A Mexican real estate professional association is preparing to take action against the country's largest real estate portal operator for what it claims are monopolistic practices.
The Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (AMPI) Mexico City delegation is preparing a complaint against the Brazilian firm QuintoAndar which owns three of the most important portals in the country.
According to AMPI, QuintoAndar's position in the market not only means that agents have been obliged to accept the company's conditions, but also that consumers are suffering from a lack of competition.
According to a report in local real estate publication Inmobiliare.com, one large brokerage company (EasyBroker) has refused to accept QuintoAndar's conditions and has had its agents' listings removed from the portal network.
QuintoAndar owns and operates both Inmuebles24 and Vivanuncios—the two leading portals in Mexico. In December 2021 it acquired Inmuebles24 along with all the real estate assets of the previous owner Navent and followed up with the purchase of number two player Vivanuncios from Adevinta in September 2022. Since then QuintoAndar has also launched Benvi, a Mexican rental marketplace that uses the same end-to-end business model employed by its Brazilian flagship site.
QuintoAndar's moves have manifested themselves recently in a downsizing exercise by rival Lamudi Mexico when it was forced into over 100 redundancies as part of the recontextualised Mexican property market. Lamudi has since been taken over by the Japanese-headquartered operator Lifull Connect.
Responding to the AMPI claims, a QuintoAndar spokesperson said:
"At Inmuebles24, we are committed to enhance [sic] the quality of the services offered in the real estate industry in Mexico by creating a fluid, easy experience for users, brokers and real estate offices. Since Inmuebles24 (and afterwards, Vivanuncios) became part of the QuintoAndar Group, we have reinforced that commitment by continuing to serve our thousands of clients in all 32 states of the Republic, in compliance with all applicable laws.
We have continued to work with and invested in promoting the real estate industry through marketing campaigns, SEO and technology tools that favorably improve the seeker experience and increased profitability for our clients, while creating benefits for everyone involved.
Our current offer to clients has generated approximately 40% more, and cheaper, leads to our clients and partners, helping reduce the average cost of a lead by approximately 20%. We look forward to continuing to work with the industry to help more and more Mexicans find their place in the world through an easier and faster solution that supports the development and growth of our clients and the industry as a whole."
The complaint, for excessive monopolization of the real estate classifieds market, is set to be handed to the Federal Economic Competition Commission with a further statement from AMPI regarding the specifics of its planned action expected later this week.
This article was updated on the 3rd of August with the report that EasyBroker has refused QuintoAndar's conditions. We have contacted EasyBroker for a statement and will update this article again if and when we receive a statement.