Interview with Carlos Peiró, CEO of Bricks & People
Bricks&People has come to transform the investment system. They assert that they have broken with the classic model and have changed it by a participatory model in which profitability is economic but also urban and social. This platform of real estate Crowdfunding, located in Valencia, Spain, is clear that the impact has to be positive for investors, but also for the environment. As CEO Carlos Peiró tells Brickfy, one of the keys of its platform is that they seek to create 'a link between people and projects'. Hence its name: Bricks&People. In fact, today we can find them in the platform of SocioInversores.
How would you define Real Estate Crowdfunding?
An opportunity for people to do things they can not do alone.
In your website you assure that you have changed the model of investment by a participatory model, what are the advantages of this change?
There are economic and social advantages. The economic ones are that in Bricks & People you have the possibility of accessing from 50 euros an investment and also allows you to diversify. And the social advantages are that you can decide what links you have with that project and contribute something more to society. Let's say you have the opportunity to transcend and do good in your own city or in neighborhoods. It is a social good and at the same time you offer a profitability.
What kind of projects do you currently have?
We have several projects. What we do is study if we share the risk with our investors or Crowdfunders, what profitability will be, if the project is friendly... And besides that, that would be the tourist, we have the so-called multiple initiatives. That is when we can detect an area where we can contribute something more. And in that case is the neighborhood of El Cabanyal. We seek to be participants in the neighborhood change. We want our investors to be proud to invest in one project or another. We seek to get people involved with projects.
When do you start to have a profitability?
In a period of two months or so. And we have a maximum investment period of three years. In those three years we establish a reasonable objective sale price, and if it arrives we sell it or not. There is an important difference between the PFP and us. The real estate we invest in remains in our boat. It is not the same thing to put you in any boat, that to put you in my boat. We invest and the data we teach are net, we tell you how much you are going to earn. We are totally transparent.
Why do you think it is so important to go in the same boat as the investor?
Because we want you to know that we share the risk. We go with them, good or bad. If someone wants to leave early in an S.L., it is very difficult and with us, within the full, it can be done.
Tell me about some of the real estate you are renovating through Crowdfunding.
For example, Barraca is a building that is on one of the most charming avenues, in my opinion, this neighborhood in Valencia. It is full of palm trees and I love that. It is a first floor with a trade below. Almost all the buildings we are looking at have an interior terrace so that tourists can enjoy the climate of Valencia. The design is also beautiful.
The other one we have is low because we also like to have enabled buildings for disabled people, so that people with wheelchairs can easily access them and be near the sea. Of the two, the second is ground floor and will be one of the first prepared for that. In general, our flats are very neighborly.
Why did you decide to get into the world of real estate Crowdfunding?
First, because I had already set up companies from scratch that had seized an opportunity to grow and be successful. But I saw a very important possibility with tourism. Spain is breaking records. Our sun, the sea, the gastronomy, the landscapes... All that is our main industry and the real estate sector was starting to have interesting figures, although Valencia took a little longer than Barcelona and Madrid. Crowdfunding allows something that is an unstoppable phenomenon: the collaborative economy. When you put together technologies with an unstoppable spirit that is collaboration, incredible projects emerge. The people want to be independent of the big ones, we have tired of the tariffs marked by the airlines. They know that collaborating reduces costs and is also social. If you put it together with Crowdfunding and with real estate, then the desire to mount this arises. We are brick but we are also people.
What are the difficulties you have encountered?
The investments to launch a platform are high because you have to have everything perfect until you go out to the market. There is not a little stock and then you grow. Here you have to have everything finished so that the investor can find an easy and simple process and they trust you and it is not necessary to have experience in the subject of real estate or in investment ,for that reason it is very important that everything is very clear. The regulatory part is also a key factor. Not counting in Spain with a framework that favors the expansion of real estate Crowdfunding is limiting. With real estate Crowdfunding, there are many possibilities to do business, to help developers, architects who want to build real estate...
What do you do to reduce uncertainty of investors?
Allow people to invest with 50 euros. We want people to try the process, to see that we start giving them the dividends that we said we would give. The barrier of 50 euros is for people to cheer up and then we will inform them and transfer the money.
What do you think can help more people get encouraged to participate in Crowdfunding?
A lot of disclosure and explain exactly what Crowdfunding is.
How do you think the real estate market currently is in Spain compared to other countries?
I think it is very incipient and the platforms are currently doing very well, that is why we have worked hard on our model and that is why we do something different, but I think that in Spain there is a huge growth path.
Do you invest in real estate Crowdfunding?
Sure, I'm investing personally and my family too. We are very convinced.