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Tourists want beaches and good hotels not more than three hours drive from the airport

04 April 2011 / 22:04:34  GRReporter
5797 reads

Victoria Mindova

Georgios Stroumboulis is а young and ambitious man. He has Greek blood running in his veins, no matter that he lives across the ocean. He impressed GRReporter’s team with his inspiring story of how the difficulties to find a good property in Greece have made him develop a brand new Internet portal connecting buyers and sellers of properties in Greece around the world.

His profound love for Greece and his sincere desire to contribute and to make it a better place, combined with his skillful business acumen have created the portal GreekPropertyExchange.com. The story of Georgios Stroumboulis proves that no crisis means a deadlock and that the difficulties inspire rather than break the brave and ambitious.

 

How did you end up being in the real estate industry and can you make a brief analysis of the positives and negatives of being a property owner in Greece?

Most business ideas come from a personal experience where you spot a need or a gap in the market – GreekPropertyExchange.com was this need. I never had intentions or aspirations of working in the real estate market until I woke up one day and realized that I was working in the real estate industry. My career background is marketing, design and business – giving me the foundation to start this venture and successfully follow it through to execution. I am not a real estate professional but what we have developed are tangible marketing tools for the real estate professionals in Greece to better target international markets and make their services and properties more transparent to potential buyers and renters around the world. Owning property anywhere in the world has its pros and cons and Greece is no different. We have recently experienced the real estate bubble in the United States pop in the last couple years and this is very discouraging to the world. What we can learn from this is that people need to buy within their means, do upfront research and need to think of property as a long-term investment and not a quick return on your investment. The property inventory in Greece continues to grow and large discounts are starting to materialize in most regions and prefectures – making the next 6 – 32 months a very promising time to buy and rent in Greece.

The manifesto of GreekPropertyExchange.com is really touching and inspiring at the same time. The business is dedicated to everyone that loves Greece and wants to keep part of it in his/her heart and also has or wants to have property here. But it is my understanding that you might have had a bitter experience with the local real estate market in the past. Tell us a little bit more about that experience.

Greece is an internationally binding nation with a deep history – meaning, it is loved and visited by all ethnicities and cultures around the world. If you are fortunate enough to visit Greece on a regular basis or have ever vacationed there in the past, you can understand how incredible your experience is – beaches, weather, food, culture, lifestyle… and the list goes on. Once you cross the vacation chasm and have to deal with the politics, legalities and everyday life, your experience can easily get tainted. That was my personal experience when trying to marry my vacation with a property search in the same visit. The property search alone was discouraging from the beginning when I was told to start by searching the yellow stickers slapped on the telephone poles throughout the city. After spending half my trip running from apartment to apartment and dealing with random agents and private sellers, I was ready to make an offer on an apartment. The process and uncertainty following that was discouraging for a Greek-Canadian with knowledge of the Greek language, I couldn’t imagine how complicated it would be for a foreigner. From that day forward, I declined the offer on the apartment and vowed to myself that I would make the process easier and more commercialized for an international audience seeking property in Greece.

Is there a lot of interest from the Greek community abroad to buy property in Greece? Who are the most active according GreekPropertyExchange.com - the buyers or the sellers?

There is enormous interest from the Greek community abroad and non-Greeks as well. To put it into perspective, GreekPropertyExchange.com receives website visitors from 104 countries around the world. We see a lot of interest coming from the United States, Canada, Australia and many European nations like Germany and the United Kingdom. We are very impressed with the amount of interest shown from the Russian market as well. I am fortunate enough to interact daily with the Greek agents and developers from all over Greece and when talking with them, we often hear that Russians are helping stimulate the economy more and more – making the future a little more promising.

Which part of Greece do you consider the most attractive? Why?

Tags: EconomyMarketsReal estates
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