Spotlight on Paul Rees of Rural Properties
Archives, architecture, and adventure await! Paul Rees's association with Portugal goes back to the early '80s when his parents retired to the Algarve. He spent many happy years there in the sun while on his many visits before he moved there permanently in 2002. Paul told the IPBN, "I set up and sold a couple of businesses and ended up owning the Algarve Daily News, which I ran for 10 years."
During that time, Paul had continually been setting up and selling houses and villas in the area, and in 2019, he finished a project that left him with a little more flexibility than he was used to. Paul took the opportunity to branch outside his southern coast comfort zone and explore the rest of Portugal looking for a little inspiration on his next steps. He found it up north in the Serra da Estrela region toward Spain and Figueira da Foz and hasn't looked back since.
"I worked out that the margins here were advanced when compared to the Algarve, and the risk is spread out. One large project in the Algarve is equal to 10 here, so I got to work. I invited investors to fund a pilot stage of properties and set up a formal limitada to formalize it with a tax-efficient structure. Then COVID came along and I used that time to build up my contacts and seek opportunities on a macro-economic level. As there was a shift of interest from the city to the countryside after COVID I was lucky to have been there to meet the demand with supply."
According to Paul, the countryside is littered with fabulous derelict houses that can be refurbished into incredible properties, and his IPBN member company, Rural Properties has made the right connections with the right contractors and supporting companies to do things right in the eyes of both the city hall and its supporting ordinances, as well as in the eyes of the client.
"I have one pilot year completed," Paul told the IPBN, "and it's not romantic, but it has come down to the cost per square meter. At this stage, I can walk into a building in whatever condition and see the possibilities as they relate to the strict budget. I'm not overwhelmed by dereliction. In fact, I've developed a great sense of history and historical value and how everything can tie in together."
As an expert in keeping the past alive in the midst of modernization, Paul has had many Indiana Jones - meets - Sherlock Holmes moments within his so-called unromantic venture. You can easily see why in this recent LinkedIn post about a 1600s former tavern and pilgrim house for which he visited the local council archives to get more information from a goat-skin document.
Currently, Paul is inviting investors to join in the excitement on a loans-for-profit basis, the benefits of which are cleanly laid out here on the company's website. Each investment is project-based, and Paul has made assurances that he never spends an amount without doubling it. He further invited anyone interested to see his track record through a visit to the company website where they can see the potential for themselves.
Published by the Ireland Portugal Business Network