This story was originally published in our news section on Oct. 28.
In ongoing efforts to develop new products and services for readers both in Costa Rica and abroad, The Tico Times announced in late October a strategic alliance with the Costa Rican Chamber of Realtors (La Cámara Costarricense de Corredores de Bienes Raices, or CCCBR, in Spanish).
According to chamber president Andrés Zamora, the alliance, signed last week, is part of the CCCBR’s program to seek partnerships as outlined in the group’s statute. This year, to mark the chamber’s 40th anniversary, Zamora and Tico Times Sales Director Mary Anne Weston solidified a strategic alliance that will benefit both organizations in different ways.
For the chamber, The Tico Times offers an international, English-language market for the chamber’s more than 1,000 active members. For the digital news site, the chamber brings ethical guidelines and industry knowledge as The Tico Times moves forward with a new real estate section to be launched next week.
“The Tico Times is extremely excited to join the Costa Rican Chamber of Realtors. Real estate is of high interest to us and to a large percentage of our readers. This is a way of guaranteeing that we work with people of a high moral code and ethical conduct,” said Jonathan Harris, president of The Tico Times’ parent company, Producciones Magnolia.
“The purpose of the real estate chamber,” he added, “is to bring an ethical code to the real estate industry in Costa Rica, which currently does not exist legislatively. This is a way of making sure we’re teamed with the best and provide our readers the most trustworthy partners. As we launch our new real estate section, which we’re doing at the bequest of our readers, we feel it’s important to be allied with those agencies that exist to make sure the industry is as above board as possible.”
The Tico Times’ real estate section is designed to become a digital marketplace to bring Costa Rican property sellers and potential buyers together on the site’s new platform, launched last January. The commercial arm of The Tico Times will spearhead the effort, using multimedia and social media to help boost commerce.
According to Zamora, part of the real estate chamber’s mandate is to represent affiliates before government agencies and in the market. It also provides training on legal, technical and ethical issues in the real estate industry, and it seeks to create a better business environment through strategic alliances such as the one with The Tico Times.
For real estate, a booming industry in Costa Rica halfway through the last decade, the bottom dropped out following the global economic crisis of 2008-2009. When that happened, Zamora said, “the entire panorama fell, particularly for U.S. buyers. Now, we’re focused on market recovery, and we’ve partially achieved that. It’s time again for people to look to us with the mindset of investing.”
According to The Tico Times’ Weston, “The alliance with the chamber is extremely important because they are the biggest organization in the country for realtors. With our new section, we’re placing a lot of emphasis on real estate, and we’re targeting English-speaking clients. We already have a captive audience.”
She added that, “We’re not offering this to service to all realtors; rather, we’re being selective. The chamber provides us professionalism and ethics, which is what all clients demand when trying to do business in Costa Rica.”