Sharing experiences and best practises is a key element in professional growth. So, in a moment so unique that the market is living, UCI Portugal brings you the testimony of Luís Romão from All Residence, a real estate partner specialized in international buyers.
UCI: Corona virus imposed significant changes to everyone’s life. What has changed in the way you do business?
LR: This question is very technical since it has to do with the virtual tools that we need to use to continue promoting our products and interact with our customers.
So, we are now more aware of the importance of these digital and virtual tools and platforms that allow us to work remotely.
In our market, which works with a very significant percentage of customers who live in other countries or in other areas of our country, it was already a certainty that we were unable to operate in such a global world without these mechanisms but now they are absolutely essential.
UCI: What was the impact of this situation for the international buyers and their willingness to invest in Algarve’s real estate market?
LR: The impact was immense, considering customers’ lack of mobility and assuming that no one buys a property without seeing it.
We felt the retraction of various customers who decided to postpone their decisions but in customers who had already assumed the intention to buy, the processes were maintained, and we are in the finalization phase.
I think the problem here is more logistical and, in some percentage, the investing customers, who will wait to see which trend prices will follow and try to buy better.
There are many doubts and we see economists defending the idea that Covid-19 will have the same impact on the real estate sector that had the crisis of 2008 and we have other experts defending the idea that after this more complicated phase, we will have some resumes that will balance the market.
I do not intend to do futurology but even if the impact is very significant, our area in particular (Algarve) will always have a greater balance due to its characteristics and a very international market.
UCI: What are you doing to prepare your business for the after this current situation?
LR: Our action after this crisis will not differ much from what we were already doing and once again I speak of investing in digital tools that can bring us closer to customers and provide a service of proximity and excellence. It was in this sustained way that we grew and that allows us to regularly do several deals with the same clients. One satisfied client represents several clients.
Today we have a very diversified offer with a wide portfolio of new or under construction properties, close to the sea or with a sea view that is the most sought-after product by international customers. I think we are well positioned to do our part to fight the problem.
UCI: Do you think that, after this, the real estate market will be the same? What will change for the international byers?
LR: I am not naive enough to believe that after this everything will be the same! However, I think that the recovery of our market in Algarve will be faster than anywhere else in the country.
The reasons that lead thousands of people from different parts of the world to Algarve and buy properties here will not disappear and at most they may even be able to assert themselves even more if the international panorama is worse than ours.
After the crisis, we will continue to welcome people, we will continue to have the same climate and geography, the same coast and the same gastronomy. Everything will be the same as yesterday. The worst that can happen is that prices go down and the customer can buy better or more.