AMPI Real Estate News: Scooters

Scooters in Puerto Vallarta

The municipality of Zapopan, a suburb of Guadalajara, has recently approved the introduction of electric scooter rentals, a pilot project that will start on December 2, 2019, when 250 scooters will appear for rent on the streets of Zapopan. You know something like this will soon be available in Puerto Vallarta, if it’s successful in Zapopan. GDL is also looking at joining the program. Electric scooter and bike rentals are very popular north of the border and it will be a very welcome enterprise in Puerto Vallarta.

There are four companies involved in Zapopan; Bird, Frog, Grin and Movo. The charge to unlock a scooter will be $10 – 15 pesos (50-75₵ USD), with $2-3 pesos (10-15₵ USD) per minute to ride. Scooter rental will require a phone app, and normal traffic regulations will be expected to be followed. Scooters will be limited to bike lanes or the right lane of traffic. They will not be allowed on sidewalks, and must park in specified parking zones or vehicle spaces.

Sharing is the way of the future for Puerto Vallarta. It’s working well in other parts of the world and we aren’t far behind. There are great reasons to use scooters for transportation and we have seen them growing in popularity in Puerto Vallarta over the past decade. Scooters are not like bikes in many ways. Their wheels are smaller, which makes for hopping off in an emergency stop, a lot easier. You also don’t travel as fast on a scooter, compared to a bicycle.

Parking. Parking. Parking. It can be one of the most frustrating experiences in Puerto Vallarta, but for short distance trips, when you aren’t obliged to carry anything other than maybe a backpack, you can park in the smallest of spaces. Scooters simply don’t take up much room and though you can’t park them on a sidewalk, there are lots of little nooks and crannies in Puerto Vallarta.

Fuel efficiency is certainly a primary reason. If you know anything about fossil fuels, you’ll understand immediately how efficient at scooter will be in Puerto Vallarta. Consider how much you and a bag might weigh (probably a combined measure of about 200 pounds/90 kilos) and you’re normally traveling in a 3,000 pound/1360 kilo steel machine that fills our environment with carbon dioxide in shocking volumes. Your scooter will weigh approximately 20 pounds/9 kilos and run on electricity.

We’re looking forward to the eventuality of rental scooters in Puerto Vallarta and it can’t happen soon enough, as far as we’re concerned. Be the change you want to see in the world.

Que es cómo es.

AMPI Real Estate News: Buen Fin

Buen Fin and Mexican Economy

If you were out and about in Puerto Vallarta the past couple of weeks, you couldn’t have missed the advertising of Buen Fin. Buen Fin is Black Friday in Mexico and Puerto Vallarta gets in on the act in all of their popular shopping venues. This year topped the charts in popularity and purchases. Over 120 billion pesos (US $6.2 billion) was spent in the four day event this past weekend, which was a 7% increase over last year’s sales.

If you missed it, there are still some lingering sales in stores around town and it won’t do any harm to ask them to honor Buen Fin prices, which most retailers are likely to do to make the sale in an individual store. Don’t expect Costco to do this, but many of the other big box stores will, as will the smaller, locally owned businesses. However that’s not what we want to point out in this blog.

The results of this past weekend far exceeded the expectations of Concanaco, the Confederation of Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism of Mexico. Known as the cheapest weekend of the year, stores were flooded with people taking advantage of the upward economy, which had an increase in growth of 0.1% over the summer. That in itself is a very good sign, taking into account the economy in Mexico showed signs of stagnating in the first and second quarter of this year. Those early predictions were depressing but it’s great to know they were incorrect. Records were broken instead!

This year, the biggest purchases were large-screen TVs, and large and small appliances. White goods, toys and tools were in the top fifteen items purchased, a sign that people are making improvements in their homes and lives. Shopper numbers were also up by an astonishing amount of 20% higher than 2018, with many using credit cards, a relatively new concept for Mexicans. Keep in mind, this type of spending is a major boost to the national and local economy.

Be ready for Buen Fin next year, when the Bank of Mexico will make it even easier to make purchases in Puerto Vallarta by employing the use of their new digital payment system, CoDi.

Que es cómo es.

AMPI Real Estate News: Coffee

Coffee for a Cold Winter Night

One of our favorite things about the winter holidays in Puerto Vallarta is the availability of the yummy drink café de olla. This delicious coffee beverage can be found year round if you know where to look but around Christmas it’s more abundant on the streets of Puerto Vallarta. We recall warming cold hands around a clay cup, many years ago, standing under the crown of the Church of Guadalupe, discovering a magical flavor to go with other seasonal joys. Café de olla is flavored with cinnamon (canela in Spanish) and piloncillo, which is unrefined whole cane sugar, a solid form of sweetness made from boiling and evaporating the juice from sugarcane. You’ve probably seen the cone-shaped brown chunks in stores in Puerto Vallarta.

Café de olla is a traditional coffee drink of Mexico. Café de olla should be served in a clay mug, the type sold in souvenir stores in Puerto Vallarta. You can find these collections of dishes ranging from large platters to tiny shot-glass sized cups. In the past the mugs were a part of the purchase, brimming withhot liquid, but it’s doubtful vendors can keep up with that kind of demand these days. Now café de olla is served in a disposable cup.

The streets of Puerto Vallarta at Christmastime offer so many tasty treats and we can’t recommend café de olla too much. Though it is served year round in some restaurants, including the one that bears the name, the café de olla we purchase during the holidays seems to be richer, made with the blessings of the season.

Surprising to many, the main ingredient of café de olla is Nescafe; Mexicans know how to make it taste delicious. To make our own version at home in Puerto Vallarta we use the following method: In a saucepan, add a short cup of fresh ground coffee of your choice (the darker, the better) to a quart of hot water; a couple cinnamon sticks (essential ingredient); and the equivalent of half a cup piloncillo (use brown sugar if you’re in the north and have no access to piloncillo; about a third of an orange peel (yes, just the peel). Bring this to a boil. You can also toss in a pinch of nutmeg or cloves. Boil for about a minute, remove from the heat, cover and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and serve.

Get some of those beautiful clay mugs; you won’t regret it.

Que cómo es es.

AMPI Real Estate News: New Years

New Year’s Eve in Puerto Vallarta

Our first visit to Puerto Vallarta was during the holidays. This time of year brings back the best memories. We’d never heard of some of the traditions observed here and now love to celebrate year after year, learning our way as we go.

We still have trouble making twelve wishes while eating grapes as the clock strikes the midnight hour on New Year’s Eve. We started our own tradition of bringing a bag of popcorn to the beach on New Year’s Eve. Instead of eating grapes, which are very filling (after consuming a huge dinner), we pass the popcorn to our group of friends, who have been previously informed and can get a little head start. About ten minutes before the bell begins to ring at the Cathedral, we think about those twelve wishes, count out the same number of popped-corn kernels, one for each month and by midnight, we’ve achieved our goal!

Mexicans like to eat late and holidays are an excuse to stay up as long as possible, children included. In Puerto Vallarta, there are many choices for New Year’s Eve. Plan a place for dinner, which is the priority of the evening, either at home or out on the town. Keep in mind that traffic will be snarled to put it mildly; taxis and Ubers will be running fewer and farther between from about 11 pm on. If you want a table down on the beach at Los Muertos, you might consider making reservations for the entire evening.

At midnight, the fireworks go on for well over half an hour. The inventiveness and creativity are incredible, becoming more so with each passing year. Firecrackers aren’t part of the celebration and are, in fact, illegal in Puerto Vallarta. We do recommend going to the Malecón a couple days before New Year’s Eve to watch the construction of how the fireworks displays are made.

Please, don’t take your dog to the beach. The fireworks are incredibly LOUD, packed in a shell that’s launched from a mortar. To a dog, it sounds like a war zone.

When the festivities have ended, there’s a street dance on Olas Altas with hoards of people. It’s fun but crowded. Bars stay open later, and taco stands are swarming. DON’T DRIVE if you are drinking. There will be checkpoints at both ends of town, and it’s simply not worth the consequences of being pulled over, under the influence. Arrange for a ride, have a designated driver or wait for taxis or Ubers.

Have a fantastic night, and we wish you the very best in the New Year!

Que cómo es es.

AMPI Real Estate News: Geckos

Love Our Geckos!

Our first experience with geckos in Puerto Vallarta began as an annoying clicking that we thought was someone monkeying around with our window latch. We got up and stumbled around in the dark, saw nothing disturbing and went back to bed. Not to sleep. The clicking continued. In time, we learned the annoyance came from a tiny creature called a gecko. Now we sleep through the night with the same comfort as Grandma’s ticking clock in the echoing foyer, knowing that everything is as it should be. Geckos are out hunting in the dark and still of the night, capturing mosquitoes and other bothersome bugs.

There are many definitions for gecko sounds and logical explanations for them. Scientists have had a lot of fun observing geckos and attempting to explain their social interactions. The geckos you hear in Puerto Vallarta chirp, bark, click, etc to deflect other males, attract females, fight, flirt, announce and claim their territory, and perhaps throw a fiesta for reasons known only to geckos. We have turned on the light at night to see as many as a half dozen on our ceilings and walls.

Geckos are only fearsome to the insects they devour and we are eternally thankful for this. Though one mosquito may do great harm to us, a gecko simply sees him as an appetizer. Geckos eat insects much larger than themselves and if you’re interested in going beyond the images of your own imagination, check out youtube for dramatic videos.

We have been startled during daylight hours when moving furniture or art on the wall, to have a gecko run out with great urgency to locate another hiding place. It is our nature to apologize. Cats will go after geckos, and since cats have nocturnal tendencies, we try to keep Fluffy cornered in bed with us, though it doesn’t always work. Cats will only eat the bodies and leave the head of a gecko for your astonishment in the morning. Geckos in Puerto Vallarta can be seen during the day; they are not strictly nocturnal, but it’s a rare occurrence to see them on a bright sunny day.

If you try to catch a gecko, we must advise against keeping them as pets. Instead consider them your own personal pets who are allowed to roam your home, much like cats do, with no boundaries. You will, in fact, most likely be left holding a wriggling tail, while the rest of the gecko escapes. Not to worry. Geckos are built to be able to release their tail along an actual predestined line, which allows them to flee quickly with nominal harm to the remainder of their body. In their own milieu, the continued thrashing of the tail provides distraction from a predator and allows the gecko to hide once again.

Geckos can live a long time in Puerto Vallarta, up to five years in the wild. So keep them around; they are considered good luck and nothing seems better than old wise geckos protecting us at night.

Que es cómo es.

AMPI Real Estate News: Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead in Puerto Vallarta

Our first Day of the Dead experience in Puerto Vallarta was long before 2008, when UNESCO recognized the holiday on its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, those traditions that are passed down from generations. Día de los Muertos is an occasion of the reaffirmation of indigenous life and is celebrated by all Mexicans, regardless of religious or ethnic or origins. You will be fascinated by the ofrendas, magical altars covered in marigolds, emanating with their rich earthy scent, multitudes of candles, and intriguing offerings to the dead.

While we walk along, admiring the ofrendas, moving from one display to another, most of us miss the meaning of this important day for the locals of Puerto Vallarta. The entire purpose of the Day of the Dead is about honoring those who have passed beyond this world and in doing do, asking their guidance for when it’s time for us to follow such a pathway. Ofrendas are found in various plazas, in private homes, on doorsteps, and in the cemeteries. The expectation is that loved ones will pop in for a visit and to lure them, friends and family place photographs of those who are gone, plus items they loved when they inhabited this world. It’s not unusual to find cigars, a pack of cigarettes, a favored lighter and matches, shot glasses with tequila, bottles of alcohol and cans of beer or soft drinks. Books, letters written in this realm, candy, food, perhaps a piece of clothing they wore. Chocolate, a cup of tea or coffee, fruit, tamales, lipstick, a pipe, jewelry; an unfinished crocheting project, embroidery scissors, thimbles, a pack of cards, dice, dominoes, musical instruments. It’s sad to see toys, well loved dolls, small trucks and cars, but we must remember the whole purpose is joy. Candles are everywhere, to help light the way back from the land of the dead to that of the living for this one night of the year.

Recently in Puerto Vallarta, people have taken to having La Catrina painted on their faces. The Catrina, a symbol of death itself, is a reminder that no matter who you are, how much money or social status you have, we all end up dead; the great equalizer. You can paint your own face (there are great tutorials on youtube) or pay a small fee to have someone with talent do it for you. It’s fun and a safer way to costume yourself than wearing a mask and a welcomed new tradition in Old Town Puerto Vallarta.

You won’t want to miss the procession along the malecón, a presentation of creative costumes, mariachi bands and minstrels, dancers, riders on horseback and decorated cars, marching down the street and winding in and out of revelers.

The Day of the Dead grows every year in Puerto Vallarta to expand on the traditions and invite more celebrants!

Que cómo es es.

Hey Vallarta… What is That in the Water?

We actually have very limited reports of crocodile attacks in Puerto Vallarta. There’s a simple reason for this: crocodiles rarely attack humans.

Crocodiles are, however, very interested in four legged mammals and we are personally aware of incidents where pets were taken by these large prehistoric-like reptiles. It’s difficult to refer to such events as attacks. Snatch and dash would be more descriptive. Crocodiles don’t make a habit of hiding. If there’s one in the vicinity, they are sure to be noticed, but they aren’t super visible, don’t make noise and prefer to hang out just below the surface in the water. They’re primarily found in fresh water but have no problem drifting out to sea for a short cruise, especially during the rainy season. Crocodiles can be found inland by up to twenty miles.

Crocodiles are often mistaken for logs floating on the surface close to the shoreline. We’ve seen this strange phenomenon and can attest to the fact that from afar, it’s hard to distinguish. We can also say the main result has been a test of speed-swimming skills for those in the water; and for those on land, an assessment of foolishness in regards to photography proficiency. Remarks of “how big do you think he is?” are clearly audible, rather than statements making sense, such as “let’s put a distance between ourselves and that thing that looks to be about 16 feet in length.”

It’s interesting to know the only natural predators of crocodiles are the two-legged type. They have no other enemies on land or sea. Though they aren’t particularly swift when walking on land, they can swim up to speeds of 20 mph (30kph), especially if pursuing prey or escaping perceived danger. Mamas, of course, are more aggressive than male crocs, for obvious reasons. Though they do lay eggs, they are unlike turtles in that crocodiles must help their baby hatchlings out of the ground, digging a hole for their release. Baby crocodiles are about 8 inches (20 cm) in length and several can have a ride at once on mama’s back to the safety of water.

In Puerto Vallarta, there are two destinations for viewing and learning more about crocodiles, which we highly recommend. They are the University de la Costa Preserve, just south of Flamingos (where the huge golf ball can be seen from the highway). The other is the Estero el

Salado Sanctuary, just north of the large mall – Galeria Liverpool. Both are a quick turn off the main highway – Carretera Francisco Medina Ascencio.

Be wise and keep your pets on a leash when walking by the rivers or sea.

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.


The 250 People Who Should Be in Your Sphere of Influence

How to Build a Smarter Book of Business

Recently we’ve been talking a LOT about data. Big Data. Smart analytic data. Specialty Nielsen Prizm data. Geographic data based on radial search technology. Demographic data selects such as age, gender, income, and property data. We’re working hard to ensure that we can be your trusted resource for all of these data sources and then some.

On thing that has to start with you, the agent, however, is your sphere of influence database. It’s truly the foundation for your business — and it is the difference between always chasing new commissions, or having a reliable, consistent referral base you can count on. Want to build a business that is strong, sustainable, and competitive and that you can sell when you’re ready to retire? Start here. Now. Long before the end of the year — and you’ll help yourself to get on track to average more transactions per year, every year.

Think about this –if you had 250 people in a database that you consistently stay in touch with and who you develop a RELATIONSHIP with, then who will they call when they have a real estate question, need or referral? YOU. If just 10% of those folks listed, sold or referred you per year, what would that mean for your income?

“But building a database is HARD!” (Ever hear that one?) It doesn’t have to be and it doesn’t have to be done all at once, but what it does need to be is a consistent part of your weekly business habits. NOT having a sphere of influence list is hands-down, the single biggest obstacle to agent success. Not having a database you can market to will keep you in the not-so-fun cycle of always chasing new business, without the benefit of ever gaining any traction. And think about this — if data inputting is an issue — there are lots of college kids still home for the summer that would love an opportunity to make a few dollars just for a few days work of inputting your data.

So where do you start? Pick a date to work on it and commit. Open a spreadsheet on your computer or tablet. Or choose an online database management system. Then ask yourself (and answer) these 30 Questions:

  1. What are the names of the members of your family?
  2. What are the names of your spouse’s family?
  3. What are the names of your “extended” family?
  4. What is the name of your best friend?
  5. What is the name of your spouse’s best friend?
  6. What are the names of your very close friends?
  7. What are the names of your spouse’s very close friends?
  8. What are the names of your children’s friends’ parents?
  9. What are your children’s teachers’ names?
  10. What are your children’s coaches’ names?
  11. What are your children’s principals’ names?
  12. What are your children’s dentists’ names?
  13. What are your children’s doctors’ names?
  14. What are your children’s optometrists’ names?
  15. Who cuts your children’s hair?
  16. Who sells you your children’s clothes?
  17. Who is on the PTA Board at your children’s school?
  18. Who is your children’s Sunday school teacher?
  19. Who cuts your hair?
  20. Who does your dry cleaning?
  21. Who does your pedicures, manicures, facials?
  22. Who do you purchase gasoline from?
  23. Who services your car(s)?
  24. Who do you buy tires from?
  25. Who sold you your current car(s)?
  26. Who have you purchased cars from in the past?
  27. Who cleans your car(s)?
  28. Who is your mailman?
  29. Who do you know at your church?
  30. Who do you see at the convenience store you most often go to?

Next, add every customer you’ve ever had. Add the neighbors. Add old business colleagues. In fact, click here to get a copy of our BusinessBASETM, download it at no cost and read it thoroughly. On page six you’ll find 150 questions like the ones above that you need to ask yourself to build a sphere of influence list of at least 250 people. It will also tell you all the fields you will want to set up for each contact such as name, address, email, occupation, etc.

Then take ACTION. Start a touch marketing campaign to these folks every 21-35 days. Consider a series of postcards such as holiday, or recipe postcards, that will keep you top of mind, take just minutes to order and send and helps you incubate each person on our new list until you have the opportunity to see or speak to them.

And DON’T wait until you have all 250 or more in your list to start. Remember that old saying by Arthur Ashe? “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Momentum doesn’t just happen. You have to get started somewhere. If you only get 25-50 people put into your book of business this month. Start sending to them. Or Make it a goal to just put 100 in this weekend.

 

The 4 Steps to Social Media Marketing

One of Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to Begin with the End in Mind. This infographic from BigThunk and Number 8 Communications does just that – recognizing that you need to establish your goals first when looking to your social media marketing strategy.

I especially appreciate this infographic because it doesn’t simply speak about conversions – it speaks to the other business uses of social media: Brand Marketing, Thought Leaderhsip, Service and Sales Prospecting. Much of the strength of social media doesn’t come from the immediate push… it’s the echos and volume that are established over time.

4-steps-social-media-strategy

Source: marketingtechblog.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 Transactions Go Green

It’s easier than ever to put a green spin on housing, but not always quite how you may think.

“Green” real estate often refers to planet-friendly construction materials, energy efficiency and sustainability in both form and function for new and existing homes.

The sense that Earth’s resources aren’t limitless is finally starting to hit home with many housing consumers. That can extend to real estate transactions as well, by eliminating paperwork and accomplishing more electronically.

Real Estate Transactions Go Green

With virtually everyone equipped with a smartphone, there’s no end to what can be achieved in a green way, especially in the real estate arena.

Smartphones have streamlined almost everything we do, putting us in constant contact with friends and family, colleagues, and nearly limitless information.

With the ability to research anything right at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever to access and aggregate information while on the go – and with less paper waste.

From apps designed to help us get the most out of a house hunt to immediate document turnaround via mobile email and communications with a real estate agent, the process of buying a house has never been more convenient, efficient and effective.

Green real estate transactions

Gone are the days of slogging through the big book of paper listings in an agent’s office before heading out for the home search.

Instead of sifting through reams of fliers and handouts, you get instant property details, including photos, videos and information from your agent sent right to your phone.

Once you’ve found your dream house, your agent can communicate your interest immediately to the seller’s agent and get the ball rolling on a sale.

Because paperless transactions require less time, negotiations get a boost and there’s less waiting. Technology allows the convenience of digitally initialing and signing off on multiple forms and documents rather than relying upon a plethora of printouts.

National Association of REALTOR®, designated ePro certified agents and similar real estate company designations are trained and experienced to be more conversant in the high-tech approach to real estate transaction.

Eliminating paperwork gives your agent more time to spend focusing on you, your housing needs and your home search or home sale.

You likely are already mobile ready for your home buy or sale.

To learn how technologically “green” your agent is, talk to him or her about the various ways he or she deploys technology to benefit you.

Author: Kim Clark

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.