Interview with Frédéric Cockenpot, Founder and CEO of WhereInRio
The ultimate goal at WhereInRio is to provide complete satisfaction and to meet the needs of their high-end clients. This is why WhereInRio is this year’s winner of Luxury Lifestyle Awards in the category of Best Luxury Real Estate Brokerage in Brazil 2021. We spoke with Frédéric Cockenpot, Founder and CEO of WhereInRio about his company’s journey and the successes that have allowed him to expand globally.
Luxury Lifestyle Awards: Please, give us an introduction about yourself. What was your position before you founded WhereInRio?
Frédéric Cockenpot: I’m originally from Belgium, where I graduated from the icHEC Brussels Management School. Since I launched my first business in 2001, I gained experience in the luxury property market in Europe before spotting a gap in the market in Rio de Janeiro and relocating in 2007.
LLA: Tell us about your journey as founder of the company from when you started it up until now?
Frédéric Cockenpot: I launched WhereInRio in 2009 using a specific work model based upon the values of high service, innovation, transparency, and accountability. Familiar with Rio de Janeiro for over 20 years, I combine all the necessary skills as well as knowledge of the specificities of the Brazilian market with European experience and standards.
LLA: What sectors of the property market did WhereInRio explore before the portfolio grew in Brazil, and did these other sectors make any noticeable impact on the company?
Frédéric Cockenpot: WhereInRio spotted, at first, a very real need in the Rio rentals market for a lettings agency, which could offer international-standard services, not just for guests but also for owners. Since then, WhereInRio has been offering valuable assistance and advice specifically for prospective foreign property investors who were cautious to invest in a relatively unknown but lucrative market and of course to the 1000’s of guests who have rented their properties over the years.
LLA: How would you describe the little-known premium property market of Rio de Janeiro before you started WhereInRio?
Frédéric Cockenpot: The property market in Rio de Janeiro is extremely opaque and prices and quality of estates vary strongly. For prospective buyers who are looking to invest in a property in the lucrative Brazilian market, WhereInRio offers an end to end search and purchase service. The Service includes step-by-step advice on the technicalities of purchasing a property. But like everywhere, location has everything to do with prices within Rio.
LLA: Who or what was your inspiration behind WhereInRio?
Frédéric Cockenpot: WhereInRio specializes in the rental, sale, and full management of the finest luxury property available in Rio de Janerio and throughout select destinations in Brazil. WhereInRio also offers legal advice, a 24-hour concierge and even a relocations service alongside their lettings and full service property management. Our client base has grown to include sophisticated Brazilian property owners and guests as well as our base of international clients.
LLA: How do you accomplish such a high-ranking level of service at WhereInRio? Your company is highly reputable.
Frédéric Cockenpot: By maintaining the initial brand values of transparency, trust, and exceptional service. The first feature, which sets WhereInRio apart from its competitors is an international service outlook and vision in a South American market. The second distinguishing feature is WhereInRio’s commitment to property management. Thirdly, for prospective buyers who are looking to invest in a property in the lucrative Brazilian market, WhereInRio offers an end-to-end search and purchase service. The final distinguishing feature is WhereInRio’s international network of property partners who provide us with an exclusive avenue to the finest, hard to access rental properties on the market.
LLA: What modifications and developments in the luxury Brazilian property market have you witnessed in recent years?
Frédéric Cockenpot: The Covid Pandemic altered people’s perception of real estate investment. Three major reasons made investments in luxury real estate stand out; the need for more space at home, closed borders, the impossibility of traveling and falling interest rates. Sales in 2020 grew by nearly 230% over 2019; in 2021, the expansion in the first quarter was 247% compared to the same period in 2020. Interest remains heated, but business sense is already starting to reoccupy its usual place in the millionaires’ purchasing decision. They say they want the big house! But, above all, they want to make a profitable patrimonial business.
LLA: What projections do you see for the company’s development, and do you have any exciting plans set out for the future?
Frédéric Cockenpot: WhereInRio’s property portfolio is growing from early days managing a few select luxury properties in Rio alone to a portfolio of hundreds of properties now in Brazil. The company’s development is worldwide now due to high demand of our clients for excellency abroad. Soon we will launch our new platform.
LLA: Lastly, how do you feel about winning a Luxury Lifestyle Award in the category of Best Luxury Real Estate Brokerage in Brazil 2021?
Frédéric Cockenpot: Wining is so inspiring. It’s a great recognition of the work my team and I do as agency in exclusive high-end real estate market in Brazil. I’m really proud, and grateful to Luxury Lifestyle Award for recognizing the amazing work that all my team does. There’s a lot of hard work, hours and time that gets put into delivering the types of jobs and projects that we do.