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INDUSTRY TODAY 75
HABITARE • PROFILE
APITAL OF THE STATE OF MINAS GERAIS,
Belo Horizonte is the third largest city in Brazil,
and within Belo Horizonte, Habitare is the largest
developer and constructor of residential buildings
for an expanding niche: the city’s upper middle
class. Interestingly, when the company was founded in 1977, it
wasn’t in the business of constructing buildings at all, but
administering them. After a few years, Habitare expanded into
buying and selling real estate before, quite naturally, taking the
next step: branching out into small-scale construction. In 1986,
the company initiated work upon its first building. No sooner
had it been completed than it embarked upon a second, and then
a third.
Habitare maintained this one-at-a-time rhythm for several
years before deciding to pick up the pace by diving headfirst into
construction. With this aim, it began purchasing plots of land in
new and upcoming neighborhoods such as Buritis, an expand-
ing bairro where it first began developing in 1990. “We negoti-
ated to buy several lots, and this allowed us to start building in
larger volumes,” recalls Habitare’s president Sebastião Sidney
Soares. “As a result, we were able to start planning some major
developments. From the outset, our products were very well
accepted and we began acquiring a reputation for ourselves.”
PAYMENT AND PROFIT STRATEGIES
Early on, Habitare differentiated itself in the marketplace by sell-
ing apartment units during buildings’ planning and construction
stages as opposed to after their completion. “This was a major
advantage for customers because it gave them a longer deadline,
allowing them to stretch out their payments over time into smaller
installments,” says Soares. “Meanwhile, the advantage for us was
that we had access to a much broader universe of consumers.”
Today the company – which offers its own financing while
working as a representative for various banks, including the fed-
eral government’s Caixa Econômica that has its own funding
programs for prospective homeowners – offers 120-month
ONE OF THE LARGEST REAL ESTATE
DEVELOPERS IN THE BRAZILIAN
STATE OF MINAS GERAIS,
HABITARE HAS SPENT THE LAST 30
YEARS MAKING ITS CAPITAL, BELO
HORIZONTE, A MORE HABITABLE
PLACE. IN EXPLAINING THE
COMPANY’S SUCCESS, PRESIDENT
SEBASTIÃO SIDNEY SOARES
HAMMERED HOME TO MICHAEL
SOMMERS THE IMPORTANCE OF
OFFERING CUSTOMERS TOP QUALITY
ALONG WITH AFFORDABLE PRICES
AND FLEXIBLE PAYMENT OPTIONS.