PORTUGAL - Real Estate & Construction
General Manager, Casaiberia
Paulo Lopes is a multi-talent Portuguese citizen born in Germany, he made his Master of Economics in Switzerland and studied law at the Lusófona in Lisbon. His experience in Real Estate started in 1994 in Germany contracting Portuguese Construction Builders for Projects like the Sony Center in Berlin and others. From 2006 on he was Project Manager for German and French Retail Companies on the Portuguese Market. Since than his activity was mostly concentrated in own company Casaiberia as CEO and Broker. He is since 2015 Docent at the European Academy of Real Estate certified by the German Broker Association IVD and active Member of several National and International Real Estate Associations like APEMIP, FIABCI, IVD, “The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World” and is a welcome guest on stage in several activities of the Portuguese IMPIC and other organizations because of his wide range of knowledge in this sector and his facility to speak in five languages fluently.
Casaiberia was founded in 2007, and right from the beginning we made it a priority to invest in technology. This step has helped us consistently improve the level of service we offer our clients, and better plan for future ventures. We make sure to carry out a regular analysis of the market, maintain strong community connections and, are continually looking to strengthen the strategies we use in both our traditional and digital marketing. As a company we operate with integrity; we adhere strictly to our ethical principles, and prioritise client satisfaction. This combination of factors has helped to distinguish us from other real estate firms operating within the same market. Casaiberia started off with just a small, first floor office. We didn’t open a public shop in the beginning in order to reduce our physical costs, and instead channeled these resources into growing as a company. This has translated in more recent years to an increased focus on strengthening our online presence. Thanks to these decisions, 35% of our leads come from our website, with much of the traffic we receive being organic traffic. We also have a strong, multilingual in-house and freelance team, which is incredibly important in this increasingly international industry. These factors, alongside our ability to adapt to an ever changing industry, have helped us maintain a strong position in the real estate market in Portugal.
As a company we have a wide range of skills and experience. We have individuals in our team with backgrounds in project management, investment consulting, engineering and architecture. We have also placed time and effort into assembling a strong administrative and commercial team, with a huge amount of combined experience in real estate. Whilst Casaiberia is a small company we have agents and staff from a variety of different countries. With this has come an appreciation for the diverse cultures of the clients who work with us, from both a personal and professional standpoint. When working with international clients, we understand the importance of exercising extra due diligence, and taking the time to understand their unique needs and requirements. This extra care enables us to achieve the best outcome for our customers in terms of both the properties we show them, and the service we provide. My family and I moved from Germany to Portugal in 2004, giving me first hand experience of relocating to Portugal with a family. This has also left me with a certain level of understanding of the situations those who move here from abroad go through. I can also rest in the knowledge that the effort is worth it for those who wish to embark on the very worthwhile adventure of moving to Portugal.
There are so many reasons more people are becoming interested in Portugal and its popularity is unlikely to slow down. Portugal consistently ranks highly in terms of safety and has a relatively low crime rate. The quality of life offered here is a huge pull for many of those looking to move from abroad. Portugal has also long been considered a safe haven in terms of investment, as we have not suffered to the same extent from spikes seen in other countries. One example of this is the situated observed during the 2008 crisis. Spain suffered a 60% loss in the value of real estate, whereas Portugal only saw a 30% drop. Prices have grown in Portugal over the past few years, due to an increase in the level of demand for property. When we first started out in the Portuguese real estate market, we mostly focused on German, Dutch, French, and Belgian clients. Today, thanks to Portugal’s growing popularity across the globe and various fiscal incentives put in place like the non-habitual resident tax scheme, people from all across the globe are becoming interested in Portugal. In the past few years we have noted an increasing number of clients coming from the US, Canada, and South Africa. Portugal also has a fantastic digital infrastructure, which only continues to improve, making it ideal for those looking to work remotely. Major companies have begun investing in Portugal because of the high level of education and training within our population, particularly when it comes human resources and technology. Lisbon has consistently ranked as one of the top “up and coming” tech hubs in Europe over the last five years and is the host city of the international technology conference, Web Summit. There have also been an increasing number of people looking to invest in a widening variety of residential projects, including buildings for student housing and senior living.
Whilst our primary focus as a company is the residential property market, we have begun to explore a range of business opportunities in the B2B sector both in the Algarve and in Lisbon. We have a dedicated section of Casaiberia that covers investments, and my background as a project manager has helped me a significant amount in the work I do today with investors and developers. Our aim in the investment sector of the company is to help to ease the entire investment process for clients: we source opportunities, oversee the project development and deliver the finished product in the final step. This work can take different forms. For example, imagine there is a retail center for sale that is not fully occupied and has a yield of 4-5%. We look to fill the property, and when we have a yield of around 6.5%, we present it to our investors. Our approach is personal and direct, which is something that is so important in this trade. We focus on establishing trust and offering a quality service. I am also an active lecturer at the European Academy of Real Estate and have a good relationship with chambers abroad such as the German Association of Real Estate, as well as participating in forums within the international business community. Casaiberia is now a member of “Leading Real Estate Companies of the World” and were able to enter this network thanks to our knowledge, professionalism and records as a privately owned company. Our aim is to eventually focus more on the B2B sector, but we are limited by scale at this moment in time.
Those who are local to the area in which clients are looking for property, are obviously familiar with the local environment. For example, if you wanted to buy in a place in Porto you would look for someone who knew the city of Porto well, rather than working with someone based in Faro. Whilst these two cities are in the same country: the local area, prices and the evolution of the market are completely different. When choosing a real estate agent to work with in Portugal the most important thing to ask for is the AMİ or license number. You also want to make sure they have the right experience, language skills, and a solid team to help them where necessary. There are plenty of obligatory steps which need to be considered during the purchase or sale of property in Portugal, and you want to be sure that the team you choose to work with can handle the bureaucracy involved in this process. As a local real estate agency, which also benefits from an international team, Casaiberia offers a level of personalised support and confidence that surpasses that of its competitors. At Casaiberia we have a commitment to providing exceptional service and continuously strive for improvement, all while staying true to our roots here in the beautiful country of Portugal.
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