From the sandy white 7,491 km (4,655 mile) coastline to the depths of the Amazonian jungle, Brazil is a land of beauty. Not only is Brazil unique from an environmental perspective, but they are also a country of explosive growth.
This week, we had the pleasure of chatting with Ernani Assis, Regional Director for RE/MAX Brazil, to hear his take on the real estate industry, how social is impacting agents in Brazil and where he sees the future of the industry headed.
*(This interview has been edited and condensed.)
All eyes have been on Brazil since the 2014 FIFA World Cup and will continue to be so with the 2016 Summer Olympics. How have these major global events impacted real estate in Brazil?
All eyes were on the last big event in Brazil and as a result, the country’s real estate market has been proving to be of interest to overseas buyers looking for a real estate investment. Commercial yields currently stand at 8.5% and residential yields are at 5.1%.
These high profile sporting events are helping to raise Rio’s and São Paulo’s international profile which is much more in line with underlying occupier demand, matching rates of growth in rents and other real estate services. Those seeking an investment are betting on the considerable infrastructure that has been put in for the World Cup and for the Olympic Games in 2016.
The Bank for International Settlements said that over the last five years, no market on earth was hotter than Brazilian housing. How have you seen real estate trends change over the last 5 years, particularly when you consider the 121.6% increase in housing prices in Brazil from 2008 to 2013?
Besides this incredible growth rate, Brazil's housing deficit is estimated at between 6m and 8m homes and the [housing] initiative, which will cost 34bn reais (USD 13.3 bn), is also aimed at boosting the economy with the creation of up to 1.5m new jobs.
Brazil has been called the Social Media Capital of the Universe by the Wall Street Journal with Brazil being the 2nd largest market of Facebook users in the world after the U.S. with 65 million users. What role does social media play in the real estate process today in Brazil?
Social Media is a huge partner of Brazilian Real Estate Market and plays an important role when talking about advertising and information either to Real Estate Professionals and Real Estate buyers and sellers.
Brazilians spend a considerable amount of time on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a daily basis. That being said, it means social media is one of the primary information sources for the Brazilian population.
Talking specifically about the Real Estate Advertising Industry, nowadays the traditional media: TV, radio and print has been replaced with real-estate portals and social media networks. Both are a source of information for clients searching for houses, and for real estate agents looking to market their listings and opportunities.
For brokers and professionals from the Real Estate Industry, social media is also an important channel for acquiring specific clients and promoting their brand. Definitely, the sole purpose of Social Media for Real Estate agents in Brazil is not just to release their listings, Social helps forge relationships between the professional and their current and future clients.
At RE/MAX we have been providing several Social Media Courses to boost our agents performance and market share gain. Our domestic University RE/MAX is an example to the whole industry.
How have you seen social media and technology evolve with the changing real estate landscape in Brazil in recent years?
Consider the following statistics on Social Media use in Brazil:
• We have more than 65 million people at Facebook
• Brazil has more than 300k licensed agents and 45.2% are already enrolled at any Social Media.
• 74% of the agents have been using those platforms at least once a day.
After read those numbers, we could realize how big our market is, however, just 3% of the agents have been using some technology platform to plug in on the Social Media and make business properly. Certainly, RE/MAX agents have started this culture change and getting back great results through our international CRM software, I-Connect. Finally, considering the entire industry, this improvement will take time.
Where do you see the future of real estate technology headed?
[Brazilian real estate agents] must overcome cultural challenges within the industry, most prominently ensuring agents and brokers feel secure to work together representing each side of a transaction. The number of referrals is already less than 2%. I predict that as soon as we have the right technologies companies promoting security of those transactions and improved training courses, we could see a better environment to make much more deals.
The future is NOW, Brazil is an amazing market for any overseas technology company to land over here and help the market development. Folks, please come visit to Brazil and count on us !
With the incredible rapid growth both in the RE market and globalized forms of communication, Brazil is proving to be adapting quickly to the changes. From closing housing deficit through job creation and economic growth to adopting new forms of communication to evolve with new technological innovation, Brazil is literally on fogo (fire)!
Thank you Ernani for your time, we're excited to hear about the great potential in Brazil and hope it continues on an uphill trend.
Brianna MacNeil is the Global Account Manager at RESAAS. When not destroying others at Settlers of Catan, she likes to climb big ol' mountains to check out pretty sunsets - her favourite colour being sky blue pink with buttermilk stripes (also her favourite ice cream flavour). Check out her RESAAS profile ›