JoAnne E. Poole,
2014 NAR Vice President
I had the pleasure of leading up a 100+ member delegation of REALTORS® from across the country to attend the second “AMPI Summit,” held in the city of Tulum, Mexico and focused on Mexico international real estate opportunities. The primary goal of the conference was to showcase Mexico real estate opportunities, and, specifically, how REALTORS® can partner to drive sales in projects and regions that specialize in real estate for international buyers.
What struck me about the conference and what I learned was that while Congress continues to debate immigration reform, Mexico is quietly building a robust and diversified economy, and its continued economic success may create more opportunities at home for Mexico’s citizens. The 11th largest economy in the world, 80% of its exports are manufactured goods with Mexico being the #1 exporter of refrigerators, flat screen televisions, and the fifth largest exporter of cars. Tourism is one of Mexico’s main income generators, and specifically, the Cancun and Riviera Maya corridor which is the most important destination with more than 100,000 hotel rooms spread out along a 100-mile corridor. Over the past 10 years or so, this region has become an international real estate destination, with fractional ownership and whole ownership of mainly beachfront residential developments, offered at numerous price points, and aimed at the Canada, US, and Mexico markets. A prominent local AMPI member named Guadalupe Duran took me around the area to see some projects. One development, called Mayakoba, offers luxury townhomes starting at $1,000,000. Another, called Azul Fives, has townhomes starting at $180,000 with a rental program to generate income when buyers are back in their home country. International buyers come to this region to enjoy a low cost of living, idyllic beaches, and easy accessibility to the US and Canada.
At the AMPI Summit, I saw firsthand REALTORS® and their professional counterparts in Mexico working together to generate sales and referrals. Networking events and quality program content provided a good backdrop for business. Mexico professionals, who belong to an NAR-affiliated organization called AMPI, anecdotally, told me that they are very optimistic on the US real estate market, and current inquiries, sales, and target markets are US buyers. US buyers largely disappeared from the Mexico real estate scene over the past few years, with Canada buyers picking up the slack. Rising home equity, baby boomer retirement, and tight US inventory mean more US buyers in Mexico.
Do you want to target this demographic?
I would recommend becoming a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). Additionally, you can connect with members of AMPI at www.ampi.org. AMPI members also pay International REALTOR® dues and subscribe to a common code of ethics.
Consider attending the AMPI Summit next year. A rising US real estate market and a booming Mexico economy bode well for professionals on both sides of the border!
JoAnne E. Poole, a REALTOR® for more than 25 years, in Baltimore, Md., is the 2014 Vice President for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
Poole is the Branch Office Manager for Prudential Homesale YWGC Realty, a firm specializing in residential real estate. She holds a designation as a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS). She is also a Certified e-PRO® and a Graduate of the REALTORS Institute® (GRI).