How Alexandre Frankel, CEO of Vitacon, is shaking up the real estate market in Brazil

Aug 18, 2015, 09:00 ET from Vitacon

SAO PAULO, Aug. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Ten years ago, he quit using cars, opting for public transportation, riding a bike, or even going on foot in one of Brazil's cities that is most devoted to cars. Six years ago, he became convinced that apartments with smaller square footage would be the hottest selling items in São Paulo. Based on these convictions and personal beliefs, Alexandre Lafer Frankel created Vitacon, one of the most innovative and profitable construction companies in the Brazilian real estate market. Since its founding, the company has launched more than 40 development projects, all in the city's most valuable areas, and is considered today one of the leading companies in the industry.

To turn urban mobility into a business, Frankel made use of a strategic focus so the company could take off. "We placed residential and commercial developments close to business centers, opening up the possibility of people being able to get around much more easily.  In this way, residents can save time getting to and from work, and not have to waste hours sitting in traffic.  The calculation was simple: swap large spaces for living closer. This change in lifestyle attracted end consumers right away, as well as investors," Frankel observes.  

Based on this concept, Vitacon brought to the market the smallest apartment in Brazil, measuring 18 square meters, with Bike and Car Sharing services included.  "We sold all the units for this development in two days," Frankel discloses. As he sees it, the main product currently sold by the company is not real estate, but rather something even more precious: time. "These days, luxury means having time.  That's why we try to concentrate our developments in neighborhoods that let people have time, in areas such as Vila Olimpia, Jardins and Itaim Bibi, places that have a large number of businesses," he explains.  

According to the Sao Paulo Residential Syndicate (Sindicato da Habitacao de Sao Paulo), sales of 1-bedroom apartments have grown by 475% in the city, as compared to 2014.

Partnership with American funds

Based on this business success, Frankel is engaged in close negotiations with American private equity funds for investment in company properties. "We are engaged in conversations that are quite advanced with certain groups. For those who believe in this country, the temporary retraction of the Brazilian economy makes it possible to make some excellent deals. The favorable exchange rate has attracted investors who are looking at Brazil in the long-term," he notes.  

Since it commenced operations, Vitacon has launched a total of R$2 billion in real estate developments.
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SOURCE Vitacon