Ibnb exclusively provided an excellent interview with a young businessman from Halkidiki and a representative of KEFALIDIS REAL ESTATE, to give us a clearer picture of the 2020 tourist season in our favorite Halkidiki.
-Socrates, how long have you been active in the field of real estate and what does Halkidiki mean to you?
I have been actively involved in Real Estate for more than 5 years, but since the day I was born, I have been listening to plots and houses. I belong to the third generation of KEFALIDIS REAL ESTATE real estate agency and together with my father who opened this office 20 years ago, we are active in Halkidiki and Thessaloniki. Halkidiki for me does not just mean a destination, but it is my whole world, my family and my place.
During the crisis of 2009, plots of land and plots of land had no demand at all due to the large supply of ready-made homes and hotels. However, by constantly achieving new partnerships, we currently have one of the largest portfolios of plots of land, agricultural parcels and real estate in all of Halkidiki. Our office deals with notable properties throughout the prefecture.
-What is your relationship with the short-term lease and in general with the tourist leases and what is your opinion for the independence of the accommodation from the big local authorities, with simultaneous bookings after direct communication with the customer?
I bought my first apartment in the center of Thessaloniki 4 years ago and renovated it before renting it out for a short period of time. I soon found out that if you "run" it properly and professionally it will work, but not that it's as easy as it sounds. So at the moment we are active in Thessaloniki and Halkidiki in the short-term lease.
'I learned for ibnb.gr for the first time at a seminar in Athens and I was thrilled. At first I was glad that it was a Greek start up and the possibility it offers for immediate booking directly from the customer without supplies and intermediaries, is something that was missing from the market.
It is a huge advantage for the customer to be able to call you before the reservation is made and as an administrator not to pay commissions. I think she has a lot of future ahead of her as a company. Trust in this project has future benefits, which will be a catalyst for the independence of small and medium-sized accommodation management companies, let alone for individuals!
-How do you assess this season in Halkidiki, both in terms of tourism and in terms of sales - rental prices?
This year's season in Halkidiki, as in the rest of the country and beyond, will have a negative sign. Many large hotels have not opened. Tourists from the Balkans have already arrived by road, but significantly reduced from other years. I believe that Halkidiki for the rest of the season will be less negatively affected by the rest of the country's tourist areas, mainly due to road tourism. Property prices have been affected by rental properties, which have already been lost for half a season and were expected to do so. Real estate prices for sale, however, remain stable. State intervention at the last minute "closed" borders, played a decisive role and contributed negatively to any attempt to manage the difficult situation due to Covid-19.
-From what we learn you do amazing work in radical renovations. Do you often deal with a project of radical real estate reform?
Thank you for your kind words and we are really glad that we like our work in this business part as well. For many years we have been promoting properties that wanted partial or radical renovation, both for Greeks and foreigners. Some of our customers came to us after a failed collaboration on renovating a space, it has happened to most of us anyway. So mainly due to the need of our foreign customers, who did not know anyone else in the country other than us, we created collaborations for renovations which we managed with excellent results each time. We looked for the best technicians and partners and created reliable collaborations with a lot of passion. So we have managed to build relationships of trust with our customers, constantly expanding our customer base.
-What would you advise to someone who is interested in investing in Halkidiki?
Halkidiki is a magical destination. Not many of her wonderful beauties have been discovered. Besides, like Halkidiki ... it doesn't have it! The prices here are much better than the islands and the airport of Thessaloniki (which is under renovation and will double-triple the number of flights it can accept) is really next to us! I would advise someone not to focus on the 5-6 famous villages of Halkidiki for investment. All of Halkidiki is beautiful and I repeat, unexploited. Villages and beautiful areas do not have hotels, rooms to let or accommodation that work professionally. Depending on the available capital to invest, we can suggest the best possible options, whether it is for real estate construction or for ready-made properties that need partial renovation.
In the last 5 years, several investments have been made, but the prospects are still huge in our region. While the pandemic worked as a deterrent in the tourism industry and we hope to recover in the period 2021-2023, it did not play a significant role in buying and selling. On the contrary, the saying "the crisis creates opportunities" applies here, which many are in a hurry to take advantage of!
The ROI in Halkidiki is very different from a small self-contained accommodation, rooms to let or a hotel.
A general satisfactory average ROI would be 6-9%, while for the resale value of the property (after renovation) it is 15% - 40%.
-What is the marketing plan you use as a accommodation manager?
After 20 years of presence in our office, now our people have learned and trust us. I also relied on this as an administrator, based on my experience in real estate. So I suggest a serious presence on the Internet (Website), use of all the tools that the internet offers us, such as Social Media, etc. and of course our focus on direct booking, something in which ibnb loosens your hands, offering you independence that you don't find anywhere else!
-How can someone get in touch with you?
In addition to real estate, we like to build friendships with our future neighbors and customers. We see them every summer and we become friends, we are in our office KEFALIDIS REAL ESTATE, all year round for whatever they need, which is located in the square of Nea Potidea. I wish good patience and strength to all, but always first with health.