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My Introduction to Real Estate in Mexico

“Save the date, we’re going to Mexico!” is what I remember Richard Miranda telling me. Richard is vice chairman on the executive committee of the board of directors for the Houston Association of REALTORS®, the former chairman of the HAR International Advisory Group (IAG), and the appointed Presidential Liaison to the real estate association of Mexico, AMPI, for the National Association of Realtors®.  This is a man who has invested years of building a real estate career based on deep and meaningful relationships with AMPI, its members and its leadership. As the 2018 International Advisory Group chair for HAR, I was honored to be invited and excited at the opportunity to attend AMPI’s national convention for the first time.

“Save the date, we’re going to Mexico!” is what I remember Richard Miranda telling me. Richard is vice chairman of the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) Board of Directors, the former chairman of the HAR International Advisory Group (IAG), and the appointed Presidential Liaison to the real estate association of Mexico, AMPI, for the National Association of REALTORSs® (NAR). This is a man who has invested years of building a real estate career based on deep and meaningful relationships with AMPI, its members and its leadership. As HAR’s 2018 International Advisory Group chair, I was honored to be invited and excited at the opportunity to attend AMPI’s national convention for the first time.

The 2018 “Congreso Nacional Inmobiliario” was held in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico. We found a direct flight from Houston to Oaxaca, so getting there and back was very easy. From Houston, I flew with Richard and his wife Doris, and met up with NAR’s Global Member Services and Networks Coordinator, Bethsy Sachs, who had flown in from Chicago. After arriving, we checked into our hotel, then met up with HAR IAG colleague Ed Eakin for dinner. We went downtown as one big group and found a wonderful restaurant overlooking the main square for our first meal.

The next morning, we learned that the conference was starting in the evening, so Richard coordinated a tour to include all the international guests attending the conference. In one van, we went from hotel to hotel, picking up one guest after another. It was over the course of three days that the members in that van would become dear friends. Our group visited the ancient ruins of Monte Albán, then headed downtown where one of the members insisted we experience the “Mercado 20 de Noviembre” for some authentic Oaxacan food. They don’t call it hell for nothing! The Mercado was filled with BBQ grills and raw beef slices draped on display for customers to choose. Thankfully, the members of our group took charge and knew what and how to order. After taking a seat, the waiter brought out large platters of various grilled meats and handmade tortillas, while we rolled up our tacos to the tunes of folk music street performers singing at our tableside.

That evening, the Congreso kicked off in downtown Oaxaca at a beautiful church called the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán. Hundreds of real estate professionals from all over Mexico gathered together, as “Banda” musicians played and ladies danced and whirled colorful baskets of fruit. Before we knew it, the musicians and dancers led the whole group down the cobblestone road, much like a Mardi Gras procession. The large caravan descended through the streets and around the town until we ended up at an outdoor patio of a large building. There, the Mayor of Oaxaca City, Mr. José Antonio Hernandez Fraguas, welcomed the attendees, presented certificates to various international guests, and essentially kicked off the Congreso with a nice reception known as the “El Convite Oaxaqueño.”

The next morning, the Congreso was in full swing. There were booths with sponsors showcasing their products, ranging from digital screens to beachfront developments, the local liquor mezcal, and Oaxacan chocolates. The military band played off to the side as the audience saluted the flag while singing the Mexican national anthem. The Governor of the State of Oaxaca, Mr. Alejandro Murat Hinojosa, made a passionate speech and the Congreso came alive. Speaker after speaker made their way to the stage to deliver various presentations. Around lunch time, the group met out front for an open-air lunch of Mole Negro de Oaxaca, a specialty of the region.

Later that day, the Salon Networking International event took place, where the AMPI real estate professionals had a chance to mingle with us (the international guests from Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, El Paso, Chicago, etc.). Turns out our international group had some outstanding members: Jerry Ascencio- 2012 NAHREP National President, Alejandro Contreras- Greater El Paso Association of Realtors® President, Jose Lopez- Global Chair of MetroTex, and several other amazing Realtors® from various cities. We exchanged many business cards and shared our backgrounds, talked about real estate opportunities in our cities, and some even signed Business Partnership Agreements between their cities.

The next day was the last day of the Congreso. More presentations were given and the members of AMPI spent the afternoon voting on which city would become the host city of next year’s Congreso. The international group decided to head downtown for a final authentic Oaxacan meal, complete with fresh salsa with crushed “chapulines” (grasshoppers!). To be polite, we all tried a small mouthful of the grasshoppers, which is now a common bond that we all secretly share. The Congreso culminated with a large evening gala of dinner and dancing. It was announced that San Luis Potosí would be the host city for this year’s AMPI National Conference.

The international group decided to head downtown for a final authentic Oaxacan meal, complete with fresh salsa with crushed “chapulines” (grasshoppers!).

For those interested in exploring international real estate, the country of Mexico could be an excellent start for you. Getting involved with AMPI would be your first step! NAR members pay a discounted $35 a year in dues to become an AMPI member.

The 2018 “Congreso Nacional Inmobiliario” was held in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico. We found a direct flight from Houston to Oaxaca, so getting there and back was very easy.  From Houston, I flew with Richard and his wife Doris, and met up with NAR’s Global Member Services and Networks Coordinator, Bethsy Sachs, who had flown in from Chicago.  After arriving, we checked into our hotel, then met up with HAR IAG colleague Ed Eakin for dinner. We went downtown as one big group and found a wonderful restaurant overlooking the main square for our first meal.

The next morning, we learned that the conference was starting in the evening, so Richard Miranda coordinated a tour to include all the international guests attending the conference.  In one van, we went from hotel to hotel, picking up one guest after another. It was over the course of three days that the members in that van would become dear friends.  Our group visited the ancient ruins of Monte Albán, then headed downtown where one of the members insisted we experience the “Mercado 20 de Noviembre” for some authentic Oaxacan food.  They don’t call it hell for nothing!  The Mercado was filled with BBQ grills and raw beef slices draped on display for customers to choose.  Thankfully, the members of our group took charge and knew what and how to order.  After taking a seat, the waiter brought out large platters of various grilled meats and handmade tortillas, while we rolled up our tacos to the tunes of folk music street performers singing at our tableside.

That evening, the Congreso kicked off in downtown Oaxaca at a beautiful church called the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán. Hundreds of real estate professionals from all over Mexico gathered together, as “Banda” musicians played and ladies danced and whirled colorful baskets of fruit. Before we knew it, the musicians and dancers led the whole group down the cobblestone road, much like a Mardi Gras procession. The large caravan descended through the streets and around the town until we ended up at an outdoor patio of a large building.  There, the Mayor of Oaxaca City, Mr. José Antonio Hernandez Fraguas, welcomed the attendees, presented certificates to various international guests, and essentially kicked off the Congreso with a nice reception known as the “El Convite Oaxaqueño.”

The next morning, the Congreso was in full swing. There were booths with sponsors showcasing their products, ranging from digital screens to beachfront developments, the local liquor mezcal, and Oaxacan chocolates. The military band played off to the side as the audience saluted the flag while singing the Mexican national anthem. The Governor of the State of Oaxaca, Mr. Alejandro Murat Hinojosa, made a passionate speech and the Congreso came alive.  Speaker after speaker made their way to the stage to deliver various presentations.  Around lunch time, the group met out front for an open-air lunch of Mole Negro de Oaxaca, a specialty of the region.

Later that day, the Salon Networking International event took place, where the AMPI real estate professionals had a chance to mingle with us (the international guests from Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, El Paso, Chicago, etc.).  Turns out our international group had some outstanding members: Jerry Ascencio- 2012 NAHREP National President, Alejandro Contreras- Greater El Paso Association of Realtors President, Jose Lopez- Global Chair of MetroTex, and several other amazing Realtors from various cities. We exchanged many business cards and shared our backgrounds, talked about real estate opportunities in our cities, and some even signed Business Partnership Agreements between their cities. 

The next day was the last day of the Congreso. More presentations were given and the members of AMPI spent the afternoon voting on which city would become the host city of next year’s Congreso. The international group decided to head downtown for a final authentic Oaxacan meal, complete with fresh salsa with crushed “chapulines” (grasshoppers!).  To be polite, we all tried a small mouthful of the grasshoppers, which is now a common bond that we all secretly share. The Congreso culminated with a large evening gala of dinner and dancing.  It was announced that San Luis Potosí would be the host city for this year’s AMPI National Conference.

For those interested in exploring international real estate, the country of Mexico could be an excellent start for you.  Getting involved with AMPI would be your first step! NAR members pay a discounted $35 a year in dues to become an AMPI member. 

Mark your calendars for these three major AMPI events:

  • The Symposium Centros Históricos in Mexico City on May 23, 2019,
  • The Summit Turístico Nacional Inmobiliario in Manzanillo, August 21-22, 2019,
  • The Congreso Nacional AMPI in San Luis Potosí Oct 16-18, 2019.

Susana Annoura, CCIM, CIPS, MCNE, Immediate Past Chair of the HAR IAG


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