The close relationship between CASAFARI and Vanguard Properties started in May 2020, year in which the company – nowadays, the biggest real estate developer in Portugal – designed a new strategy for its business. The objective was resorting (even more) to technology, aiming to boost sustainability, as well as developing lifestyle even further.
From that moment on, countless hours of research (online, but not only) were saved. By aggregating useful products for real estate professionals in a single software, CASAFARI gave the Vanguard Properties team their precious time back, to be applied in deciding the next real estate investments and business strategies.
José Cardoso Botelho, a renowned name in the Portuguese real estate market, told us about how the company had a complete view of the market and controlled its portfolio of clients with CASAFARI’s products for the past two years.
Property sourcing and portfolio control
“The property sourcing for potential investments” is an indispensable feature of CASAFARI for the Vanguard Properties team from day 1. This tool is essential not only to have a full view of the market stock, through daily searches and alerts, but also to find potential acquisitions.
CASAFARI aggregates more than 30 thousand sources of data and 200 million property listings so that, through this scalable data technology, clients such as Vanguard are able to have the most complete view of the real estate market. Therefore, it’s only natural that this is one of our most valuable assets.
As expected, their business goes beyond just the property sourcing: controlling their property portfolio is also something done daily by Vanguard. In the words of José Botelho, this is an important task for “identifying the way that real estate agencies and other players communicate our projects and for evaluating those that are being communicated incorrectly”.
This close follow-up of projects allow the company to control in real-time their best practices, ruled by a rigorous quality control, having in mind that we are talking about high luxury enterprises and projects.
A powerful Comparative Market Analysis
Along with a complete property search and a trustworthy portfolio control, CASAFARI’s Comparative Market Analysis also received compliments from the biggest real estate developer in Portugal.
“CASAFARI helped us considerably in optimizing our work”, reinforces José Botelho. With access to the largest database of comparables in Europe, both for sale and rent, for all asset classes, Vanguard Properties can have a complete view of the market in real time.
Also, a Comparative Market Analysis report made with CASAFARI automatically gathers the most precise comparables, taking into consideration many characteristics of the property. This means you get to valuate any kind of asset, like apartments, houses, commercial or industrial properties.
Fast decision-making and curiosity for the real estate market
From fast acquisitions to monetization, time-management is a key factor for real estate investments and Vanguard Properties dominates this art like only few companies do. “There’s no secret, but a group of factors that make a difference”, explains José Botelho.
“The high financial and investment capacity of the group, a fast decision-making process, a vast knowledge of real estate and a strong network with the most relevant stakeholders of the market” are some of the factors that the manager highlights as catalysts of this speed.
“We are a self-managed company that covers the whole spectrum of our activity. This makes decision-making easier. Our team has a total of 54 collaborators that are constantly receiving training, encouraged to take risks and to develop new ideas”. Besides, José Botelho talks about a “strong investment in technology” and the decision of “creating an internal sales department, that allowed us to learn a lot from the final clients”.
But, since a business is not only about management, Botelho explains that curiosity is also a driving force that enhances their passion for the real estate market. “I always say to my collaborators that the more I know, the more doubts I have. I have this motto permanently on my mind. I try to learn every day by reading a lot, listening to a large number of interesting people from various market segments, as well as listening to relevant media”.
The present and the future of the real estate client in Vanguard Properties’ view
Looking at the present and anticipating new dynamics, for Vanguard, in the recent years Portugal “has been attracting a very diversified clientele in terms of nationality”.
“Today, north-Americans are highly relevant and the demand from Europeans continues (Spanish, French, German, British, Irish, Swedish, Finnish), as well as clients coming from South Africa, Angola, Turkey, Mexico, among other countries. Unlike in the past, today we attract young families that want to live and educate their children here – making it important to grow the number of good international schools. They search primarily for quality of life (the weather, the people, the environment), safety and an attractive tax package”, describes the manager.
The pandemic intensified the search for real estate assets outside the big cities. “On the cities, the sought-after units are the ones with more and better common areas, bigger windows and gardens. Ideally, although the offer is still reduced, workspaces inside the buildings, as we did in our project Infinity”.
And how are these deals sealed? Is the geographical distance of the real estate investors a relevant factor? For José Botelho, “it depends if we’re talking about existing units, to be constructed or under construction. With already existing units, the online sale is more complex because usually the homebuyer wishes to see with their own eyes the conditions of the asset. When it comes to something under construction or to be constructed, online sales works well because, actually, apart from the plot, in the first phase of the project there isn’t much to see on the construction site”, he clarifies.
By counting with the best of the digital world to circumvent the absence of physical presence, Vanguard’s manager advises companies to have “a good digital brochure, excellent presentation videos, realistic 3D representations and, of course, a useful corporate website”. These conditions “help selling in a long-distance”, reinforces Botelho, diving as example Vanguard Properties. “The majority of the villas at Muda Reserve were sold without any visits”.
Highly positive financial balance on the last 5 years
The year of 2017 marks the entry of Vanguard Properties in Portugal, after Claude Berda (currently shareholder of Vanguard) met the experienced manager José Botelho. The outcome? “It was highly positive”.
“We managed to create a high impact and renowned brand, that’s leader in the premium and high luxury segments and that was maybe the biggest group in real estate development, starting from scratch. We developed countless promotion initiatives in the fields of culture, art, sports and health that we’re very proud of, creating a corporation that is not only integrated, but also integrator”, describes José Botelho.