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Daily Real Estate News  |  November 10, 2006  |   Doing Business in Mexico? Follow These Tips
If you're looking to buy and sell real estate in Mexico, you need to be aware of cultural as well as professional differences between you and your Mexican counterparts.

“You do business in Mexico through strategic partnerships,” says Adrian Arriaga CCIM, CIPS, broker-owner of AAA Real Estate & Investments in McAllen, Texas. Arriaga, speaking at the “Doing Business in Mexico” class during the 2006 Realtors® Conference & Expo in New Orleans, adds that about 1.5 million U.S. citizens, primarily retirees and second-home owners, own property in Mexico.

“Doing business in Mexico in no easier, nor any harder, than doing business anywhere else. It’s just different,” adds the session’s other speaker, Linda Neil, founder of Linda Neil Properties and The Settlement Company, both of which are in La Paz, Mexico.

Here are six cultural tips for U.S. practitioners looking to establish relationships with Mexican real estate professionals or clients:
  • Don't show up early. If you’re invited to a home for a social occasion, it’s customary to arrive 30 to 60 minutes after the scheduled time.
  • Keep conversation light. Polite conversation starters include Mexican scenery and landmarks, the immediate surroundings, and sports. Avoid topics such as religion, politics, the Mexican-American War, and immigration.
  • Avoid romantic misunderstandings. A female inviting a male client or associate to a business meal should also invite his wife to avoid any misunderstanding as to the purpose the meeting.
  • Pay servers directly. When paying at a store or restaurant in Mexico, place the money or credit card directly in the hand of the clerk or server; it’s considered rude to leave it on the table or counter.
  • Don't hide your hands. While dining, keep both hands visible, resting your wrists on the edge of the table.
  • Know the meaning of colors. If making a gift of flowers, be careful which ones you choose. Yellow flowers signify death, while red flowers signify the casting of spells.

In October NAR signed a joint venture agreement with Mexico’s real estate association, Association Mexicana de Professionales Inmobiliarios.

The new relationship highlights the increasing level of business cooperation in real estate markets in both countries, as a growing number of United States citizens opt to acquire second and retirement homes in Mexico and residents of Mexico buy property in the United States more frequently.

— By Chuck Paustian for REALTOR® Magazine Online

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