TECHNOLOGY & REAL ESTATE

Mexico 2019 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Paula Couttolenc, COO and CMO of Redus, on preventing fraud, real estate demand, and the future of the brand and platform.

What were the motivation and reasons behind the creation of Redus?

Redus is a result of an issue we faced as entrepreneurs. A few years ago, we needed to find a terrain to develop a building, the search process was difficult and time consuming. As for technology, we did not find the support we needed to find a solution. For example, the contacts on the ad pages were not answering the phone or they showed something online that physically was completely different. A large majority of the advertised properties online are frauds and can put investment at risk. Being in the real estate market is a great responsibility because buyers invest their wealth and savings into it. Real estate is often a once in a lifetime purchase. We wanted to develop a platform in the market that could offer a safe space to conduct these investments. Another thing that we noticed is that real estate brokers in Mexico do not require a title or a license to operate. At Redus, the people who are part of our team of real estate brokers, with or without previous experience, have all the tools to give the best service to our clients. We train our Representatives via online tutorials on the different topics and trends in the industry. We mix two of the most important businesses in the world: technology and real estate. Redus is the safest platform for buying, selling, and renting real estate. Anyone who is looking for a property to buy or rent can find it through us with all the security guarantees of a certified property.

What verification process does the company use to prevent fraud?

We have a strong team of attorneys who review each property. All advertised properties on our website are supervised by a team of lawyers that has already ensured all the papers are in order and that it is not a fraud. We rely on Mexican law. We certify each property according to what is required for the deed. The most important factor is knowing that the person offering the property has the real intention and means of selling it. People offer their property and put it on sale without realizing that maybe they cannot sell it. It makes a client wonder why it is even for sale in the first place if it cannot be sold. We want to avoid these situations in the real estate market. At Redus, we aim to be the bridge between the buyer and the seller. The company's headquarters are in Mexico City, where we have the strongest presence, but we are present all around the country.

What challenges do you face when it comes to finding a property that can meet all the requirements?

A great challenge that motivates us is to start changing the mentality of Mexicans. People here don't want to start doing the dirty work until they have a client, but it should be the other way around because the client is the king. Clients must have what they want, when they want it. In a world with as many options as now, delivery is important. Through the platform, customers and owners can have direct contact. This has received incredible feedback. They can negotiate directly without the intervention of an intermediary. To make an offer the buyer has to give 3% of what he is offering. This has worked incredibly well because the buyer has a true commitment. When there is money involved, it is much easier to close the deal. The owner, after seeing the money in between and the seriousness of the buyer, is driven to decide and speed up the processes. Our commitment is to deliver no matter what. That has made us win the trust of people.

In what ways are you collaborating with developers?

We have alliances with many developers but it can be a challenge as we only sell properties 100% ready to be sold. Developers often want to sell upcoming projects but this is against our policy. Our main goal is to offer security and certainty to the client. We only offer the client developments that are 100% tangible and completely built so that they can see, buy, and settle there. We do not want to risk the possible delay of a project.

Between rent and sale, what type of properties have the highest demand?

It depends. People are more economically reserved because of the current prices in the market. The rental market always offers much more flexibility in terms of prices. For example, the amount of documentation required to rent a property is 5% of the documentation required to purchase a property. So in this fast-paced world, renting has become the go-to solution.

What is your vision for the market considering the disruption that your application is in the real estate industry?

At Redus, we are always looking for innovation and creativity. It is the spirit of the brand. We want to break paradigms, offer something new, and solve problems. In the long term, we seek to eliminate bureaucracy and the obstacles that the face-to-face world presents to businesses. Real estate agencies do a great job but the area of opportunity is in technology. We seek innovation in order to move forward with the market. For example, taxis used to be a global monopoly but platforms such as Uber or Cabify have disrupted that. Our current vision of Redus is to be a platform with all the technology that understands the market and moves forward with it. For companies that have been around for years, it is very difficult to move. Recent companies have the possibility of taking a 180-degree turn and move with the market. In a world like today, if you do not move forward with the market, you stay behind.

How do you plan to expand what the platform offers?

We have a mobile application that can be downloaded for free for Android and iOS. In this application, anyone interested in buying any type of property (from office spaces in the city to houses on the beach) can find it with all the certainty of knowing that what they are buying is validated and backed by a team of professionals. We also have an exclusive application for our Representatives, that is practically a virtual office.

What role does Redus strive to have within the Mexican economy in the long term?

We are starting with real estate but Redus is a platform that connects buyers and sellers and ensures a safe transaction through technology. In the future, we see Redus selling practically any product that a buyer and a seller wants. We call ourselves Redus and not “Real Estate.com.” Taking as an example Amazon, the world largest e-commerce platform. Amazon started by selling only books, but if Jeff Bezos had named Amazon "Books.com," Amazon would not be the most successful platform in the world. In the future, Redus will be able to carry out any purchase-sale transaction. We believe that technology has no limits and Redus is the living proof of that. In the short and medium term, we are focused 100% on the real estate sale but we have strong technological infrastructure that in the future could give life to a platform where you can sell or buy any product digitally.