October 7, 2022

They sell real estate without having a portfolio

Article by
Carolina Durão

"Your Property Advisor searches the entire market for what the buyer wants." says Diário Imobiliário

Your Property Advisor (YPA) is a real estate consultant that sells properties without having a portfolio. It was created just two years ago by the hands of Gonçalo Roxo and Carolina Durão and its mission is to fill a market need: to satisfy and protect 100% the needs of customers when buying real estate.

For the entrepreneurs, the fact that YPA does not have a property portfolio guarantees the absence of conflicts of interest, that is, YPA is committed to looking for the best property available in the entire market according to the buyer's preferences.

The team is currently made up of three real estate consultants. In two years of activity, Your Property Advisor consultants have already managed to negotiate the purchase of 52 properties in Portugal, having saved their clients, in all, around three million euros, through negotiation in the home purchase process. In the process of selecting properties, the company is recognized for its speed of response since, on average, they present a set of properties adapted to the real needs of the customer within three months.

Entrepreneurs and foreign investors, namely in the area of ​​technology, are currently the ones who most seek YPA's services in Portugal. The company expects to grow in the future and continue its focus on the Portuguese market.

In an interview with Diário Imobiliário, Gonçalo Roxo and Carolina Durão, guarantee that, in fact, there is much more demand than supply and this problem is not restricted to the Lisbon region.

What sets Your Property Advisor apart in the market?

Your Property Advisor is a Portuguese real estate consulting company launched in 2020, distinguished by its exclusive focus on the needs of buyers. We felt that the market was lacking someone who cared first about the real needs of the buyer, and not just the needs of the seller.

The fact that YPA does not have a real estate portfolio guarantees the absence of conflicts of interest. In other words, YPA is committed to looking for the best property available in the entire market according to the buyer's preferences. This is, without a doubt, a differentiating feature of our company, as we chose not to have a portfolio and, of course, this means that we do not have fundraisers. This is because we could incur conflicts of interest when presenting that same property to a buyer client, despite not being the best option for the same. If we have properties for sale, the tendency will be to try to adapt these properties to the demand we have in order to earn higher commissions. And at YPA, we want the exact opposite. We only want to be focused on what the buyer customer wants to find and have the mission of finding exactly what our customer is looking for in the market.

Another of the differentiating characteristics of YPA is the negotiation capacity, always focused on the interests of our clients. Proof of this capacity is the savings we have already managed to generate for our customers in less than two years of activity: savings of over three million euros, in a total of around 50 properties.

And, finally, we would like to highlight one last differentiating feature: our transparency. Our work methodology is essentially divided into three phases, all of which are totally transparent to the client. In the first, the property search phase, we identify together with the client their preferences and search the entire market for a selection of properties that suit their needs. In the second phase, the selection of the property, we plan all the visits, allowing them to virtually visit the properties and we save our customers a lot of time by being their only point of contact. We provide the customer with a reasoned opinion of each property, so that their choice is as supported as possible. In the last phase, the conclusion of the deal, after selecting the desired property, YPA starts negotiating the purchase, guaranteeing the best possible deal, that is, guaranteeing the best price and payment terms for the customer.

How do you see real estate mediation in Portugal?

We believe that there are some factors that could be taken into account and improved so that real estate mediation could grow as a sector, such as greater regularization of it.

We believe that it would be essential to invest in the professionalization of the sector and guarantee mandatory training for real estate agents. It is an area with its own characteristics and we believe that all agents should have basic training to guarantee correct advice and follow-up to their customers. The agent's role must increasingly evolve into an advisory role in the various areas that support the purchase decision.

The issue of online listings should also be reviewed. For example, disparities are often noted in the information shared on the same property on different platforms, such as information at the level of area and description of the house. This naturally generates distrust on the part of the buyer, which ends up discrediting because much of the published information does not correspond exactly to the property sold. There is no doubt that technology and digitalization have leveraged the real estate market, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, and training is necessary to know how to take advantage of this.

What types of properties are most sought after?

Regarding our experience as YPA, the most sought after type of properties are villas, in the range of 1 to 3 million euros, in different areas such as Lisbon, Cascais and Estoril, Sintra, Ericeira, Sesimbra and Arrábida.

Do you feel that there is in fact a lack of supply?

Undoubtedly. There is much more demand than supply and this problem is not restricted to the Lisbon region.

Which foreign investors are interested in the Portuguese market and what are they looking for?

The foreign entrepreneurs and investors who have come to us come from all over the world. We highlight customers who come from Germany, England, Switzerland, France, Holland, Finland and the United States of America, many of them from Silicon Valley, but we also highlight customers from Brazil and Hong Kong. All of them are mainly linked to the area of ​​technology. They seek the country to live, some of them even manage businesses in Portugal and employ dozens of people. The demand that we have registered is essentially for houses, with the particularity of always having a preference for outdoor areas (balconies, terraces or gardens).

And the Portuguese? What is their profile and interest?

Unfortunately, we still haven't had much experience at YPA with the Portuguese client. In the few contacts we have received from the national public, we feel that our consultancy service is still not highly valued and there is greater difficulty in understanding the value we can bring to them. In other words, the Portuguese client still does not see the added value of having a Property Advisor accompanying the entire process of purchasing their property and receiving our advice. Probably because, not having the language barrier, as is the case of the international client, he considers that he can do the correct sorting of properties without the support of a consultant.

However, we want to change this reality and we want to get closer to the national public because we really believe that we can be an asset and a facilitator in the process of looking for and acquiring a property, which can be very time consuming and exhausting. We want to make known the advantages of having a partner like YPA when looking for a house, demonstrating that it is possible to transform this purchase into a simpler, ethical, transparent and above all faster process, centralizing the entire process in a single point of contact, the Property Advisor, which provides follow-up and technical advice at each stage.

Has escalating property prices slowed down transactions?

No, we do not feel that it has blocked transactions. There are projects to be launched in the millions that are sold within a month. There is still more demand than supply. For foreign customers, mainly, Portugal is still an accessible country to invest in real estate, with great potential for growth and return on this investment.

How do you see the future of the real estate market?

In general, we see the future of the real estate market with good eyes. However, we were a little apprehensive about the prices per m2 and the continued malfunction of the chambers, which are really one of the main obstacles we have, the bureaucracy at the municipal level. This is, without a doubt, the main “difficulty”.

We see some slowdowns in the number of licenses being issued, as in the Lisbon City Council, some of them influenced by the change in the Golden Visa. There are investors who were prepared and focused on investing in real estate for local accommodation and gave up on Portugal, moving to other countries, such as Greece or Spain.

Regarding prices for the type of properties currently sought by our clients, we do not believe that prices will come down in the near future, as some clients might expect.

And what is YPA's strategy for this and the coming years?

To grow, as a team and in terms of business volume. Soon, we are going to focus on increasing the team, with the hiring of more Property Advisors, of which there are currently three. In addition to feeling this need to reinforce the areas where we already operate, we also want to start focusing on the Algarve area, a region where there are more real estate transactions.

We also want to bet, as mentioned above, on the national market, winning over the Portuguese buyer and promoting real estate literacy, so that the purchase of a house is an informed and transparent process.

Soon, we will also launch a new website, one of the gateways for new customers, to get to know more about Your Property Advisor, with the sharing of testimonies that, for us, is fundamental, since most of our customers came on the recommendation of previous customers, which is a source of pride.

To see the original interview click here.

Your Property Advisor