John Youden of MLSVallarta tells us how they offer online multiple listing services for the real estate industry in the region in & around Puerto Vallarta.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these times of COVID-19?
John Youden: Thanks for asking. Fortunately, no one in our family contracted Covid. However, all of us were very cautious, followed the recommended practices, and as soon as we could, we got our vaccinations. We all, however, did lose friends, unfortunately.
Tell us about yourself, your career, how you founded MLSVallarta.
John Youden: MLSVallarta was the first company I started in Mexico, back in 1989, when I moved there from Canada. I made a move from my home country after visiting it on vacation and seeing that Mexico as a country was ripe for an entrepreneurial boom, and I wanted to be part of it. MLSVallarta became a smaller part of a larger publishing company I built up over the years, and that was mostly sold off in 2016. MLSVallarta, however, I continued to hold on to. It is an online multiple listing service for the real estate industry in the region in and around Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It began as a print publication but eventually moved online.
How does MLSVallarta innovate?
John Youden: We watch what other similar MLS-type companies are doing elsewhere in the world, and when we see them doing things that would work for our market and our clients and/or our visitors would like, we copy it.
How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your business, and how are you coping with it?
John Youden: It has had little effect. If anything, things got better. There was a short drop in the number of visitors in the 2nd quarter of 2020, but it bounced back and actually increased in the next quarter over the previous year. It was easier (and safer) for people to search for real estate online. Puerto Vallarta’s real estate market is seeing its best years ever.
Have you had to make difficult decisions and what are the lessons learned?
John Youden: Not really.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to overcome this crisis?
John Youden: Matterport, which allows us and our clients to offer 3D virtual tours, has proven very popular. We set up our site to incorporate these tours into the property descriptions.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
John Youden: Association MLS systems. Ours is private. MLS systems are part of a large MLS database network, offering many features and benefits. We offer personalized, regionalized service, excellent positioning on Google, and the ability to make changes to website code very quickly, in-house.
Your final thoughts?
John Youden: We can learn from every crisis. Hopefully, the world is learning from this one.
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