The words are from Hugo Santos Ferreira, Executive Vice-President at APPII, who was speaking during the webinar "Transformação Digital do Negócio nos Setores da Construção e Imobiliário" (Business Digital Transformation in Construction and Real Estate), promoted this week by SIL/Tektónica.
According to Hugo Santos Ferreira, «it is necessary to send out the message that we need investment», because Portugal «must remain an attractive and safe country», and he considers that «long-distance deals are the future. Online direct sales have grown exponentially, we know that by talking to our associates. The digital transformation in our companies was made with Covid-19, it could have taken decades, but it took days».
At the occasion, he also shared the newly presented Programa Relançar (Relaunch Program) an initiative from APPII which «intends to enable the real estate sector so as to attract foreign investment once again. Our companies are ready to assume a recovery program once more», he guaranteed. Amongst the main measures demanded in this program, are the «unequivocal» relaunch of the Golden Visa and Non-habitual residents’ programs, the decrease of the TVA for construction to 6%, the end of the AIMI (Additional Real Estate Municipal Tax) for housing and faster licensing procedures.
Technology will allow «doing things differently»
During the same conference, Ricardo Sousa, Century 21’s CEO, shared that «we must use technology to do things differently and in a more relevant way».
According to him, with the pandemic «the importance of digital transformation and protocol adaptation became evident. We saw the mobilisation of a sector’s entire value chain. Digital signatures were approved in this process and there is a clear need to change the paradigm, in a transitional and relational logic». He highlighted digital signing as one of the current main challenges.
He is convinced that «technology only brought to the surface the importance of emotional intelligence, both for clients and suppliers».
Beatriz Rubio, Remax’s CEO, explained that Remax started to digitally adapt at the beginning of the crisis, when «technology became tremendously important, especially when communicating with clients». She believes that, unlike the previous crisis, «we can continue doing business using technology, especially with virtual visits and financially qualifying the clients».
Prices still haven’t gone down
Beatriz Rubio confirmed an increase in contact requests at Remax during the month of May, for a total of around 800 contacts per day. And she believes that «prices still haven’t gone down», and «many local accommodation houses still haven’t been placed back on the market. Many are waiting for the borders to reopen and for tourism to return».
Noting that «this crisis is different» from the previous one, she warned that «family budgets will have constraints, no matter what we want, because many companies will not reopen. In that sense, there might be more sales, due to the difficulties in paying mortgages. This may become a problem in the future».
Ricardo Sousa also confirmed «clear price stability», and said that «since March until now, only 8% of our portfolio had a discount, an average of 7% below the initial price. We do not yet know what the impact will be in the coming months, with the increase in unemployment or the extension of the lay off period. But we expect a progressive recovery throughout 2021», he concluded.