Clari Vega was interviewed by the Positive Luxury team about her passion for the luxury real estate business in Costa Rica, living a positive life and giving back, as well as why responsible business is paramount in property and how LX contributes to the community and beyond.

Positive Luxury awards the Butterfly Mark, a unique interactive trust mark, to luxury lifestyle brands in recognition of their commitment to having a positive impact on people and the planet, providing wordless reassurance that a brand can be trusted. Positive Luxury showcase luxury lifestyle brands who take pride in their craftsmanship, service and design whilst caring for their employees and suppliers working hard to protect our planet’s people and resources.

Sharing. Caring. Inspiring. These are three words that describe my job.” -Clari Vega, LX managing partner

The Butterfly Mark Award is the sole trust mark that exist in the luxury industry today, synonymous with luxury brands that care.

Clari Vega

Interview with Clari Vega

Tell us about LX Costa Rica?

LX is a luxury real estate service business focused on extraordinary lives and the homes and properties that accompany them. Our clients are discerning buyers and sellers that look to us for the market information, guidance, and filtered portfolio that best matches their lifestyle. Most importantly though, LX helps our clients with decisions that shape their big life moments and everyday joys… where your kids will go to school, how you spend your afternoons and evenings, your holidays, the memories you’ll build at home.

Why is community and philanthropy so important to you?

Every day we work with amazing clients that have found a way to succeed and live in comfort, but it’s very clear that most of what we help buy/sell is way beyond need. They’re luxury homes with added comfort, surreal detailing, and sometimes a bit of craziness. We wanted to balance this out in our own lives and turn it into a positive and productive force.  For our own personal satisfaction, our company vision can’t be detached of the broader community where we live and work. We need to go beyond the luxury lifestyle and find creative ways to involve clients, suppliers, and the people we work with.

Costa Rica is a shining star in the midst of a region plagued by inequality and unacceptable poverty. But even here we see alarming trends regarding social stability, opportunity and key housing indicators. We work with residential real estate every single day so we are naturally drawn to contribute to issues that help solve housing needs. Basic housing and services are a critical component of broader health and education efforts.  Without a proper home it’s harder to keep dry and healthy, children are less likely to read and learn without a proper home. It’s difficult to work without proper rest and hard to concentrate when your sleep depends on whether it rains or not. In many cases the home is also the backbone for a family business where you can produce crafts or setup shop.

How does LX and your team contribute to the local and international community?

We contribute from the inside out.  We start with our own team that goes through a community training to generate the necessary sensibility towards our role in the larger community, beyond the direct clients we serve. The team then works one on one with our clients to communicate this same perspective, learn about their own efforts, and whenever possible involve them in our efforts with shelter building, microloans for housing, or any other current projects.  Part of our profits help fund organizations that are already doing great things and just need our support and attention to have more impact, organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Kiva.  We also support individual efforts from the LX team and how each person decides to participate in the community.

The words ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ are often used as marketing tools, rather than being asserted as essential elements of business. Do you see this attitude changing?

LX customers value our community efforts beyond the individual real estate transactions, so we know there’s a positive attitude towards positive community building. There’s also a lot of well-deserved skepticism. Businesses in general have gotten louder about “sustainable” and “ethical” practices, but I’m not sure we’ve gotten better at it. As business owners we have to be careful not to promote the stereotype.  We have to keep the actions louder than the words.     Ghandi’s words are the best guidance:

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

Good business is the same, we need to keep this three part harmony.

How do you think sustainability and property development can influence each other?

Like other factors for sustainability, it seems to boil down to participation. Making sure the community, independent organizations, and the businesses leading the way are all part of the decision making process. Property development has a strong impact on the social fabric and the environment, but when local governments don’t provide the proper framework or the community isn’t involved in the process, we all lose.

A friend of mine runs a local NGO that uses the slogan “Indifference is Aggression” to help generate involvement in education causes. In the case of sustainability and real estate development, “Indifference is Unsustainable”. Businesses are never indifferent because they have a clear business goal, and property development is typically lead by business. If the community – and I mean each individual: me, you, us – stays indifferent to the business goals we won’t have balanced growth. It can’t be sustainable if we’re indifferent.

What steps do you take to make your life more positive?

A positive life for me revolves around true happiness, at home and at work. I mentioned this before, but the most important step is to constantly stay true to myself, making sure that I do what I say and I say what I think. This sounds simple but requires a lot of introspection to really decide what I care about and where I draw the line. From there it’s easy to take the steps.

Tell us about a time when you felt most inspired:

My family inspires me, not just once but constantly. Seeing my six brothers come together to help a friend, make a change, or simply to share an idea reminds me of the power of family. I’m inspired by their unwavering commitment which extends not only to family members, but also to the large network of friends, acquaintances and passers by.  I’m inspired by the way all their differences seem to fade away when faced by challenge or opportunity. Unconditional support leads to endless possibility which is truly inspiring.

Describe your job in three words:

Sharing. Caring. Inspiring.   Read the original interview as published by Laura Mitchell and the Positive Luxury team.

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