Harriet Cochran wrote recently at PVMirror about her recent attendance at the NAR convention:
Recently a group of local realtors in Ampi* attended the NAR or National Association of Realtors convention in San Diego, California. This meeting gave us the opportunity to meet and talk to realtors in the rest of North America. While the NAR is USA based, there is always a large international presence of Canadian and Mexican realtors.
This year we were told that attendance was down from 35,000 participants to 19,000 and the number of vendors offering real-estate related products had 400 booths instead of a normal 800. These figures meant at least a 50% decrease in participation in the single largest real estate event for professionals in the United States.
Those are huge drops in attendance and participation and are telling on the state of the real estate markets in the USA.
All agents, once meeting us and realizing we were from Mexico, asked us how safe it was “back home.” Fear of health and safety, made it difficult for the agents to even care if we have good news about great values for sale in our market. The amount of misinformation spread in the media coverage about Mexico, seemed to be the only information the average agent in the conference had in his memory bank. These agents certainly have been busy with their own problems, and another country’s problems are not a priority to them at this moment.
Until we can overcome the fear of going to Mexico, USA and Canadian agents will not be interested in talking about our real estate market. They will not appreciate our property prices are not volatile. They will not care we do not have highly leveraged mortgages with borrowers paying little or no down payments. Our 10% appreciation each year for the past 10 years, with 20% in 2004 and 2005, doesn’t mean anything when fear of the swine flu or drug wars and murder is in one’s head.
Very good points, and what the local real estate industry should be concentrating on in getting the word out on how things really are in Vallarta. The “fear” of going to Mexico is the market’s biggest obstacle to overcome. What makes it most difficult is that, at least for Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, it is unwarranted. But in this case, perception is reality, and that’s what needs to be dealt with.
For the near future, we need to network and make personal contact as often as possible with agents from the USA and Canada. We need to invest time in writing blogs, sending newsletters, and using social networks. We need to present in as many ways as possible, the other side of the news to our clients and friends of what is happening in Mexican real estate. We want them to appreciate quality of life we have.
Its good to hear a local Realtor saying this. This is what the local real estate association should be concentrating on, trying to overcome the negative reports generated about Mexico. They should begin a campaign involving blogging and social networking efforts to get the real story out, involving testimonials from the many American and Canadian homeowners that truly enjoy their lifestyle in Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.
Read Harriet’s full report here.