Alfredo Allen ValenteCEO of iad Portugal
With more than 20 years in management roles, Alfredo Allen Valente is currently the CEO of iad Portugal, the largest network of independent real estate consultants in the country.
Besides that, he was regional manager of Santander Totta, CFO and Human Resources manager of Systemair Portugal, CEO and executive director of Clínica Central do Bonfim, CFO and Human Resources manager of INSYNCRO, business coach at ActionCOACH, commercial director of Ales Groupe Portugal and network manager of iad Portugal.
Considered Portuguese Coach of the Year in 2009 and winner of an Action Man Award at the EMEA ActionCOACH Conference in 2010, Alfredo Allen Valente is the special guest of PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS' Connecting Stories series.
1. You are the CEO of the largest network of independent real estate consultants in the country. Can you tell us about your journey and your professional experience?
I arrived at iad's General Management about four years ago, a few months after I joined the company as Head of Network Development – when it became clear to me and the shareholder that this was the function in which I could best serve the company's interests.
My arrival here is the result of a path of personal and professional growth, full of experiences and challenges.
I started very young to look for my financial independence, even before I finished my degree, which soon required me to lose the fear of facing challenges. And that's what I was training in the 30-something years that followed.
I started in banking in the early 90's, a classical school. It wasn't exactly a rational choice, but I had finished my degree in Sociology and just wanted to work and have a salary. At that time, banking was the great provider of job opportunities. It ended up being about eight years lived intensely. It was an immense learning experience. So intensely that, one day, I understood that I had reached my limit and I decided to look for other ways. From then on I went from project to project, from challenge to challenge.
I went deeper into what seems to be my greatest strength: identifying a problem and finding a solution. Taking something that doesn't work and putting it to work. And that's what I've been doing for almost 30 years.
2. What is iad's business model?
Our vision is very clear and very strong: to enable everyone to succeed in real estate mediation, while constituting an international commercial organization.
Let's go by parts: to each and every one. We are an inclusive company and we believe that everyone is entitled to an opportunity. About 80% of our consultants had no experience in real estate before entering iad. It is our obligation to provide them with the means to succeed.
Our business model, our DNA, has three fundamental pillars. Real estate, our core business, the service we provide to our clients. On the other hand, the web. Our business model is based on a dematerialized structure. Unlike other agencies, we do not have a physical network of stores, which allows us to distribute the wealth generated differently and, we believe, more fairly. Without a physical network, we bet everything in computer tools and virtual store windows to promote the properties raised by our consultants. Finally, the third pillar of our DNA, MLM (Multi-level Marketing) or network marketing. A system of distribution organization often associated with the marketing of products but, with iad, appears for the first time and in an absolutely innovative way associated with the provision of services.
It is this last pillar that completes our mission. Each of our consultants can, thus, carry out two activities and accumulate two sources of remuneration: that deriving from the real estate business it intermediates, on the one hand, and that deriving from the remuneration generated by the team it constitutes, on the other.
3. As CEO, what challenges have you found in this position?
Countless! I would summarize our main challenges as follows: we want to change the real estate experience for all people involved. Sellers, buyers and also consultants. And this depends on what we do regarding technology, training and marketing. Thinking specifically of the consultant, we want each of our consultants to feel truly owner of your business, but supported by a brand, by a structure that provides the best follow-up.
4. Building better relationships with the people around us can be a very productive goal within organizations in order to leverage the potential of a team. As CEO of iad, what are the best ways to achieve this goal?
Our business is a network business, so we understand this better than anyone! We continuously look for the best partners, the best solutions, the best relationships. There is no other way to achieve this goal than to be absolutely attentive and informed about everything that impacts our activity, the best ideas, the most innovative and competent partners. And, fortunately, every day we meet people who inspire us and stimulate us.
5. What is the relationship between independent real estate consultants and iad Portugal?
Our consultants are contractually and formally linked to iad through a service contract, which regulates the rights and duties of both parts. On the other hand, as they use the iad trademark on a daily basis, they also sign a License and Trademark Agreement with us. Last but not least, they sign a particularly demanding Code of Deontology.
But more than the formal or contractual side, our consultants and iad are united in a true partnership and a relationship based on a "win-win" principle. Very clearly, this puts the human being at the center of what we like to call a "virtuous circle".
6. What tools do you provide to consultants and customers?
Let's start with the customers, particularly the salesmen, who hire us to provide a service we want excellent. To these we offer a package of services that begins with the correct estimate of the value of your property, which extends in the fastest and most effective dissemination of the announcement in the real estate portals and which concludes with the monitoring 360º until the completion of the business. I reinforce the diffusion issue, in which we are true specialists. Our technology allows us that, 24h to 48h after the collection of the property for sale, it is advertised in the most important portals of real estate advertisements worldwide – more than 200 – and exposed to buyers in more than 60 countries.
To the consultants we deliver a package of services, which includes training (coaching and field monitoring by your manager, training course in class and online university), Back Office support provided by headquarters (each consultant has at headquarters a dedicated account manager, in addition to legal, IT, marketing and communication support), state-of-the-art computer systems (support for digital prospecting, estimate of the value of the properties raised, CRM, lead management, among others) and also an innovative brand, credible and in the process of international expansion.
7. You have won some awards over the years. Is there one that stands out especially? Why?
Prizes truly have no value in themselves. They are worth as much as they translate a journey, a process of personal growth in which we have the possibility to contribute to the well-being and happiness of the people we meet. This is, frankly, my greatest prize: the feeling of having contributed to the improvement of the life of someone I've come across. In iad is the success of the consultant who rewards me.
8. What projects do you have for the future?
To guide iad to the leadership of the real estate market in Portugal. Along the way, enable all our consultants and their families the future they aspire to. That is my only goal!
9. And for the future of iad?
The aim of iad is to lead the real estate market, leading each market where it operates. It is not enough for us to be the biggest player in the real estate market in Europe if we do not lead each of the markets where we operate. We are already market leaders in number of consultants in France and we are moving towards leadership in number of transactions. And we want to replicate this path in all the countries where we are: Portugal, Spain and Italy.
We will open iad Germany in January 2021 and acquired a network of real estate consultants in Mexico, Neximo, which we want to be our gateway to the american continent.
Our international expansion project is very ambitious and I definitely want to contribute to that same path.
10. As PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a company that develops and manufactures multimedia kiosks, self-service equipment, digital billboards, interactive tables and other digital solutions for all types of industries, how, in your view, can digital signage call the attention of people in the real estate business?
The present times are demanding in the communication of the companies. It is essential that we have at our disposal the best means of getting our services and products to consumers.
Companies like PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS provide companies with the solutions we need. The real estate sector is, in our opinion, a sector that absolutely needs to reinvent itself and innovate and this is only possible with companies like PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, whose focus is precisely innovation.
Connecting Stories is an editorial space led by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS which consists of conducting exclusive interviews, directed at influential personalities who work in different sectors of activity.
The project, conceived by PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, includes the publication of success stories, through small interviews with influencers who want to share details about their projects, opinions, plans for the future, among other subjects.
The idea is to connect stories, share knowledge, develop networking and generate content that can provide new visions, opportunities and ideas.
Founded in 2000, PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS is a world renowned Portuguese IT company, manufacturer of indoor and outdoor multimedia kiosks, self-service equipment, digital billboards, interactive tables and other digital solutions, for all types of sectors and industries. To know more about our story, click here.