Marcela Estrada
Director General
CREA
/
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Real Estate Consultant Targets Flexible Solutions

By Alicia Arizpe | Fri, 02/14/2020 - 17:15

Q: What added value does CREA offer the Mexican market?

A: What differentiates us is our approach to clients, which we manage in two ways. The first is by paying close attention to our customer’s needs to generate a work plan that provides them with added value. The second is through the constant generation of information that can support their decision-making process. We obtain this information through quarterly and annual reports on the real estate sector. For instance, we recently released a report on shopping malls that includes the current prices of real estate, new brands, projects under construction in the country and operating results of existing projects.

We perform comprehensive analysis of supply and demand. We collect this information in internal databases that allow us to generate valuable information for our clients. We also follow statistical data from major official sources such as the Ministry of Economy and INEGI.

We are also very active in social media to ensure close contact with our clients. We want to be coaches to our clients and our excellent service has allowed us to grow our market organically. Today we offer our services in countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia and Brazil.

Q: How has CREA changed its internal processes to address the new challenges the sector is facing?

A: The market became less dynamic in 2019 but we are investing in our internal processes to deal with this. We are investing in the development of internal processes concerning finances, processes, human capital and customer-oriented strategies. Developing these four points is key to becoming a solid business that can deal with the challenges the real estate sector faces.

Q: What are the main concerns your clients are facing in the current economic climate?

A: Clients need to know what is happening in the market in terms of demand for specific projects and if the market is ready for their project. Our clients are at the point in which they need to consider whether to continue investing or not. A preliminary study might cost them around MX$300,000 (US$15,000) but it might save them a significant amount down the line as projects can be valued at over MX$50 million (US$2.56 million).

Until 2019, we saw significant interest in the residential “plus” market but interest declined due to uncertainty. However, lower interest rates might make real estate a more attractive option than government bonds. We believe that the changes in financing strategies, for instance INFONAVIT’s new credit schemes that can be used by two people, might make the sector more dynamic in the lower and medium-income housing markets.

Q: Which geographical areas in Mexico are of interest to CREA?

A: Mexico City continues to have the largest number of opportunities and projects. Other than that, tourism continues to be a strong pillar of Mexico’s economy, with the US being its main contributor in terms of visitors with 55 percent of all foreign arrivals to the country. We are also increasingly receiving tourists from South America. Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos continue to be the strongest tourism destinations in Mexico but we are also seeing an increase in medical tourism across the northern border.

We see significant potential in Merida. Although that market is already being exploited, it still has a lot to give. Merida has many advantages, including its safety and its recent recognition as a creative city by UNESCO. We believe that the southeast of the country also has significant potential. Another attractive region is Central and South America. For instance, in 2019, we balanced our limited results in Mexico with new projects in Guatemala and Honduras.

Q: How are you helping companies coming to Mexico?

A: We have helped several major brands, such as Inditex, to enter Mexico. We study the brand, its target market, the profile of its consumers and the exposition the brand requires to help it position in the country. We also conduct comprehensive analyses of locations to determine which are most appropriate for companies.

Q: What new services is the company implementing?

A: Before 2020, we focused on market and financial studies but this year, we are introducing appraisal and product validation services. We analyze our client’s projects and determine their viability and how to improve their chances of success. We also analyze existing businesses to identify areas of improvement. We also perform studies that analyze the best use of land to determine what will be the best use of specific locations considering their surroundings.

 

CREA is a consultancy firm with over 15 years’ experience in the Mexican real estate market. The company offers market intelligence and financial analysis for local companies wanting to expand their market and foreign investors interested in Mexico

Photo by:   MBR
Alicia Arizpe Alicia Arizpe Senior Writer