By Jorge Chavez – Vallarta Real Estate Guide – May 2019
The director and founder of Ocean Key Properties talks about the challenges that exist to keep the destination’s industry strong and attractive, as well as the potential of Vallarta · Nayarit to remain in favor with big investors.
Originally from Mexico City, Manuel Flores knew that his destiny was going to be forged in a beach city. Although he first tried his luck in Cancún, his first job opportunity was in Acapulco, collaborating in a development that was being erected in Las Brisas, where he was responsible for developing about 620 acres of land and began to get involved in sales. Later, he joined the real estate division of Mayan Palace Acapulco, where he participated in the sale of condominiums for four years. Following this success, the company offered him the opportunity to direct efforts in Nuevo Vallarta, and, since then, our destination has been his permanent home.
“I arrived in Puerto Vallarta 20 years ago, where I did not know anyone. And although I had to start from scratch, Mayan was an impressive opening for generating clients from cities such as Guadalajara, San Luis Potosí and León, among others. I worked with them until all the inventory was sold,” he explains.
After collaborating with Tere Kimball at Prudential Vallarta Realty, where he participated in marketing the LUMA development, it was time to become independent. So, with the experience he had gained, in 2011 he founded Ocean Key Properties, a real estate agency highly skilled in local market research that is mainly dedicated to the purchase and sale of high-end condominiums, villas and residential lots.
“Although I have had the good fortune to work in many of the areas of interest in and out of Banderas Bay, our efforts and main clients have led us to specialize in Riviera Nayarit. Since arriving in the destination, I have resided in Nuevo Vallarta, and I remember that at that time there was an extraordinary potential for development in any field, so I immediately realized that I was in the best destination, at the right time,” he notes.
“What always attracted me and continues to attract me to this area is the convergence of flora, fauna, rivers, climate, jungle, mountains, beaches, gastronomy and, above all, the warmth and kindness of its people. In short, it is an extraordinary territorial reserve.”
When asked about the challenges that exist to keep the Vallarta · Nayarit real estate industry strong and attractive, Flores emphasized image improvement, as well as promotion and marketing of the destination to attract a greater flow of investment and financing to the tourism and real estate sector.
“In addition, investment in airport and highway infrastructure must continue, as well as in modernizing the transportation and mobility systems. Licensing should be accelerated and construction standards simplified. In the same way, I believe that the overvaluation of real estate should be avoided, while recovering disordered spaces that may be of tourist interest. Technology must be present with bilingual devices that satisfy the information needs of both visitors and potential investors. Finally, a renewed urban order must be established to avoid irregular growth.”
He explains that if all this is done, the charm and quality of life of the destination’s residents will not only increase but will be maintained for many more years.
As an active member of the Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios (AMPI) (Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals), as well as the National Association of Realtors (NAR), when asked about problems that should be eliminated or corrected in the short term to avoid harming the real estate industry, Flores commented, “Throughout the country, there are many real estate agents who work informally, so they need to create state and/or federal laws that incentivize them to become certified to obtain a license that allows them to operate, which will generate trust among all involved.”
Flores takes full advantage of the destination’s bounty, especially enjoying motorcycle rides on Sunday mornings. In addition, he stays in shape through spinning and has always been an avid amateur photographer, a skill he uses to highlight the properties he sells.
Before concluding our conversation, the director and founder of Ocean Key Properties gave his overview of the industry in the short term. “Against all odds, 2019 has been a wonderful year, as all the real estate companies in the region have done very well. Hopefully, it will continue like this and the federal government will be able to settle things soon to avoid creating expectations that could alienate investors. In the end, as we know, this benefits all of us.”