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Commercial and industrial real estate as a serious investment alternative in Chile

This time, we interviewed Daniela Seco, real estate and financial consultant and costume designer in Chile, who will tell us about her wide trajectory and experience in real estate in Temuco and real estate investments in the country in general.

HalloCasa: “Good afternoon, Ms. Seco. First of all, thank you for your kindness and time to participate in this interview. Could you please introduce yourself to our audience and briefly describe your real estate business in Chile?”

Daniela Seco: “Good afternoon, my real estate business started in May 2014, after having worked for almost a decade in the financial sector and stock market, in particular. So it gave me a taste for investment and that’s what I like today. Chile is currently experiencing an economic crisis or rather we were close to a recession. So I have been able to carry out the experience in the area of investment and bring it to real estate in Temuco, as investors are investing heavily and I have been able to do what I like, real estate investment. The advice service started when I began to consult people on what would be best for them to invest with the capital they would like to allocate. Then I see the best opportunities at financial levels, bank rates, banks, deadlines, etc.”

HalloCasa: “Please tell us about all relevant aspects of real estate investment in Chile.”
Daniela Seco: “A lot is being invested in the commercial and industrial areas. Investments are projected for retirement. It is a very delicate part since it is money destined to multiply its capital. Usually the first investment is made with the housing, then investors begin to invest in their own office or to rent it out. After that, they invest in the second dwelling that might be a house on the beach, in the countryside or somewhere to have a get-away. Then investors start with properties, whether residential or commercial. In my city, Temuco, the investment of small apartments is very strong, since it is a zone of students. From March to December there is a population of approximately 700 thousand people, and from January to February it drops considerably to 300 thousand.”

HalloCasa: “What role does e-commerce play in the real estate investment of Chile?”

Daniela Seco: “For me it’s very comfortable. I would say that it has been a part during my entire working life since I started. It helps me to promote my properties, so it alternates with the phone and online work. There are several real estate portals that help promote properties. When entering Google there are several alternatives for the person to find the data of my company and it is very easy to work with these pages. Apart from the real estate portals, I work with Google that helps me a lot to get very positioned within the first places, which is very good to find me.”

HalloCasa: “What is the current situation of the Chilean real estate market?”
Daniela Seco: “For the investors who build properties in the commercial and industrial sector, the situation is good, but for the housing part it was quite paralyzed, it is incomparable with what we lived in 2010 when we could see a 100% growth rate. Now, a lot is being built strongly on subsidized properties. With those initiatives, the government wants to help people to obtain their first home. Since this has created a new market, many real estate companies are focusing their services on this segment.”

HalloCasa: “Now, we would like you to tell us a little bit in depth about the real estate investment in Chile. In 2016, new rules for the real estate sector in Chile with respect to the “Copropiedad” came into place: have those rules had an impact on the market in 2017?”

Daniela Seco: “Yes, those rules have affected the market tremendously, however, it is yet to see in how much it did in detail and how it will evolve, since the law they formed is very complex that neither those who passed it know exactly about its impact. A part took effect in January 2014 and it is in full force since January 2017. Therefore, we should know by April 2018 how it will affect the market. It is projected to strongly impact all socioeconomic levels in Chile, and was noted with the unemployment that currently exists, as employers replace people with machines because they are cheaper. In the end, a law that wanted to benefit the middle and lower class of the country, was very harmful to them.”

HalloCasa: “According to your experience, Ms. Seco, where do you see the highest demand in Santiago in terms housing?”
Daniela Seco: “Well, I do not live in Santiago, I live in the province, and like in all the underdeveloped countries, Santiago is Chile. What I can say is that apartments are offered the most, and most of them are sold even before the construction of the building has finished. The apartments with the highest demand are studio-apartments, with one or two bedrooms. They sell very fast, since they are suitable for students, couples and young people, and today there is a very high percentage of people living alone.”

HalloCasa: “What are the main indicators that a foreign investor should take into account when investing in Chile?”

Daniela Seco: “First of all, Chile is no longer the same country as when I was a girl, now it is a country where you need to be careful. I take no risks and the most valuable element for me is security. For what has been said before, the indicators that a foreigner must have to invest in Chile would be first to encounter a correct and serious intermediary, to be well advised, since he/she will know good opportunities and finally inquire about market prices. With these details, you should be knowledgeable enough to make a good buying decision. Another interesting fact is the season here in the south. The winter is very long and hard, so the people who sell it, despair a little in winter. Therefore, this season is the best time to realize the good opportunities.”

HalloCasa: “They say that buying to rent out is the new real estate investment. What do you think and what tips would you give to foreigners who want to invest in your country in real estate?”

Daniela Seco: “Well, it is a good investment in all its ages and above all for retirement, but there are associated risks, one of them is that the tenant does not pay, another is that he leaves the property destroyed. You have to take those potential risks into consideration. That`s why apart, from a good administrator, the landlord needs to have a strategy to define the right tenant profile and, of course, cultivate patience. A good investor knows when to wait and identifies the right moment.

Now, I recommend foreigners to invest in a property and boost it, since in Chile the tourist area is lacking, and Chileans are less likely to invest as much as foreigners and to flip houses or apartments. Chile is a wonderful country. Me personally, I love the south of Chile or the Chilean Patagonia, the foreigners are amazed by its potential that we have and it has not been exploited much. This is also an important factor, since the prices for them are very convenient.”

HalloCasa: “Chile is recognized as one of the highest valued economies in Latin America and the world (13 out of 82 economies worldwide). What is the real estate market’s correlation with this recognition? “

Daniela Seco: “At construction level, we build very well, since we are a seismic country, and all buildings by law must withstand an earthquake of magnitudes we have lived and a little more. In the area of insulation, it has been built remarkably well for a couple of years, since it saves energy to the maximum, as much by the wrappings as by the windows, and have given excellent results, since we have very expensive supplies (light and gas) and the weather is icy, windy and rainy. In the housing part of subsidies, there are standards that must also be isolated and with the parameters to be earthquake resistant.”

HalloCasa: “According to your experience and trajectory, Ms. Seco, is this a good time to invest in Chile? What do you consider are the best areas to do it? “

Daniela Seco: “When I worked in the stock market sector, for me the best investment opportunities were found in property investments, I believe that any property in which someone has invested is a good investment, big or small, depending on the capital that the person or company obtains. Now if I invest for myself, it would be to buy a land and build commercial premises or offices. I like it since it leaves a significant monthly or annual return and its valuation is considerable compared to investments in housing. The approximate annual return is around 10% and this most likely today even more as they have risen considerably.”

HalloCasa: “Before ending our interview, could you please give some tips to our HalloCasa readers who are planning to invest in your country?”

Daniela Seco: “First of all, you must be clear what area you want to invest in. Then look for good opportunities. You have to make sure that it is a good price mix and a good moment. You also have to get in touch with a correct and serious professional. If you are confused, you can contact me and we try to clarify and see what you want to invest in and we look for alternatives so that you can see your profile and the sector you like the most. As a tip, you have to listen to your intuition and have to be calm. If it were in my case, I would invest in the lake area, it is wonderful and it is at the foot of the volcanoes.”

HalloCasa: “Ms. Seco, we know your time is limited. We would like to thank you for this informative and in-depth interview. Would it be possible for interested readers to contact you if they have any follow-up questions? Thank you very much for the interview.”

Daniela Seco: “Yes, of course. The investors can contact me through HalloCasa or contact me directly on the phone number +56 99 6439170 or email contato@secoycia.cl. Thank you.”

HalloCasa: “Thank you so much for being with us. Always welcome to HalloCasa.”

Daniela Seco: “Thank you very much”

About HalloCasa:

HalloCasa, the marketplace for international real estate properties. HalloCasa´s mission is to build trust for vendors and investors with respect to cross-border real estate transactions. In case you are interested in more interviews, you can find them here.