CHRISTOPHER CARLOS GILL

Mexico 2020 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Christopher Carlos Gill, Chief Commercial Officer of Desarrollos Simca, on Mexico's real estate market, expansion efforts, and new project development.

In what ways has the real estate market in the south east of the country surpassed the company's expectations?

The market has performed beyond our original expectations. We have been in Southeast Mexico for a long time now. Simca Development has been developing for more than 15 years, even before the boom in this beautiful region, which comprises the major cities of Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Merida. Today, this business represents the fourth-largest real estate destination in the world. We have been honored and fortunate to be part of it. We can segment the real estate industry into various sections. Second homes are one of the biggest, most important reasons why real estate here boomed so much. Many foreigners are finding Riviera Maya, southeast Mexico, and Mérida a destination for second homes. We have many clients from Canada and the US. There are also many retirees from the US, Canada, and even different parts of Mexico choosing the southeast as a safe, sound, and beautiful retirement destination. This is another major feature that is a highlight of the real estate industry in southeast Mexico. The third segment is investment. If we focus primarily on Playa del Carmen and Tulum, people are finding in us what is called a “two-step investment” mostly aimed at great capital gains. People are jumping in at an early stage or pre-construction, obtaining the lowest price in history.

What are your plans in regards to national expansion?

We do think about investing in real estate, especially after seeing the way the stock market is behaving when from one day to another, the stock market has fallen significantly. People are looking at real estate as one of the safest bets for their investment today. In fact, it will be a fairly stable market that still gives dual investment purpose: capital gains plus rental income. We cater to different products like second homes, permanent residences, and luxury residences as well, which is aimed at personal use rather than an investment.

In regards to the national expansion beyond the Southeast of Mexico, what is your timeline for the expansion?

The national expansion could be happening in the next 12-month cycle. Some 18 years of experience and, most importantly, the know-how of understanding the market and its current changes have given us confidence. We are a fairly young corporation and are extremely passionate about what we do and what we have delivered in the past. We have delivered 30 projects so far around southeast Mexico. More than 2,800 families are already enjoying their permanent homes, second homes, investment properties, or luxury residences with us. We have doubled the numbers of the last 15 years in the last year alone. We clearly know Mexico's trajectory. Mexico has a great deal to offer, and now that we have confirmed we have the know-how and have clearly segmented the market with our products, we can now jump to the next step and start expanding in Mexico and the international market in the future.

Do you plan to open any new business segments this year?

Part of our corporation owns hotel chains. Through our sister company Happy Address, we are involved in travel agencies and management companies, and we are involved in other businesses at a much lower level; however, I primarily assist the companies today. We work back to back to provide a unique real estate product. We own the building company for example. We own part of the companies that provide the material. We own the commercial part, the management, and rental company. We are a company that you can trust. We have a great track record and a high-quality real estate product in a turn-key model. Buyers are talking to the same person from start to finish, which inspires great trust.

What projects are you developing at the moment?

Right now, in Mérida, we have beautiful gated communities that are still available. Right now, my top recommendation would be Provincia, which starts at USD50,000. It is a beautiful piece of land to build one's home in a fantastic gated community. It is full of amenities: restaurants, clubhouses, and tennis and golf courses. If one is looking more for capital gains, mid-term investments in Merida, Blanca definitely speaks for itself. Merida is the safest city in America after Quebec, which is a big thing because when people think about Mexico, they sometimes worry about safety. In the Riviera Maya, we are starting a beautiful luxury project in Cancún with 20 stories and a private marina at the end of the year. That is a great opportunity for people seeking top luxury. Playa del Carmen and Tulum have different properties going on for luxury real estate like Miranda, Cruz con Mar, and Sabor a Miel to low-budget investment properties like in Ipana. In addition, we have Singular Hotels, which has been outperforming incredibly since we opened it. For Tulum, we delivered many projects in the past. Querido Tulum has been globally recognized in different architectural magazines and architects. However, it is a project in the over USD200,000 category. We also have low-budget investment properties such Costa Caribe, which start at USD145,400 for one-bedroom. Last, but not least, the biggest business year of Tulum is coming up in 2020. We are part of the first gated community with beachfront in downtown Tulum. Properties will be as low as USD209,000 for a two-bedroom with our famous lock-off system.