Vallarta Culture: Moving Along

As in the phrase “Move along, folks, nothing to see here…” we have found the events of last week somewhat inflated. Puerto Vallarta hosts the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) this year, as the city plays host to their annual conference from May 4-9, 2015. Attendees will observe a city brimming with exciting and fun things to do. Their activities will include special performances of music and dance; zip line tours; water adventures such as fishing, snorkeling, dolphin and whale watching; horseback riding, jungle hikes and ecological tours; beach clubs; golf; and Puerto Vallarta’s incredible cuisine.

May Day has been a time for protest and demonstrations since the USA and their unions first called for the introduction of an eight-hour work day by forming a general strike to press for these demands in 1886. Businesses normally are closed on this day, in Puerto Vallarta as well as cities all over the world. This year, demonstrators clashed with police in Istanbul, Turkey; Milan, Italy; Seattle, Washington, USA, resulting in scores of arrests and injuries. Istanbul’s Taksim Square had 10,000 police stationed around its perimeter.

In Puerto Vallarta six guys in two pickup trucks drove to three banks, busted the windows and tossed Molotov cocktails through the doors. Those were their weapons. As afore mentioned, the banks were closed, empty. This group also set fires at five gas stations. Storage tanks did not blow up and the perpetrators warned everyone to get out of their way to avoid harm and injury. It is rumored these incidents were carried out by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel to show how quickly they can mobilize. They also were reportedly responsible for events in other areas of Jalisco and neighboring states.

Social media is not a reliable source for our news. Facebook was the only place the fires of Puerto Vallarta were difficult to extinguish. Amazingly, an automobile on the Guadalajara-Colima highway overheated and was reported, repeatedly, as cartel activity. News in the USA was highly focused on news of the day that six Baltimore police officers had been charged in the death of a citizen.

The evening of May 1 in Puerto Vallarta found people on the beaches, walking the Malecón and filling bars and restaurants. Locally the query of the day was where to watch the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight, which turned out to be as humdrum as the 6’O’Clock news in Puerto Vallarta.

We expect the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) to report that Puerto Vallarta is, indeed, all it’s purported to be: [Truly a world class tourist destination, named “Friendliest City” by Conde Nast in 2001, “Best place in the world to retire” by AARP (North American Association of Retired Persons), “Best Vacation Destination in Mexico” by USNews.com in 2010, “Most Romantic Place in Mexico” and “Favorite Beach Destination in

Mexico” by About.com in 2012, “Best place for Conventions” in a convention marketing magazine and listed in “Top 10 Destinations in Mexico” by TripAdvisor in 2015].

Que es cómo es.


Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta Real Estate: Our Monthly Reminder!

Safety in Mexico

The subject of safety in Mexico comes up often. A media machine in the US is not short on news these days but when shootings happen anywhere, it does garner attention.  Puerto Vallarta is a long way from Cancun, comparable to the distance between Los Angeles and New York, or Vancouver BC and Toronto.  Not to say that Cancun is a violent place; it’s just been in the news a lot the past few days. Reports have been very general and never get into the specifics. A woman was killed and the details are grisly, but this was no schoolmarm. It’s hard for some people to embrace the fact that a woman might be the target of violence when it comes to cartel activity. However, a female leader controls drugs sales in Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Doña Lety, as she is known, was a police officer and with her son, is wanted on multiple drug trafficking charges. These people tend to go after one another and civilians are rarely at any risk.

Our advice is to stay away from areas that are known to be shady and probably dangerous. Where are these places in Puerto Vallarta? There are none. Puerto Vallarta is safe downtown; in the marina; Mismaloya and in the jungle above; Yelapa, Las Animas, Quimixto, reachable only by boat; the back roads that lead to spas, all-you-can-eat shrimp restaurants and golf courses; the beach; dance clubs; cruise ship terminal…we can’t think of anywhere in Puerto Vallarta we would be afraid to venture.

We have always recommended using common sense when traveling in and around Puerto Vallarta and that goes for any city, anywhere across the globe. There are always pockets of unrest that can be sought out if dangerously is really how one wants to spend their vacation. When going to Chicago, we limit our activities to such things as the Art Institute, Millennium Park, the Russian Tea Room, a show at the Chicago Theater and other delightful pastimes. We manage to avoid visiting Riverdale, Fuller or Washington Park areas, where scientific data has determined tourists should steer clear of. Same for Mexico; there are places we would shun, such as Tepito in Mexico City, where thieves will gladly relieve you of your wallet in such a quick manner, you might not know it’s gone until you reach into your pocket to make a purchase.

It’s not rocket science. It’s easy to stay safe when traveling. Don’t try to buy drugs. Our best advice.

Que es cómo es.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Prepare Your Negotiation “Cocktail”

After 25 years as a Realtor, the challenge remains when it comes to negotiations. Now that we are experiencing a livelier market we need to hone our negotiation skills and prepare for the main event!

Negotiations don’t necessarily mean conflict. It’s not a war nor is it a game. In the current market, where we are experiencing multiple offers, we must prepare in order to create a win win result and a satisfied client.

Some suggestions for your negotiation “cocktail”.

1. Carefully review all the documents and highlight the points you want to make clear to your client. They will be anxious and rely on you for clarification. Present the points that you anticipate negotiating for them in a clear and concise manner. Perhaps there are issues they mentioned as non negotiable. Verify that this is still their position. This can help set the stage for a compromise on that issue should they receive another term, they hadn’t anticipated, in exchange.

2. Probe for deal breaker items that truly are not negotiable. This has to be transparent in your conversation and can actually present a clear path in your negotiation. Prepare to explain to your fellow negotiator that this is not up for discussion, so you must work together to find another solution. Agents usually appreciate a collaborative, rather than adversarial, approach.

3. Brush up on non verbal signals as a lot of negotiation is done on the phone. Try not to negotiate in a non verbal manner ( text or email) as that erases a lot of possible clues. Voice inflection, coughing, silence and volume of voice can all be helpful or misleading. Some of the toughest negotiators I’ve had the pleasure of doing business with, had the softest voices. Be open and alert.

4. Identify, and have an understanding of, cultural differences. With our global economy and cultural diversity in real estate transactions, this is a must. It can tip the scales and move the process more smoothly toward resolution. This effort sets a tone of respect and removes the possibility of offending anyone.

5. Set the stage for compromise with your client. If they feel there is no need to compromise on anything, your job of creating a win win scenario will be much more difficult. Ask them to put themselves in the other party’s shoes, which can soften a stance. I ask them to put on their “buyer/seller hat” which can lighten the moment.

According to Gerard I. Nierenberg author of  The Complete Negotiator, the 5 steps in negotiation are: assumptions, facts, issues, positions and decisions. If we have calm and clear communication skills and a patient understanding of the first four, the desired decisions will follow. This is created by confidence and a clear understanding of your client’s position.  Preparation, rather than an impromptu atmosphere, helps create the win win result and present you as a true professional.

 

Hey Vallarta… Get Up To Date About Punta De Mita

Punta de Mita

Less than ten miles north of Puerto Vallarta, the community of Punta de Mita has become one of the most desirable destinations in the world for wealthy people seeking privacy and luxury. The Four Seasons Punta Mita is located here, as well as St. Regis Punta Mita, Casa Aramara and more than a dozen high-end housing developments. It’s also the location of Careyeros Hill, a prehistoric/archeological site, dating back to approximately 800 AD, long ago inhabited by humans.

The climate is quite favorable due to the position on the peninsula, surrounded on three sides by the ocean. The Marieta Islands, to the west of Puerto Vallarta, can be reached in 15 minutes by boat from Punta de Mita. Forbes Magazine has ranked this area Number Two in the world for its rating of famous private residences in the tropics. The well-staffed (35 person) luxury villa Casa Aramara is very popular among the celebrity set.

The name Punta de Mita, translates to Tip of Mita, indicating ownership of one named Mita. Though it’s hard to say if anyone named Mita still lives on the land, without doing in-depth research, we’ve found that locals object to the shortening to Punta Mita, just as they do with the abbreviated PV for those unable and unwilling to pronounce Puerto Vallarta. But they were given little choice and many now refer to it in the shortened version.

Though Punta de Mita has been somewhat invaded by the rich and famous, it’s also become the home of enterprises like a global conference including well known Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, patrons and sponsors. Their intention is to connect the thought leaders of Mexico, North and Latin America, in an attempt to initiate a stable structure for mentoring curriculum. They have named themselves MITA (Mita Institue and Tech Accelerator), in honor of the locale and their ambitions. MITA hosts an annual Tech Talks event in Punta de Mita. They embrace equality, animal rights and encourage the unification of leaders throughout the Americas in the sphere of the entrepreneurial network, using panel discussions and social media. Groups like this will change the way we are viewed globally.

Punta de Mita and the surrounding peninsula, from Puerto Vallarta to Sayulita, have a lot of offer in the way of sports and entertainment. Kite boarding and surfing are very popular on these shores and rental shops can help with lessons and equipment. The shoreline abounds with accessible beaches, even though there are some areas blocked off by the larger enterprises. Seaside restaurants in Punta de Mita, north and south, offer a variety of fare and prices. Bike rental shops in Bucerias and Sayulita are happy to help with bikes and the racks for your car so you can plan day trips. Horseback riding is available in Punta de Mita, as well, for those looking for a different pace.

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.


TRUTH AND BEAUTY IN A REAL ESTATE OFFICE?

Some years ago the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) engaged Tom Morris, Ph.D., to be a speaker at NAR’s national convention. His talks — tucked in among sessions dealing with marketing, sales techniques, and listing presentations — were out of the ordinary, to say the least. But they were relevant then and they are just as relevant today.

TRUTH AND BEAUTY

Morris is, of all things, a philosopher, and a respected one at that. He taught fifteen years at Notre Dame, where he was widely-acknowledged to be the most popular teacher on campus. Now, as head of the Morris Institute for Human Values, he is a much sought-after speaker and consultant for businesses and corporations throughout the country. The title of his talk to the REALTORS®, reflecting his grounding in the classics, was “If Aristotle Sold Real Estate: The Four Foundations of Excellence.”

In a nutshell, Morris’ thesis is this: Human beings seek fulfillment, and an activity or relationship can contribute to one’s fulfillment if and only if it respects and nurtures the four fundamental dimensions of human experience. Those dimensions are the Intellectual, the Aesthetic, the Moral, and the Spiritual. A company or organization that ignores those aspects of its members’ experience does so at its peril. Conversely, companies that attend to those factors see payoffs in loyalty, retention, morale, and productivity.

“Well, OK,” a sincere and attentive broker-owner might say, “but just what does all this stuff mean in the everyday world of my office? Exactly what might I do to apply these lessons from the ancients?” A fair enough question. In the space remaining, we’ll consider some concrete applications with respect to the first two dimensions. In the next column we’ll look at the remaining two.

As Morris would put it, the intellectual dimension of human experience aims at the truth. People have a natural desire to know and to understand. To satisfy this desire, they need the truth. And, while no particular environment can supply them with all the truth there is, every environment can provide an atmosphere of respect for the truth. People — yes, even real estate agents — have a deep-seated need for this, and they will not be able to find real satisfaction in an enterprise where the truth is held in low regard.

Real estate companies, as well as other organizations, can apply this in at least two ways. Internally, they must speak the truth to their employees and agents. At a minimum, this means no dishonesty. Taken more actively, it means openness. It means sharing with employees the truth about company plans and goals, and, especially, problems. It means not making secret deals with some agents, while deceiving the rest.

Truth must also be spoken outwardly. A company that fudges, “puffs”, and otherwise makes less than honest claims about itself to the public does no service to itself or its agents. How many Number Ones can there be? The effect of exaggeration and deception (which doesn’t always require outright falsification) is that, soon, no one listens. Worse, if an employee or agent perceives that his company does not treat the external public with a respect for truth, than he will certainly doubt that such respect would be shown to him.

The second dimension of human experience, the aesthetic, aims at beauty. Few of us would need to be convinced that some of our greatest experiences of satisfaction and deep peace occur in settings of beauty. The workplace that ignores this aspect of human experience commits serious error.

Morris approvingly quotes Victor Hugo, “The beautiful is as useful as the useful. Perhaps more so.” He points out that better work is done in settings that attend to the aesthetic. Beauty brings out the best in people. For the real estate office this may mean something as simple as art work on the walls and fresh flowers in the foyer; but an attention to beauty, color, and harmony in an office shows an attention to, and respect for, the humanness of those who work there.

Moreover, Morris points out that we not only need beauty in our surroundings, but also that we need to experience performance beauty, to know that there is, or can be, beauty in what we do. In real estate? Yes, even in real estate. In one of his books, Morris quotes Confucius as saying, “Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.” Real estate companies would do well to remind their agents that there is, or can be, beauty in what they do — that they don’t just do deals and collect commissions.

Some years ago NAR encouraged its members with the slogan, “I sell the American Dream.” That was a good campaign, and one that companies would do well to emulate.

It is common for real estate agents to tell “horror stories” and to jokingly compete with each other as to who has the worst escrow story, etc. Real estate brokerages would do well to turn that around a bit, to provide a venue for agents to compare their good stories and to be reinforced by the beauty that can be found in what they do.

Author, Bob Hunt, director of the California Association of Realtors®.

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.

If Your Website Isn’t Driving Leads, You’re Wasting Your Time

The purpose of creating a website for your real estate business is not just to increase your visibility—it’s also to increase your accessibility. It’s important to drive traffic to your website, but you also have to make sure visitors know what to do when they get there.

leads

First, make sure your site is clear about who you are and what you do. Very few visitors will make it to your site purely by a random accident. The Internet is too big, and the kinds of people who are actually looking to do business don’t have that kind of time. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should assume every hit on your site is someone who knows exactly what she’s looking for. Visitors have to know immediately that you’re a real estate professional looking to help them sell or buy their home. A spiffy banner or flash video introducing your site can be effective, but it better deliver that information quickly and clearly.

Second, make sure your site is clear about where you’re located. The Internet is not a local newspaper: anyone can access your site from anywhere. If you live in a place with a common name (Springfield, perhaps), people halfway across the country may end up on your site pretty frequently. What’s more, if someone searches “real estate agent Chicago” on Google, your Orlando-based business probably won’t be the first result—but that doesn’t mean it won’t be on the list. That said, visitors should know right away what communities or areas you serve. Otherwise, half of your leads will be about as useful as spam emails.

Third, make it easy for visitors to see what you have to offer. It’s all about convenience. Nobody is flipping through the yellow pages anymore. People won’t call you just because you’re a real estate agent, or because your company is in its hundredth year. They want to see that you have what they’re looking for before they pick up the phone, so let them know by making your listings available for them to browse. Furthermore, you need to make sure that those listings match your actual inventory at all times. That means updating them not just on a weekly basis, but whenever they change. If you leave up listings for homes that sold days or weeks ago, visitors may not only see you as lazy or negligent: they may also interpret this as a bait-and-switch ploy to rope them in. That will cost you leads.

Finally, make sure those people who are interested after visiting your site know how to reach you, and that they have more than one way of doing so. Display both an email and a phone number, along with any other contact information, prominently at the top or bottom of every page. It goes without saying that all of this information should reflect a high degree of professionalism; listing hellokitty82@hotmail.com as your email address or directing users to a personal Twitter account you use to gush about celebrity sightings is probably worse than not listing your contact information at all.

Above all, remember that no matter how bad the market is, your leads are out there, searching for the path to their new home. All you have to do is show them the way.

Author: – placester.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.

What Realtors Need to know About Promoting Themselves

Plan Ahead. It pays to know who your target audience is, and how to reach out to these people. Picking a niche to focus on from the get-go helps you avoid taking on too much and spreading yourself too thin among clients. Try seeking out a certain neighborhood, or focus on a certain type of property, like apartments. Planning ahead also allows you to network and get the most information that you can before things get busy. The sooner you plan, the more prepared and successful you will be.realtors promoting themselves

Become the Expert. You can’t become a well-known real estate expert unless you really ARE one. Pick something you know really well and run with it. Learn everything you can and actually become the expert at what you do. Whether it’s staging or finding the perfect neighborhood, concentrate on what you know best and keep learning everything you can.

Networking. This means getting out of your comfort zone and approaching people you may not have talked to before. This doesn’t just mean social media networking either, this means have conversations with people, which are much more meaningful. It’s all about whom you know, and whom those people know. You may actually be surprised at how far it will take you.

Your Website. You want a website that represents who you are and what you do in the simplest way. Nobody wants to read through paragraphs of information and promises that you are the best at what you do. Anyone can say that. Use your website to show that you ARE the best, and use short, catchy phrases that will stick with potential clients rather than lengthy pages of content.

Get Blogging. Content marketing is useful because it connects you with your target audience. Writing blogs about certain topics in real estate will help establish you as a real estate expert. Of course, you’ll want to form the content around who your target audience is so that you reach the right people. For example, if you’re focus is on luxury real estate, you want to create blogs about luxury living and high priced homes or lavish design ideas.

Get Some Help. Hiring a PR team to promote you as a real estate professional will not only take a load off of your to do list, but will also result in more effective promotion. With a team to take care of all of your needs, from social media to media opportunities, you will have more time to focus on being the best real estate agent you can be. Rather than splitting your time between promoting yourself and selling homes, you can focus on your current clients and let your PR team do the rest!

 

Author: Expose Yourself Public Relations

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.

Vallarta: Drones – Safety and Privacy are Goals That Real Estate Strives to Meet

Some great advice from Robert Freeman in www.speakingofrealestate.blogs.realtor.org/


“Real estate professionals understand, perhaps more than most, the importance to a homeowner of having privacy in his or her home and backyard, or to be able to guard against trespassers on private property.”—NAR President Chris Polychron in Sept. 10, 2015, testimony to the House Judiciary Commiteee subcommittee on the courts and intellectual property

NAR President Chris Polychron testified before Congress about the real estate industry’s readiness to use unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, in a safe and responsible way once the federal government clears the way with final rules.

Drone  Test

To get ready, NAR has joined the Federal Aviation Administration’s Know Before You Fly campaign, provided its analyses of safety and privacy issues to the FAA as it writes its rules, and continues to educate its members about the importance of safe drone operations.

NAR’s efforts in this regard put it out front of what will surely be an increasingly important matter as drones become a familiar part of our airspace.

Among the real estate-related questions that are likely to be asked by lawmakers and others as the technology moves forward are these:

  • If you’re working with a drone operator and have the permission of the owner to take aerial photos and video of the owner’s property, what must the drone operator do to ensure the data that’s collected is kept secure?
  • What if a neighbor or someone else is unintentionally photographed or videotaped by the drone?
  • What if the drone causes a safety issue?

For real estate, one of the main uses of drone technology will be aerial photos and videos. But as Polychron made clear in his remarks, the range of possible uses goes far beyond that. The devices can become a safe and cost-effective way to assess property condition and gauge property damage after a storm, among other things.

In short, drones hold a lot of promise for the industry, and in his testimony, Polychron stressed that REALTORS® will make every effort to tap this useful technology while keeping the focus on its safe and responsible use.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Hey Vallarta.. Curva Peligrosa?

Just the phrase “driving in Mexico” can begin an endless discussion of passions and strong opinions. The sign Curva Peligrosa, posted on dangerous curves, sounds more like a tropical plant description or the name of a raging dance club. However, the toll roads leading to Puerto Vallarta are well marked; obeying speed limits, observing tope (traffic bumps) notices and heeding warnings is highly advisable.

Mexicans drive very offensively and when one takes skills learned in Puerto Vallarta back to northern homes, one is often complimented on abilities to slip and slide through traffic and park in spaces that look like they may require a crowbar to get out of again.

Whether planning a short trip or a journey that might take several days, it’s wise to check ahead for weather conditions. Driving in the rain means traveling slower and sometimes pulling over all together. Stormy skies should be treated the same as night driving when planning an excursion on the open road.

Mirrors, it should be noted, are not just for combing hair and checking makeup. Using side and rearview mirrors and being aware of what’s behind, as well as what’s ahead is not just prudent but saves lives. The knowledge of approaching and passing trucks and cars, not to mention oncoming emergency vehicles, keeps a driver well prepared. It’s constant vigilance.

When on a two lane highway, with no passing lane, a truck, bus or slow moving car in front of you may use their hazard lights, or simply flash a turn signal to tell the person behind them it’s safe to pass. This is a common practice and the driver ahead of you is just as interested in staying alive as you are; it’s also hazardous to hold up traffic.

Traffic police in Puerto Vallarta don’t tolerate the use of cell phones while driving. If you must answer a call or return a text, pull over. A ticket means going to the police station to pay a fine and in most cases to get your driver’s license back, which will have been confiscated at the time of infraction. Fines are not heavy but the inconvenience of taking the time to stand in line to be frowned at by a magistrate could better be spent having margaritas on the beach.

Driving at night is highly unadvisable not because of banditos, which exist mainly in Hollywood and thrilling novels. Slow moving trucks, vehicles without proper operating lights, potholes and ruts in the pavement and the dreaded topes are all perilous to the nighttime driver. Because of the lack of fences or retaining walls, there is often livestock on the road and one doesn’t see them coming around the curva peligrosa. Buen viaje and drive carefully.

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.


How working from home can boost your Real Estate business

Real estate agents and brokers still like to argue about whether we work more effectively out of our homes or at a real estate brokerage office.

Some say they’re most productive in an office environment. Buyers and sellers may perceive that agents who work out of real estate offices are more “professional” than those who do not.

There are some jobs where it is really important to go into work. I have never heard of a heart surgeon who telecommutes or a bus driver who works from a home office.

Some agents work with clients who are impressed with opulent offices and dark suites. But I’ve had plenty of clients express relief when I offer to come to their home or office to meet with them, or in a coffee shop that is close to their home.

What others call “unprofessional” I call personalized service.

Where we work should really be a personal choice. We should focus on what we can accomplish, instead of where it is being accomplished.

Home office

When I work with clients, I work all over town. I go in and out of houses all day, and spend a lot of time in my car. Much of my work in marketing homes happens on the Internet, as does most of my prospecting for new business.

Where we work should really be a personal choice. We should focus on what we can accomplish, instead of where it is being accomplished.

Most of the time, I’m too busy to go in to an office to work. I do most of my office-type work in my well-appointed, but modest, home office. No one ever has trouble finding me if they have a question or need some help.

There are people who do not have a place to work at home. I know of a couple of agents who live in smaller condos and who have young children at home. They need places to go to work. For them a real estate office is where they are the most productive.

My children are adults and I don’t have any more interruptions at home than I would have in an office. Most of my interruptions come in the form of phone calls, text messages, emails and the occasional tweet. I can be interrupted anywhere, and I don’t find working at home at all distracting.

If I’m working at home, I do take care to confine my work to my office, and out of other parts of the house. When I don’t want to work in my home office, I go to a coffee shop or a co-working collaborative I belong to, CoCoMSP.

As a CoCo member, I can drink the coffee and use the space to meet with clients. I occasionally use conference rooms for meetings or presentations. I spend my days in the community. As a result, I know a lot of people. Sometimes they ask me to help them buy or sell real estate.

There are collaboratives that are just for real estate professionals, but I don’t understand why anyone who is a real estate agent would want to spend their days with other real estate agents. Opportunities to network and to socialize with other agents are plentiful both online and off. There are so many other people to network with, it’s hard to find the time.

Real estate agents from the same office rarely collaborate with each other. We collaborate with clients and with agents who are representing the other party in a real estate transaction. We may work together for hours and days or even weeks and never see each other or meet in person. We share information electronically and sometimes resolve problems via telephone.

Office meetings are important, but only if you work in an office. The rest of us do just fine without ever going to a meeting. We get our news on the street and through the associations and over the Internet.

If I were running a real estate office, I would focus on making it a comfortable place to work for the agents who need a place to work. I would not provide a lot of space because most productive agents don’t sit in offices all day.

My comfortable workspace would include strong Wi-Fi, great coffee and an assortment of stand-up desks, a large table, a wall of white boards or glass, and perhaps a treadmill desk or two. There would be some meeting spaces with tables and chairs, and a comfy chair or two with some decent lighting for reading. I would provide at least one large flat-screen TV with Chromecast and an Apple TV.

Having special spaces for teams would be a great way to pay for the rest of the space. There would be parking and 24-hour access, because real estate is not a 9-to-5 kind of job.

The most important factor for me in choosing a workplace is that I have everything that I need to be productive.

Some days I’m not productive no matter where I go. Other days I get massive amounts of work done while everyone else is in bed or driving to work.

Sure I could step away from my computer and reach out to people in a more personal way — if I liked people, and if I could get them to look up from their phones long enough to have a conversation.

If I worked in a real estate office, I would probably have less contact with the general public than I do working from home.

Author: Teresa Boardman – Inman News

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.