Imagine this: you are interested in buying a piece of property in Costa Rica’s southern zone, so you walk in to one of the real estate offices in say – Uvita. You consult for awhile with an agent there. (For the sake of this article, lets call him “Ben” :o) and off you go looking at properties that fit your interest. After looking at all that Ben has to show you, nothing strikes you as the right piece (hard to imagine, but it has happened a time or two).
So far not a lot of imagination has been required. Here’s where it gets a little more difficult.
Ben says: “how ‘bout we pop on down to this other agency, some competitors of mine down by Ojochal, and see what they’ve got” or “Let’s go on up to an office of my peers in Dominical that’s been around for years. They’ve probably got a few listings that I don’t that may be a perfect fit”.
I know – hard to imagine, but stay with me here.
Last Saturday marked the 2nd meeting of… well frankly I’m not sure what. I’m not being evasive – we actually don’t know what to call it: Costa Ballena Realty Board? Association of Real Estate Professionals? There were a few other names tossed about: Think Tank, Master Mind Group, Coffee Talk… whatever it ends up being, it holds the key to making the real estate buying and selling experience in our zone 10 times better than what it currently is. (I like “Unified Realty Professionals”. This could have the distinguished acronym URP which would be said something like – well, like ‘urp’ which would bring to mind the satisfied feeling one has having just enjoyed a good meal.)
Ojochal, Uvita, Dominical, Hatillo Platanillo and San Isidro are the towns that make up “The Zone”. There are numerous real estate agencies in these towns. Some with recognizable names from other parts of the globe such as Coldwell Banker, Century 21 etc… Then there are the “no namers” such as yours truly with Dominical Dot Biz Select Properties, and there are many such private label real estate companies.
The objective of the meeting was to improve our ability, as a unified and cooperative group, to serve people who want to either buy, or to sell property in our zone. This is a beautiful, and much needed thing.
The meeting was attended by the owners of Osa Tropical Estates (Ojochal), two of the Coldwell Banker partners in the Dominical office, The Land Company (Dominical) principal and myself (Uvita). We all have knowledge of all areas of The Zone, but have greater expertise in some areas over others.
It was agreed that the non-MLS (Multiple Listing Service) business model in Costa Rica makes it difficult for sellers and buyers. The core problem is the lack of REPRESENTATION available to our buyers and sellers.
When a buyer spends a day or two with a single realtor looking at property, they are only seeing what that particular real estate agency has for listings. To really know that they have seen everything, a buyer would have to