Facilitating Mexico’s Highly Bureaucratic Home-Buying ProcessBy Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Tue, 02/22/2022 - 10:13
Q: Clikalia started operations in Mexico City at the beginning of last year. Did the company meet its regional objectives for the year?
A: Despite arriving amid a global pandemic, Mexico’s favorable macroeconomic conditions, such as historically low interest rates, facility of credit access from commercial banks and people in need of immediate liquidity, allowed Clikalia to meet and surpass its forecasted objectives. Overall, by the end of last year, the company had completed 500 transactions in sales and purchases, about 300 percent above what we had anticipated.
Q: With some months under its belt, has Clikalia found that it needs to alter its product to fit Mexico’s users?
A: One of the factors that Clikalia had to adapt to was the marketplace itself. Unlike in Spain, where 100 percent of our platform users are in-buyers, in Mexico, we had to incorporate a brokering aspect to properly understand the market. Localized knowledge and data provided by these sources allowed Clikalia to refine its solutions for those assets in high demand within the marketplace.
The most arduous challenge, however, was providing access to mortgage credit, which is a persistent hurdle for many would-be homebuyers in Mexico. In contrast to Spain, and the European Union, where credit access is relatively expedient and reliable, in Mexico, there are many barriers, starting with an approval from the bureau of financial institutions, which can often be a lengthy bureaucratic process. This is also withstanding the fact that a large portion of the Mexican population lack bank accounts, much less banking records and credit history. These cultural conditions forced Clikalia to adapt drastically, which is why the company quickly sought to form strategic alliances with domestic banks like SOC, Creditaria and other brokering companies so as to help us extend lines of credit to our clients.
Q: How has the acquisition of Inmho supplemented Clikalia’s desired horizontal expansion into property management?
A: Upon entering the property management market, it became clear that Clikalia needed a platform to connect with property owners on a daily basis and Inmoho’s acquisition provided that with natural facility. This horizontal market expansion includes Mexico, where Clikalia aims to use technology to introduce professionalism to an often informal and ambiguous market.
Q: What do end users most appreciate about your platform?
A: One of the principal reasons end-users choose Clikalia is tied directly to asset liquidity, which they can expect to receive in seven business days directly to their account. Our clients are always surprised with this value proposition and we have received very good feedback on this feature.
For our clients on the acquisition side, it can be very stressful knowing that they are about to pour in their life's savings, so they appreciate having someone hold their hand through such a bureaucratic process. Overall, it is about utilizing technology to educate our clients about credit access and their financial capacity, so that they can leverage this information to buy an asset they can afford to keep. This realization led to the introduction of posting monthly payments, which include administrative costs and are often overlooked by first-time buyers, thereby helping save time for our commercial counterparts and our clients alike.
Q: What are Clikalia’s objectives for 2022 and how will it be measuring its success?
A: The idea is to become Latin America’s favored one-stop digital real estate platform, which includes asset remodeling and transaction processing that helps us stay connected with our clients throughout the entire process. Moreover, while Mexico City remains an important market, Clikalia intends to break ground in Guadalajara where we believe our product model fits perfectly with the regional inventory and growing demand. Beyond Mexico, if we are able to perfect our product fit within the next few months, Clikalia will begin to explore the possibility of entering markets in Chile and Colombia.