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An inside look at RKS AM’s strategy and values – Interview with Andrés Galindo

Interview with Andrés Galindo, Chief Investment and Sustainability Officer of RKS AM, a company dedicated to the integrated management of residential real estate assets. Written by María Mañoso, Marketing Specialist at ISEO.

One of the main characteristics of RKS AM is that you focus on non-prime areas, what are the reasons for this decision?

RKS AM focuses on non-prime areas due to our deep social impact mission. We turn our attention to peripheral areas, where we find an under-exploited residential park, often in the hands of banks or funds that lack the capacity to manage it properly.

We focus on these non-prime areas because they offer competitive prices to acquire properties, which allows us to offer affordable housing without sacrificing profitability. To create a sustainable business, it is crucial that the acquisition value is aligned with the potential rental income. Our presence in these areas not only seeks to stimulate the real estate market, but also to address the housing imbalance, especially for workers who tend to be close to logistics parks or emerging economic areas.

We want to be a bridge between the business sector and workers, providing decent housing that fits their budgets and allows them a better quality of life without cost being a barrier.

In 2023, RKS AM created a new investment and sustainability area, which you currently lead. What led to the creation of this new department?

The initiative came directly from our CEO, Henry Gallego, whose commitment to social impact is deeply rooted in his core values. Recognizing the importance of formalizing our approach to this topic, this structure was established to clearly delineate the initiatives, projects, and related metrics. This decision reflects our ongoing commitment to promote financial and ethical practices, now with a more rigorous and technical approach.

Personally, I joined this project six months ago. Before my arrival, there was already a team that provided support in financial analysis and new project development, however, the specific dimension of sustainability was not formally integrated into the organization.

How would you assess the current state of the residential sector in Spain and what would you say are the short-term prospects?

The current state of the residential sector in Spain presents a panorama of opportunities and challenges. Although my previous experience has been mainly focused on the Latin American market, I have been actively researching the Spanish and European market in general.

In Spain, much of the housing stock consists of relatively old buildings, a trend observed throughout Europe. This poses a significant challenge, but also opens up opportunities for innovation in the real estate technology (proptech) and sustainability sector. The ability to revitalize these existing structures through technological and sustainability interventions offers significant potential for the market.

In addition, Spain’s Autonomous Communities are allocating large resources for housing rehabilitation, which creates a favorable environment for traditional business models such as SOCIMIs and real estate investment funds.

However, there are uncertainties related to housing legislation in Spain. This may affect business generation and discourage investment. While it is encouraging to see that the authorities recognize the social problem of access to housing and are seeking solutions, it is important that legislative measures are appropriate so as not to limit the efficiency of the market and avoid possible counterproductive effects.

In summary, the residential sector in Spain offers significant opportunities, especially in terms of innovation and sustainability, but legal uncertainty may create additional challenges for investors and market operators.

What projects do you have for the future at RKS AM?

At RKS AM, we are focused on an exciting project to bring our successful business model to Colombia. Our CEO, a visionary with Colombian roots and long experience in Europe, is leading this initiative to share lessons learned and contribute to the real estate market in his home country. This project represents a unique opportunity, as the Colombian market is not yet fully professionalized, which makes it attractive for investors and companies like ours. We are exploring various opportunities and are very optimistic about replicating our success in Colombia.

At the same time, we remain committed to our project in Europe, which is a vehicle to promote our personal values and a means to benefit more people. We will continue to work to demonstrate the potential of our model and expand our impact both here and in other regions.

If you are interested in obtaining more information on the evolution of the Spanish real estate market or on the role of digitalization in this context, please contact us at: es-info@sofialocks.com. Our experts will be happy to provide you with more information.