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Michael K
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 11:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The key is looking VERY closely. I see property values continuing to go up and I would bet that they continue that way for the next decade. As you mentioned, there are millions and millions of dollars on the sidelines and much of it is going into real estate. There are a lot of real estate transactions going on by both foreigners and locals alike which is further pushing up property prices.

Honestly, I know everything has risk but I see it as one of the safest plays in Argentina as far as an investment goes. I've started a business plan to begin franchising my idea in other cities where I see luxury apartments working and competing head to head with hotels. Bariloche, Salta, Iguazu, Calafate are only to name a few. Basically, wherever there are expensive hotels I think you could compete.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 49
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 12:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Saint, why are you franchising this? Argentina is small and business development is cheap. You can cover all those markets within 6 months. Mendoza, Bariloche and other *interesting* destinations are tiny compared to Baires. Like the proverbial 'mattresses' Anton mentioned, many other aspects in our lives are handled in this rudimentary fashion including marketing. Why not accomplish this on your own since expansion can be done economically?
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Apartmentsba.com
New member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 17
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 12:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Roberto,

You make an excellent point. Actually the only thing that restricts me is time. That is the most valuable resource for me now. I'm working 14-16 hours a day as it is because it's so busy with my businesses. The thing is that I have a proven business plan that isn't just a theory. It's working. I always planned on opening offices around busy cities like Bariloche, Calafate, Igauzu, Mendoza, etc. but I can see the amount of business I have here in Buenos Aires is staggering. I am buying on average 1 new apartment per week.

I have purchased over 200 domain names including many within Argentina like apartmentsbariloche.com, apartmentssalta.com, apartmentscalafate.com, etc. I believe the best possible way of making this work is taking the same business plan that I did here in Buenos Aires. Why reinvent the wheel? There are many Americans that are looking to retire or live in places like Bariloche. They could buy a few properties to start out and then capitalize on my network of investors. I myself am flying down to Bariloche this week for holidays but also to look at properties. Several of my clients have already purchased lots in Bariloche and will build luxury apartments and homes. When you compare that to an expensive hotel, I think you will see merits in what my plan is.

Also, my main site gets tremendous amounts of traffic and will get more after we are featured in Lonely Planet (largest selling travel book in the world) next month. We can cross market. Many of my clients in Buenos Aires travel all around Argentina. Who do you think I will refer them to when they ask about accomodations?

I have already begun selling websites. I am selling the EXACT copy of my website (www.apartmentsba.com) along with the domain name and a bit of consulting. I spent 2.5 years of my life and thousands upon thousands of dollars perfecting my business. Many of these, I'm selling for between $5,000 and $10,000 which is nothing as most entrepreneurs know.

All of these that I sell I make it a condition that they must link back to the main site. We are going to build a network of apartment rental sites around the world that all refer to one another. Hopefully I don't come off as pitching this. I only posted to answer your question and I didn't start this "franchise section".

You will see that I could easily go down and start similar companies around Argentina. I'm only limited by time. I think it will be intelligent foreigners that swoop up these "franchises". Also, remember that this is a proven business. No speculation. If you follow our business plan, your chances of failure are very very low. You might be asking yourself why you would buy a franchise when you can just start your own site. True, you can start your own site but I can promise you the consulting that we provide is priceless. Also, you are automatically tied with a reputable company that has a track record. You could spend thousands of dollars like I did just on the website alone. I spent over a year designing my website and a lot of money and it gets high praise. We can simply make the same exact site with your domain name (franchise). We also will refer all our clients to you that are in Buenos Aires. I'm not saying you need dozens and dozens of apartments. Remember that I started out with only 3 and quickly grew.

Many times people can't believe all the information I give away publically. I have always believed the more great company and businesses out there the better. I've never been afraid of competition. In fact, I've always welcomed it. Even in the USA when I had my competition copy my ideas I knew it meant I was doing something right.

Those that know Argentina know that I am correct. Tourism will boom here for the next decade. Those that take steps now to capitalize on it will benefit for years to come.

As I mentioned before. This will work anywhere there are expensive hotels. I was in Bariloche a few months ago and I paid u$s 140 per night to stay in a hotel that was small and just not that great. I would have gladly paid $140 a night to stay in a luxury apartment or home. An apartment with upscale furniture, high-speed internet, cellphones, DVD players, big screen tvs, etc. That will alwayw blow a hotel out of the water. This can work in many cities around Argentina. The cash flow is amazing and the capital appreciation potential is amazing.

You can see just a sample of the list here:

www.apartmentsba.com/Apartments_Around_Argentina_&_the_World_75/

Good luck to all.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 51
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 12:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

>> Many times people can't believe all the information I give away publically. I have always believed the more great company and businesses out there the better. I've never been afraid of competition. In fact, I've always welcomed it. Even in the USA when I had my competition copy my ideas I knew it meant I was doing something right.

I couldn't agree more with this. This is why we have this forum. I personally don't care if travel opportunities are driven to competitors because of the information I post here. As the market expands, our business grows with it. My ex-wife who owns a successfull restaurant in north mississippi once told me that she was never afraid of more restaurants opening in the college town we lived (Oxford,MS). She explained to me that more restaurant 'openings' actually represented more people dinning out, which further increased the chances of newcommers finding her own restaurant. I thought that was brilliant.

Back to your plan. Yes, you will be successfull -as you already are- but markets are composed by segments. The one you have picked is just an underdeveloped one that can also compete successfully against the present segments (bbs, hotels, hostels and even campings). I see the expansion of rentals, including new segments as 'rentals by owners' (these are self-managed portals like old coops from our hippie days) in all world markets, as I can follow these areas quiet easily through my own internet ventures. You might become the 800 lbs gorilla in the argentine rentals niche, but don't forget there will always be a group of customers who would want to experience the high society ambiance that can be found on the Four seasons and Hyatt's of the World (and having a maid cleaning the room while sipping a martini at the lobby). To each its own.
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Apartmentsba.com
New member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 18
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 1:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

You are exactly right Roberto. I see how you conduct yourself and run your board and I applaud you. I've been a part of various public message boards for the past 7 or 8 years. I've always helped out with information whenever I could. I truly believe what goes around comes around.

Your examples of your site and your ex-wife's retaurant are spot on target. The same principle with apartment rentals. Look at sites like vrbo.com. When I started posting years ago I was one of the only ones in the Buenos Aires section. Now I can see that others have copied my lead and many post the same words I am using. Same thing with escapeartist.com. I actually get a chuckle when I see that.

I agree that markets are composed of segments. Apartment rentals worldwide are becoming more popular and I believe that trend will continue for many years. I know that some people will simply prefer a hotel and that's ok. I have stayed in 5 star hotels around the world (http://threeyearstolive.blogspot.com/) during my "I only have 3 years to live imaginary scenario. Still, in making my business plan, I discovered that if you get a good enough reputation, and you are dependable you can compete at $150/night with a luxury apartment vs. a $350/night hotel room. You can make up to 20% a year returns on the cash flow side plus capital appreciation of another 15%-20% a year.

I think a decade from now people will truly look back at these boards and see I was spot on with my call of real estate as a solid investment in Argentina.

(Message edited by admin on July 19, 2005)
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Apartmentsba.com
New member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 23
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 12:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Just an update if I can post. I just sold the first "franchise" under my business plan. I sold www.apartmentsrio.com We will see how my idea is to get these things around other parts of Argentina and South America. I am about to sell the Costa Rica franchise and talking to a few people about franchises within Argentina.

I'll keep everyone updated.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 94
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 1:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Just keep the Uruguay franchise for me :-)

(Message edited by admin on August 23, 2005)
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Apartmentsba.com
New member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 24
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - 9:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cool Roberto. I'll save that one for you. :-) I own uruguayapartments.com It's a shame that Uruguay doesn't get as much tourism as Argentina but I was surprised in Montevideo that they have several flights from American Airlines. I guess they get sufficient traffic there.

I really like Uruguay. The people are really laid back and friendly.
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Apartmentsba.com
Junior Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 27
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 5:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Just to update that the idea I had to "franchise" these other cities has caught on with no real marketing. Maybe someday I'll add these to Ebay or something and sell the business. For now, I'm just kind of experimenting with it since I don't have time to really focus on it.

So far, the people buying the franchises are people that stayed in my properties in Buenos Aires and understand the concept of what I'm doing.

I sold the Costa Rica franchise now. (www.apartmentscostarica.com) The owner doesn't plan to begin working on the site for a few months but it should do well.

This is one of the few franchises where you can simply buy it and add on properties with no money down and collect a set % of the bookings only by answering emails. The Rio franchise the owner didn't have the money to purchase prpperties so he took my advice and simply contacted owners of properties from other vacation websites and already has several bookings and made several thousands of dollars.

I think it was a mistake to sell these franchises for such a cheap price but I really want to help people start their own businesses just like I did. It's very rewarding.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 121
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 6:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Glad you are back posting, Michael.

Your business model should prosper in autopilot.

By the way, will you ever buy cheaper houses of 4 to 5 rooms and start organizing spring break trips by college students? I know. Different business but Jamaica, Cancun and the Florida panhandle are starting to get too crowded. Baires would be an exotic, atypical, not-too-expensive location to fly groups. In one season you can probably make enough dough (with all upsells of course) to have the places free and available for other purposes for the entire year (like weddings abroad). Count me in to shoot the "Girls Gone Wild In Buenos Aires" DVD...
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Apartmentsba.com
Junior Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 28
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Sunday, September 11, 2005 - 8:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Roberto.

I am happy to post on your board and also have always tried to share information. It's been really busy lately so didn't have time to.

What you are mentioning about college students visiting Buenos Aires is again on target. More and more groups of different age groups are starting to discover Argentina. They are finding that they can come down here and hit a number of different cities in one trip. The usual spots that you mentioned (Cancun, Jamaica, Florida) will always be the hot spots but people will start coming down here.

I probably won't buy "cheaper houses" but I have already started buying houses. I bought one in Palermo Viejo a few months ago. You can see it at http://www.apartmentsba.com/apartment_rentals_1/pa lermo_hollywood_soho_viejo_82/ultra_luxury_3_bedro om_house_julain_alvarez_salvador_p269 (PV1) on my website. It's an amazing house with 3 bedrooms that sleeps 8 people. There is a pool house that sleeps another 2 people. Full size pool. There is NO rental like it in Buenos Aires. At the weekly rate it comes out to only about$40@/night if you are coming with friends. The weekly rate is $2,250.

As soon as I bought it and posted it, it has been booked already. In fact, the entire summer is already booked. It was blocked out the first week I posted the house on my website. Even at u$s 5,800 per month.

Over u$s 50,000 was spent on the furniture alone but it will be a great investment for the owner who will use it when he comes down here but will make a great income stream on that house. Also, we will rent it out for weddings, parties, corporate events, etc.

I think you were kidding about the "Girls Gone Wild" but we already have gotten about 3 phone calls from Production companies that want to film both movies (big screen) and TV shows and well as magazine lay outs in several of my properties.

Although I'm focusing on primarily apartments, I'm going higher end on some properties including houses. I still would like to eventually buy land and build a boutique hotel the likes Buenos Aires has never seen. I'm still in the process of buying a building in Recoleta near the cemetery. So far, I've bought 5 out of 30 units in the building. I've offered every single tenant an offer to purchase but no one is in any hurry. My game plan is to get 51% of the building so I control the voting rights. I will then vote to keep renovating and making improvements in the building so it will force the local owners to sell. I'm sure you know how the locals hate spending money on improvements but if I have 51% of the building they will have no choice to either pay for the improvements every month or sell out.

It will be interesting to see your board 3 years from now and see how much progress has been made.
Thanks for providing this forum to those interested in investments in real estate in Argentina. Good luck.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 122
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 12:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Very nice house, Michael. Remodelation costs aside it seems it was a bargain.

I will probably get in touch with you on my next December trip, provided you have the time. I have been staying with family on each of my return trips but on second thoughts I could also purchase a small property for myself to be used once or twice a year and then have it rented out through your company. If set up with IPLAN (anything else sucks) even better. I can go work in Buenos Aires for an extended period of time. Miami Beach is starting to get too 'high' (high rises). Some sectors in the beaches already get shade around 3pm. Does this sound like a good plan?

Anyway, no, I wasn't kidding about GGW. I wouldn't say I know that market inside out but I am awfully close. And I wasn't kidding about shooting/marketing either. And I stop here...

Watch out those portenios. I can anticipate it will be difficult to have it your way. My humble opinion is that this should be handled differently down there. Perhaps playing it more like an argentine instead of your current 'american' ways. Nothing wrong with it but I think you are in a different game. People in the US do not communicate 'laterally'. This is because the power of 'the authority figure'. It creates islands beween people who end up functioning individually, thus the Donald Trumps of the world can take over. Down there is just the opposite, horizontal communication prevails and noone gives a hoot about verticality, meaning peer-to-peer ties/bonds are *very* strong, even if as a reaction to authority. Extend this behaviour to the general population and then you can start to understand why things turn sour at some point.
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Apartmentsba.com
Junior Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 29
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 2:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Roberto.

I would be happy to meet with you. Just shoot me an email at mike@apartmentsba.com and we can set something up. ALL my clients are making great returns. I have a reference sheet about 10 pages long.

You make excellent points about the locals. I thank God every day that my main contact is with Americans/Europeans. Still, our reputation with the locals is stellar. The locals can complain about the United States, Americans, whatever but my experience is that they would rather do business with me as an American than a local. In fact, I hear that on a daily basis.

Iplan is great (once they actually install it). I have it in my office and it works well. I use them for my phones at the office (10 phones lines). I use Fibertel in my owned/managed properties and never had any problems. I probably have about 50 Fibertel high-speed lines and they are pretty good. They have a 1 MB and 2 MB plan.

Take care.

Michael
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Michael K
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, March 06, 2006 - 3:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Test
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Apartmentsba.com
Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 53
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 12:29 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Roberto,

I hope you are doing well. It was great meeting you in my office last year. As you mentioned, "this should go on autopilot". I've just been working so much. I've had many offers for some of the over 250 domain names I own but I'm not in any hurry to see them go. I want to sell them to people who I think will actually work on it. Some are wanting to buy them to just "flip them" for a quick profit.

The guy that bought the Rio de Janeiro franchise (www.apartmentsrio.com) is really taken off. So it's not just a theory. This could work in many cities around Argentina and the world. I just finalized www.apartmentscostarica.com and that American is going to move down there and also take the business seriously.

I am talking to a European bank about possibly buying several "franchises" for Argentina. We'll see how serious they are. I'll keep you posted. I'd really like to see someone intelligent purchase some within Argentina as I believe there is tremendous growth and potential.
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Apartmentsba.com
Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 55
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 11:49 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Update:

I just sold the Bariloche franchise to bright entrepreneur from Australia that has a passion for Argentina as well. I started getting several offers now for franchises within Argentina and I'm being very very selective who we sell them to but they are starting to sell now. This guy is moving to Argentina next year to start the business. Exciting times.....
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 381
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 1:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Awesome news, Mike!
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Whitelion
New member
Username: Whitelion

Post Number: 5
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 - 2:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Good work!! with yours web sites.
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Apartmentsba.com
Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 76
Registered: 5-2005


Posted on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - 1:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Update:

Just completed the sale of my Mendoza franchise to 2 bright Americans that will take the time to build up a business model very similar to mine in Mendoza. It Should be up within a few months. I wish them the best of luck.
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Alejandro Fretes
New member
Username: Afretes

Post Number: 1
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 11:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Nobody's been writing here for a while. Are there any hot franchises in Argentina?
I was born in Argentina but currently I live in Canada and have been for the last 26 years.
My long term plan is to hopefully move back to my home country and open up a small business. Most likely, in the next 5 to 10 years is what we think. Any idea guys?
Hopefully this will get this topic going again.
Thanks,
Alex
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1490
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 1:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you and welcome, Alejandro! I am not knowledgeable about local ones but have you explored bringing in some of the more successful ones from Canada?

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