Georgia-based Network Communications Inc., publisher of the “Real Estate Book” and provider for its online counterpart, published its first issue for Mexico City, Acapulco and Cuernavaca in June. Supported mainly by advertising from a Mexican Century 21 franchisee, it is the first real estate directory of its kind to be published in Mexico. The publication is North America’s leading color catalog of homes, with 20 million readers per month in thousands of communities in 400 markets, including Canada.
Jay McDonald, Network Communication’s new CEO, told GlobalFax in an interview at the company’s Lawrenceville headquarters that some of the challenge of starting a real estate magazine in Mexico is that the country has no formal real estate licensing process. “Virtually anyone can be in the real estate business, but there are some strong franchisees of U.S. real estate offices based there,” said Mr. McDonald.
A lower percentage of homes are sold through real estate professionals in Mexico than in the U.S., and the Mexican licensee, Felipe Reyes-Diaz, thought that the Real Estate Book would help to add value when doing business with a professional realtor. Mexico also does not have an MLS, or multiple listing system, which allows for many brokers to present their available properties at once, and Mr. Reyes-Diaz thinks that advertisers will use the booklet, published in Spanish, as a virtual MLS.
The company’s method of distribution at restaurants, dry cleaners and other retail outlets and through the company’s patented house-shaped stands is unusual for Mexico, and taking the photographs for the listings is often difficult, as many houses are surrounded by high walls. The first issue, however, is meeting with great success, and Mr. McDonald says Re/Max will be the next major group in Mexico to participate in the book. Mr. McDonald says the company would prefer to expand in Mexico with Mr. Reyes-Diaz if he has the inclination and wherewithal, and the real estate community in Monterey is already clamoring for the book, while other areas of Mexico are prime targets for expansion as well.
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