Ricardo Santa Cruz has over 12 years’ experience in land acquisition and real estate development in Mexico, having negotiated and acquired more than 1,600+ hectares of strategic development property on the Pacific Coast. He is the Chief Business Development Officer of RLH’s Mandarina project and was responsible for negotiating the purchase of its 260 hectares. Ricardo currently oversees all sales and marketing efforts for Mandarina. Haute Residence caught up with Santa Cruz to discuss how Mexico's real estate landscape has changed in the last 10 years and trends luxury buyers are having in Mexico:
How did you get involved in real estate?
When I first graduated from college and moved back down to Mexico, I opened up a healthcare supply company, which I still have to this day. Ten years into that, a real estate opportunity came up along the coastal area of Mexico near where I was living. I started to get involved in acquiring some beachfront property and one thing led to another.
How has the real estate landscape changed in Mexico in the last 10 years?
In the last 10 years, there has been a large increase in the amount of master-planned communities developed which are now being anchored by the most internationally recognized luxury hotel brands. This is very attractive for buyers because knowing that a well recognized, discerning luxury hotel brand is willing to make a long term commitment to a development gives buyers a greater sense of stability and validation of their investment.
What are some trends you’re noticing that luxury real estate buyers are looking for in Mexico?
Ease of accessibility. People want to be able to fly into a destination that has a lot of airlift into the major cities and proximity when they land. Buyers know they’re going to get a lot of use out of the home because it’s a quick and easy flight. The other thing they’re looking for is master-planned communities. It’s all about the experience. They want there to be something for everyone to do whether it’s active or lounging.
Is there a project that you’ve worked on recently that is your favorite?
Mandarina is the one I’m most excited about. It’s opening in a year from now.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to buy or invest in real estate in Mexico?
Understand what your personal goal is with the purchase because that can steer you in several directions. If you’re not part of a master-planned community, you have to really analyze the area around your home. Once you find the property you like, make sure you get the property team to guide you through the process.