The Business Year

René Jaime Mungarro

MEXICO - Real Estate & Construction

René Jaime Mungarro

Director General, Vinte

Bio

René has 33 years of experience in the housing industry. He is a founding partner of Vinte and is currently the Managing Director. With a history of more than 18 years, Vinte has a presence in six states of the country with 18 active developments. In August 2021, Vinte was named one of the Most Innovative Companies in Mexico by Great Culture To Innovate (GCTI). In October 2021 René Jaime Mungarro received the recognition of “Innovative Leader”, by Great Culture To Innovate (GCTI) as one of the 50 Most Innovative CEOs in Mexico. In 2019, the North American magazine Fortune included Vinte in its “Change the Word” list, placing it in position 44, being the only Mexican company.

TBY talks to René Jaime Mungarro, Director General of Vinte, about the state of the real estate sector, digital solutions to pandemic restrictions, and sustainability goals.

What differentiates Vinte from other real estate developers in the country?

Our product at Vinte is more of a community and is made up of three products simultaneously. The physical product is the property and the segmentation, and the mortgaging, which is the best financial product. What differentiates us is the community aspect, which has three fundamental components and involves integrating the neighbors and showing each owner how to live within a community and their assets will grow in value. There is also the other part involving guarantees, maintenance, and conservation. In most cases, a developer only cares about the technical aspects like the guarantee and handing over the property to the buyer, and they provide certain services after the sale. Vinte is different; we have all of this as well as our main differentiator, the community development. This allows us to give the client a product of value with a developed community. Our founders shared a dream and vision of providing a new product to the client in a crowded industry with big competitors. Our offering, made up of three products, allows us to offer a life-changing experience by living in one of our communities. This is the concept we have worked on since the beginning.

In what ways is Vinte creating change in the real estate sector?

One of the key values is innovation. When we researched the main competitors, we saw that the only way to be part of the competition in this sector was to bring something different. Our proposal is to offer more technology applied to housing, strong post-sales services, the integral design concept, and security. Years ago, security was extremely important to our clients, so we started offering these added values. We would offer equity that would increase in value through its design, and we would give them a community and all the elements to provide a better kind of lifestyle where our clients would grow from being in our communities along with its services and technology. With technology, you have value services. Our business chain includes everything from A to Z. In this chain, each value has a technology platform that allows the process to be more agile. There is a difference between a service company and a construction company or a design company. We have all the systems that make the process much more efficient. What we are doing differently is that we are creating a cloud, and this is what we call “The mind of Vinte.” Apart from all the information that our operations upload to this cloud, it can administer and operate all the information. This allows us to segment our clients and understand their needs so we can design the necessary solutions to cover the needs. This part of gathering information allows us to segment our clients and attend them more efficiently and also have a commercial process with much more range. A much larger share of our sales are now done through digital platforms. We want this to improve our business and client service. We want to build a company with all these strengths and reach a state of independence that does not depend as much on other people. We are changing the industry. Since we started, this has been our vision: changing the industry in the country and in the world

How have these digital investments favored Vinte during the pandemic?

We have been working on all of these ideas since 2017 and started selling digitally even before the pandemic. When COVID-19 hit, we were pretty much prepared and ready to go and were able to achieve the same revenue in 2020 as in 2019. To overcome this difficult period, we also developed operation, commercialization, and construction strategies. One of the most important things is being able to continue working on our plans of working commercially through digital platforms so as not to expose ourselves or our clients. The sales areas were open but with little capacity. It is extremely tough to buy a house without going to see it, but with the transformation process it was possible. There are competitors that cannot offer this.

What initiatives have the private and public sectors taken to incentivize home ownership in Mexico?

The three major mortgage originators of the country—Infonavit, Fovissste, and the banking industry—jumped into action. They had a dynamism to keep going and also offered new and more competitive products. They lowered fees and gave more flexibility within their products. Most developers took advantage of them and others didn’t, but we are still having a lot of momentum because of these factors. Banks were able to stay competitive as well. BBVA with others, forming an interesting dynamic in favor of our clients and the sector. This started in 2020 and has carried on through 2021.

What steps is the company taking to be more sustainable and ESG-aligned?

In regard to the current projects, we have initiatives in relation to technology and sustainability. We have various developments and certificates. We have ESG ratings. Talking with the World Bank, we were the first property company in 2018 to issue sustainable (green and social) bonds in the Mexican Stock Exchange, and with a favorable Second Party Opinions. We have two rating agencies that verify all homes in terms of sustainability. What is relevant and important to us is continuing with the project of the cloud and information, which will bring positive news. The new business we have established is not just about technology, but technology and sustainability. We have to integrate these concepts. We have a sustainability committee, an ethics committee, and an organizational structure.

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