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Newsletter July 2010

SPEAK OUT

Bullish on Greece


 

Terry Cooper, Vice President, Business Development—Global Services at Coldwell Banker, one of the leading real estate companies in the world, talks about the company’s entrance into the Greek market.





Coldwell Banker, one of the most successful real estate firms in the United States, and one of the largest in the world, is entering the Greek market. How do you view this move?

I believe our prospects in Greece are really excellent. Provided that Greece fulfils its obligations to the IMF and the EU, and it appears to be on track, even at this early stage, Coldwell Banker is bullish on Greece and looks forward to a dynamic, win-win presence here.

How do you view the residential market in Greece, especially second home market, and its potential for growth?

Certainly Greece offers the potential to be a highly successful destination for second home buyers, retirees, and long-term visitors. I know that Americans, even though we are quite a distance away, really enjoy spending time in Greece, enjoying the climate, wonderful nature, and many attractions. And of course many others, from Europe and beyond, have the opportunity to choose urban, seaside, or mountain destinations in Greece. And the more your infrastructure improves, the more desirable all these locations become. Naturally, I believe the Coldwell Banker brand will provide tremendous credibility to buyers from anywhere in the world, who know that the firm represents trustworthiness, offers credibility, and develops long-term relationships.

Why did you choose to enter Greece at this time?

Because we found the right partner! The Southeast Group, under the leadership of Peter-Panayiotis Mihalos, with more than 20 years experience in this market, is ideally positioned to represent the Coldwell Banker brand in Greece. We are also convinced that Greece is a buyable market, very important for us in our selection criteria. So, our two criteria—a great partner and a market with opportunities—have been met.

Do you believe the market in Greece offers mid-term or long-term opportunities?

I remember when Coldwell Banker started franchising in the United States in the early 1980s, it was a very challenging time. Interest rates were at all-time highs, the economy was in trouble, but we learned at that time that a strong network was the key to success and we actually did very well. I think Greece might offer similar opportunities.

So in a sense you are building an opportunity regardless of the crisis.

Yes, this is exactly right. And as I said, provided that the government meets the austerity measures and follows the IMF recommendations, I think we are going to have a good market here. One, there is a tradition of home ownership in Greece. Two, people are accustomed to making down payments and view real estate as s solid investment. Three, Greece is a strong tourist destination and has the potential to become a very strong second home market. And I think all these work to the advantage of Coldwell Banker and our affiliate here.