Interview to Jorge Marques, expert in Wellness Real Estate
Turning 40 changed the life of Jorge Marques. He realized that he wanted to create a company that had a mission and his is to 'leave a little better world, get a grain of sand.' Thus was born Privalore, a developer who finances sustainable and healthy flats through real estate Crowdfunding with the goal of sharing well-being. Jorge Marques is a co-founder and CEO and, together with his team, have created the first national promoter open to all, which allows online investment in the integral reform of flats, with the challenge of building healthy and sustainable environments.
How would you define Crowdfunding in a single sentence?
To share economic well-being among all and thanks to all.
Why did you decide to start in real estate Crowdfunding?
For my crisis of the forties. I have always had the bad habit of undertaking. I say bad habit because before it was much to undertake. I began to think that the years passed very quickly and that I needed to do something to get up with desire and with enthusiasm. I realized that I wanted to create a company that should have a mission. In my case, my satisfaction was to leave a world a little better, a grain of sand, a step to better. And all that I started to think about everything since I am the father of two precious girls.
And why real estate Crowdfunding?
For 12 years I had been a real estate developer. Later, I was a company that we commercialized with technologies to improve the hygiene and the well-being of the people and in 2013, I realized there was a current in the USA that was called Wellness Real Estate that combined both concepts. It turned out that my previos experience was perfect to introduce him to Spain and we started Privalore. However, we wanted to not only share physical well-bring with finishes on our floors that take care of your health and environmental well-being with sustainable works, but also economic well-being thanks to Crowdfunding.
How did you join those two streams?
We spend 90% of our life at home or the office. Every day we come into contact with these spaces. So, they are a massive element to share well-being, to improve our lives. In Privalore we share economic well-being, but also physical and environmental well-being. Crowdfunding allows us to share profitability with everyone (economic well-being) and, by way of example, putting something as simple as an air filter improves quality of life and life expectancy (physical well-being) very much. We are the first promoter of such projects. Privalore generates welfare in 360 º through real estate. So we put it together. An in addition, I think companies should be agents for change for the better in this world. It is not about being the best company in the world, but being the best for the world. Therefore, Privalore is the first national certified Bcorp promoter. This is a mission to get up with every morning!
You will have a great team behind you.
We have several departments in the company at full time. Department of digital operations, financial department, architectures and management.
And how do you choose the real estate?
I learned a lot from the problems that can give the new work in the crisis of 2008. In my last promotion of new work, with 100 floors in execution, I had no capacity of reaction in front of the crisis and finally I had to close the company. That happens when you do projects, like the new work, that require long periods of execution without being able to adapt.
I learned to fire the keys of the sector by bringing them to Privalore. And from then on I only want to develop real estate projects with short deadlines. We focus on renovations of downtown floors, one by one, in major capitals. So, if there are changes in cycles, I have a reaction capacity because in 2-3 months they are reformed and ready to sell to our national and international clientele.
In addition you have always added value.
Yes, we create a real value. Another issue for Privalore is to end this dogma of promoter speculator. We understand that the figure of the promoter should be something well seen. What is more beautiful than building homes? I hang everything on our website. We are completely transparent. We do not make expectations. We buy flats, we add real value and then we sell them. And along the way we open a Crowdfunding so that whoever wants to accompany us on this road can. We make floors where the Privalore team would live.
What is the process to invest?
You enter our website and see if there is an open opportunity, although there is always because it is not easy to find projects like the ones we offer. We buy the floor, in fact we are our biggest investor and we look a lot where we put the money. When we have it cleared is when we do the Crowdfunding, but for that, first you have to go to the web and watch when they are going to open. If you register you will be notified and then you have to be very attentive because the last times we get 140,000 euros in four minutes, others in less than two hours... After selecting the amount of money, you get a contract and you have three days to make the contribution of funds.
What regulation do you accept?
We are regulated by the same laws that regulate hundreds of companies in which we invest in the stock market, commercial law, the commercial code, and laws of data protection and consumers. More than anything because we are a promoter, there are no intermediaries and we do direct Crowdfunding. To have 500 investors on the go you have to be very aware of this, there are many eyes watching. That is why we have been informed through the CNMV and the Bank of Spain.
How do you see the health of the collaborative economy in Spain?
Unstoppable. Here and in the whole world. And not only in real estate, but in all. We are all connected. Spain is not far from China. And it is a dynamic that can not stop anyone. For example, now someone who wants to make loans can see someone who needs it and connect.
What about the future of real estate Crowdfunding?
I answer you with figures: $19 million were moved in 2012, $3.5 billion in 2016, and by 2025 the estimates are $300 trillion.
People see that they can access something that was once limited to an elite. And that's an advantage. My only fear is that confidence will be diminished because some platform does not comply with what it says. That is my fear because it will affect the whole sector.
And finally... On your website you state that you have "compensated" 9,000 trees, what do you mean?
We have many more trees compensated! We have to update it.
With any business activity you cannot completely reduce your CO2 emissions and, at Privalore, we have chosen to offset them. Each refurbishment has a CleanCO2 certificate that certifies that we have offset its carbon footprint, i.e. it does not impact the environment. To do this, we participate in projects in developing countries that reduce CO2 emissions there and offset those emitted by us here, while improving the lives of people in that community.
In this sense, taking into account that the carbon footprint of each reform is equivalent to CO2 that absorb in a year 3,000 trees, with 4 certified projects we carry 12,000 trees in a year. That's why we say Privalore is sharing physical, economic, and environmental well-bring. I win, but you and the world do too.