Intro: Gustavo López Pecho
Today we interview Gustavo López Pecho, Director of Operations at API Catalunya. As a proptech expert and director at Tecnoapi, he’s well positioned to offer his observations on how the real estate sector has evolved in recent years. He talks to us about his journey in the sector, his experience of the pandemic, and his predictions for the next few years
API Catalunya consists of the largest group of real estate agents in Catalonia, with more than 60 years of experience in the sector, and a real estate portal of flats and houses to rent or sell. The business is different from other real estate portals because all its properties are marketed by its own agents. Therefore, its clients can access the expert knowledge and advice of one of its estate agents throughout the process of buying, selling or renting of any of their properties.
Floorfy: Hi Gustavo. To begin with, tell us a bit about you and how you came to the real estate sector.
Gustavo: Hi! I am the COO of API Cataluña group and the director of Tecnoapi, the proptech that provides services to its real estate agents. I have spent my entire professional career in the purchasing and operations departments of companies in the sector, in all their variations, and 8 years ago I arrived here, to help in the development of services and technology.
Floorfy: Principally, what does your work consist of?
Gustavo: Well, inside my area there is the services and IT department, so my task is to find out what the market is offering, and try integrate it into our platform of services. This platform is unique in the market right now, because our agents have everything they need within just a click, regardless of whether they take it or not, which is another matter.
After all these years, and with the growth of the ecosystem, we decided to create a place where professionals from the sector can find all the proptech companies that can offer them services. This place is mapaproptech.com.
Floorfy: What makes you passionate about the real estate sector?
Gustavo: Firstly, it is something that involves people at a very important moment in their life, amazing things surround having a home and how to find one. And secondly, there are many people that put an huge effort on a daily basis into making these incredible things happen.
Floorfy: In your opinion, how was the real estate sector adapted to overcome the problems of the pandemic?
Gustavo: It has always been a more advanced sector than it seems, more than 20 years ago the first real estate portals appeared, so this adaptation has been a long time in the making. Real estate agents have adapted to change, they aren’t reluctant to do so, and the pandemic has revolutionized everything to tremendous levels.
Without a doubt we have accelerated the digitalization of the sector enormously. Above all, because the founders of the new proptech companies have themselves suffered by having to do everything remotely, and this has sharpened their ingenuity. As always, from one general obstacle come several solutions and this enriches the ecosystem in an incredible way.
Floorfy: And tell us how you met Floorfy. What aspects of Floorfy attracted you?
Gustavo: Well, I met you a few years ago now, you were a bit younger, but the idea was revolutionary, and it was clear to me that there would be a change in the way we could ‘visit’ the properties.
It all appealed to me, all of a sudden you gave a third dimension to a property from my home! It’s tremendous, before I had to go to the property to see those details. And also, I love the ease in which you don’t stop innovating, adding value to the initial proposal. I was still a start-up bursting with enthusiasm, when you are already much more.
Floorfy: And finally, in your opinion, what is left to do to modernize the real estate sector?
Gustavo: Above all, the administration remains, which as always is 20 years behind. The technology now allows transactions from any part of the world, but the administrations don’t allow the registration of this purchase digitally.
Cryptocurrency purchases, the ‘tokenization’ of real estate or debt will also gain tremendous momentum. And, of course, augmented reality, the connection between proptechs and… looking forward to see your next digital step.