Patricia Pereira Coutinho is International and New Business Director at Lince Real Estate. In this interview with us, she discusses her company’s partnership with Savills, which joined forces with Lince Real Estate early last year, and shares her wisdom as a leading figure in the Portuguese real estate sector.
What can we expect from the Portuguese real estate market in 2019?
Some studies have suggested that property prices will rise at a slower rate in 2019 compared to 2018. I believe that the market will keep going strong and that prices are going back to normal. I also think people are putting more thought into their transactions. We aren’t seeing as many ‘impulse buys’.
How has the Lince Real Estate-Savills partnership been going so far? What are your plans for 2019?
Our collaboration with Savills has been going really well. Our common values, entrepreneurial spirit and high standard of client service mean that we could identify with one another as companies, allowing us to share and merge our goals with our clients’ demands. Savills offers a wide spectrum of specialised consulting services, management and transactions worldwide and there is a lot we can learn from them, in that sense. At the moment, following the acquisition of Aguirre Newman in Spain and Portugal, Savills now operates in Portugal in the area of Retail and Investment. We at Lince Real Estate are their eyes and ears on the Lisbon property market. In 2019, our goal is to keep generating those competitive advantages that stand out in an increasingly competitive market, and strengthen relationships with the many Savills associates worldwide.
Lisbon was recently chosen as the number one choice for investment in Europe. In your opinion, what makes Lisbon so appealing?
Lisbon is an spectacular city, something which doesn’t go unnoticed by foreign visitors. It has a lot to offer throughout the whole year compared to other European capitals, particularly an incredible quality of life. The sun shines for most of the year, it’s close to some of the best beaches in the world and the best golf courses, the cuisine is unparalleled and it’s one of the safest countries in the world. The cost of living is also very low and the people of Lisbon are friendly, respectful and welcoming, which makes any newcomer feel right at home. The world discovered Lisbon not just for what it has to offer as a city but also for the tax benefits for non-habitual residents, which make it one of the most appealing destinations for foreign investors.
How will the real estate sector have to adapt to Proptech?
Proptech is the future of real estate. It will allow for new approaches in the sector but, as we understand it, it won’t come to replace traditional real estate mediation. Proptech will mean that agencies have to reinvent themselves, betting strongly on technology, whether it’s in the way they list houses, how they schedule property viewings, in the management reports that get delivered to property owners, among other ways. Quality of service will come to be more and more important and it’s imperative that we find a way for real estate transactions to be carried out a lot faster and more efficiently, all the while maintaining or even improving on the quality of service.
What has your experience with CASAFARI been like so far? What other technological tools do you use as a real estate professional?
Our experience using CASAFARI has been fantastic. It is a tool with huge potential and once you can refine the search with the information you already have, it will be even more useful. There are other tools we use, from apps and our own back office, to statistical tools and general search engines. In any case, I think that in terms of real estate tools in Portugal, there is very little on offer. There is a long way to go.
Do you have any insider tips for success in this sector?
I believe that, in a sector that it still quite unorganised, even in terms of legislation, success happens not from you being able to reinvent yourself on a technological level but also by the way in which we treat and attend to our clients, whether they are buyers or sellers.
What is a top tip for selling a property in winter?
Funnily enough, winter is when we sell the most properties. A good house at a good price sells at any time of the year. I’ve sold properties when the buyer’s first visit was on a grey, rainy day. I tend to say that if a house looks good on a day like that, then at any other time of year it must look spectacular.
Do you have any advice for new agents?
They should be organised and they should offer their clients a good service, think outside the box, and always keep a good standard of ethics. Good sense, respect and perseverance come above everything.
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