You can now find the full show notes of the Crossing Borders podcast on LatamList.com’s new podcast section. I’ll still post the audio of the podcast on my blog and I’m planning to start writing more again on my blog, like I used to.
Even in the United States, the process of finding and buying property, as well as securing a mortgage, is not an easy one. In Latin America, where real estate agents are often not officially licensed, countries use notaries instead of escrows, and mortgage rates can be staggeringly high, buying a property in Latin America can be much more difficult. Most Latin American countries lack an MLS (multiple listing service) so there is no central place to search for properties, no exclusivity for brokers, and prices for the same property can differ from broker to broker. It can be hard to know whether you are getting a straight deal when the process for researching properties and brokers is anything but transparent.
Even in countries such as Chile, which is one of the more developed real estate markets in the region, renting an apartment as a foreigner can be daunting. Local landlords usually require significant paperwork before signing a lease, including a cosigner, local employment documents, proof of local taxes, and other documents most foreigners do not have. Landlords may also require your monthly income to be triple or quadruple the monthly rent, meaning that renting many properties is out of reach even for well-paid locals.
In 2013, Vijay Kailas, a fellow Start-Up Chile entrepreneur and I started Andes Property to help foreigners buy, rent or invest in properties in Latin America to help provide more clarity into this market. In 2014, my fund, Magma Partners, made Adrian Fisher’s PropiedadFacil our first investment. Adrian has been involved in the real estate tech sector since 2012 in Argentina, Chile and now the US with PropertySimple, so we had significant experience in the real estate tech sector.
Because of a lack of information, low levels of competition in the Latin American real estate market and corruption in certain markets, potential property owners can take on risks when buying a property that they wouldn’t otherwise take on in the US, where we take many of our existing systems and platforms for granted.
Welcome to Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig, where I interview entrepreneurs doing startups across borders and the investors who support them, with a focus on companies that have some relationship to Latin American.
My guest for episode 2 is my friend Adrian Fisher, CEO and Founder of PropertySimple, a real estate technology company with offices in Santiago, Chile and the United States. I’ve known Adrian for about five years now and PropertySimple was our first investment at Magma Partners back in 2014.
Adrian and I cover his journey from Scottsdale, Arizona to Argentina, Chile and then back to the United States, during which he learned to program, built technology for some of the biggest companies in the world with a 30 person outsourcing team based in Mendoza, Argentina and transitioned from a services company into a product company.
In 2011, Adrian was part of Startup Chile‘s first round, where he and his team built multiple real estate technology businesses including a rental payments system, a mortgage originator and more.
We’ll also talk about Adrian’s experience launching a product in Latin America and then transitioning to the US market and the strategies he has used for building a successful technology business from Latin America that targets the US market.
PropertySimple just closed a financing round of $3M from US investors and is growing it’s team in Chile and the US while scaling sales in the United States. I really enjoyed this conversation, so let’s jump right in!
If you liked this podcast, please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher and check out the first five episodes with other top entrepreneurs doing business in Latin America.