My nights with… Marius Locic
After I left my career in Greece and chose Romania to move in, I practically started from scratch. Apart from my know-how and principles, my strongest “weapon” so as to enter in the Romanian business world was to have a plan and work hard… Since 2005, I stayed for 3,5 years in the center of Bucharest, just over the “Mega Image” supermarket on Mihai Eminescu boulevard, very close to the intersection with Calea Mosilor. It was there when I started “meeting” every night with Marius Locic…
In reality I met him in person just once, for few minutes. It was in 2006 and I don’t think that our short interaction ended up well. But for more than 2 years’ time, I was “talking” to Marius every single night… In the triangle that exists in front of “Mega Image”, where Mihai Eminescu and Dacia boulevards split, someone had installed a big advertising television. Usually it had 3 – 4 adds playing one after the other, but one of them was my favorite one. The add of Marius Locic selling apartments in Cotroceni…
“Locic is building, the bank is paying! Search for me!”
Marius was always “loyal” to me. I would finish meetings at 11, 12 or 01 in the night, but he was there, with the same video, selling his buildings… I used to arrive from work, turn off the car’s engine, relax and wait for couple of minutes, looking at the big television. After a newspaper with scandals, some other insignificant products, he was appearing… full of himself… ready to “save his clients”… For someone experienced in marketing but new in Romania, this kind of advertising was fun, fun, fun!
I would not leave the car without watching Marius, at least once. Then I would step down, remove my tie, pass in front of the television and tell him “good night”. He never replied back. He kept on driving to Cotroceni… “nice neighborhood” he was explaining… “don’t you want an apartment here?”… then he was appearing again, “crosschecking the construction’s quality”… before the grand finale… “Locic is building, the bank is paying! Search for me!” with Marius pointing at the camera.
Everything was “plain vanilla”! You didn’t have to pay / think / analyze it too much. Marius was here, you should just come and sign…
Is it so easy to invest in a property?
I did not follow the ups and downs of Marius Locic, just read about him in the news. I did not do any business with him, he remained in my mind as “Marius, the man who was selling apartments in Cotroceni as if they were bananas… come and take some, as simple as that”. But is it so easy to invest in a property?
Checking more aspects before buying a television than an apartment
We are living in a superficial society, where many people find all kinds of excuses so as to act without thinking. Before the 2008 crisis, there were thousands of investors who were buying a property without any plan or control. Sometimes I had the impression that they would invest more time thinking about which TV model to buy, than an apartment, a land or another type of property. I could understand some of them, as they:
- Did not know what does it mean to buy a property, it was their first time
- Had convinced themselves that they had not had time to invest in this investment
- Were feeling wealthy and did not care about the details, expecting a steady, continuous growth of their personal income for the years to come
- Avoided to work with professional Real Estate agents or consultants. Working with an “intermediary / taxi driver”, they did not benefit from someone by their side so as to protect their interests and provide them with solutions in various problems or challenges.
- Were afraid that the prices would rise forever and they would lose the chance
- Simply mimicked what their friend / family / neighbor did before
- Were sure that they know everything about properties as well! (as they also knew everything about every other subject)
Endless friends / people I know had bought properties without checking them thoroughly and as the market was going up, they had also remained with the impression that they “did the right thing”.
A big part of the Romanian society gradually got hypnotized by the idea that “Real Estate is simple” and investors would rather identify all the characteristics of a new television before to buy, than study a property into its last detail before they invest their life and future in it.
2015: Too many investors continue following the same superficial approach
While many Romanians and foreigners learned the hard way about how complicated is the Real Estate sector, there are still too many people out there who simply don’t care. They continue to “know all” and they invest based on criteria which are mainly “sentimental”, rather than rational.
But the truth is that there is nothing “easy” in a Real Estate investment:
- The property has to be analyzed by all its angles*
- Tens of details have to crosschecked*
- The legal documents need to be thoroughly controlled
- A very good notary must secure the ownership of the property (I wrote very good, not very low cost)
- The seller and his reasons of selling the property have to be identified
- The investor’s financial projection in the years to come has to be assumed
- A good Real Estate consultant can offer his quality work and guidelines regarding the correct choice of the property, its future potential, how easy it can be resold plus many other issues
- The relation with the bank needs more attention that many people offer
Most of tomorrow’s failures are based on today’s decisions without careful research. Are you sure that you respect yourself, your life, your family and your money enough, before you invest in a property? Especially now that it has become again “a good idea”…
Do you still believe in Marius Locic’s approach that “the bank is paying, just search for me”? If so, be ready for more negative surprises…
What is your opinion?
PS. I have written a special book about these issues that you can find here