To talk about Applegate Realtors is to talk about the history of Puerto Vallarta’s real estate industry. In 2017, the company celebrates half a century of being in business, during which it has established itself as more than just a real estate agency; it is a pioneering institution in our region, with a long and influential tradition of providing services for the purchase, sale and rental of properties, as well as visionary participation in constructing new developments and staying relevant in this changing market.
On the occasion of this milestone, Applegate Realtors owner-broker Moray Applegate received the editorial team of Vallarta Real Estate Guide in his Conchas Chinas office (the first of this agency founded in 1967 by his parents, Bernardo and Teresa Applegate) to give us a firsthand account of what transpired over those fifty years and where they are headed.
“Before the current company was established, my father was one of the first residential builders in Puerto Vallarta, building under the name CAPSA (Construcciones Applegate, S.A.). Buying land in the early ‘60s in what is now Conchas Chinas, he brought a tractor from Guadalajara and began to open roads there,” he recounts.
Although the founder of Applegate Realtors is now considered a visionary, at that time not many people were able to understand the impact that the development of this area south of the city would have. “My father started with something that people did not understand. In those days, since there was no bridge over the Cuale River, everything was brought by boat. For the first buildings, materials were shipped from the Hotel Rosita or even brought across by donkey.”
The company was officially instated in 1967 (although still under the name CAPSA), when Teresa Applegate joined as property manager. From there, the company began to expand, constructing residential buildings in the area and managing them, being the first to specialize in the foreign market. From that moment, they began to give form and consistency to the then nascent industry of residential developments and real estate.
When Moray Applegate took the reins in 1986, the company became more comprehensive, turning to sales and rentals, and was renamed Applegate Realtors.
“My parents were not salespeople, but I always liked sales and brought that aptitude to the company as a bonus. At first, people did not believe that a 25-year-old could sell properties like an experienced American or Canadian broker, but thanks to the professional and efficient work we demonstrated, people began trusting in our abilities.”
Moray Applegate remembers his years at the helm of the company as being full of challenges and cycles. “My start coincided with Puerto Vallarta’s first big real estate boom, during the ‘80s, when Marina Vallarta was the driving force impelling the destination toward what it is today. Then, I remember the first big crash, caused by the economic crisis in the ‘90s. But another golden age came at the end of that decade and the beginning of the new century. Then in 2008, hard times arrived again, due to our dependence on the foreign market. But then came the rise of the big towers and developments like Punta Mita. Those agencies that are familiar with the penchants of this market and can glimpse the future, we are the ones that have managed to retain the preference of both foreign and national clients.”
Regarding their more current projects, Moray Applegate says he is very proud that Applegate Realtors was able to visualize the revitalization of the Romantic Zone. “We have been an integral part of this new boom. Together with Elengorn Realtors and Grupo HEVA, we were the first to see the potential. No one believed in that market, and we have sold seven or eight buildings so far in the last five years, the most recent being Rincón de Almas.” However, he says that they are always looking to the future and never stay within their comfort zone. “I am very pleased with the success we have had, but we are already thinking about the next place.”
The owner of the quinquagenarian real estate agency welcomes the continued success of Applegate Realtors and predicts another 50 years of good work and excellent results. “More than any particular project, what fills me with pride is that so far, we have not had—and I knock on wood—a failed project, so I hope the streak continues. All the developments we have been involved in have been successful, due to discipline, good relationships and good timing. Applegate Realtors paved the way, and we will continue to do so, with a sense of service, expertise and honesty, continuing with the same, but always improving,” he concludes.