Liz Larroquette

Working With Trusted Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate Agent

Selling real estate is a personal endeavor. People, with whom you are advising need to trust and it isn’t easy to gain an individual’s trust in a short amount of time. It rarely manifests quickly. I work hard to let people know who I am by writing regularly, answering emails quickly and succinctly and attempting to listen carefully for hints of what they need, so I can gain insight into what might be the best situation concerning their real estate needs in Panama. 

Knowing What They Want

Some people are easy, have done their research and present, ready to discuss what they already know they are seeking. Others have a difficult time making decisions; they are unsure of even the questions which need to be asked. The largest portion of people who are looking to invest and perhaps live in Panama, are somewhere in between. They may know what they think they want, but it might not be totally realistic. For example, it’s always going to be warm in Panama. If you need a sweater, it’s generally because someone maximized the air conditioning! And, you really can’t obtain a dinner for two, including wine, in a five-star restaurant for ten dollars. Those meals don’t exist, regardless of what is written on some obscure website.

Realtor Panama

It’s often better for the clients, if there are two real estate professionals involved—one knowing the clients and the other knowing the properties.

Too Intrusive Or Just Making The Sale

If you want to help people, you are often times caught between them thinking you just want to make a sale or feeling you are being too intrusive by asking a lot of questions. Just like the individuals, with whom I work, the answer lies somewhere in between. Yes, I want to make a sale, but I don’t want to make it at the expense of someone else. I want to make the sale that is the right sale.

I have a friend who is a banker and he always says his decisions about who qualifies for a loan and who doesn’t, is much easier than my occupation of selling real estate. “When I make a mistake,” he says, “I sometimes have to write off the loan, I take some heat from the board room and then everyone moves on. When you make a mistake selling a property, you have to encounter them in the elevator, the grocery and on the street. There is no simple way to correct the mistake and it is often uncomfortable for a very long time.” My banker friend is so right!

Keep The Agent You Trust

Most people have a relationship with a real estate agent. Probably not in Panama, but they may know someone close to home. They may be personal friends, or their children play on the same soccer team, they attend the same church or they sold them their first home. Those agents have built trust over time and I am the last individual to ever think I can replace or out maneuver another agent who knows their client well. I’d much rather work with another real estate professional, than make a mistake.

There are many ways to combine the strengths I have knowing the ins and outs of Panamanian real estate, with other individuals who know their clients’ individual needs. Everyday I work with real estate brokers and together we usually make a very strong team for the client.

Where Is That Parking Spot?

Sometimes, it might be the broker who knows the important questions to ask and other times it might be me. For example, a client may want easy access to the elevator. On the face of it, that seems simple enough, but securing a residence close to the elevator might not be enough. What about the random parking spot assigned to the unit? It might be halfway down a ramp. If you aren’t aware of how the parking spaces are assigned, you may not even think to ask if the parking spot is close to the elevator too. The new residence may be perfect, but it certainly will get old if one needs to lug groceries up the ramp twice a week.

If I have the opportunity to work with a broker, who knows a client well, it makes everyone’s job easier and goes a long way in assuring success for the client. I’m always happy to hear from a broker, especially if they need some insight on Panamanian real estate.

Specials And One-Time Opportunities

Casa Bonita

Casa Bonita is a beautiful building and it’s no surprise it’s almost completely sold, which sometimes translates into great deals for buyers.

Often times, I also know of specials which are going to be offered weeks in advance. For example, Casa Bonita, an up-scale residential building located adjacent to the Westin Playa Bonita just 15 minutes from the heart of Panama City, is almost completely sold. Currently the developer wants to close out the property and is offering a sizable reduction in price for one-bedroom units. It’s a great opportunity that I can share with brokers from all over the globe.

I am always briefed on pre-construction pricing and when that pricing is going to be unavailable.  It may be before the project breaks ground, or it may be well into construction. There are many factors the builder may consider. Sometimes there is the unusual unit that has failed to sell and it might be subject to a reduced price. I know when the construction incentives are going to be offered as well as how a building is selling.

Moving Quickly

Working with brokers allows me the opportunity to move quickly for a client, secure the very best deal and put together a residence, or investment, which really works for each purchaser. There is no competition, but rather just getting the best outcome for a client based on two separate, and equally important, bases of knowledge.

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About the Author Liz Larroquette

Whether you are looking to retire in Panama, relocate your family, or buy property as an investment Liz is a wealth of knowledge you can and should tap into.

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