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Eric Partney: A property pro pioneer in the Centro

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Veronica Garibayhttp://yucatanmagazine.com
Verónica Garibay Saldaña is a Mexican columnist, communications major, and poetry enthusiast. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.

Even before he came here in the mid-2000s, Eric Partney traces his experience as a broker back to his youth. He laughs thinking about how long he’s been in the business.

“What did I do before real estate?” says Eric. “High school.”

Eric Partney in one of the properties he sold. Photo: Courtesy

He started his property-selling journey back in the US. After a very successful run, he sold his Atlanta real estate company in 1995 and decided to take a year off.

“Our intention was to travel — and that we did — but we never thought that would make us move to a new city, let alone a new country. But we found we really liked being in México, and we first tried our luck in San Miguel de Allende. After a couple of years there, we were ready for a different Mexican city.”

A property in downtown Mérida sold by Eric Partney. Photo: Courtesy

Eric and his partner arrived in Mérida in 2004. They chose it, aside from the charm of old Mérida, because of the reduced expat community living in the city, which they saw as extra encouragement for learning Spanish.

“We really committed to becoming fluent. Five hours a week for five years. We wanted to experience life here, and we knew that in order to do so we had to learn español.”

Many of the properties Eric sells are remodeled Centro homes. Photo: Courtesy

Eric says that back in 2004, Mérida’s Centro was still asleep. Hardly any traffic lights were found or even traffic and crowds. That also meant that homes for rent were scarce and renovated or modern homes for rent were practically non-existent.

“We got started with the business of buying and remodeling. We never even dreamed the market would grow as much as it has. So far we’ve lived in and renovated five properties, and have remodeled and sold many more.”

Modern details on a property sold by Eric Partney. Photo: Courtesy

Eric took advantage of his expertise when he arrived in the state.

“Lots of buyers — both from the US and Mexico — feel that they can trust my background. That created lots of referrals and eventually, I had more buyers than sellers. Becoming specialized in what I do means understanding and helping people. I could never be pushy — I share the facts and they make their own decisions.”

Even though he mainly operates in Yucatán, he still holds an active Texas Real Estate Broker’s license — a great credential for anyone looking for an experienced agent.

One of Eric Partney’s renovations in Mérida. Photo: Courtesy

Today, and for as long as he has lived in Mérida, Eric has worked with Mexico International Real Estate. The company was founded by Mitch Keenan, and it was one of the first real estate companies in Mérida handling expat clients, as well as doing anything in the Centro.

“When we arrived, people were looking all over. Nobody knew anything about the city. I sold properties in the north and south of Mérida, at the beach, even haciendas. But today I work almost exclusively at Centro. I’ve gotten to know the area so well I’ve sold some of these houses three times over the years.”

Outdoor space in Centro property, a valued asset in the newcomers market. Photo: Courtesy

Eric says that even after all his experience, he still greatly enjoys the real estate market. He continues selling properties he enjoys for fun, and is even known around the business as a “Realtor for the stars.”

“Back in the US, I specialized in modern architectural homes. I have a long background in design because I genuinely enjoy it. So I enjoy finding nice homes for nice clients. I’ve had the chance of meeting families from all over the country and matching them with houses from 50,000 dollars to over 1 million dollars. I don’t think anyone could say that’s not a thrilling adventure.”

Learn more about Eric Partney at Mexico International.

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