Happy 25th Anniversary, the settlement company®, and Thank You, Linda Neil



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By Susan Fogel

Real Estate in Mexico and especially in Baja California Sur has come a long way since the turn of the millennium. One woman can be credited with being the catalyst for this change. Real estate writer, educator and 40-year veteran of real estate practice in two countries, Linda Neil is that woman.

Linda’s first exposure to real estate was conducting real estate bus tours in the San Francisco Bay Area and later working with her first husband, Peter Neil, in development in California.

From California, the Neils moved to Uruapan in Michoacán where their two daughters were born. The couple opened the first real estate company in Michoacán. After Peter’s death, Linda returned with her daughters to California, where she opened a real estate brokerage.

The magic of Mexico never lost its place in Linda’s heart and she returned to Mexico.

In 1991 Linda, established the first U.S. style title and escrow company in Mexico, the settlement company®. The industry did not have a neutral third party depository for buyer and seller documents and funds.

Linda reflected on the “old days”, “In those days, sales contracts were literally being written on the back of cocktail napkins. Many agents did not know the elements of a contract. Buyers feel more confident now being able to deposit funds in an escrow account.”

The company introduced the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) concept to the Baja Peninsula and to Mexico. Using Yardi Systems programs, listings were available online and a monthly hard copy MLS book was produced and distributed.

Today the BCS/MLS is identical to the systems used in the US.

In 1994, Linda introduced the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (AMPI) to Los Cabos. And in the first part of the new century she founded the La Paz chapter of AMPI. She and her husband, John Glaab, hold the title of Consejero Emeritus with the La Paz chapter.

Since then, she has served three, two-year terms on AMPI’s National Advisory Board, and has headed up its International Commission. She was appointed to a three-year term as the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Presidential Liaison to Mexico. Twice each year, the liaisons from the 60 associations affiliated with NAR meet to report on market activities and share information. Linda’s work with NAR resulted in a historic agreement where all members of AMPI are members of NAR’s International group. La Paz attorney, Jose Luis Gaytan, Regional Coordinator and past president of AMPI La Paz had this to say, “Linda Neil has been a remarkable representative of AMPI throughout Mexico and North America, the results of her efforts have guided and elevated real estate practice in our state of Baja California Sur.”

Linda has been a passionate pioneer in real estate education in Mexico. In the early years of her company, she conducted three seminars annually. One for new agents, that included updates on any changes in the law, one for the general public, and one for members.

Linda has earned several accreditations, and is certified to teach classes for NAR and the Real Estate Negotiation Institute of Arizona. Linda is co-author of the NAR course, “Doing Business in Mexico” which she has edited and re-written as “Mexico A to Z.” As well, she has had speaking engagements in all three North American countries.

Jeffrey Hornberger, Executive Vice President of The Women’s Council of Realtors and former Director of Global Business Alliances at NAR said, ¨I have worked in organized Mexico real estate since 2000.  Industry players come and go, but the settlement company® stays.  Linda Neil has worked tirelessly to educate thousands of Realtors on Mexico real estate. She is a globally recognized speaker and trusted industry expert, and has volunteered tirelessly her time and expertise to organizations such as NAR and AMPI.  Congratulations on 25 years, and being such an integral part of the international real estate market.”

During her years in BCS, Linda has been a wealth of knowledge and source of inspiration for many real estate agents.

“Linda was one of the founding members of AMPI La Paz, and presented many educational courses to help raise the professionalism of local real estate agents. Happy Anniversary to the settlement company®. Thank you, Linda,” so says Gordon Herpst, broker of Omni Services on the malecon of La Paz, one of the longest lived real estate companies in La Paz.

Because she worked tirelessly for AMPI and to cement relations with all three countries of North America, Linda and her husband were awarded, in 2012, the first International Realtor of the Year award by NAR.

The Energizer Bunny could take a lesson from Linda. Along with three other Mexican real estate agents, she has founded the Global Mexico Real Estate Institute, which is focused on international real estate education.

And in 2015, the by-invitation-only American Real Estate Association (AREA) has extended their hand to Linda. This is an elite group of the top 400 most influential members of NAR.

Most importantly, Linda has profoundly affected the workings of real estate in La Paz, and has inspired many young people to enter real estate.

Victor Granados, broker of South Baja Realtors and present president of AMPI La Paz sums it up like this, “Happy Anniversary Linda, and mil gracias. You were one of the people that encouraged me to make a career in real estate. I consider you my mentor. I look forward to many more years working with you in our chosen field.”

Retirement does not seem imminent for Linda Neil. We look forward to your next projects.

 

Here’s what some of the real estate women of La Paz have to say about Linda Neil.

 

Anabelle Rossell, Co-Broker, La Paz Bay Real Estate and Rentals

“Eleven years ago I attended my first AMPI La Paz meeting. I remember sitting at the end of the table and just at the head of it a lady dressed in vibrant Mexican colors smiled and welcomed me who later introduced herself as Linda Neil. Linda is such a strong woman who´s always shared a smile with a perfect stranger, a kind comment for a friend and her invaluable wisdom and knowledge with colleague. Her presence and her daily passion for what she does and how she embraces Mexican culture are constant empowerment to any woman in this industry. Felicidades, Linda!”

 

Annie Espinoza, Sales Associate, Diamante and Associates

Muchas felicidades hoy y siempre. Thank you, Linda for your ongoing efforts providing real estate education for all of those that want to achieve more. Big hugs and GO   FURTHER!”

 

Marina Sharayeva, Global Real Estate

“Linda Neil inspires me because she always helps other people, because of her smile and because of her quiet, calm demeanor. Linda’s wisdom, and advice have helped me be a confident real estate agent. She is truly intelligent and hardworking woman. Happy Anniversary, Linda!”

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