Hey Vallarta… Where Was Terminator Filmed?

El Eden

Paradise. South of Puerto Vallarta, up a long trek over bumpy, dusty roads and there you are, El Eden, a patch in the jungle  of true earthly delights, waterfalls, rope-swings, great guacamole, and film-buff historical material.

We have been told that several movies have been filmed in this location but only one stands out in the memory of those who follow the screen history of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his heroic exploits byway of Hollywood. Remnants of The Predator remind us that “soon the hunt will begin”, but our personal ardent search involves guacamole, chips and ice cold cerveza (beer), not alien creatures, though they are lurking.

Thrills are abundant here for young and old alike. Steps away from the comfort of your table in the restaurant are ropes dangling from the treetops. Arm strength and bravado are the only requirements to grip firmly, swing out and let go, land in the refreshing, chilly water of the Mismaloya River that runs long and cool from high above. If you choose to simply observe, find a spot where you can watch daredevils edge along the southern path to the top of an outcropping of smooth rocks, possibly made so from all the backsides that have traveled the quick course downward into the pond below. Test your mettle by sitting first at the top and let the cool water rush around you before you shove off for a delightful splash and a fabulous memory.

Mosquitoes are abundant in the jungle and El Eden is no exception. Along with swimsuits, towels and pesos, don’t forget strong bug repellent. We recommend a local pharmacy in Puerto Vallarta for a supply; don’t be afraid to ask a sales associate what works best for the area.

There are ziplines at El Eden, but they’re an added attraction and it’s wise to make reservations and pay in advance.

If you have a 4-wheel drive, the journey from the highway is easy but don’t risk the suspension of your own car trying to traverse the road to El Eden. Taxis are plentiful and willing to drive you; or you can go via a tour from Puerto Vallarta, which will be more expensive but tours are popular. To get to El Eden from Puerto Vallarta, travel about 10 kilometers south and hang a left opposite of the Barceló Puerto Vallarta Resort. A residential community climbs up the hill to the left and often the gate is left open; avoid traveling up this long and winding hill that dead ends. You will travel through the small village of Mismaloya, pass signs for the zoo and the tequila factory where you will come to a concrete road that doesn’t last long. Keep to the right until you reach the crossroads where you will bear right again and begin a climb that will end 180 meters above sea level, approximately 4 kms up river. It’s a dusty back road but well worth the time and effort.

Hours are 9 am – 6 pm.

Que cómo es es.


 Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article!


Harriet Cochran Murray, Director of Cochran Real Estate, is a seasoned Real Estate professional both here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and in the United States. Harriet has served in many capacities as a board member and President for the local Real Estate Association AMPI (AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals). She is also a member of FIABCI and NAR in the United States. Harriet’s expertise and experience in the Real Estate and especially in the Mexican market makes her Viewpoint blog articles both informational and intriguing. Harriet is a Buyer’s Agent who specializes in getting the best deal on the right property for her clients.


8 Ways To Keep From Committing Equity Killers

Hey you – the one putting electric green shag carpet in all the bedrooms. The one turning the dining room into a bedroom – without a closet. The one transforming your kitchen into an homage to Arabian Nights. The one painting all the walls black and replacing all the wood baseboards with Lucite.

What are you thinking?!

home equity
Yes, your home is your personal sanctuary. You want it to reflect your taste and your style. But if your design aesthetic is classified as “vampire chic,” or if your idea of a fashionable home could be confused for a junk pile art installation, you might want to take it down a notch.

“We always talk about over-personalization as the great equity killer,” said Justin Thomas, a southern California REALTOR® specializing in first-time and first-time move-up buyers. “Your bright blue countertops or strange floorplan configuration can be a turnoff to the average buyer.”

Here are 8 ways to keep from committing equity killers.

1. Measure your family’s needs against the “average” family’s needs.

Don’t know what the “average” family wants? They probably want a fireplace, so before you go covering yours up, you might want to consider the ramifications. If you really hate the fireplace, you can always configure your furniture so that it’s concealed. Your Realtor should be able to weigh in on smart—or not-so-smart—updates and renos. Or, check out this Houzz survey.

2. Measure your likes against today’s trends.

You may hate the idea of open plans, but not as much as you’ll hate tearing down the walls you put up when you go to sell.

“Have you ever wandered into an open house and wondered what the owners were thinking as you faced an ultra-modern kitchen or a futuristic fireplace, said Freshome. “These design choices will be difficult to sell to the average buyer with a more mainstream style and most buyers will be thinking about ripping out a kitchen and redoing it to their liking. It will take someone with a similar aesthetic to be interested in a home with such design specific features. Keep that in mind when you contemplate any renovations.”

If you just have to turn your dining room into a bedroom sans closet (which technically won’t be considered a bedroom away), try to do so carefully. If you protect the floor and also take precautions with the ceiling, HVAC, and any other critical elements in the room, you may be able to take the wall back down before you list your house with limited fuss.

3. Consider your neighborhood.

So you want urban style with concrete floors and exposed ductwork but you live in a typical suburban single-family neighborhood? That might not go over big.

Tamer changes that bring in an urban, sophisticated feel—and especially those that don’t mess with the structure of the house—might be a smarter choice. Concrete floors are fine, so long as you’re willing to cover them when you sell, as your Realtor will undoubtedly recommend.

4. Be careful when changing out basic conveniences.

A three-car garage is a selling point. A three-car garage that’s been turned into an unpermitted Chicago Cubs-themed man room in a house with limited driveway space and no street parking…not so much.

5. And speaking of permits…make sure you get one.

Adding on without the proper paperwork can be a huge equity eater. Unpermitted add-ons won’t count toward square footage, which can affect your sales price. An unpermitted addition or renovation can also cause your home to fall out of escrow once it’s discovered by the seller. And it will be discovered.

“If you are considering purchasing a home with unpermitted square footage, you may have a problem with your appraisal,” said Eller the Seller. “When a home has a third bedroom that is unpermitted, it will usually show as a two bedroom in the tax records. Because of this, appraisers will not value the home in the same way they would if the house had a legal third bedroom. Instead, the unpermitted space will likely be valued as some kind of ‘bonus room.’ In addition to appraisal issues, you may have problems getting a loan on a house with unpermitted additions if you are purchasing with specific types of loans such as FHA or VA loans.”

6. Make smart edits.

Just because you’re always wanted a pool doesn’t mean you should take up every inch of your yard to build one. All pool, no yard could affect your resale value.

7. Trash the trash.

Live like a slob all you want, just not when you’re selling your home. Being messy and dirty will definitely affect your home sale. And being unkempt to the point of destructive will only cost you. For example, old crusty filters can harm your air conditioning unit, and a buyer will undoubtedly expect you to be on the hook for repair/replacement costs.

8. Don’t indulge your dark fantasies for all to see.

Hey, whatever you’re into is fine by us. But maybe keep the dungeons under wraps when you list your home. And that goes for Dungeons & Dragons too.

“Extreme homeowners are the one who uses their home as a showcase for their oddities,” said Thomas. “You don’t want to be known as the weird house. Or the scary house. Nor do you want to make changes to the home that would be so extensive and expensive to change back in the event you had to list your home. If you’re intent on personalizing to your heart’s content despite the potential downside, perhaps it’s best to keep anything that might freak out visitors to one space that can be easily cleaned up or out when potential buyers are touring the home.”

Author: Jaymi Naciri

Why Use AMPI?

AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals that have, since 1956, gathered under laws and codes of ethics and conduct to create a reliable, trustworthy an efficient real estate environment in Mexico.

AMPI consists of separate autonomous sections all throughout the nation, as well as more than 4,000 associates and affiliates. Each section is independent and has its own board of directors, only surpassed by a national board of directors comprised of twenty associates from all over the republic.

Developed over the years with the input and knowledge of its members, AMPI is much more than just a collection of offices. AMPI has been a solid and recognized institution in Mexico for the past 27 years. It was originally established in 1956 and was consolidated in 1980. AMPI is currently represented in all the principle cities and regions of Mexico stretching from Tijuana to Cancun.

The Riviera Nayarita, Vallarta and Compostela chapters of AMPI are dedicated to promote the best practices in real estate by providing its members with education to reinforce the standards of ethics that give our industry the credibility which our clients deserve.

AMPI is committed to giving our membership access to a multiple listing service that forms the platform from which our industry can expand locally and into other markets while giving our members precise and up to date information that is vital to continuous improvement and growth.

 

choosing a local real estate team

Choosing a Local Real Estate Team

Buying or selling a home can be one of the biggest, sometimes most overwhelming, endeavors you will take on. But it doesn’t have to be the headache that many assume it to be.

We’ve talked about some warning signs when working with real estate professionals (beware the ‘Yes’ REALTOR®). And we’ve shared feedback direct from clients about the characteristics they value, as well as what separates the best from the rest.

With the right help, buying or selling a home can be a smooth, successful and rewarding experience. Choosing a local real estate team to get you there is the first step, and these important concepts will get you started: CHOICE. LOCAL. TEAM.

choosing a local real estate team

CHOICE. Choice is a beautiful thing. It means that you’re not stuck, and that you have options. But choice also means you have to do your homework. When it comes to finding someone to represent your real estate needs, you want to choose someone with the skill set and expertise to get the job done.

Not only that, but you want to feel good about your choice. A real estate professional might be good at what they do, but if they come across as abrasive, distracted or not in tune to your specific needs, then it might be time to look elsewhere.

LOCAL. We can’t emphasize this enough. Sure there is a proliferation of information about neighborhoods, schools, demographics and real estate data for any given town. But fact of the matter is, that information is just the tip of the iceberg.

Theoretically, any real estate agent from Sudbury, Weymouth or Peabody could come in and help you buy or sell an Arlington or Medford home. But the nuances of knowing a town include critical things like having good connections to partners and vendors you can trust (think handyman, contractor, cleaning person, etc.) and a deep understanding the pool of buyers that’s out there.

TEAM. Real estate is a 24/7 job. There are no weekends. It is challenging enough for one person to manage the ins and outs of a real estate transaction, much less one person handling all of that as a side gig. A real estate team with experience, skills and knowledge (buying, selling, marketing, transactions, negotiating, scheduling, follow-up) ensures that the burden of buying or selling a home falls squarely on their shoulders – not yours.

Why Use AMPI?

AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals that have, since 1956, gathered under laws and codes of ethics and conduct to create a reliable, trustworthy an efficient real estate environment in Mexico.

AMPI consists of separate autonomous sections all throughout the nation, as well as more than 4,000 associates and affiliates.

Each section is independent and has its own board of directors, only surpassed by a national board of directors comprised of twenty associates from all over the republic.

Developed over the years with the input and knowledge of its members, AMPI is much more than just a collection of offices.

AMPI has been a solid and recognized institution in Mexico for the past 27 years. It was originally established in 1956 and was consolidated in 1980.

AMPI is currently represented in all the principle cities and regions of Mexico stretching from Tijuana to Cancun.

The Riviera Nayarita, Vallarta and Compostela chapters of AMPI are dedicated to promote the best practices in real estate by providing its members with education to reinforce the standards of ethics that give our industry the credibility which our clients deserve.

AMPI is committed to giving our membership access to a multiple listing service that forms the platform from which our industry can expand locally and into other markets while giving our members precise and up to date information that is vital to continuous improvement and growth.

Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta

Where Shall We Stay?

Social networking has opened up new trends in travel that create opportunities for making new friends while discovering new places, including Puerto Vallarta.

VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) purportedly started the movement in 1995 with the first gig in a ski condo. Since acquired by HomeAway, it is still a main source for travelers looking for short-term rental of properties by their owners and has been joined by an abundance of online rental sites.

We recently met a couple in Puerto Vallarta who is purchasing their home with the entire focus on renting out an extra room to meet their mortgage obligations. It makes sense for them and for you, too. Why spend hundreds of dollars for clean sheets and tiny soap when you can get the same thing for a whole lot less and meet the locals as a bonus?

The two most popular sites are AIRBNB and FLIPKEY, doing a healthy competition to get your attention and travel budget. AIRBNB, founded in 2008 with a diverse group of investors that includes Jeff Bezos and Ashton Kutcher, connects travelers seeking unique experiences in over 33,000 cities and 192 countries. Your choice of a villa, castle or bedroom in a private home is as far away as an app on your cell phone. You can literally rent a tent. FLIPKEY was acquired a year after startup, in 2008, by Trip Advisor, with a focus on detailed reviews from real guests. They have the only closed review system that limits comments to confirmed guests, both negative and positive, to facilitate a straightforward dialog relating to the quality of individual rentals and services provided.

CouchSurfing was established in 2003 and their motto is “You have friends all over the world, you just haven’t met them yet.” They connect over 9 million members in more than 120,000 cities, including Puerto Vallarta. The originator emailed over 1500 university students in Iceland, looking for a place to crash while he visited Reykjavík, got over 50 responses and a new idea was born. It doesn’t cost anything but you are encouraged to share your knowledge, talents or whatever you have to offer. Meditative breathing, hiking, computer programming, and cooking are among the skills members are willing to share. A great plus is their social networking announcements of events, such as the recent Classic Rock Festival that took place in Puerto Vallarta.

Que es cómo es.


Find A Properties by Listing Agents Here:


Hey Vallarta… Rainy Season Is Here

We are often asked what the climate is in Puerto Vallarta and if we are affected by hurricanes that come roaring up the Pacific coastline. The Köppen-Geiger climate classification system, considered the most reliable globally, identifies Puerto Vallarta as tropical. The categories that determine this are how close we are to the equator and plant classification. Scientifically speaking, this is a jungle with a prominent rainy season and exposure to unpredictable weather conditions.

In our experience, the period from November to June is normally very dry. Did we say normal? The past couple years we have experienced the same global climate changes as the rest of the world and torrential downpours have changed viewpoints of many tourists who planned week-long vacations from December to February, when we had measurable rain. While we feel dreadfully sorry for those whose holidays were rained out, we also are extremely grateful. The summer of 2015 has proven there can quite often be a reversal in these predictions, with a minimal amount of precipitation, overloading in early September to cause major flooding. We are inclined to lean very hard in the direction of Climate Change.

High tides also have an impact on the area and if combined with stormy weather off the coast and a substantial rainfall, can be cause for carrying an umbrella and an extra pair of flip-flops.

Puerto Vallarta is on the same latitude as Hawaii and therefore the weather is expected to be much the same but there is a large body of water between the two places where many changes take place in very short distances. Trying to determine averages has been more of a crapshoot for reliable forecasts.

The last hurricane to strike Puerto Vallarta was Kenna in October 2002 and impacted only the immediate shoreline. Warnings came a day ahead, and though many failed to take it seriously, there were no deaths and few injuries.

How to make a plan? First, remember that no matter how wet it is, it will still be warm. It seems that it’s not just the winter months anymore, so if preparing for a wedding or other major celebration that calls for a large gathering of people, make sure there is an alternate venue. Hotels have an abundance of covered spaces, indoor and outside with grand vistas of the beach and ocean. It’s always wise to pack a light jacket, sweater or shawls to cover up in the evening.

Que cómo es es.


 Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article!


Harriet Cochran Murray, Director of Cochran Real Estate, is a seasoned Real Estate professional both here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and in the United States. Harriet has served in many capacities as a board member and President for the local Real Estate Association AMPI (AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals). She is also a member of FIABCI and NAR in the United States. Harriet’s expertise and experience in the Real Estate and especially in the Mexican market makes her Viewpoint blog articles both informational and intriguing. Harriet is a Buyer’s Agent who specializes in getting the best deal on the right property for her clients.


Hey Vallarta… It's Mosquito Season

This time of year, there is an abundance of conservation regarding mosquitoes in and around Puerto Vallarta. Some of us are just too delicious for our own good. We have a friend who’s tried everything under the sun (and from the pharmacy counter) but the only solution for her is to sit in front of a blasting fan, and the moskies still seem to find her. She realizes that keeping mosquitoes at bay is very important, as their stings can be more than slightly irritating and potentially detrimental to one’s health. Dengue is not something we want to contract, whether on vacation or as a full or part-time resident, no matter how lovely the local hospitals seem.

Some find that routine Vitamin B injections work to repel insects, while others claim that garlic applied to the skin is an assured repellent. Neither have any factual or scientific basis nor does the practice of eating bananas to keep the little biting buggers away. There is actually an argument about whether banana consumption is a deterrent or an attraction! You’re resigned to doing your own research on fruits and herbs, even though it’s not comforting to know one is providing constant blood transfusions to creatures that promise to buzz in one’s ear all night like a mini chainsaw.

Locals are known in the summer months to lather their bodies in an olive oil/garlic/lemon/coconut oil mixture, which the insects simply drown or suffocate.

We recommend Baygon plug-ins and raidolitos, the spiraling incense, both available in supermarkets and drugstores. They are proven repellents and though contain a certain amount of chemicals, are the most effective. After decades of experimenting with natural products, we have capitulated to using most costly yet effective solutions.

It’s highly recommended that visitors spray ankles when venturing to the beach for sunset vistas. It’s a particularly opportunistic time for feasting in the bloodsucking realm. There are many brands and varieties with and without DEET and once again, we are inclined to use the strongest repellant offered and recommend whatever the locals buy over the counter, Autan in the lotion application being our favorite.

We’re luckier here in Puerto Vallarta than neighbors further up the coast. In San Blas, for example, the jejéne is quite famous. Also referred to as a no-see-um, they do exist in Puerto Vallarta but not in the abundance as northern regions. There is a prevailing legend regarding the torture of captured prisoners. In an effort to obtain a confession, suspects were stripped naked and staked on the beach at sunset. It wasn’t long before the begging for mercy began and desired confession was achieved.

Que es cómo es.


 Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article!


Harriet Cochran Murray, Director of Cochran Real Estate, is a seasoned Real Estate professional both here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and in the United States. Harriet has served in many capacities as a board member and President for the local Real Estate Association AMPI (AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals). She is also a member of FIABCI and NAR in the United States. Harriet’s expertise and experience in the Real Estate and especially in the Mexican market makes her Viewpoint blog articles both informational and intriguing. Harriet is a Buyer’s Agent who specializes in getting the best deal on the right property for her clients.


6 Serious PR Blunders That Real Estate Agents Shouldn’t Make

All publicity is good publicity – right? Wrong. When it comes to delivering an accurate portrayal of your business to the media and potential clients, it is important to establish a positive reputation. Here are 6 PR fumbles that you want to look out for to avoid looking like an amateur or worse yet, someone who doesn’t represent themselves in the best light. Potential clients will think that you won’t be able to represent them well if you can’t represent yourself well, so be sure to avoid these classic PR fails:

classic PR fails

1. Outdated Website: When researching whether or not you are the right agent to work with, your website is one of the first places potential clients will look. An unappealing website can have business turn towards someone else before they even get a chance to dig into your site’s content. Keep your page clean, clear and concise and offer the most up-to-date information about your business. It is also important to have your mission and services big, bold, and easily accessible on your website! A call to action is also a must.

2. Writers Block: While creating original blog posts and articles is an effective tool to help strengthen your brand,highlight you as an industry leader and help with SEO – this task can easily fall by the wayside. Whether you are going to write articles yourself or have a ghostwriter create content on your behalf, it is important that you are producing compelling and well-written material. Most importantly, make the articles relevant and timely – readers want to learn more about a hot topic or be enlightened by something completely new. Lastly, if you decide to use this strategy, make sure you are consistently producing content. It is not nearly as effective to write one article as it is to write 1 or 2 on a monthly basis to share with your audience!

3. Missing Your Target: This may be one of the most important elements to a successful business. Who are you targeting and most importantly – what’s in it for them? Making a connection with the market and people you serve will only help to strengthen your brand. As an agent, if you are marketing a specific geographical area – market to those who live within and around where you work. If you have had most of your success working with first home buyers- try targeting an audience between the ages of 25-35 years old. It is really quite simple: to strengthen your business look at who you already do business with and who you WANT to do business with. Then, cater your content, advertising, and approach to those people!

4. Keep Consumers Happy: Regardless if you are an extremely successful agent or not quite where you want to be yet, maintaining a positive ongoing relationship with your past and potential customers is crucial. While a busy agent might be appealing – if you are not dedicated to the sellers or buyers you are working with directly, it may hurt your reputation. Be accessible, and truly listen to their needs and concerns and rise to meet their expectations. Although having authority is helpful- relating to your consumers is more effective. For example, offer real life experiences and stories in your communications and public relations output that help put their questions and concerns into perspective and position you not only as their agent, but their advisor.

5. Social Presence, Or Lack There Of: Social media, one of our most reliable sources of news and information may play a significant role in the growth of your brand. You want to make sure that if you are going to utilize social media as a way to promote yourself as a successful Real Estate Agent; you build an authentic and consistent social media presence on all platforms. Post relevant news on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ so that it shows regular activity and an overview of all important information. Once you have decided to use these platforms, it is important to stay connected in order for these to be truly effective. Strategize ways to continue to build and grow your audience! While using social media for your business is important – a negative social presence spreads like wildfire: far too quickly and without proper PR guidance, extremely difficult to manage. Because most consumers eat, breathe, and sleep social media and crave information at the touch of their fingertips, one bad Google+ review, one backlash Facebook comment, and one unprofessional photo may do some extensive damage to your brand.

6. Show value to your prospects: Rather than just showcasing how you are doing PR for yourself as a Real Estate Agent, it is extremely valuable to show that you are also doing it for the seller’s homes you are listing For example, presenting prospective sellers with an unappealing listing presentation with a lack of information, gives off the impression that you don’t know what they want. But by providing them with a package of information showing the amount of exposure you can attract to their listings from your PR efforts is extremely valuable. Highlight your blogs, market reports, listing and open house publicity, etc. This way – they can paint a picture of what you are capable of doing for them beyond the normal and regular.

Source: realtytimes.com

Why Use AMPI?

AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals that have, since 1956, gathered under laws and codes of ethics and conduct to create a reliable, trustworthy an efficient real estate environment in Mexico.

AMPI consists of separate autonomous sections all throughout the nation, as well as more than 4,000 associates and affiliates. Each section is independent and has its own board of directors, only surpassed by a national board of directors comprised of twenty associates from all over the republic.

Developed over the years with the input and knowledge of its members, AMPI is much more than just a collection of offices. AMPI has been a solid and recognized institution in Mexico for the past 27 years. It was originally established in 1956 and was consolidated in 1980. AMPI is currently represented in all the principle cities and regions of Mexico stretching from Tijuana to Cancun.

The Riviera Nayarita, Vallarta and Compostela chapters of AMPI are dedicated to promote the best practices in real estate by providing its members with education to reinforce the standards of ethics that give our industry the credibility which our clients deserve.

AMPI is committed to giving our membership access to a multiple listing service that forms the platform from which our industry can expand locally and into other markets while giving our members precise and up to date information that is vital to continuous improvement and growth.

Real Estate Agents: Share Your Advice

There is one constant in the relationship between consumers and real estate agents – agents have the knowledge and consumers need this knowledge to make an informed decision.

It happens every day, someone is always asking an agent – How’s the market? Is this a good time to sell? Will it be hard to find the house I want? Should I paint my house before I sell it? How do I increase my home’s value? etc, etc.

blog

 

 

 

 

 

If you are an agent, you are more than happy to share this advice. Sharing your knowledge and expertise is the quickest and easiest way to land new customers. As a matter of fact, if your local newspaper solicited you to write a weekly column, you would probably jump at the chance. Your name in print – The Expert… However, they haven’t called and probably never will.

The solution is to start writing advice articles on your blog. It’s free to publish your advice and every article can be later shared in your social networks.

Do you have a blog yet?

Why Use AMPI?

AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals that have, since 1956, gathered under laws and codes of ethics and conduct to create a reliable, trustworthy an efficient real estate environment in Mexico.

AMPI consists of separate autonomous sections all throughout the nation, as well as more than 4,000 associates and affiliates. Each section is independent and has its own board of directors, only surpassed by a national board of directors comprised of twenty associates from all over the republic.

Developed over the years with the input and knowledge of its members, AMPI is much more than just a collection of offices. AMPI has been a solid and recognized institution in Mexico for the past 27 years. It was originally established in 1956 and was consolidated in 1980. AMPI is currently represented in all the principle cities and regions of Mexico stretching from Tijuana to Cancun.

The Riviera Nayarita, Vallarta and Compostela chapters of AMPI are dedicated to promote the best practices in real estate by providing its members with education to reinforce the standards of ethics that give our industry the credibility which our clients deserve.

AMPI is committed to giving our membership access to a multiple listing service that forms the platform from which our industry can expand locally and into other markets while giving our members precise and up to date information that is vital to continuous improvement and growth.

Brokers: 4 Keys To Keep Change From Creating Vulnerability

Recruiting Secrets to Stay AHEAD of the Competition

Are you looking to make some changes in your company? Change is GOOD, but properly timed change is GREAT! We have all heard the saying; the only constant thing in life is change. The same is true for your business. Change is necessary and needed to move forward. However, change is also the #1 reason for vulnerability in a real estate office.

When you are vulnerable, you can lose agents. There are also times when you should NOT implement a change.

Keep Change From Creating Vulnerability

Change is the #1 reason for vulnerability. When you implement change, there are a certain number of agents who will be unhappy with the change. It has the potential to create some resistance in your office. We understand that it’s impossible to implement a change and have everyone be happy. But here are some tips for implementing change to control vulnerability.

#1: Try to involve your agents whenever possible: If you are changing locations, ask a team of agents to help you locate a new location. Go out with them to scout out new office space. Let your agents sell the group on the new location. You could also set up a committee to determine the new colors for the office and ideas for office design. Let them spend their time with the designer, but you can make the final decisions.

#2: Use the exchange method: When you take away or add a service, use that opportunity to evaluate all your existing services and tools. Whenever a company tells me that they are going to add a tool or service, I usually ask them, “Are you planning to discontinue any services or tools in the near future?” Or if they want to discontinue something, I want to know their plans for the near future. This allows you to hold a business meeting with your agents and explain that after careful evaluation of all your tools and services, you are making some changes to better support them in their business. You can explain that a certain tool or service is not yielding great results, so you are implementing something better for them. Another example is: If you are changing compensation, or implementing a new fee, time it with the implementation of a new service. “We are implementing a transaction fee of $______ but you will no longer be charged for _______.”

#3: Grandfather your existing agents whenever possible when you are changing compensation or fees: Money is always a tricky change, and possibly the most delicate one. When possible, “grandfather” the existing agents and apply the change to those new agents who will be joining after the implementation. Another idea is to grandfather all agents whose production is above a certain amount. You could say “If you are generating GCC of $90,000.00 or more, you will be grandfathered with regard to the new changes.” You can also grandfather agents who have been with the company a long time. “If you have been with our firm for 10 years, or your production is $_____, you will not be subject to the new changes.” Keep in mind that emotional agents will usually not leave because of the money, but they are hurt that after so many years, or at their level of production, that you would take money out of their pocket, or not honor the original agreement that they had.

#4: A management change is also tricky: Whenever you change managers, you should consider the personality of the manager that is being replaced. If the manager that is being replaced was very friendly, emotional and well liked by the agents, you would be more vulnerable with a new logical manager. If the manager that you want to put into place is a different personality, you can decrease your vulnerability by putting in an interim manager, or yourself, while they go through their mourning period over the loss of their manager they liked. What I found worked well was to personally manage the office for a period of 6- 12 months. During that time I would look for a new manager. When I found the new manager, I would bring them in as a manager in training and co-manage with them for 3 months. After 3 months, I would turn the office over to the new manager, and ease out over the next 30 days.

Times to avoid change: There are two times that you want to avoid making a change if possible. Do not make changes during “recruiting season” or when their production is at a low point. The months of August/September and December/January are probably the two most vulnerable times to make a change. Agents typically have fewer listings and pendings during this time, so making a move is easier. You also do not want to make a change while you are already vulnerable from a prior change. For example, if you just changed the name of your company, don’t change the compensation plan the following week.

Bottom line: The best way to retain your agents if you are vulnerable, is to always be working on retention. Start today by sending thee notes a week to your agents. Think of something nice to say about them and let them know how much you appreciate them. If you always practice retention, the competition will have a tough time raiding your office.

Author: Judy LaDeur 

Why Use AMPI?

AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals that have, since 1956, gathered under laws and codes of ethics and conduct to create a reliable, trustworthy an efficient real estate environment in Mexico.

AMPI consists of separate autonomous sections all throughout the nation, as well as more than 4,000 associates and affiliates. Each section is independent and has its own board of directors, only surpassed by a national board of directors comprised of twenty associates from all over the republic.

Developed over the years with the input and knowledge of its members, AMPI is much more than just a collection of offices. AMPI has been a solid and recognized institution in Mexico for the past 27 years. It was originally established in 1956 and was consolidated in 1980. AMPI is currently represented in all the principle cities and regions of Mexico stretching from Tijuana to Cancun.

The Riviera Nayarita, Vallarta and Compostela chapters of AMPI are dedicated to promote the best practices in real estate by providing its members with education to reinforce the standards of ethics that give our industry the credibility which our clients deserve.

AMPI is committed to giving our membership access to a multiple listing service that forms the platform from which our industry can expand locally and into other markets while giving our members precise and up to date information that is vital to continuous improvement and growth.

It is the age of the hero In Puerto Vallarta

Grab Your Cape!

Sometimes we do become bored in Puerto Vallarta, believe it or not. Sipping margaritas on the beach, ziplining through the jungle, diving off the Marietas; at times we seek diversion. It is the age of the hero, with Marvel Comic Book characters on movie screens, beach towels and t-shirts; they give us inspiration.

Volunteering in Puerto Vallarta could actually be a full time occupation. There is no shortage of need. Animal rescue is huge here and it is easy to start a conversation in any bar or venue about the abundance of cats and dogs. There is the Acopio, a  city-owned shelter where help is always welcome; walking dogs, bathing, grooming. The cat shelter, Purr Project is also looking for fur-friends to assist with simple veterinary needs and giving attention to their large cast of felines. Both require very little knowledge; just the willingness to pitch in. Neuter and spay clinics are always willing to teach visitors and residents alike about their efforts to keep the population down and invite anyone who wants to join the cause. It’s fascinating and educational. Fostering animals is always appreciated, too. Many are up for adoption or have already been chosen and awaiting flight to their future homes.

Orphanages never run out of things when company come calling. They love donations but make sure you’re bringing only gently used clothing when donating, and check with them first about food wishes. Puerto Vallarta has orphanages associated with churches for the most part and it’s good to have a connection when planning to pay a visit.

Pasito de Luz in Puerto Vallarta is a daycare center for children with special needs. They appreciate anyone who has experience but it’s not necessary. Mexican families drop their children off in the morning at this great facility where they can stay for a short time or several hours. Spanish isn’t necessary; all that’s required is an outpouring of love.

Tutors are a special breed of people and schools welcome those with skills who are able to assist students. Spanish isn’t always a requirement either, since the schools are bi-lingual. Check with the individual institutions and if you’re truly ambitious, post your services on one of the many Puerto Vallarta Facebook sites.

Turtle farms in and around Puerto Vallarta love to share their projects and there are never too many hands during migration time. Check Google for the most recent opportunities and we have found that simply talking to people in shops and bars is a great way to find out about prospects for volunteering and it’s a good way to meet new friends, too!

Que es cómo es.


 Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article!