The LX team interviewed María José Barrios, luxury real estate specialist focused on the west side of San José, to explore her thoughts on the housing market, living in Escazú and Santa Ana, and the contributing factors for her success as a luxury real estate agent.


What do you enjoy most about living and working in the west side of San José?


What I like is that the west side of the valley is characterized by innovative growth and a dynamic lifestyle. There are a lot of young professionals and families with children. It is also the more cosmopolitan part of San José.  It’s common to hear different accents and meet different nationalities not only in a social context but also in commerce as seen in the varied cuisine offerings, and all the businesses and multinational offices.


How would you characterize the luxury residential market in the WEST (Escazu, Santa Ana, etc …)?


It’s a dynamic market with high purchasing power and very demanding clients. The inventory of luxury properties has a higher turnover on this side. This is due to several factors, including that this areas is home to many international residents and expats that acquire their homes and tend to require a change more often, generating a higher frequency of sales. Both domestic and foreign customers in this area tend to be upscale clients seeking comfort, security and luxury finishes. The trend of the luxury residential market is to concentrate on prime locations within private residential communities with controlled access and a variety of family-friendly amenities.


How would you define the luxury real estate segment?


The luxury real estate market is best defined in a few words to include those properties that offer the best location, security, finishes and technology. It’s not just a question of price, but a combination of all factors that together create an extraordinary property to meet the needs of a particular client.


What factors determine the successful real estate agent today?


All kinds of agents can achieve one or several transactions, but the successful agent can lead successful transactions that result in happy customers on a constant basis. For me, the successful agent gain not only their clients preference but also their trust. This requires in-depth luxury real estate market knowledge and a deep understanding of the client, their tastes, preferences and needs.


María José, what characterizes your particular work style?


In addition to my experience as an agent, I use my own experience as a customer when I sold and bought my homes. I try to apply this perspective to generate more empathy with my clients and help them make the best decision at each stage of the process. Buying is a very important decision and sharing that with my clients and seeing it play out is truly rewarding. In this sense, what differentiates me is the empathy with the client. It’s not just the desire to sell/rent for a transaction, but also the gratification of achieving the best possible scenario to ensure happy clients..


Any personal details that most people don’t know about you?


I studied dramatic arts. I love the theater, cinema and television. I am also very creative and visual, which helps me in my work. Some clients need a little of my imagination to visualize the spaces and furniture in an empty home they are considering, while others can’t get past the current decoration of a home and I can help them visualize other options, an empty house or with other decoration.


Read more about María José Barrios and her luxury real estate portfolio.

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