Green Realty Mexico broker Ignacio Benítez Landa shares some of the primary reasons national and foreign investors are interested in developing businesses in Puerto Vallarta’s commercial sector. He also explains the most important factor driving business here and that it must be attended to in the short, medium and long term.
Originally from Mexico City, Ignacio Benítez Landa graduated with a degree in International Business from Universidad Anáhuac del Sur. Later, he traveled to Spain, where he earned a master’s degree in Digital Marketing. After many years of living in big cities and gaining experience in international sales, he moved to Vallarta in 2007 to focus on real estate. His first opportunity came that same year, when he joined the Prudential California Realty sales team, where he was recognized as top producer of the year several years running. In 2013, he decided to become independent and founded Green Realty Mexico, his real estate agency with a focus on sustainability.
“I have always considered myself a risk taker, and I felt it was the ideal time to assemble my own sales team through an agency that not only sells properties, but also contributes to preserving the destination,” he says. “We have supported associations such as Ecología y Conservación de Ballenas, A.C. (ECOBAC) (Ecology and Conservation of Whales) and Campamento Tortuguero Boca de Tomates (Boca de Tomates Turtle Preservation Camp), among others dedicated to the preservation of the area.”
Although his team comprises eight agents specializing in the different products offered in areas such as Marina Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta and the Hotel Zone, Benítez Landa has focused on the commercial and residential area. “Since opening the agency, we have been contacted by companies outside Puerto Vallarta to help them commercialize real estate for businesses, such as offices and stores. An example is Farmacias del Ahorro, for whom we have found the right spaces for their needs, both in our city and in Tepic, Nayarit. There are companies that conduct pedestrian and vehicular traffic flow studies to determine the exact location needed, and we collaborate in those searches. Other clients build commercial plazas and require our services for their commercialization,” he explains.
When asked about the destination’s commercial sector in general, he notes, “In the last two years there has been great growth. More and more high-quality commercial spaces are being built. For example, GICSA opened La Isla, or Punto Banderas, which is now populated with businesses. And the anticipated completion of the highway connecting Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara has brought us new customers from places such as Mexico City and Monterrey. The national market has become very active, and that has attracted investors to come to develop businesses in this area of the bay.
To maintain the boom in this sector, Benítez Landa says, “I believe it is everyone’s job to keep Vallarta one of the best destinations on a national and international level. We have the weather, the infrastructure and paradisiacal places here. Obviously, there are things to improve, but the most important factor to consider in the short, medium and long term is safety. As long as we remain a safe place, national and foreign investment will continue, which will ensure the development and growth of the city.”
“It is necessary to have governmental institutions that focus on taking advantage of the destination’s attributes, that are transparent and that invest in infrastructure. True, tourism promotion has improved a lot, but the most delicate and fragile thing to maintain is the perception of a safe city. The difficult thing is not to get there, but to stay there.”
At the beginning of any commercial project, you run into the problem of people saying, “I don’t want to rent in that plaza because there are no people.” But there are no people because there are no businesses. “It always happens. Someone who wants to rent sees no flow of people, but there obviously are no people because no business is there. When this vicious cycle is broken, success is almost assured. A domino effect results, where supply is reduced and thus commercial spaces become more coveted. When this happens, companies become much more responsive in their decision-making,” he explains.
To conclude, Benítez Landa shares his general vision of the local real estate industry: “We in real estate know that this boom is cyclical, with its timing and opportunities. Part of the growth has been due to platforms such as Airbnb and Booking, where investors seek to diversify their portfolios. These days, much of what is being commercialized are one- and two-bedroom apartments, which, in addition to being accessible in price, are ideal for both pleasure and rentals. Technological development has also facilitated investment in the destination,” he concludes.