Five Questions With: Joe Luca

As the chairperson of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors Global Committee, radio show host and real estate agent Joe Luca leads a local group that attends international conferences to introduce the Ocean State to investors, property developers and industry colleagues from across the globe. As part of that effort, Luca and others from the committee will operate an exhibit on Rhode Island at the three-day C5 Summit 2022 held in mid-August at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Luca, an associate broker for RE/MAX Preferred and host of the “Joe Luca Real Estate Show” on WNRI 99.9 FM, and his committee also work to educate association members on buying and selling property in other countries.

PBN: Soon you’ll be going to New York City to represent Rhode Island real estate. What is this C5 Summit going to be like and what type of information will be shared there?

LUCA: This conference is a great opportunity for the R.I. Association of Realtors to literally, and figuratively, put Rhode Island on the map of investors and developers across the U.S. and around the world.

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When looking at a map of the U.S., you have to squint to really see “Little Rhody,” and if you aren’t looking for our state, you may never notice it. Our aim is to make our national and global audience aware of Rhode Island. We will have information about our great transportation options: rail; air – Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport and Quonset State Airport; marine – great deep-water port; and our highway network for surface transportation.

This provides companies that locate in Rhode Island with options for distribution of products. Additionally, we will have information on specific opportunities that our members have provided to us – to share with potential outside investors.

PBN: How do international real estate investors view Rhode Island real estate?

LUCA: The business model for global real estate investors is very different than those who are stateside because they see the benefit of our real estate title laws; the strength of our economy – compared to elsewhere on the globe; our workforce; and the access to graduates of the top universities in the world within a short drive of an hour or so. Plus, the cost to locate a business in Rhode Island is less costly than in Massachusetts, Connecticut or New York.

PBN: How did you get involved in the subject of investing in property located in different countries, and what has your experience been like?

LUCA: While I have not personally invested in other countries, we have partners and clients that have done so, and the experience can be rewarding and fruitful. However, missteps can be costly, and what we as Realtors do is guide our clients so that they do not make mistakes, which could increase the time and capital required before receiving a return on their investment.

PBN: Why should other Rhode Islanders consider investing in property internationally?

LUCA: There are many different types of opportunities in the global real estate marketplace. On the residential side, there is development of new properties for sale, and the buy-and-hold rental model. On the commercial side, there may be opportunities for business owners to have distribution centers or manufacturing facilities that are more cost-effective than conducting business 100% from the states.

PBN: Can it be a drawback for Rhode Island to have its investors putting their money elsewhere? Why or why not?

LUCA: Yes, there is an element of risk to all investments. That is why it is imperative that consumers work with a Realtor who is knowledgeable about the global side of the real estate business. When working with a knowledgeable Realtor, the chance of making a misstep is greatly reduced.

Our primary objective is to entice global developers, investors and businesses to consider Rhode Island. We have many advantages over our neighboring states, and certainly many over other countries. Rhode Island is a great place for global businesses and investors; we want to increase their awareness of that fact.

Marc Larocque is a PBN contributing writer.

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