Helping Expats in Mexico to Acclimate, Enjoy, Thrive

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Gringo Furniture Expat Blog Audrey International

Mexico is a beautiful country with oh sooo much to offer to the eco-traveler, the gourmand, the investor, the artist, the history buff, the entrepreneur. Americans and Canadians flock to Mexico for the climate, the pace of life, the opportunities. Expats buy Mexican homes, soak up the culture, set up investment rental properties, open new businesses. One of the things that can get in the way of enjoying Mexico from day one can be fear. Audrey Royem knows this. She has set up a wonderful company to assist expats in Mexico. Based in Sayulita, Nayarit and serving Banderas Bay as well as other areas of Mexico, Audrey International takes the fear off the table for expats. The company helps expats acclimate, enjoy, navigate legal, governmental and business systems ... and thrive in Mexico. Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Audrey Royem. I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I did. My questions and her answers follow.

I was so impressed when I found out your work involved assisting expats in Mexico. How did you decide to focus on that?

After getting my Master’s of International Affairs from Columbia University, I moved to Mexico and noticed that foreigners were lost in a sea of misinformation. They were confused about obtaining immigration papers, proper vehicle registration, training their employees and legal ownership of desired properties. I found this as an opportunity to provide a service and apply my education to those in need.

What unique skills and experience help you in your work with expats in Mexico?

I listen to the needs of my clients. I realize that each client’s needs are different, and so it is important to meet their needs individually. Foreigners need to know who to trust. I am a qualified professional whom my clients can trust for reliable information and services.

Do you find that expats in Mexico have unique characteristics or requirements of you?

Foreigners want the most out of their experience but can be naïve and misinformed of differences existing in Mexico. It is my job to educate and represent my clients by bridging the gap between foreign expectations and local legalities. I assist clients so they can make rational decisions that help them achieve their goals in Mexico.

How does your company assist expats?

Audrey International provides personalized assistance and facilitation for foreigners through the legal, financial, social and cultural differences confronted when moving to and investing in Mexico. I assist them through the integration process which at times can be overwhelming. Common services relate to immigration, securing properties, vehicle importation, business analysis, employee issues, translation, tax information, health care, and property management, among others.

A personal consultation with the client establishes their needs and goals in Mexico. Based on this information, I propose the type of work that is needed, consultations with other professionals if necessary, and then work with the client each step of the way so they understand the process and information received.

Have you felt that people have been more cautious about moving to Mexico in recent years?

I certainly believe that the financial situation in the United States has created a large shift in expats intentions in Mexico. Many expats, including baby boomers, younger generations and families are locating to Mexico in search of a “better way of life.” Established expat communities, top quality medical care, affordable housing, fresh food and warm weather are just a few of the reasons that expats are seeking Mexico, not to mention its proximity to the US.

Furthermore, the real estate market is coming out of a lull that mirrored that in the US and there are a number of potential markets that make this a great place to invest. Surprisingly security issues have had a limited impact on foreigners moving to Mexico. A lot of the violence portrayed in the news is focused in certain areas, not necessarily here. Mexico had the most tourists this year as well. Mexico’s desirability has and will continue to stay strong.

Who is your ideal client?

My ideal client realizes that I can help them enjoy their time and maximize their assets by taking care of details, consulting with the right people and having the right information.

What is Banderas Bay? Doesn’t it mean “flag”?

Banderas Bay does mean flag. The bay straddles the states of Jalisco and Nayarit and is the largest natural bay in Mexico, with Puerto Vallarta in the center and lovely beach towns on either side. Each year a variety of whale, bird and sea turtles migrate to the bay to give birth. The bay is surrounded by lush mountain peaks and has two main seasons, dry and rainy.

Any words of advice for someone who wants to move to Mexico, or buy rental property there?

It is important for people to remember that they are not in their home country any more. Mexico has a long and proud history which has formed the way they operate and think. Patience and acceptance of a different way of life will also help expats embrace the beauty of the people and culture.

Property can be a great investment in Mexico as long as you know what you are getting into. Real estate law is completely different in Mexico and I have seen many people get taken advantage of because they didn’t get proper counsel. It is paramount to have someone who can orient you and make sure you are making educated situations.

"My goal is to empower foreigners who desire to invest, move and integrate to Mexico by providing accurate and timely services and information across the Legal, Social, Financial and Cultural complexities." ~~ Audrey Royem


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