Michael Vincent, CEO of leading real estate agency Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Portugal Property told The Portugal News that he originally started PortugalProperty.com 15 years ago, during the credit crunch. “I managed to secure the domain PortugalProperty.com, which is effectively the leading domain in the business and from there I understood that if we built a very good website and a very good team with a strong brand behind it, I could see us being successful and that was the case.”
Highlighting the incredible growth of Portugal Property in just the first year, Michael explained “I sold 12 houses then 56 houses and then 165 and then 200 something and then we hit peak at something like 400 sales in a year. We continue to sell year after year and we have now surpassed over a billion euros worth of sales, which is quite an achievement.”
In 2020, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services approached Portugal Property in order to give them exclusivity of Portugal. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services is a very large business in the US with 50,000 agents. “We agreed on becoming Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Portugal Property so Warren Buffett is effectively my business partner, which is quite a statement, and together we continue to sell ultimately mid to high real estate to people across the world.”
Adding that “In the last year, we have certainly found that more Americans are heading over here. In 2022, 35 percent of our buyers came from the US and I don’t see this year being any different.”
The Road to Portugal Show
Most excitingly, the company has started The Road to Portugal Show which covers the whole of the US. The show includes a series of seminars and personal consultations where they are joined by expert speakers from the world of Portuguese real estate, law, tax advice and currency exchange.
Michael told The Portugal News that “In November we did the show in the state of California and located in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. We received 1,500 attendees on the West Coast and then at the end of January, we did the show on the East Coast, which was held in New York. As we have offices in New York we met all these brokerages, who came along to the show and brought their clients along. It was very successful and we had very positive feedback so I am sure there will be plenty of sales from that.”
“So already next month, we have a Berkshire Hathaway Home Services national event in Vegas where we have a stand which will be in the international avenue. We are hosting 50,000 brokers from all across the US and we will be talking to them about why they should get their clients interested in Portugal and what the benefits are. In a couple of months, we will be going back to California to do our second show there.”
Americans keep discovering Portugal
The number of US residents has risen sharply in Portugal, with Michael reiterating that “You wouldn’t believe it, I was having a coffee at the Inman’s show in New York and four guys sat next to me and said “What is the deal with Portugal? Everyone is talking about Portugal.” and I was drinking my coffee, smiling to myself, like that is the way it is.”
“Portugal really has it all, there is the city life, the coastal side and all of the culture. I have lived here over 15 years and I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I have lived all over the world, I lived in Berlin for a year, in New Zealand, and Copenhagen for five years and Moscow for a year but my favourite place is sunny Portugal.”
Investing in Portugal
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Portugal Property currently has 10 offices nationwide including Madeira and the Azores. Michael explained that “We have opened offices in Madeira, as we have lots of sales there, especially as the Golden Visa is still appropriate there with whichever real estate you buy over a certain budget.”
Michael also announced some very exciting news, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Portugal Property will also be expanding to the Azores, “We will be opening offices in the next week and we have secured a very iconic building. The Azores is also very exciting for prospective American buyers, as it is only a four or five-hour flight to the US and the Azores has an American Air Force base so there is already that American connection there.
“We will continue to do these shows as we are connected to Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and for anyone wanting to buy a home in Portugal, we are a reputable, trustworthy and integral business to buy real estate through.”