I moved to Cartagena, Colombia in October, 2005, bringing my photography skills and RTV virtual tour capabilities and hoping to “make my mark” with this new (to Colombia) technology. I talked to a lot of real estate agents and quickly realized that the laws governing real estate in Colombia are vastly different than in the U.S.
Real estate licenses are practically nonexistent here because they are not required by law. That means anyone can bring a buyer to a seller and receive 3% commission on the sale. What this means is that no agent will invest money into advertising for a property that they don’t have an exclusive listing for, and owners don’t like to give exclusive listings.
Property owners here want to increase their odds for a quick sale, so they will pay the commission to anyone who brings a buyer. So, the target market here in real estate sales is the owners themselves. It can often be difficult to find the owner and to sell to them, especially if they live out of town. It is also possible to market to hotels, restaurants, resorts, museums, and I am just starting an advertising campaign to reach those markets.
My wife and I have a startup apartment rental and real estate business, which over time should draw in more 360 virtual tour customers, and I also do architectural photography for which a virtual tour is an upsell.
I have sold only about six tours since I have been here, mostly to friends. Until May of this year, I couldn’t actively market because my visa would not permit it, but now I am totally “legal.” This means that I can now use all forms of marketing available. Most of the real estate market is for apartments for sale or rent, but I am starting to become aware of some really nice houses. Next week, I will hit the streets of the old city with my laptop and some fancy brochures, where there are a lot of restaurants, hotels and bed and breakfast places.
Colombian Virtual Tour Company
Order a virtual tour – 702-332-9552