Graciela Zamudio has a Law degree, she is postgraduated in Banking Law, both degrees at Universidad Panamericana, she has more than 20 years of professional experience. She has worked since 2010 leading Guadalajara Sotheby’s International Realty as General Manager and Broker. Graciela has extensive experience in the legal and administrative part of real estate businesses in her country. She is an expert in marketing, sales and closings. During her career, she has focused on serving foreign clients to buy or sell real estate in Mexico, mainly in the luxury residential market segment.
As a leader she manages a successful team of sales advisors, always sharing and applying her values ?and work ethic: professionalism, knowledge, honesty, effective customer service and fulfillment of objectives. She is an active member of the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (AMPI) since 2011. In this organization she has collaborated in several positions at the service of the real estate community; She is eager to be constantly updated with training and courses, maintaining a network of business contacts with real estate companies and the network of sales consultants in Guadalajara Metropolitan Area and throughout the country and the world.
Tell us about your journey which led you into the field of real estate?
I studied and graduated in Law. For my first years in professional work as a lawyer I go to work in the fields of real state and banking law. After a couple of years, a got a job offer to work for an American company named Stuart Title. At the time, the company had offices in Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara in Mexico. While working for this corporation, I got the opportunity to work hand in hand with real estate agents and really see what they do on a day to day basis for over four years. Working so closely with them, made me kind of envious of their amazing commissions and I realized they were making so much more money then a lawyer does. I was also fascinated by the commercial marketing side of the business because I was always on the other side of it, the legal side of it. Then came 2008, the big financial crisis, because of the fault of buyers, I decided to take a year break and go travel to Europe. The reason I left was because I was at the brinks of a burnout because I was completely overworked.
When I came back a year later, Sotheby’s International Realty invited me to work with them as as a real estate agent. I started creating a portfolio of properties at the time that we call Haciendas, the Mexico. It was basically a collection of listings of haciendas in all Mexico, specifically in states like Jalisco, Mexico City and other locations where there have been historic casinos located. It was honestly so much fun, and that was basically my start in the industry of real estate. It was a total change from the difficult lifestyle of lawyers.
There are no licence requirements in Mexico, but there is an associations with is the National Association of realtors in Mexico. I became a part of the board in Guadalajara and started my training as a real estate professional in the areas of marketing area and sales perspective. In 2010, I was assigned by the company as a manager of the Guadalajara office. Since then, I have built a team of 25 agents under my umbrella.
What has been one of the biggest challenges you had to overcome looking back over the years?
I would have to say that the biggest challenge is the market place itself. It is very difficult to sell real estate in Mexico because of all the legal issues surrounding every transaction. ON the other hand, I have the legal background and experience that comes with being a lawyer in real estate, which allows me a better understanding of how to navigate around all the complexities and better serve my clients.
The reason Mexico is so complicated is because it is a mix of regulations, law, tax issues and that real estate agents aren’t licensed and governed accordingly. The market here is also very aggressive. That is why it is important to have a professional guiding a team of real estate agents and as a whole we obviously take better care of the clients and offer them a seamless experience, and with a big name like Sotheby’s behind you it just gives you that much more support and credibility.
Where do you see the brand and what would you like to see it growing to in the next five to 10 years?
We have been handling our Puerto Vallarta market from our office in Guadalajara, so the next natural step would be to open an office directly there and start expanding from there on.
Do you many focus on Residential or do you guys offer commercial services as well?
Sothebys, is 100% focused on residential markets. We do offer commercial services to our clients but that is always as a side business because a particular client has those needs. It is really more of a compliment to our services so that the client doesn’t need to go and find another agent to represent them. We try and always have a 360 service from start to finish,
What are some methods you use to bring diversification into your team, such as languages or certifications?
We definitely try and have bilingual agents because they come in very handy especially here in Mexico where their are a lot of Americans and Canadians. I think the most important part is to have as many languages available to us as possible.
Where do you see people focusing their investments at the moment?
The pandemic has been very positive for us, we have double our market place and sales volume. What I have seen is that people who want to buy luxury properties have been investing heavily especially in the metro area. We also have a lot of Mexicans who invest in the US and Canada as a secondary home and investment opportunity.
Tell our readers what does success represent for you?
Success for me, represents the gratification I get from being able to help a person to achieve their goals related to mark to real estate. For most people, the decision to get into real estate whether buying or selling can be very stressful and I pride myself in doin everything I can to make the experience as smooth and amazing as possible. Seeing the end result for my clients is one of the most gratifying moment you can have as an agent.
In your opinion, what do you think puts you ahead of the competition?
I would have to say that it is all the alliances that I have built through the years along side my experience. We also offer unparalleled service because of the size and reputation that comes with such a name as Sothebys.
What inspires you to think bigger?
Being an agent, manager and heading a team requires me naturally to always be motivated in order to motive others. I actually get my source of inspiration and motivation from my team, clients and all the relationships that I have built throughout my journey.
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