Introducing truth to the market
PANAMA. The real estate sector should step back and promote more education for agents, and businesses and governments should implement ...
PANAMA. The real estate sector should step back and promote more education for agents, and businesses and governments should implement ways to protect the consumer, says Alfredo Rivera Pizarro, real estate consultant with 20 years of experience in the industry in the US, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Panama.
In a recent interview with the Panama Star , Pizarro gave advice on the new strategies the real estate sector could take in the midst of the global financial crisis and the negative repercussions it has brought to Panama’s real estate sector.
Pizarro admires the work that Panamanian agencies have done in the country, to attract foreign clients.
“Many countries in the region—like Colombia, and El Salvador—are trying to find ways to emulate Panama’s example,” he said.
Yet he feels that now, more than ever, it is important for the sector to readdress its strategy. “There is still a lot to do for businessmen, for the government.”
“There are things left to do to protect the consumer. And the agents need to be more professional,” he said. “I and everyone else believes this year is a year of change.”
According to Pizarro, agents need to thoroughly know the product they are selling, and clearly transmit truthful facts to the client.
As Panama’s buzz of the last few years comes to rest, Pizarro believes honesty will be the agents’ biggest asset. “People cannot continue serving clients without thoroughly knowing the properties they are promoting, without knowing the client,” he said.
In these financially stringent times, Pizarro advises agents not to deal with clients without knowing the top price they can purchase.
He also advises being completely honest in promoting properties. “If a property is abandoned, tell the truth, don’t say it is in good conditions because you are deceiving the client.”
Pizarro sees the real estate market refocusing more towards local clients for the next two or three years, which he believes will require real estate agents to learn about and pay more attention to locals, changing their promotional tactics and even their pricing. “Obviously prices right now are geared more towards foreigners than for local clients,” he said.
Similarly, he believes locals need to be educated, helped, and advised on sale and rent transactions, especially the younger generations, those entering the work force. “Here you seldom see real estate agents write advice in newspapers, sharing experiences, advising on what to do, what not to do,” he said.
Pizarro has written four guide books filled with useful tips for real estate agents, which he shares in workshops he holds across the country called “Sabados Inmobiliarios” (Real Estate Saturdays).
The next workshop, in Spanish, will take place this Saturday April 18 at the Semusa group building in San Francisco. Tickets are $40 on presale, and $50 the day of the event, and participants will receive a free copy of his latest book. For info.: 6746-7272.