José Carlos Saz, current CEO of Habitat Inmobiliaria, one of the great promoters in our country, looks back and fondly and enthusiastically recalls how his first steps in the real estate world were when he started as an intern in 1988 at Heymo Ingeniería.
This was the first stop in an intense and above all “fun” journey, which has led him to participate in very diverse projects of hotels, shopping centers, telephone switchboards and even ethanol plants, and to travel half the world, starting with Taiwan and the Philippines. , passing through the Arab Emirates and reaching Angola.
The manager did not imagine when working at ISG in the new offices of technological giants such as Google or Microsoft that his headaches years later would be the price of land or the problem of access to housing for young people in Spain.
But the challenges do not pose barriers for the manager who, in fact, claims to have always been lucky enough to enter “companies that, one of two, either had a problem to solve or had to create a new business, as is the case of Habitat “.
In 2000 I started working at Abengoa, where I coincided with Joaquín Coronado, at that time the PwC Advisory leader, who always told me that I was the best signing Abengoa had ever made ?? he laughs ??.
Years later he introduced me to Juan Velayos and that is when I fully entered the residential sector in 2015 with Neinor, where I was three years as General Director of Operations and from there, in 2018, I made the leap to Habitat Inmobiliaria.
As I said, he is an expert in handling difficult moments and facing challenges That of the Covid, without a doubt, has become a great challenge for everyone. What has it been like to take the helm of Habitat during the pandemic months and where is the company now.
If eight or nine months ago they told us that we were going to be where we are today, none of us would have believed it and anyone would have signed it. Pre-sales have recovered strongly to pre-Covid levels, which shows that there is a strong demand for new construction housing and deliveries have occurred without major problems than usual and with some greater difficulty due to the issue of measures. sanitary but without problems.
It was said at the beginning that the development sector was archaic and that it was not technologically prepared. However, we were among the quickest to start operating telematically with virtual points of sale and we have adapted with fantastic agility.
At the company level, the closure is going to be better than we all thought in April, which seemed like the world was sinking. We are going to close above 1,000 pre-sales, which represents around a 30% increase compared to 2019. In this way, we have more than 1,500 accumulated pre-sales and 400 million euros.
We have delivered the six promotions that we had planned in Valencia, Barcelona, the Canary Islands and Córdoba. We have consolidated the team and we are becoming a benchmark company in the sector. In addition, we have been brave and at the end of the year we have launched a promotion in Teià, in Barcelona, which is working very well, and another in Seville, in Triana. We started them in the middle of December and we already have about five sales in each.
I have said it many times but there are three words that represent Habitat and they are prudence, rigor and realism. We have always been prudent. Perhaps we have been more conservative and more cautious than the rest of the companies in the sector before anything happened.
I’m not saying this is better or worse, just that we are still the same now. You have to go slowly, like when you step on ice. We have always done that. When we have seen that in a certain place there is consolidated demand and our studies go well and you step on and take the next step.
Delay no. What you have to do is go wisely and do things right. This is how we did it before and this is how we do it now. Perhaps others started to start works with equity and now they are going to think more about it.