(Tuesday, 13th November 2018)
With blossoming potential, the fairy tale region of Montenegro offers more than initially meets the eye. We speak with Leila Calic of Resido Montenegro to learn why now is an opportune time to invest in Montenegro. With a tailored approach to their consultancy, the company offers a wealth of local expertise with specialisms in off-market luxury villas and greenfield developments, ensuring you the peace of mind of an investment backed by all the support you need.
How did Resido Montenegro begin, and what are your goals?
Resido Montenegro (the name translates into English to ‘Residence in Montenegro’) started in 2007. With my origins in the ex-Yugoslavia but having been born in France, I invested in the country with a vision. My vision was that one day it would become an important destination for both tourists and investors – which Montenegro has today become.
For those who seek to fill their journeys with a combination of sensations and experiences, this tiny country is a concentrated mixture of beautiful natural scenery all year round, sports and recreational activities for all the family or for the more adventurous, and a distinct cultural heritage. The atmosphere is friendly and new homeowners can quickly feel like newly adopted locals.
In July, the government of Montenegro announced that it would be launching a citizenship-by-investment programme in October 2018, seeking to attract 2,000 foreign direct investors from non-EU countries. As this programme is aimed towards useful investment for the long-term prosperity of the country and its citizens, we are confident this will rapidly attract a lot of suitable investors from abroad. At Resido Montenegro we can offer them a wide range of know-how and experience in the development of tourist-related projects.
My multi-lingual team and I assist and guide our individual and corporate investors in acquiring properties that fully match with each person’s unique requirements. We take care of them from our own motivation and requirement checklist, through a targeted property selection shortlist, all the way to completion of the whole legal, financial and administrative process, and the conclusion of the sale. We offer them a range of new and authentic properties, urbanised land for residential and tourist project developments, or for the home of their dreams.
For those buying in Montenegro for the first time what kind of advice can you give?
With prospective first time buyers in Montenegro, we ensure they are educated in all aspects of their investment. With so much misinformation around, it can often be overwhelming and confusing. At Resido Montenegro we learn about you and the motivation behind your investment. We do this in order to provide you with the right type of property for your needs, and we even suggest those that you may not have initially had in mind!
This may be a summer home overseas where extended family can come together every year, or an investment property where you hope to make a profit in the future. Many clients even seek a unique off-market property to renovate, restoring historic buildings bursting with potential. Learning about our clients ensures that we gain a vast perspective of who you, the buyers, are. We can then offer a holistic approach to helping you fulfil your desires.
Montenegro is fast becoming an attractive place for investors. Why is this?
The country’s easy access to property ownership is why. One of the other main reasons is the low tax environment, with 9% corporate tax for example. Not only this, the Euro is the official currency – which is obviously attractive to investors used to dealing with other Eurozone nations. There are also already vast and well-sited locations available for development. Opportunities still exist to create a commercial, residential or hospitality developments that have the potential to be incredibly profitable.
Another the reasons, however, is the Montenegrin lifestyle. Beyond simply the search for a good ROI or the attraction of low taxes, investors like to have a feeling of connection with a country. With Montenegro being so magical and easy to fall in love with, this is inevitable.
What can you tell us about the new projects in Montenegro and how are they evolving the region?
At the moment Resido Montenegro has new proposed project developments in Montenegro, above 40 to be exact! The largest of these luxury residential projects are Porto Montenegro, Portonovi, Dukley Gardens and Lustica Bay. The question of where you choose to invest is based on the lifestyle tastes of the buyer. I always suggest buyers visit the developments to learn what kind of unique selling points each property has.
As part of our consulting service, we propose a personalised accompaniment that we prepare up-front. We will suggest only those projects that suitably meet our buyer’s lifestyle and needs. Come Autumn 2018 the citizenship programme will also be in place. This will be tied to specific projects, and limited to a certain number of buyers within the three coming years.
The government of Montenegro continues to make progress in attracting foreign investment, proving there is nowhere in Europe that offers such a difficulty-free process. Looking into the near future, Montenegro is also on the agenda for future enlargement of the European Union by 2025. The country is preparing itself for the transition and we expect the long-term benefits of this to be considerable – to cement Montenegro’s place firmly within the EU family.
On a practical note, what may future purchasers need to know?
When we start the selling process, we always recommend our clients have a trusted lawyer to accompany the purchase. We coordinate this with the Notary to guarantee the selling process runs smoothly from A to Z. Clients feel their purchase is in trusted hands, and as a company, we pride ourselves upon this.
Can you give a good example of a popular hotspot in Montenegro today?
Choosing Tivat will see you touching down in the UNESCO-protected bay of Kotor, in between jewel-blue water and tree-cloaked hills.
Tivat’s shiny marina, intimate and cosmopolitan environment – Porto Montenegro – is packed with break-the-bank boats, so it’s ideal for a wander to do some nautical window-shopping. It’s the deepest harbour in southern Europe, and comes flanked by the country’s trademark rolling hills.
Tivat has got a fairly high-status history. An Illyrian queen – Teuta – the town’s alleged namesake – had a summer home here, and during the Middle Ages, the area was almost exclusively owned by wealthy noblemen. Also, Tivat was ruled by the Republic of Venice for around 250 years. You can still spot some Venetian-esque buildings here and there.
Besides the many hotspots, it is packed with elegant boutiques, lifestyle terraced bars and restaurants. and the views are jaw-dropping. Head over in the late afternoon, and you will witness the town’s day-to-night transformation as the after-dark scene begins to buzz.
Tivat and its charming surrounding will match your expectations in terms of entertainment, beauty, health, education, food and banking.
This combination of historic grandeur with modern developments such as Porto Montenegro offers an incredibly rich residential experience. However, as part of our portfolio, we also offer some key off-market properties in different areas of the country which are aimed at experienced investors looking for both mid and long-term investments.
Tell us about your rental management and your project management.
Ten years ago we launched this service in the area of Tivat. We call this a ‘long-term rentals service’, which strangely did not exist previously! Tivat was a very small town with a military harbour that has now become a luxury mega-yachts marina.
This continued evolution today attracts superyacht owners who naturally have a higher rate of enquiries for rentals. Approximately 90% of tenants are from abroad, and as expatriates, they now give Montenegro an incredibly varied financial landscape.
We assure our property buyers who are investing To Let that they can be hands-off while we are hands-on. We take care of all the management of the rental properties for those looking for an investment, right down to construction. We monitor the project with professionals from the ground up, and we remain the main point of contact throughout, to make the whole experience run smoothly.
Leila Calic of Resido Montenegro