes that she also does sales. “I met with two prospective clients in Nuevo Vallarta yesterday,” she remarks during the El Sofa interview. “One is a rental and one is for sale. They’re both extremely nice. I was impressed.” She does not, however, typically handle property management functions, despite her background. “I will do it, but only for clients I’m very comfortable with. Property management is very demanding, and mostly I’d rather leave that to someone else.”

One of the perks of her job, Joanne continues, is the chance to see the many different kitchens of Vallarta homes and condos, from basic Mexican-style apartments with little more than a refrigerator and two-burner stove-top to grand villas overlooking the bay. “With my background in art – I often did the patinas for many of Charles’ fiberglass models – and at one point in my life, I designed and sold kitchens,” she acknowledges.

When asked to identify what distinguishes PV Residences from other real estate agencies, Joanne pauses to consider before responding. After a few moments she replies, “I really pay attention to what people want. I don’t try to push them into taking a place that doesn’t suit them. I try to discover what the customer’s personal needs are and find a fit for that. I give all my clients, renters and owners, personal attention. I like to take the time to meet and talk with them, not just for business reasons but to get to know them as people. My slogan on my new business cards is, ‘You’re in good hands with PV Residences.’

Joanne herself lives on a block in the northeast corner of Emiliano Zapata that’s more than 80 percent Mexican, and you can frequently find her having breakfast or lunch a few doors down the street at the popular Mi Café. You’ll also often find her chatting with El Sofa owner, Amaranta Alcala or other friends while catching up on work or correspondence on her netbook and enjoying what she calls “the best coffee in town.” You might also run into her at Pilates class at Yoga Vallarta on Basilio Badillo or stopping for a fresh agua coco at the curbside stand at the corner of Aquiles Serdan and Ignacio Vallarta. Or better yet, you can call her and arrange an appointment for her to show you your next home or apartment.

Joanne Cimini