There once was an overworked professional who came to Costa Rica on vacation. And as they say, the rest was history! Or her story, in the case of today’s real estate agent spotlight, Lauren Mantey.
Lauren is a special one. Not only is she one of Blue Water Properties’ most successful agents, but she’s one of our clients’ favorite agents and forever friends. Because, from the very start, you’ll see that Lauren is personable, knowledgeable, and passionate about Costa Rica.
These are the roots of her life and business: personal connections that help her measure not just the width and breadth of your dreams, but their depth. Because Lauren is dedicated to you, not her next sale. And that’s exactly what you need in your real estate agent.
Q: When did you first come to Costa Rica? What brought you here?
When I first came to Costa Rica, I was living in Miami, working a corporate job. To break from our fast-paced professional lives, one of my best friends and I would travel all over the world.
Fast-forward to one fateful Memorial Day weekend, when our travels brought us to Costa Rica. It’s no exaggeration to say I fell in love. The people were so kind, warm, and friendly – very welcoming! – and that, coupled with just how gorgeous the country was – well, I figured hey, let’s try something different than Corporate America!
It was a pivotal point in my life, not only because I was coming up on a birthday milestone, and not just because I made the decision to move my entire life to another country, but because I also decided to buy a business property. Funny enough, it wasn’t so much the business but the real estate purchase that changed my life…
Q: What led you to become a real estate agent?
Buying that business property lit a passion for real estate and, in its way, galloped me toward my real estate credentials through hands-on experience.
From there, I knew that I wanted to learn everything about real estate. And so, when I made the decision that I didn’t want to move forward any longer with the business, I also knew that I wanted to stay. My heart had set up shop, even if I hadn’t. I had learned so much and I had found a new, better passion: Not so much real estate, but dream-fulfillment.
I wanted to share my expertise with other individuals with like-minded ideas – world citizens who also have the goal of coming to Costa Rica to invest. I wanted to help others do what I had already done. What had changed my life and could change theirs.
Thinking about business ownership in Costa Rica? Check out our YouTube Dream Catchers series, where we meet entrepreneurs who have left their home country to move to Costa Rica and start a business in paradise…
Q: What do you love most about your job?
I love that I have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. And by that, of course, I mean the people from the U.S. and Canada, as well as from Europe, Central and South America. The world here in Tamarindo / Guanacaste is so rich in culture!
Meeting them is a true joy. I feel deeply blessed and grateful because a lot of my clients – either sellers or buyers – have now turned into really close friends. I believe that’s because I love it here so much that my passion and energy for Costa Rica extend to my clients and they end up becoming passionate about it, too.
So, if I had to choose just one favorite, that’s it: People. Because homes and businesses and lots might fuel the real estate market, but people – their hopes, their goals, their passions – are the true heart of real estate. And it’s with them, my clients, that I find fulfillment and joy in what I do.
Q: Why did you choose to work at Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica?
When you come from Corporate America, you work in a very different environment. It’s about the bottom line, which lends to a more impersonal strictly business relationship.
Real estate has a mix of business and emotional; it allows me to get to know a client on a more personal level, to really connect. I so appreciate this aspect of my career now, as compared to my Corporate America sales career.
Blue Water Properties has been the best experience and I know it will continue to be so. Becky (Rebecca Clower, owner and broker at BWP) is just an incredible individual. She’s also an amazing leader. I have a tremendous amount of respect for her. Not only does she make it a pleasure to work at Blue Water, but she has this really great energy that she passes on to all of her agents.
It’s a breath of fresh air and the best place to work. I can’t imagine a better experience, either as an agent or as a buyer or seller.
Q: Speaking of, do you represent both buyers and sellers?
Yes, I represent both buyers and sellers.
To be a successful real estate agent in Costa Rica, and specifically in our province of Guanacaste, I believe you must have a mix of both your exclusive listings representing sellers, as well as meeting and representing buyers.
There’s no MLS here. There’s no centralization or standardization. So, you really need to maintain the full picture. And by that, I don’t just mean a balance of exclusive listings and active buyers, but also a nice combination of properties.
For example, I have exclusive listings for everything from a $400,000 home to a 32-unit condominium to an $8.5 million boutique hotel. This balance keeps the market and its offerings – its wide and diverse array of offerings! – in the forefront of my mind and expertise.
Q: Great transition! So, what is your expertise?
There are so many ways you could define expertise. In terms of location, my expertise is Guanacaste and, specifically, the Tamarindo area (where I’m based) – from about 30 minutes south, around Playa Junquillal, to about an hour north in Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa. I’m very familiar with everything that’s for sale (and that will be for sale!) in the area, so you could call this stretch of the beach my area of expertise.
Now, in terms of my sales chops, I have a really strong grasp on the boutique hotel market. For example, my $8.5 million hotel listing (below) is 47 rooms – about the outside range of my expertise.
Beyond that, I am known for representing area condo development projects and second and third homes, for people who are permanently moving, retiring, or even investing in business opportunities. From my background in Corporate America, I am also well versed in putting together spot-on rental projections (for investment homes), so I really enjoy the business side, almost as much as I enjoy building friendships.
Q: Can you share some of your success stories, however you define success?
Absolutely! I have so many but I’d like to share three, as they represent three very different kinds of success.
Real Estate Development
The first begins as any good stories do: On the beach, shopping with an artisan jewelry vendor. A young gentleman made his way over and politely asked if he could take some candid photos of our interactions, for a documentary he was developing. We chatted and, of course, I said yes. I handed over my business card and asked him to get in touch when the documentary was ready, because I was a real estate agent and would love to share it with my clients.
About 15 minutes later, he comes back to tell me that his parents, who were sitting at a nearby beachfront restaurant, were set to begin a real estate development project. I went over and introduced myself, and it evolved from there: A relationship that began that day but didn’t happen overnight, slowly developing into one of my greatest successes. I was awarded a 32-condo development project in Playa Langosta. We’re almost sold out now!
How people gauge success differs from person to person. For me, success is often rooted in understanding my clients: My job is to map Costa Rica’s properties, availability, and properties to your goals and dreams.
I recently had the opportunity to represent a wonderful U.S.-Brazilian couple from Venice Beach, CA. They have two beautiful children and earlier this year, they realized they wanted to raise them in Costa Rica. With an eye to a permanent move, we found them an incredible new development project that answered both their spoken and unspoken goals. They’re building their dream home right now.
I see this as a success not only because they’re building a home, but because they are thrilled. Through my love and passion for the area, I was able to stoke their enthusiasm and make them feel comfortable in this new country. They’ll be here in just a few months, to begin their family life in paradise!
Again, my success is more about my clients than it is about me! Take some recent clients – a Canadian couple and their family. Because they have high schoolers, they’re not ready to move yet. But they were ready to make a purchase to secure their future dream.
Their goal was two-fold: purchase an investment property today that will work as a family home tomorrow. In the interim, they’ll visit as often as they can while producing income with their property. But in a few years’ time, when their older children have graduated, they’ll move here. That investment home must also be the perfect family home.
Well, we found it! Let the countdown to paradise begin.
Q: What hot tips or advice you can offer the internet at large?
This is a hard one because real estate is such a personal experience: The advice I offer my clients is based on their unique situations, not some common well of knowledge. (You can find that all over the internet.)
What I can say is this: From a buyer’s perspective, before choosing an agent, ask about their experience level. Request some examples of the homes they’ve recently helped their clients purchase. Pay attention not just to the hard facts, but also to how they’re presented: A great buyer’s agent will tell you a story of her clients’ needs and wants, and how the purchased property fulfilled them. Real estate in Costa Rica is an incredibly important purchase and you’ll want an agent who roots her priorities in you, not a sale at any cost.
From a seller’s perspective, ask how many exclusive listings the agent has had over the last couple of years. This will give you a better understanding of her experience level – a good smattering of exclusive listings can help demonstrate a good track record.
Q: Want to Work with Lauren?
Come one, come all! Buyers and sellers, investors and future business owners – Lauren is at your service.
And remember, at Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica, we’re committed to you. Not to selling you a property or spamming you with all the options, but to helping – genuinely and with good intent – to match you to the perfect property for your needs and wants. We thrive on relationships and promise the fastest communication and best services in the industry.
Go ahead – try us. Give Lauren a chance to show off her expertise – and to wow you with the possibilities! We all look forward to it.
At Blue Water Properties of Costa Rica, we’re proud to offer some of the best Costa Rica real estate. We have both condos and homes, land and businesses for sale.