After a difficult start to the year, there was a very strange atmosphere at the beginning of the fair. I expressed this on a post I made for LinkedIn during the first morning in which I said that most of the participants seemed very flat and without the same vitality as would usually be seen. In fact, I think my word of choice was “anemic”.

Thankfully, by the afternoon of the first day, when the first booth parties took place this feeling lifted, and we were able to have conversations face-to-face on a somewhat more casual basis. Most people still understand that the real estate business is still a business between people, and the numbers have to satisfy both sides. It is important to build strong interpersonal relationships and to network - not only through likes in the universe of social media- but also to drink a beer or a coffee together and have a conversation about the experiences of both parties.

This aspect was what I enjoyed most and what makes this real estate fair so extraordinary and stand out from the rest. Here you can talk to the manager of the largest real estate fund of one of the largest international insurance companies in a personal setting, or the CEO of a proptech startup, standing at the beer tap and entertaining his guests at the booth as it was at PREA.

My highlight from this real estate fair in Munich is that, despite all the political decisions that have shaken the real estate industry in Portugal in recent weeks, Portugal is still of interest to investors worldwide. The fact this interest from certain real estate investors is still there, means that not only can I benefit from this as a company owner; I can also work to ensure that this also has a lasting effect on others in my industry.

Portugal is, and will remain, at the forefront of the Investor Index in terms of tourism and special properties. Nothing has changed in this regard, because there is no connection here with the Golden Visa or the tax advantage for the non-habitual resident, which is also come under scrutiny.

Credits: Supplied Image; Author: Paulo Lopes;

Secondly, it is worth highlighting the technology that we have at our disposal today. AI is clearly on the rise, and I was surprised by the choice of words of many tech CEOs, who are no longer focused on seeing themselves as the messiah of real estate sales figures, but increasingly carving out the service provider for the professionals in the real estate services segment, be it sales or portfolio management or development and consulting for investors.

There is an exciting time ahead for all of us, and we should use all the opportunities and tools we can to help our clients find the best possible investment opportunities for their situations. Whilst many of the ways we work may benefit from technological advances, the heart of real estate still lies in the people working in this industry, and those we are able to serve. Thus, I am confident that the year 2024, despite all the declines in sales in day-to-day business, will also be a year of opportunity - just as we have observed in in the past. In addition, honesty, transparency, and humanity should always be the aspiration of everyone in this industry.


Paulo Lopes is a multi-talent Portuguese citizen who made his Master of Economics in Switzerland and studied law at Lusófona in Lisbon - CEO of Casaiberia in Lisbon and Algarve.

Paulo Lopes