Real Estate

Episode 23: Investing in Luxury Real Estate in Mexico with Nico Wilmes

Ben Lakoff, CFA
December 21, 2020
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Nico Wilmes is the founder and CEO of Los Amigos Tulum, the top luxury real estate developer in Tulum, Mexico.

In this conversation, we talk about the Mexico Real Estate Market, Luxury Real Estate, Short term rentals in Mexico, Tulum Real Estate and go into detail on Los Amigos Tulum development.

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Show Notes

0:00:00   Welcome and context

0:02:01   What initially attracted you to Mexico?

0:05:16   How Los Amigos Tulum started?

0:16:00   What gets you excited about Mexican Real Estate?

0:19:59   What are the main fears with investors for investing in Mexico?

0:22:31   What hurdles do you help investors overcome?

0:28:00   How did the drone come in as an amenity?

0:30:30   Investors receiving a portion of the short term rental profits

0:32:33   What kind of rental yields investors can potentially receive?

0:36:41   What are the key drivers for tourism in Tulum?

0:39:40   Is the current situation good for US investors to go after Mexican Real Estate?

0:43:14   What amenities are people getting from buying from Los Amigos?

0:44:36   What are the average rental incomes for an investor like?

0:47:55   The risks from the Pesos to US Dollar exchange rates?

0:52:07   What are some of the additional fees for real estate in Mexico?

0:55:31   What surprises foreign investors see in Mexico?

1:00:11   If you were about to do this thing all over again, where would that be and why?

1:06:04   Where can people find out more about Los Amigos Tulum?

Show Links

Los Amigos Tulum

Backpacking to the Moon

Episode Transcript

Ben: [00:00:00] Welcome to the alt asset allocation podcast, exploring alternative investment opportunities available to the everyday investor. Here’s your host Ben Lakoff.

Good morning everyone and welcome to the alt asset allocation podcast. Today’s interview is with Niko Wilmes who’s the founder and CEO of Los Amigos Tulum, which is the top luxury real estate developer in Tulum, Mexico.

This episode is all about Mexico real estate. So we talk about the real estate market overall luxury real estate short-term rentals, Tulum real estate. And then we go into great detail on Los Amigos Tulum development itself. I think you’re really going to enjoy this conversation about an alternative investment outside of the U S within the real estate market.

COVID has impacted a lot of these markets and there may start to be some deals, pop up the ability of going into one of these markets that’s been impacted and scooping up some of these deals for a long term real estate. Holding in your portfolio might be very, very attractive. Please enjoy this interview with Niko Wilmes.

Welcome Nico.

Nico: [00:01:16] Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Ben: [00:01:18] Absolutely glad to have you you just showed me a little bit of your, view out the door, which is beautiful.  it’s a jungle out there and it looks really nice.

Nico: [00:01:26] Yeah. This is pure nature. That’s why people come to, to loan, right? This is why, it got so famous probably in the last year because secluded.

areas become probably pretty aware in a world where be close to 10 billion people. So more and more people living in urban environments and to have access to this original nature becomes now the new luxury. I think.

Ben: [00:01:48] Absolutely, absolutely. Completely agree with that. I was reading on your website, as we were chatting before you had a lot of good videos and content about your background, It sounds like you are pretty big traveler through central and South America.

I’m curious to start off what initially attracted you to Mexico and then more specifically to loom.

Nico: [00:02:09] Yeah, there’s a lot of things. I’m a traveler. I was traveling all around the world, Africa, India, Asia, America, and Latin America. Also let them, America was a problem. I didn’t understand the language. And I thought to really immerse into a country, you really have to speak.

The language. So I decided to, move to Mexico for awhile and then, take Spanish classes actually in, in Guatemala because Guatemala, Antigua is a small town, which is famous for one of the best, native Spanish class in the world. And I said, that’s perfect. Travel from Mexico to what the Mala. And then I can travel all the other countries in central America before go back to Mexico.

And then hopefully I speak Spanish. So I did this out of the Mexico, travel to Antigua with the man. And learned like three weeks. Spanish one-to-one and, then I got to know Mark also, which became just a Chubb travel buddy. Cause we both knew each other from a party hostel. We’ve been in the hostel where everyone made the party and we were actually only once they wanted to study.

So I thought we probably in the wrong place, I didn’t know. There is so much partying here. I thought it’s more studying place. And so we rented the place together and, yeah, just probably once a week. And during the week we were pretty disciplined, our Spanish advanced and after three weeks, I said, no, I go into trouble South right now to discover more central America.

And he did the same. And so we become Trella friends. And after this, I went to Mexico. discovered more about the amazing, opportunities in this country for a loss, not only with the language, all with the people and decided, man, I need to stay here and I should do something. And I have a background in renewable energy and Germany, for example, I have a few of a bunch of solar panels running because we had kind of a revolution in Germany about renewable energy.

A couple of years ago. And, and the funny thing in Germany, but you not even have much sun. And as I got to Mexico, I thought, wow, what an opportunity to, To make business better when you build energy. And they have the laws implemented already with the Griffin fee and everything too, to be able to do it, but people are just not doing it.

And I said, I want a great opportunity. someone needs to make a business and push this and I wanted to start first a solar. panel business and just to do it to renewable energy technology. But, it was hard cause I I’m not a technical guy. I have not accompany. My Spanish was very poor. And someone said by not making your own development, like a house or something and then implement all the technology by itself.

I said, good idea, actually. But I don’t know anything about building houses. And then I remember my friend Mark from Arizona. I would travel with me all the way to America. I said, I knew an engineer. And as a young engineer, how about you’re coming down to Mexico? I think the perfect spot for us is to loan, to buy a little piece of land, to build a house summit, implement a lot of solar technology and make our first zero emission.

cause I don’t know, it’s a Luma. It’s pretty relaxed. No one heard about it yet in 2010, 11, but I think as a potential to grow and if it works, we grow too. If it doesn’t work. So you have half of the house in the Caribbean at home, we met in 2012, just a year where supposedly enter world. We started our company and we call the Los Amigos Shalom, which means the friends of the loan.

Cause we actually just transferred, started with an idea together and we made our first house bulleted. And put solar panels on top. So we had a zero emission, how has, which is pretty new in Mexico and especially in this area. And we rented it out to tourists. And this time, we started also with Airbnb.

Airbnb had just a few listings and Columbia had one of the first listing and we had an occupation rate from a hundred percent. How did we get this? Even if we had little let’s in the calendar from two days or something, we went just to the bus station and ask people to stay with us because we wanted to have her be a hundred percent.

We want to be always full. So we made the, all the costs. We spend it for the house where you’ve covered in just one year, incredible return of investment. People would pay them more than, than America, probably for 20, 30 years. We got all the money back in one year, working our ass off and trying to, any best you area, new era of the town.

And so limbo was pretty valuable. So as we saw this return of investment, but on with our own organic growth and we start, we need to do more and we didn’t have much money as a house, we just recovered. And so we started with this money to buy the next land and put all the money we gained into the next construction already.

And then we build it a little bit higher. apartment building and that run almost in the same way, crazy returns on investment. Not possible anywhere in the world must be happening this time. It’s spectacular. So we grew from one little house to, over seven projects financed and develop all the ourselves and, to become at this time more and more known in the world.

I think 2060 to become like TripAdvisor. Raising destination in the world. Number one. So the worlds we Hadley on added capital, they’re making posts, Justin Bieber wanted to climb the ruins and love. So grandma’s push this destination. Didn’t have enough rooms to rent to people. They were like 10 times more people wanting to come to, to loom.

Then we have rooms since the only, only pressure was we need to create more rooms for these people and give them a great experience in the general. Cause what we did, we put a little, little jungle gym in the garden with like Flintstones barbells that they have. They have fun in the jungle. And we had one unit where we had the glass and the rooftop, so they can see the stars in the night.

They build it a rooftop pool so they can swim in the sunset. So really creative and unique units. And after all this. with the years, people come to us and say, Hey, you’re going to, you’re going to sell this unit because we want to invest in real estate. And they said, no, we don’t sell the units. These are money machines for us, why we should sell the units?

And they said, yeah, a lot of people want to buy here. I said, they would love to buy from you guys because you make. Incredible. you have incredible reputation, with the rental cars. Everyone can see that you guys have a great rental operation. We got already one of the top hosts all over the school from Airbnb.

Cause we, one of the top hosts, we had the girlfriend of the CEO type times with us and bunch of people from, from Airbnb stayed with us. Cause they said you have the top listings and you’re in the top markets. And so we were just. Riding the wave and thought, okay, if so many people want to buy and maybe we can make a preset project.

Cause we just bought, we blessed bought a new land cause we bought always lands like 300, 600 meters. And then one time we couldn’t find the right land. We couldn’t small lands and the only land was available in a new area, really close to us at 10,000 square meter land. But it was almost out of our budget.

We didn’t have the money to buy it. But we knew this is hypertension. So we bought it anyway. We bought the land in a payment plan. We would never able to cover if we not sell one of our houses from the past. So we bought it. We sold after a while, with the risk to lose everything. We sold our house and we thought, okay, now we have a lot of land and no money, but now we can start the pre-sales.

So if someone wants to buy a, what we did or in the past, we put now eight towers on one Hector. And offer this towers, to buy. And if no one buys who cares, it’s better for us, then we’re going to keep the towers and just build slowly because we know the return of investment is phenomenal and better is if no one buys, we kind of thought, but then it got, we opened for the present and it was one of the most successful projects ever built in the whole of the BMI.

We got sailed out with 10, $50 million in less than three months and it was crazy. And then you have suddenly 10, $15 million in your bank account. And instead of get both the whole thing in one year, Oh, that’s a different game right now, credible. So instead of building one teller after another, we needed to build eight towers and a little less than two years, we need to hire a bunch of people.

Our office exploded on all ways and, And opportunities too. I thought now I understand the power of pre-sell. I be just become a developer now. And I said, okay, I understand this is actually incredible opportunities. Since we designed more or less all our abilities to ourselves, I was involved in all the designs.

It’d be the crazy designs before I said, man, if you have this pre-sell money, you can design something completely out of the book because now we have budgets, not from a 200, 300, $400,000, not a budget from 20, $30 million. And so I started designing, I mean, designing now, another 10,000 square meter project with 84 units, maybe put in the middle, 360 degrees, rooftop pool, never done in the world yet.

And where the water falls, 12 meters down in an artificial Lake and we put everything, the solar panels on top and below we put everything, like in the first project to before, and what a treatment cause what you, what I forgot to mention this. As we started to development, we saw what all the others developed and we said, well, no one has a focus here on sustainable development.

And that was our main focus, actually from the beginning with the very first house we implemented the solar panels and big, we got, we got the biggest solar plants now into loom all over and we got the first electric cars. And in this bigger projects we implemented also the first one. Water treatment plan, because what you have to imagine in this new areas, all around the world, especially in Mexico, there is no infrastructure and the government doesn’t come and say, yeah, we need development.

We put the, the infrastructure from us. No, the lead developer make what they want. If they spent money. And we said, it’s not responsible, but you’re going to put all the sustainable infrastructure need in the project. And then we communicate it. So, whereas all the other developer explain the truest, how, how great the kitchen are.

We said, how great is our wastewater treatment plan? Because this is actually the future to have sustainable development and be implemented more than 60% green space in our buildings and said, that’s really the value. If it comes to Lumbini of context to nature, and you’re able to have this contact, what’s the value of a tree compared to a square meter of your country?

We opened the next project. It’s called panoramic Tulum. 84 units. And was it more successful, more successful? And, we got world record. We wrote, we wrote him to goodness, world record and they said, yeah, it’s true. No one has ever built a pool like this. But if we want, us to give the batch from goodness world record, you have to pay $25,000.

And we said, no, we don’t need your, your batch. We make just the party. So we made the huge opening party spend the $25,000 invited more than 600 people and had artists from all over the place. And it was just spectacular. You maybe saw the video and YouTube and yeah, so that was another huge success. And we decided we did them also smaller projects in another area, but we become that quickest quick, quickly, the biggest developer of too long.

And we grew. The group  grew, so fast and so quick, and we grew fast and quick with them too, but we are pretty proud on this groin. Cause like I said, this is written very big in our company on the wall and everything we do is behind this mission. So we’ve asked for everything we do, how we can make a sustainable impact that goes from the design.

On the distribution and the technology from all our projects. For example, it starts with the, a lower level where we have the treatment then, which cost like $500,000, in every project. So we spent it already more than $2 million. Now just in treatment plans. And we have a solar integration and we have the most advanced solar system in the world.

So we have not only the solar panels on the rooftop. We have also smart solar systems, which turn with the sun and make a beautiful design. We have transplants solar centers in facade. We have only existed like wind turbine, the vertical into buying the first, all over Latin America was very efficient, the low wind, and we have electric car fleet and we have now really excited.

We have an out the first, electric passenger, Joan. And the world, hopefully as soon as the pandemic, ends. Cause we are right now waiting only that the Chinese, Chinese get the visa and get out of the country. Cause which we have, you know, but China was one of the worst countries, got the COVID virus and now they have it more or less under control.

But now the government doesn’t let their own people fly out, especially in regions where North America, where everyone is contaminated, but this is more or less the right we had from a small. Two friends, building a little house in the Caribbean to become the biggest developer. So quite the ride, that’s why we wrote the book backpacking into the moon.

Cause we are future project, actually not only on this planet, also in our transit, which is the moon.

Ben: [00:14:30] That’s a really amazing story. a few things, one, I’ve taken Spanish classes in Antigua actually, in the region. 2007. and, yeah, I spent, 11 months backpacking through Latin America in 2009 as well.

and then oddly enough, haven’t spent much time in Latin America since then. I just recently went back down to Mexico for the first time and yeah, it’s been awhile, but I love the culture. I love the everything about it. The story amazing It makes me really excited to go back to Tulum and see how, how many changes have been made in the last 15 years. Cause I’m sure it’s been insane, but say, zooming out a bit. I’m sure you, you do. Why Mexican real estate. I mean, you’ve, you’ve based your business there and to loom, but, what gets you really excited about Mexican real estate? Like at a more macro level?

Nico: [00:15:25] Yeah. All, everything is follow your passion.

And I was kind of burned out and said, I need to travel more. There is so much more outside. Let’s see what there is, and you can figure it out while you’re in the country. You need to immerse yourself in the outside world. So I traveled everywhere. Without any, and I always traveled as an entrepreneur. So if I look, if I go into country also, Hey, what’s growing here.

What people living for? What strengths what’s coming up? What do you need? So, so I was always like this and actually it was close to make a similar business, which happened Germany in India, because I thought, man, in Germany, I need to pay a hundred thousand dollars to get a one machine. For my business, and yet I can have a full whole company on it though.

So I’d rather go in, in countries with dynamic because as a young interpretational intrepreneur you want to be in a dynamic. Environment. So in Germany is not so dynamic, actually, actually you may maybe a tech business or something, but it’s not so dynamic in my view. So I think I need to go in countries which are high, which have high dynamic, economies and Mexico, applies.

Mexico is 1,500 years old. And as I remember nothing essentially ever, but here in Mexico, there so much growing the first city I lived in San Luis Potosi is in the middle of the country, very Mexican city, not no tourism or anything. So I got really good feeling for the Mexican culture and how they really think and everything.

And I saw so many changes that it just excites me as an, as an entrepreneur. If you see change, you’ll get excited because no. Changes opportunities. And especially if you don’t know what to do, that’s perfect. Cause you just see so much things happening and then you wait for your pig. And since I have this background in renewable energy and I had a big passion for this, cause my solar panels in Germany, they fascinated me always because I’m kind of a distributor of solar energy.

And so I selling this energy, people pay me for that energy and no one actually needs to work for it. It just comes from the sun and you help to make a positive footprint on this earth. So it feels really good. It makes it gets a good feeling to work in this field. So I thought, wow. Mexico is really behind a lot of other countries like South America is huge.

South of a USA has huge pension. They that picking up a good speed, I think, but Mexico is way behind. and it’s just because, Because people don’t know. So someone needs to communicate this. And the best way to communicate is to be an example. So first you have to do it by yourself. So I said, yeah, let’s start small.

And, but we become big so fast, but now we do still, conferences all over the place. How we tell even competitors to be more sustainable. And explain that one to be more sustainable, even universities, because we have restaurants, we have this beyond meat burgers where we say it’s a sustainable hamburger.

You don’t need to eat so much meat on behalf of Academy. So we teach people all our knowledge. We have my company across areas and across the community. So we, this is a sustainable factor, which is a economy. And the men and their commitment to it. Yeah. Social, social, if you were talking about sustainability.

So we try to be really be a hundred percent believer in this. Cause this is really what was a driver from us from the beginning and what motivates us to make the difference, because everyone can pull it into loom, but no one builds with this sustainable interpretation like we did. So, so we love to talk about technology with our investors.

Our investors do their best to make a return. We tell them, Hey, not only save a lot of money. This is the future. Like if you have a house who has no sustainable technology integrated, then the value of your house is probably not so high in the future. It’s a little bit like either must say, what do you think what your car is worth in the future is not electric, not much and same as with houses too.

Right? And we tried to be the Tesla of real estate.

Ben: [00:19:04] I completely agree. I mean, these emerging markets are coming from such a low base. They’re super dynamic. That’s where all the growth is so tremendous opportunities. And a lot of these markets such as Mexico,

I’m curious, Mexico is growing. It’s so close to the U S. And obviously there’s a lot of tourism, but why aren’t people flocking to make investments in Mexico? I’ve read that some people are worried about the government, taking back your property or things like this, but what are the, what are the main, main fears you see and investors both before they foreign investors like American investors.

Nico: [00:19:41] Oh, it’s always the same. People are just afraid. And I feel fear of something that as people are not informed, they read maybe something or heard something, but they’re not really informed. So what we do actually to all our people interested to invest, we informed them and we can inform than anyone else, because all the suspicious things we, we B we got through at the beginning too.

Cause we have four us too. And some things are different in Mexico’s and then you may maybe used from. What your home, but, it’s the old, it’s the old rule, right? If you think there’s more risk. Yeah. There is more, maybe more risk, but that’s why you have more rewards to all the returns of investment, our investors or ourselves we made, made impossible and other markets.

And not only because of Mexico there is. Yeah. There is the closeness to America that helps obviously the Riviera Maya to low Mexico, Cancun has steady growing. Now that over 50 years, it’s a multi billion dollar business worldwide right now. So they, you see. How many potential lists is in this area and then apply that comment was I think, in the growing and we came actually too late for this market.

If one invest in, in Cancun, you need probably a billion dollar. If you need to go apply to come in, you’d probably a few million dollars and we had nothing like this. I just said, Hey, you know what a lumber still Virgin. And we said, we’re not going to hurry. If the PacSun picks up in five years or 10 years, we don’t care.

We just want to stop slow here because we passionate about to be able to live in this paradise. And so we had no hurry, but we just got picked up by the baseline. And so, starting from 2012, But yeah, people are just scared because they’re not informed.

Ben: [00:21:19] Yeah. And that makes sense. Right. And it’s, it’s just, it’s not, it’s not as familiar.

It feels very wild. It feels very risky, even though it might not be. So when you’re informing these investors and kind of telling them the reality, what, what key fears are you helping them get through? I mean, just what or what. What large hiccups did you experience when you first started in Mexican real estate that you wish you knew before that you can kind of help

Nico: [00:21:47] investors

Ben: [00:21:48] navigate now?

Nico: [00:21:49] Yeah. I remember a lot of talks with someone that said, Hey, Nicole, but can I not move to buy a piece of land and do it all by myself? So of course you can’t do it by yourself, except

Ben: [00:21:59] by

Nico: [00:21:59] yourself. You can read a book and then you see exactly all the secrets I innocence not much secret. And, But are you willing to be a few years right now, law, 24 hours all year, and really go through everything we went through, right.

Mexicans sometimes asked me, but it wasn’t, it’s a lot of pain there and they said, no, we didn’t care about this thing because everything wasn’t experienced. So obstacles become a challenge and we grew with the challenge. We lost it. So if you, if you’re the same kind of type do it, don’t play anything from any developer, go all in.

But I got to tell you the times are different right now. If you rent your little Villa or your little apartment like we did in the beginning for the same price, probably. And we saw in this time already, that is not going to last forever, that you have a concrete, concrete floor, a small 25 square meter apartment, and you could rent it out for $300 and they would be.

That’s not going to last for long. And we had the golden times and we said, how can we move our business in the future? Maybe start to move in the future. It’s always the same route you need to grow or you die the nature nature. No, it’s just too, to, to, To a status, right? You die or you, you, you grow like a tree and we decided to grow.

That’s why we make this big projects where we can actually have more environment, and nature included, but we also more resistant. We have more unique projects. So we did the biggest project of a bulletins alum, like on 10,000 square meters. And we’re not competing anymore with these small SMB type units.

Cause you know, everyone can rent his own apartment, even be and say, Hey, stay for $50 in my place. It’s cheaper. And there’s a high now we have a big competition going on in this Airbnb types. luxury hotels in Cancun, five star hotel. It’s why they charging pipe, put a dollar. Cause they have amenities.

They have the same room type, maybe a small 30, 40, 60 square meter room, but they have a man. It is a huge, they have a huge pool. They have crazy amenities. And is that we got to get the amenities too. So with our first project, we thought, okay, now we need to build the gym and they cannot build the Flinstone so many more.

Since the preset project we need to give trust to the people needs to be quality and it’s. It’s not only fun anymore. So, so we said let’s build a three story gym. Let’s build a gym, no one has ever built. And we built a three-story gym with a climbing wall for over $1 million. So we built a 54 apartment and we built a three-story gym, but the coming wall and put the best in the world from hamstrings life, fitness and earth and sweat bullets will run without electricity.

So a completely over the top. Jim. Cause we said, look, we want to make sure that our owners and our guests, you know, if you have a Tesla, of course. Yeah. And the first Tesla all over Mexico, I think at least in the state. And you know, if you buy a Tesla, it gets better and better in time cost centered, upgrade over the end.

And it’s true. And it’s, it’s phenomenal. That’s why you could never drive another car. Cause it just goes lower. No. And And in real estate, we tried the same right now because what we did, we built this amenity and this amenity is not available for all the other condominiums too. So if you buy it in a future project, you have an amenity in your project, but you have also access to a three-story gym in another project.

And, As we grew, for example, or amenities is not amazing. We have a 10,000 family, the beach club, which all our owners can access with the free shutter. We didn’t have that as they started, it just came along. We had wrote an email to owners. Hey, thank you for investing with us. Now, after two years, we got to tell you, we have no free beach club shatter who comes everyday to economy.

If you want, you can just a bar and go to a beach group. Then suddenly we opened our own cinema. So we opened a private movie theater. It’s called sinner. It’s like a cinema experience where you look. And see your movie. And then on the other side, you see the jungle cause it’s right in the jungle. And, you can, all of the film you want and you can order the food you want, and then you have a really private security experience and it got number one on TripAdvisor.

And, yeah, now we have a luxury spa. We build the, the staff, a $1 million restaurant, a few restaurants already, and they combine all this crazy amenities. To instead of building just a few gyms, we built one gyms, which is out of the world, right? Instead of building little cinema rooms in every condominium, we build one giant luxury cinema experience was everyone can use and that’s makes really a difference.

The difference for our investors and for our guests to come to Tulum, home compares more the experience with the resort style. Experience them with an Airbnb where you compete really just about the spaces and who has the cheapest price. And we don’t want our investors to have competed about the price.

We want our investors to compete with the experience and the quality. And there we are really unbeatable right now. And Tulum,

Ben: [00:26:39] yeah, that makes, that makes a lot of sense. I mean, you’ve got to differentiate yourself and when you’re doing these super premium,

Nico: [00:26:46] Now this year, we just started with the drone.

Ben: [00:26:51] It’s just the beginning. There’ll be drones, zipping all over the place soon, huh?

Nico: [00:26:55] Yeah. This year we deliver new, the newest biggest project, 170 units. It’s the biggest project of a bulletins alone. We starting delivery actually in X months already and towards, and the via unit by unit. And this is the project was going to have it’s the first project in the world as a drone pet.

Included in the project. So the idea is in the future, people can go with the drone autonomous and fly around the era and have an amazing experience, completely sustainable because the energy comes from electricity and electricity used to power. The Joan comes from the sun. So it would be you fly with just pure sunflower and this kind of experience really want to push towards the people.

Cause we think the new luxury is sustainability and all our owners, investors, they are all on the same page and they share the same values. And the beauty is that we are in a tourist area. So what we have is we need to be, exciting. We need to excite people because no one goes to loom because of a necessarily you go to Tulum because you want to cause you wish to have an amazing time and to love.

So it’s all about emotion. That’s why our projects are really, really talked to you on an emotional level. Cause we want to give you a crazy, emotional, sustainable, innovative experience. And that’s what we, we did since 2012. And now we do it on a really high tech level with this passenger drone, for example, and really innovative because people invest in preset project.

That means you need to offer them something, which they’re going to get in two years. So if you want to be innovative, you need to. Offer something which is going to be still innovative and pushing with a drone. We really needed to have it in costs in two years is pro this year because we saw it in two years.

It’s already not so new anymore. And now we really on the pinnacle and I think we have one technology there who is really, really excited. I’ve been actually in us the last year to make the Nestec IPO. They are officially now a NASDAQ listed and exciting the first drone company in the world who is officially listed on NASDAQ or any public stock exchange.

And we are, I’m probably the first customer, all of America, and definitely the first drone in Latin America. First project in the world who has a George Pat. And, yeah, it’s going to be exciting. And that’s what it’s all about. It’s about excitement because that’s what people are willing to pay a lot of money.

Ben: [00:29:14] Yeah, absolutely. And you touched on a few things there, it sounds like the investors in these developments receive a portion of the return from short-term rentals. Like Airbnb, is that, is that accurate?

Nico: [00:29:27] Almost everything. Like if we sell the units, what we do and every unit in every project, we try to keep.

You want it to ourselves? Cause, like I told the beginning as we started the project preset, we did cause we didn’t have the money and we said, Hey, if someone wants to buy towers, it’s okay. But I had negotiated with people that said, please don’t bother you on it because I know how with the project, if you don’t buy it, I keep it for myself.

It’s great. And but still a lot of people board and yeah, they, they it’s, it’s, I’m kind of jealous. It’s sometimes you’re giving away a chat. So a lot of units I see while they’re running perfectly. in the rental program or the, in the hotel, I think, wow. Imagine all the students would be still, but we didn’t have the 30 million.

So we needed to have investors and be still neat investors. So the integrator put in is invest, invest in this. And then all the, all the money from the, from the rent out. Yeah. It goes to them. That means, if someone is fighting some foreigner, I said, that’s, that’s a very common question. So who’s taking care of my unit.

Cause I live in the U S I live in Europe or in Russia. W w what can I do as I know we are, there we are actually, it’s a loan based company. That means everyone on our team is here. We are not only a builder and designer. We also operate and be all in loom and we take care of you and your problem if you want, because some projects it’s not obligated.

Yes. at any time. So that gives a huge, boost of confidence for the people. Because even if they’re not here all year round, they know. It’s taken care of the units and be managed them. And yeah, the money goes to them. We just charged fees, but the majority of the rent income goes to ordinance. So they make passive income with the property in one of the hottest rental market in the world.

And be compared to Miami compared to Dubai. No, one’s going to beat this market right now. All right, man. This is tough, of course, because of COVID.

Ben: [00:31:10] Okay. And what kind of rental yields are you looking at? Net of your fees? basically I, I buy this property, but this, I buy this one, two studio, one, two, three bedroom apartment for X amount, and then.

I’m sitting in the U S you list the property on these short-term rental sites or through your own site. And then you manage the guests. Check-in cleaning all of this stuff, and I pay you a fee obviously, but what kind of rental yield, are kind of you talking about.

Nico: [00:31:42] There is two investments. There is investment in the real estate, which if you invest in pre-sale that’s, that’s how we got a financing done.

And the majority, because people invest in preset projects and then you make like, We thought between 30 and 40% cap for the game up to the, up to finishing up the construction. And, but we have also the first center park, we bullet actually got a hundred percent capital gain in the first three years.

So it’s hard to, to predict, but we just communicate the numbers in the past. But obviously there is a big chance of capital gain. If you buy in, pre-sale finished your construction. So is one thing. And usually people in Dubai, for example, they buy. And if the unit is done, they resell it. They just want to make the capital gains.

But yeah, it’s different. We have very few research because after we finished the unit, it starts with the rental operation and the rental operation generates great cashflow. And if someone generates cashflow, we don’t want to sell the unit. It’s like a running company it’s generates positive cashflow on.

And if you go to about it and, yeah, our, we stoic numbers are between eight and 20%. We don’t communicate 20% anymore. Because it’s a little bit too crazy, but right now we communicate. If you don’t want to do anything, like if you, if you’re not here, you have a chance we’ll make rental income passive completely.

That means you’re not coming. You don’t care. Just receive your money. And we charged the fees for administration at uni. Yeah. It’s a capita game, which you make usually traditional talking between 30 and 40% capital gain. If you invest pre-sale and then between eight and 12%. A return of investment with the vacation rental

Ben: [00:33:19] and your fees are a percentage of that or how did they,

Nico: [00:33:22] yeah, they’re all taken care off recharge usually.

And other stupid, you’re not the only one offering, but, it’s between it’s around 25% of a hundred dollars come in 25% off. And that’s what get paid distribution, the maintenance and not the maintenance, not the. The check-in check-out and then we take off all to the maintenance later, and then you still make between eight and 12%.

We’ve got to be honest in a normal year because this year people probably don’t make it. It’s COVID, it’s hard to predict, but in a normal year, that’s why I see, say always investors. See it, please. As a little bit long-term investment, not 30 years or 20 years Betsy, that the 10 years investment. Cause the reason goes up and down.

So it is craziest, but make maybe 20% return on investment. We think there’s going to be after the COVID we’re going to have a nice. recharge here in the area. Cause a lot of people who wanted to travel couldn’t travel. So usually tourist destination, if they suffered for a while, they pick up really quick.

Cause a lot of people couldn’t come want to come there. So we see, yeah, in some years you have a bad year like this one in COVID, but maybe you get another, you get crazy retrans next to you, you know? So I would say, see the little bit. A little bit long too. Cause it’s like on the stock exchange, you have good years and bad years, but you can not lose because it’s real estate, it’s your property, a hundred percent of your property and you have the capital gains, you have the market growing and yeah, you can, you cannot lose.

You can only gain and

Ben: [00:34:45] obviously share most of the growth in Tulum as a destination. Like you said, it’s. tourism. Right? making an investment in real estate in, Tulum, you’re making an investment in Mexico real estate, and specifically to loom real estate growing. What are the key drivers? What do you see as the biggest key drivers of growth within Taloon itself or Mexican real estate?

I mean, are you seeing more Chinese tourists? as the Chinese middle class grows more tourism in and Mexico, like what kind of key trends are you seeing in the tourism area specifically in

Nico: [00:35:22] Tulum.

Yeah, that is one of the magic things into loom that the vibe of the tourists is pretty unique. So it’s not only in the nationally in this tourist.

Also, the people are a little bit more conscience. They a more educated or interested in the area in themselves in nature, sustainably, everything and cool. But people come and just want to make party or something. It’s really interesting. I think that’s why I always say people need to come to Tulum, stay a few days to feel the vibe.

So, Yeah. People come from all over the world. There is maybe trends like, if you have the newest time, you have a lot of people of New York coming because they are the ones who pay the highest price of the book. They’re the ones who pay 500 or 2000 or 3000 or $5,000 for one night because I don’t care.

They say I need to be into loom right now because the loom is so hip. I need to be there and need to be, then you use, cause I have no other time in the year. So, then in summer you have a more domestic market in Mexicans. Come a lot to a lot of them. Right now you have Europeans coming in summer. And, yeah, you’ve got also Chinese and all around the world, but smaller numbers, especially this year and next year, probably because of the visa situation.

So, yeah, the biggest market is America, Canada, Mexico, and then came European. European market now. And now we see the recovery. We see domestic market picking up the Americans coming and Europeans are saying this year, not so quick. Next year, probably

Ben: [00:36:47] this year is definitely an outlier year. Anything tourism related?


Nico: [00:36:51] It’s, it’s funny. We thought it’s going to take slope, but right now it’s packed. So Loomis for, we are more than nine. We are 90% occupancy. The price is not so high yet, but we didn’t expect so much tourists at this time of the year, still with COVID. So that’s interesting. I would say there is a lot of pressure in the market to pick up again.

So look, we have the COVID isn’t us very high in Mexico, very high and still keep it up. Pressuring in the markets. It’s funny. The beach is officially. Pivoted to enter right now by the government. And it’s full of people. It’s, it’s crazy. So huge demand, for this nation. And you can see him in this time and that’d be half the setback right now.

For me, it’s a healthy setback. We committed to sustainability and the big winner of this Christ also in all these years, right now, a little bit overheating the market and long, too much development. The developer who just came to make money who are not committed to the destination. And we think this cleans Apple a bit too long.

So who has long-term strategy into long who stays, who had just a short term strategy and just want to make a quick buck. He’s not so much interested anymore. And I think it’s very healthy for the designation. And so I see. I see a lot of things have described right now, especially in Tulum. I see it very positive.

Ben: [00:38:05] Yeah, definitely positive. Give it a little cooling off period. I’m curious with tourism down the U S dollar very strong. the dollar goes further in Mexico. are you seeing a dip in prices, a dip in your prices on these presales?  American investors could take advantage of Mexican real estate right now.

Nico: [00:38:26] Yeah. We saw more flexibility and price, but you need to be careful by giving offers ridiculous offers. And we don’t go with that. We are more flexible with pricing too, but more in a payment plan because we have people who invested in with us and say, I need a little bit more flexibility right now. We understand.

We try to help wherever we can. And, But in pricing, if you want to live a quality, it has its place even to loom. It’s not really for cheap. And that’s why we show it would be lost to show everyone who is interested in all the development that they understand the main difference in the quality and achievement of our projects compared to everyone else.

So, yeah, sometimes people come, I just want to see the price. I want it. How much has it was going, gonna be the price. Let’s say you don’t understand our product. If you measure it as it’s like a Mercedes Benz or a Tesla cost more like a little Honda, right. Then you cannot say, why is it cars are expensive.

That’d be explain why. And he is, he is the same thing you need to people focus. Sometimes I want to invest in real estate and focus until them on discriminate the price, but they don’t understand that the real business they want to be in is actually a tourist business. And that’s why we need to educate people.

A lot of education. Don’t focus on the square meter price. Cause even if you buy a 42 square meter apartment, which is really small, you get a 10,000 square meter park within and you’re part of 30,000 square meter amenities. So you got to value all of this and you, at the end, you want to make an arrow. I return of investment and we can show you real numbers.

How we did this return on investment for all our clients, most of the clients in the past. So we ended up being in a stent democracy and, there’s there came a lot of developments last year on the market who don’t have experience in Colombia, right? Who were developers somewhere else. And, you see a lot of designs from us and on the other project is, you know, rendered projects and then our, the project.

So that’s why I said, I think it’s right now great that the market cleans up a little bit and that the investor gets more conscious. And compare a little bit more deep because, we, we work with brokers to buy, be last to actually to have the client in our project and talk to him to educate the client.

So the client can make an educated decision. It’s about his money. And it’s about a long-term position. It’s not about you buying, buying some small, right. And we know that, That if the investor is happy and understands everything you boss is, it feels great. It feels great in the preset project, understands everything, especially in a year like this, where people may be thinking why is not making my merger as like this called corporate.

And we’ve got to talk about it. And, instead of going only at the price, it’s, it’s dangerous. Like. Like the big money making the big hotel. It’s like the height and the Hilton, and you can see they spend it on the hotels and, that’s all we aiming for high quality luxury cars. There is actually the, the money and the low.

We see high competition coming up all over the world with, with, individually comparable spaces. Like your local Airbnb, your neighbor.

Ben: [00:41:19] Yeah. That makes sense. And are you comfortable talking numbers? Rough figures. I mean, the amenities, it sounds like the amended, these are built into the price per square foot or per square meter.

it’s less about buying it at this price and having a HOA fee sort of thing monthly to access those amenities. You’re paying for it upfront in the purchase price. Is that the way it works?

Nico: [00:41:44] Yeah. That’s even more exciting right now, because if you buy with us, let’s talk to us about the gym, because everyone has an imagination.

The other things you’ve got to really see, like the Senate experience and everything, and the site expire experience, but the three-story gym people can imagine pretty good. Like we invested $1 billion to create this amazing gym. And, so this is now a free amenity for you if you buy with us. And usually if you have a gym, if you have a small gym in economy, and usually it’s a, it’s a very small gym, but no one goes and you pay maintenance for this.

Why we, why are we able to do it? Because we have access to the gym also for outsiders. So what are you going to do? We offer the benefit for our owners. We own it, the benefit to their guests who come to our project or the project where they invested in. And offer this benefit to get the units running.

And we offer also for outsiders to refinance. So everyone wins. You don’t pay, you get the biggest amenities you can imagine, and you pay nothing for it. You just get the benefit. And we say, okay, by be spent, we have also outside coming to a beach, cook outside has come to, to refinance our investments. And so everyone wins.

Ben: [00:42:52] Makes sense, like rough figures. And if you’re not comfortable talking about that, that’s fine for a one bedroom apartment. I think I saw some numbers on your website. What is the expected price per night that you could rent it out on short-term rentals and occupancy numbers? Like what, or just walk me through the calculations back of the envelope, kind of,

Nico: [00:43:11] yeah.

It’s like, you can start a studio already with 200, $440,000. The studio is like around 38 to 42 square meters. And the studio is more or less like a hotel room from the sides, but with the kitchen. So if you want, you can actually live there or you can rent it out, but it’s a. This is what it is, the studio unit with a full kitchen.

And it comes with all the applies. That is a kit. There’s a fridge microwave, kitchen, and there’s everything in it. You just need to put a bathroom. and even this, you can include a few, few negotiate and, yeah, that is like $140,000 and you can rent out this wall easy 400, 150 up to $200 a day. The high season and occupation is probably with this like 20, 25.

Days of the month. There’s a lot of number I could spit out too, but we have actually projects in the world of this, but it all comes out. But then you have like costs. You need the maintenance costs. You need to pay all the property fees. And it comes down to a 12, $14,000 cost to something. But you still have after all the costs.

Arrived from eight to 12%, we got the breakdowns all, all Sendible if you want to implement them, but,

Ben: [00:44:21] you can link. I can link the calculations in the show notes. That’s

Nico: [00:44:25] just fine. It make it easy. With the studio unit, you buy $440,000 to get rental income from about $3,000 a month. Probably not possible some world.

Yeah. And this is just a studio unit and we have a studio standard of 140,000 and we’ve got penthouse up to 600, $700,000 depending. And, you can buy, for example, the three bathroom lock off around $500. I think it’s even immediately delivery right now. Well, a smaller projects and there will be do is lock of the rent.

Probably better, better if you have smaller units, but some people want a big unit. And so they, they, they get a three bedroom unit and if they’re not there, we can cut the units in three individual units and rent them out individually. And so maximize the rental income for the owner. So, yeah. Then you have like three students running for, for the price of one unit.

That’s sort of all depends with the ordinance. It’s really, it’s really important to talk with everyone because it depends also how much money you invest, right. To get the discounts secured. And it depends. what is your relationship with the destination? Because usually everyone has something kind of this nation connection with us.

So it’s not that, yeah, I don’t care. I sent, you know, the money and leave me alone. Send me the money. No, they want to come. They want to enjoy, they want to send friends and family. So we always tell them, Hey, you can send your family, come whenever. But if you stay in your new use, you are, you hurt your investment.

But it’s of course, if you, if you spend time there over news, Maybe it’s the return. You cannot put even numbers, but, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s very individual. What is, what is the, What is really the goal of the person, right.

Ben: [00:46:04] I’m curious with a Mexican peso FX risk. the numbers that you’re quoting are in dollars, does that mean I purchased the studio in dollars and then my monthly revenues also realized in dollars.

Nico: [00:46:18] Yeah. That is a big, big benefit because, yeah. I saw that as the COVID style, a lot of people fleet and the dollar Mark, and as a, Hey, you don’t need the fleet because this is a dollar market too. This is the beauty of Mexico. At least since it’s a tourist destination, everything is calculated in dollars because people pay in dollars too.

But the cost I’m petals, so your maintenance cost and everything is going to be in peasants. It’s going to be trends, translate it for you if you want an English and everything. But the main cost is produced in pesos. Okay. And, the revenue, especially right now, since the dollar dollar doesn’t rise up, but the pace went down, costs effected by the petrol industry.

And this is, makes it more attractive. If your home currency is U S dollar, right? Cause you have like, you have like a 20, 30% discount right now, just the currency spread. So for Americans, traditionally, they had a huge opportunities in Mexico. They know that, right. That’s why so many Americans ambassador, but now it’s probably a.

Probably better than ever. So if I had still money on the foreign countries, I would move at the right moment because if you have people that don’t understand, if, if you invested in, in, in a currency and cash, This is investment. A lot of people have made money right now, after all the money they got from the government and you invest it, you invest it in the Bruce investment of your life cash.

So we’re going to put it right. Try to get goals. You want to have a rollercoaster on the stock exchange? Like Tesla is already overblown, like, hell all you’re going real estate. Right. And he had such a solid business. It’s so easy. Right? It’s so easy. There is no, there is, it sets easy business that you invested in a real estate project.

It gets developed. You can come whenever by yourself and check it and feel it and enjoy it or whatever. And if you’re not here, we rented out to tourists in your, what you invest in Mexico. And we rented out on a daily basis, $2 to tourist. You pay a lot of money to be in this top. This is nature. So it’s kind of, that’s why my mother invested.

It’s my brother invested. It’s my friends invested. And so everyone I know who has a little bit money invested already because it just it’s just too good of an opportunity. And like you said, people were usually. Scared before, maybe they don’t like the person they talk to, but people felt a lot of confidence with us.

Cause we can transmit really that we went through all the questions I have. And if you say something is safe in terms of security of investment, I can tell you if that comes another COBIT next year. But if this is a safe investment, in terms of legal perspective, I can, I can sh I can tell you that. And, and back it up with all the legal stuff you need.

Right. And, So it’s really doesn’t make sense. I remember the talk with my brother said, nah, buy an apartment right now in Europe, in Germany. And I said, but you know that I do real estate in Mexico, you know, more or less what we did. Yeah. I said, don’t be stupid red mountain. And I saw the numbers and then even my very convincing brother invested now in the unit.

And he also made a hundred percent capital gains and a solid 10 to 12, even 15% of the first year return of investment.

Ben: [00:49:17] Nice. Yeah, those are good numbers. And I’m curious. I’ve read, rental income is taxed at 25%. Capital gains are taxed at 25% and then

Nico: [00:49:26] no, no, no, no. It’s not taxed. This is just, there’s just a fee for the service. So if we

Ben: [00:49:31] do, but this is actual taxes based, on the Mexican government now.

Nico: [00:49:35] Yeah, that depends. That is another beautiful thing. Cause if you invest you, that is one thing you apply it to all the tax laws. If you want to sell the unit, for example, the rental income. You just get the bank of cone where you want to have the rental income.

And we sent the money to the rental income, wherever the clients wanted, because we have clients from all over the room. There’s no tax law, which applies to everyone. If someone says , we sent the money in Panama and someone says he doesn’t ask to be sent the money so we can send the money wherever you want.

Right. Gotcha.

Ben: [00:50:07] They’re in their home state or country or whatever rate that would be. What are the, what are the other kinds of. Costs associated, you know, normally with real estate, there’s rather high transactional costs. I read somewhere that it was, you know, five to 12% sort of thing in Mexico, between the agents and all of the other transfer taxes, all of these things.

What kind of numbers are you looking at there?

Nico: [00:50:32] if you buy with us a preset project or something, you’ll just pay actually I’m promising you buying contract because we have nothing to sell you yet. Then the notary fee. Yeah, it’s a little bit high, but I think it’s between five and seven, five and seven one can negotiate.

Maybe it’s cheaper right now. Cause we had boom times where everyone to make a lot of money as even though Teresa give them the titles below this percentage. But I think right now is a good time to negotiate that too. But, yeah, we had. We had owners at the end. there is a trick cause, you get rental income because it’s not in the sales price, the cost, not all part.

So we just finished a unit and say he has all the legal documentation. So you can title the unit and what some owners made is. Okay. Thank you so much for all the legal documentation. Can you start renting already stopped renting already? So you generate income cash. So the way to two or three months, and then when they approved income cash, they paid the notary.

So it’s actually not free, but, Yeah, they didn’t make, they didn’t need to raise the initial investment on.

Ben: [00:51:30] along that topic, financing in Mexico, if an American investor wants to invest in one of your projects or in Mexico, can you get a local loan through Mexican bank? Do you need to get a loan from, your own country?

Do you guys offer financing? What does that look like?

Nico: [00:51:46] Yeah, we offer financing and the priests have projects. We offer payment plans. So you can decide we have so many different projects. You can decide how you want to projects. If, just, if you want invest right now, for example, I said, okay, you want me to make a payment plan to where?

End of the years, I have a project with the delivery end of the year. Okay. It’s too, too fast. Yeah. You want me to make a payment plan between two years? Cause I have a project. We were going to live in two years. So you’re on the early phase of investment. All you have all the money. I want a unit we have finished already.

And you want us to give like a developer finance we offer right now, like I said, a lot of flexibilities and all our side. Yes, that is possible. And, but, banks, local banks, I would say, no, don’t come with the experience. Cause I know Americans, they get trades everywhere in America, but here I would say it’s the following us here.

The local banks don’t know you and the local bank at home doesn’t know anything about the area. So it usually has no connection and it doesn’t work very well. So, yeah, you need to have your loan from your home country. pro some assets you have in your home country, but I don’t think you can say yeah, by no property in Mexico.

And it just gives the bank. My, my unit, in Mexico is they’re going to say, I don’t know where that is in this dilemma.

Ben: [00:52:53] I’ve never done anything like that. Probably, probably not.

Nico: [00:52:57] That is fairly, just applies for all talents, like Mexico city, where it’s a long history of something, but for boom towers, like to loom, I think the banks have not even been there.

And the papers. So it’s a cash investment. That’s, that’s a good thing. That’s the beauty of about us to America. You have a lot of depth in everything, but everything we did in Duluth, everything is tight. That’s the beauty. So that’s why even the crisis like this, no one can stop us, but everything is paid.

And we just building, if we have the money. So that is why I’m pretty solid against every subprime crisis. Something because everything is paid. It’s not credited.

Ben: [00:53:30] What surprises do most investors get with investing in Mexico?  It sounds very easy and great on paper, but you know, some of these things like that, the Mexican trust, the a PD.

Nico: [00:53:45] Yeah.

Ben: [00:53:45] So anything within 50 kilometers of Mexico’s coast or a hundred K of Mexico’s borders is restricted and foreigners, the property is owned by this trust and you’re the beneficiary.

I mean, what other, what other surprises do most foreign investors get? As soon as they sign on the paper and invest in Mexico?

Nico: [00:54:08] Well, maybe that everything is a little bit slower. and that what you said is true. There’s you need the fetal Comiso because there is this law. I saw it at the beginning too. You can avoid it with two things with the fetal COMESA or you open your own company, my company and the company can buy whatever, but then you have to run the company.

So if you don’t want to run the company, you can do this bank trust. So all the banks offer this. And yeah, it’s, it’s a standard process here. It’s like millions of units have been sold like this, and there is some text beneficials actually, because your government doesn’t even know that you have a unit because you have actually just a trust.

And, so there is a lot of depth in it in terms of texts benefits, if someone’s interested in this, but yeah, mainly you just sign it. The notary notary comes already with the trust paper and said, yeah, you sign here. That you would trust holder. And with this bank, you can choose between a few banks offer that and that’s it.

And then you have,  like you said, you’re a trust holder. And so if you sell the unit, you actually just selling the trust. There’s a small fee you have to pay every year. That is maybe the only difference, but don’t forget in America, for example, you pay a lot of, tax, if you own land on houses and everything with the trust, the cost of owning property and Mexico is really very low.

Ben: [00:55:26] That’s significant. I’m out in California now and I mean, the prices are just astronomical, right? It’s like a $2,000 per square foot. And even, even if you buy it, you buy a million dollar house. You’re looking over 1% and property taxes at that grow every year. you know, people don’t think that’s another 800 bucks a month, you know, 10,000.

Nico: [00:55:46] Yeah. They’re just doing it, right. Yeah. We see it. It’s a huge difference. A huge change coming up there may be now because yeah, you are there. And people are in this high paid dense areas because they need to be close to the factories, but we see already, people are staying now longer into long. Cause I got set up the company.

This idea you don’t need to be in the office anymore. Just work from wherever. And I think more in the past we had just tourists into look. Now we had actually also some freelancers already, but I think in the future, more people going to be in Duluth, also on the area who are not on vacation because they can just work and live into loom because the destination is perfectly you close to the airport and one hour 20th internationally, I barely have the perfect connection all over the world.

And, yeah, you’ve got everything you need to consider it a real paradise.

Ben: [00:56:33] Absolutely. And this is I I’ve worked remotely for the last three years and I’ve worked in very low cost of living places and I’ve looked to purchase real estate and these places as well, but the headaches associated with them typically, are, are pretty.

Significant. And you can just get an Airbnb for 30, 40 bucks a night. And a lot of these places that’s substantial has fast internet and all of these things.

Nico: [00:56:56] yeah, you should never, you should never buy where you live because life is so flexible. You an example, you’re traveling around the world too.

So, you don’t know what happened is in life. Every everything can change, so don’t buy and live in something always rent. And if you want to buy real estate, buy someone. By summit way, you make a good return of investment about it, right? And this is for me, tourist destination now. So if you, if you’re, even if you’re born into living with us, don’t stay in the unit rent somewhere else or whatever, and let it run.

And then you can say, how do you pay the United way? Staying in? I pay with a unit that I have running. Just let it run, let it run and let it generate cashflow for you. And you live your life. Absolutely.

Ben: [00:57:33] And it fits into this. I subscribe more to like the flag theory, theory of things. I’m working for an American company being paid us dollars.

if I buy a us property, then I’m pretty. Concentrated in the U S economy. if I buy a property in say Mexico, then it’s a little more diversified than I own some of my, some of my assets in another country, maybe Europe or something like that, then it’s a spreading your risk, not all your eggs in one basket, as they say.

So I’m curious with Mexico, you’re obviously, you know, team Tulum the whole way, but if you were to. Be able to do it over again and do what you’re doing now in another Mexican city. What city would that be and why

Nico: [00:58:23] or difficult? I’m really in love and to loom. And there’s a lot of arguments around it.

Right. We have the biggest on the ground river in the vote. So we’ll be talking about water in the future. I got all the water right below me. What do you need to be happy? Press. You need fresh air and you need water. I got it all around me and he trees. I got all around me and to make sure our development likes over 60% is included the green space.

So it’s for all the future generation it’s secured. And, yeah, you, it would people around you. And like I said to them has incredible mix of teller terms, creators, people who are care about the world. So, Mexico, it’s one of the most beautiful beach in the world. That just got already published all over the place, but it also is an Island.

Cause what are you going to do on Cuba? Beautiful beaches, but nothing to eat. What are you going to do in the Dominican Republic, but beautiful beaches, but it’s too dangerous in lots of places. And you want to go to this other Island? Like WinPro islands is crazy expensive because everything is like private, kidding.

So the loom has this magic of beautiful beach where you swim in the ocean and just see Palm trees. And if you’re tired of the beast, you jump in one of the three thousands. And not as crystal clear, crystal clear, sweet water. And there is so much to discover yet. I lived here now 10 years, and I haven’t been in a lot of places yet.

And I haven’t discovered a lot of, not this year’s process. So many. And, yeah, I love to travel inland to Mexico. I traveled I’m the first human being who crossed all over Mexico with electric car. And we did it twice already. I love the, the Callidus like the warmness of the Mexican people in general, Latin people.

Right. As a, as a, as a German, it doesn’t matter which country you go. Everyone is more friendly. Yeah. I didn’t want to say that. Yeah. It’s like, like hot opening. So, I really found the country which fits perfect for me. I really found the era which fits perfectly. And like I said, you need to be flexible.

Whatever, Matt, I travel around the world. I’ve traveled this year around the world. I’ve traveled raspy around the world. So it’s normal to travel around the world every year, actually for me. And, My basis to long. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be so somewhere else. So it’s a perfect hop to go from from here to wherever you wanted the world.

And it’s, it’s always great to be back. And if it’s always great, it always to be back home if I come back. So, and I didn’t, I traveled everywhere more or less in Mexico and all the kava, beaches and everything, but nothing really quite compares to, to LA. So it’s tough. It’s tough. I really I’m really, there’s nothing quite like this and, yeah, to loom.

Okay. We don’t have shopping malls, for example, that’s good. Sometimes I drive to Cancun and go there. There is everything is Miami style right now in Cancun and enjoy the big theater and the things you don’t have to do. And then I go back to my, my jungle place and to Luma’s going to grow to like every week you see new restaurants, new stuff coming up.

And exciting. It’s exciting to be a part of a new growing society. And not everyone likes growing, but always say, yeah, maybe it would be the best. If the loom just stays a nature park and human beings not even touch anything. But that would mean there is no economic growing for the pollution and the South of Mexico, especially this area, the Maya culture, they really relying of economic development.

to, to participate in the modern life. So we say, okay, if there is the government decided already to make development, let’s talk how we can make the development as sustainable as we can do it. And a lot of that, we were able to implement so many ideas in the community and our developments. And even by my mental plans, like the treatment plans that I make, we, the company has, re collected so much garbage out of the jungle.

Like we did it. It’s a lot of initiative. We doing we funding schools and there’s a lot of stuff we do. And I feel really grateful to be able to do this and to be with our amazing team, to be successful in everything we do. And even right now in tough times, I feel like we are closer right now with our team.

We are closer right now with our clients. We close. The people are interested right now. Cause they’re listening now more than ever. I think in some developments where, where the competitors with they still not delivered and we delivered like one. And how have you already noticed now the difference between a professional developer and someone who’s maybe just trying to get in the market quick and make a quick buck.

So we lost the sellers in time and, as a intrepreneur, you’re looking always to provide solutions. And I think, right now it’s more important than ever. So, yeah. You asked me about Tulum. There’s nothing comparable.

Ben: [01:02:55] Perfect. Well, it’s a it’s it’s on my list because I know it’s changed a lot in 15 years,

Nico: [01:03:02] sewer.

It’s not really, you can go a little bit South to Loomis, also the perfect hub to go from there to all the other destination there’s Koba and you drive 30 minutes, you can climb at a 42 meters. Maya paramount. And you feel like the King of the jungle, this is amazing, but you don’t want to stay there for a few days.

You just make a day trip. So to Loomis a perfect hub to stay and don’t get anywhere or to make, excursions from there to baccala maybe a few beautiful seven different colors Lake, like three hours from, from, from Shalom, but you don’t need to stay there for a few days. So some people talk, this is maybe the next destination.

I don’t see that. I think Salaam has a lot of key things. Which are hard to beat and, there’s going to be a, a lot of opportunities for, I think the next 10 years

Ben: [01:03:47] Nico really appreciate you taking the time. where do you want to send my listeners?

Nico: [01:03:51] I dunno. Yeah. W wherever they want us to connect with social media, what we, everywhere we have websites, old school websites.

We have Los Amigos to If you want to find out more on the web pages, we are Los Amigos to Lumby on Facebook, Instagram. My name is Nico . I got even ticked are running right now. So we love to connect. We probably the most public developer in our region, we love to communicate almost everything what’s happening.

That’s why I said to, to being an ask me anything, there’s nothing you need to edit. Oh, there is no secrets in our business. We lost to be so transparent, but it’s all about trust. People need to know what we’re going to do all the time and, yeah, happy to connect with everyone that’s interested and thank you for the.

In-depth interview here and hope to see you very soon, man.

Ben: [01:04:39] I know. Right.

Well, I really appreciate it projects, I think.

Yeah. He’s, I talked to him a lot about Mexican real estate. It’s something that’s interesting for me.

So, but anyways, Nico really appreciate it. I’ll link all of these things in the show notes and, to you and, Los Amigos. And thanks a lot for making the time.

There you go. First off. Thank you very much for listening all the way through. I hope you got a lot of value out of that conversation. As always, you can find show notes, links, and [email protected]. Please share this with anyone you think might be interested and derive any value from this conversation.

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Ben Lakoff is an entrepreneur and finance professional. He has developed strong global finance experience through 10 years of international assignments in the US, Brazil, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Czech Republic and through the award of his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification.