Residential Real Estate with a Responsible, Social FocusBy Gabriela Mastache | Tue, 04/14/2020 - 15:48
Q: How does Global Businesses Inc generate added value for its investors?
A: We have a significant participation in the real estate sector and our main focus is on residential real estate. We work to generate value for our investors through three pillars: our prepared and qualified team that is able to solve any problem in any situation; the quality of our work in terms of design, structure, architectural planning and electrical installations; and our most important pillar, to always act according to the law. We do not skip any procedure or process, we obtain proper permits and our people work according to international safety standards, using equipment that is supplied by the company free of charge. We believe that the way in which you treat people is directly proportional to the quality of the product you generate.
Q: What elements do you need to consider to provide better housing options?
A: We have to develop projects in areas where there are adequate services for buildings, meaning water and electricity. A trend we saw in past years is that companies were focused on building mega developments in areas that did not have any infrastructure or basic services. It is our responsibility to ensure that our product can be supported by the surrounding infrastructure.
Q: How do you expect housing demand to evolve in the coming years?
A: There is an annual housing construction deficit in all social segments. This deficit has to be covered with quality housing, which means we have an opportunity to participate in the best market in the best moment. There will always be demand. Every year there are young people looking for housing, either for rent or for sale. However, the housing business model has changed. Previously, big real estate developers were in charge of growing urban areas. They bought land at very low prices and built low-quality urban developments. Cities no longer need nor support this type of urban expansion. What is now required are developments that support gentrification.
Q: From the private sector, what can be done to provide housing opportunities to a younger demographic?
A: Joint action between government, banks and developers is required. Development areas that include affordable housing are needed. It is true that housing prices have increased heavily because of low supply and very high demand. In this case, what could be done is to create development belts with certain characteristics that allow young people to access housing in a range of MX$1.5 million to MX$2 million (US$80,000-110,000) with preferential interest rates and lower credit commissions.
Q: How does the social aspect impact Global Businesses Inc’s projects?
A: Our land input totals around 100 lots per month. For every lot, we conduct a three-way analysis based on the project’s social and urban impact, its financial aspect and the impact of the construction project on the surrounding community. This last point refers to how neighbors will be impacted by improving the state of the streets, local parks or sidewalks. Every project we initiate has to have a positive impact on these three axes.
Q: What are Global Businesses Inc’s three most iconic projects?
A: All our projects are built following the highest quality standards, which means all of them are equally iconic. Some examples of our projects include Bartolache 1720 that, in addition to being located on an iconic street in the Del Valle neighborhood, is environmentally sustainable. For this project, we used green technologies that allow for a reduction in water and electricity consumption and limit heat transference between apartments and the exterior, which reduces the need for air-cooling devices or heaters.
Another project is Vertiz 1151, which is also an apartment building we are renting. We realized that people in Mexico City do not need large buildings but cozy spaces. This building has a water-accumulation system, solar panels and a turbine that generates energy for all common areas, hence reducing the building’s energy expenses. We are in the process of building another development in Vertiz 1304 with the same characteristics.
Q: What investment is Global Businesses Inc making to ensure the sustainability of its buildings?
A: We analyze all the available technologies. We are constantly researching the best practices of every country and we add these to our operations in Mexico. The problem we have come across is that importing these technologies can be somewhat complicated.
Some advances we have implemented are turbines that generate energy for buildings. These turbines are not that expensive, have an adequate size and mean that certain areas of the building do not need to depend on CFE for electricity. We tend to forget that at a global level, there has been significant development regarding sustainable construction materials. For instance, there are solar panels that can reduce electricity consumption in a house up to 25 percent. There are also technologies for windows that prevent heat exchange between the exterior and the interior of the building, maintaining the temperature on the inside at 21°C throughout the year. Materials like concrete and floors that are made of low-impact and ecologic materials are also available, which we always try to use.