Looking to Buy Property in Greece? Then George Stroumboulis is Your Man

A couple of years ago, George Stroumboulis, a young Canadian-American was searching to buy some property in Greece when he fell into the nightmare many would-be buyers of Greek land do: it was an endless labyrinthine of red tape and obstacles. “It was so barbarian and complicated to me, that I decided to help make it more transparent, simplified and transparent for a foreigner looking to engage with any type of property involvement in Greece – be it buying, selling or renting.”
It took a couple of years of hard work, coupled with his insight and ingenuity and much market research, development, network support, international promotion, targeted marketing and media assistance, but his idea went on-line and GreekPropertyExchange.com has quickly become a dedicated resource for the Greek real estate market. It has helped Greeks within Greece, the Diaspora and foreigners around the world find propertie in Greece and how to buy, rent, sell and lease.
But it was more than just business to Stroumboulis, now 31: it was personal. “We believe we are helping to make a difference and are helping people stay connected with Greece. Through the acquisition or selling of Greek real estate, we are helping to showcase the beauties of Greece and the rich culture we have to offer the world,” especially during the economic crisis that has shredded the reputation of the country and its people. Stroumboulis has moved from Toronto to New York City and his idea has caught on. The site, www.greekpropertyexchange.com has more than 1,400 members, a list of 7,000 properties worth more than $5 billion and gets 15,000 visitors a month from 120 countries and has had more than 2.7 million views, giving Greece some good publicity along the way for a change instead of the constant images of protests, riots, and strikes over the austerity measures that have come as conditions of continued international aid to bail out the country’s floundering economy. Stroumboulis said he’s been able to showcase Greek properties to a new legion of prospective buyers from around the work, including new markets. “It’s not just your typical Greek-Canadaian-Australian-American market,” he said. “A lot of Russians now are looking and people are waiting to see what’s going on with the country,” he added.{49707}
He knows about branding, having created the site www.boulibrand.com that demonstrates how to reach a market, and like all crises, the Greek economic dilemma has offered opportunities too, he said, although he’s had to be wary of its downside. “We have seen an enormous influx of interest from the international community looking for Greek real estate and property. Coupling that with the build-up to the tourism season, we have been experiencing high levels of traffic and inquiries to the portal that is showing that people are starting to flirt with the idea of buying in Greece and seeing what is available for their investment dollars.
Stroumboulis said he’s seen some important patterns emerge: Greeks within Greece are looking to sell at significant discounts to unload real estate to pay immediate debts; those in the Diaspora are looking to sell fast; Greeks who can’t sell properties unable to sell their properties immediately are starting to advertise then as rentals; foreigners with disposable income are starting to consider Greece as an investment destination to capitalize on the falling prices.
As the Greek economy worsens, he said he’s quick to adjust to the changes. “The big question in the industry and among people owning property is whether or not the real estate market has bottomed out. Average prices of land and property in Greece have drastically been reduced in some regions and barely in others.” The next six to 18 months are the most opportune, he said, especially with the political instability and worry over whether Greece will give up the euro and return to the drachma.
“People who have invested in Greece or are considering to do so in the next six to 18 month, will benefit greatly when the country gets back on its feet. With prices discounted as much as 40 percent in some areas of Greece, foreigners who never considered Greece as an investment destination are now actively searching for available properties and taking the steps needed to find the right real estate agent and properties,” that he said are featured on his site.
He said that Greeks in Australia, Canada, and the United States have been registering on greekpropertyexchange.com as independent sellers to advertise their properties in their villages and home towns in fear of the economic future. “On the flip side, we see Greek Diaspora looking to take advantage of this uncertainty by buying properties in their villages and home towns – with an increasing trend of first-time homebuyers of first-and-second-generation Greeks looking to buy their summer home or apartment. There is still a consistent interest from the popular foreigner countries that have been investing the last couple decades in Greece – coming from Germany, the United Kingdom, and the rest of Europe.”
During a recent visit to Athens, Stroumboulis was feted at the home of Canada’s Ambassador, Robert Peck, whose wife is from Patra in Western Greece. Peck said he was glad to show off a young Greek-Canadian who had brought an enterprising venture that would link Greece with property seekers around the world and give the country an image boost at the same time. “A lot of people think not much good is happening here and we want to help show what it,” he said.


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