ISRAEL-REALESTATE was founded by Tal Re’em Shtekler, an Israeli lawyer and real estate agent with over 20 years’ experience in the Israeli real estate market. Shtekler grew up in New York and returned to Israel in 1991 for law school. She practiced law until founding her one-stop real estate business.
ISRAEL-REALESTATE specializes in helping people around the world to buy, sell, rent and manage property in Israel. The Jewish Link met with Shtekler and discussed her property business.
What motivated you to help international clients enter the property market?
“When close friends decided to purchase a home in Israel while living abroad, I saw how difficult it was. They did not know the language, the communities, the real purchasing price and, most importantly, they did not know whom to trust.
“I decided then that I would be that person who represents international clientele, making sure that they make the best transactions and that no one takes advantage of them. I built the company with a mission to make it easy for people living around the world to own property in Israel knowing that someone is on their side—while hoping to bring hearts closer to Israel.”
How does it actually work when your clients are overseas?
“We represent our clients as buyers’ agents, collaborating with other agents. “The process starts when our clients are still overseas. We first understand their requirements regarding the home that they desire. That includes budget, location and community they prefer, taking into consideration their specific needs.
“Secondly, we do all the legwork, searching for the right properties and sending the clients detailed information, pictures and videos of each property.
“We discuss the options, helping our clients narrow down the possibilities. Sometimes they send a friend or a relative from Israel to see a property on their behalf. Otherwise they make the transaction after understanding the exact details of the property. We help them negotiate and close a deal, even before they set foot in Israel.
“If they can come to Israel, we make the appointments to see the relevant properties in advance, clearing our schedule so that we can show them more properties as needed on the go. Most times, our clients easily close a deal in a few days since we have worked with them and prepared the properties ahead of time. This way we save our clients time, money and energy.”
What is unique about the service that you provide?
“Our clients know that we are on their side. We are transparent and we will always tell them the whole truth. For example, if a new building is going up which will eventually block the view, or if there is a leak in an apartment, if the street is too noisy, our integrity comes first. We make sure that our clients will not pay exorbitant and unnecessary fees.
“We are available. We are there for our clients with whatever they need whenever they need it.
“We also provide all the professionals and services needed for a successful real estate transaction and property management, all under one roof including property management.”
How has COVID and growing antisemitism affected your business?
“There are many inquiries regarding purchasing a home even now with COVID. Obviously, many people would prefer to start the process when restrictions to enter Israel are lifted. There are still those who prefer to buy a home now even without coming to Israel since they understand the market situation in Israel.”
Has COVID affected property values in Israel?
“Israeli housing prices have been on the rise for years. This is especially true for the COVID period. According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), in the past year the price of dwellings increased on average by 7.7 %, while the prices of new properties increased by 9.2%. In fact, in the past 10 years the average dwelling price increased by almost 60% and prices are expected to keep on rising.
“Anyone thinking that one day they might make the move, this is the time to buy to save money on the purchase. The rental prices are rising and properties for rental are scarce, so you can expect that the property will be rented.
“There is a shortage in properties. Building starts are slowed due to COVID and it takes years to initiate projects. The mortgage rates have been lowered, the high purchasing tax rate for second-time homeowners has been decreased, and investors are back in the market.
“Purchasing a home in Israel is a great investment.”
Just one example of how Shtekler has been operating despite COVID is this testimonial from a customer in New York, who recently bought seaside apartment with Tal’s help:
“Tal was a real pleasure to work with. Despite not being able to visit Israel because of the pandemic, she enabled us to confidently purchase an apartment through numerous photos and narrative videos. We were able to tour every detail of the apartment and truly compare one over another. She also provided photos and videos of the lobby, elevator, machsan, parking, exterior of the buildings and surrounding areas so we gained a true feel for the neighborhood. Initially, friends and family thought we were crazy for buying this way, but after viewing the photos and videos and seeing how comprehensive our research with Tal was, they are so impressed—and jealous!”
Tell us about the project that you are involved with in Jerusalem. Where else do you work?
“We offer properties all over the country. But there is one property In Jerusalem that truly stands out. It’s an exclusive new building built to a high standard located in the heart of Jerusalem near the Jerusalem market (the “Shuk”).
“The apartments are ready to move into as opposed to apartments sold on paper, so you know exactly what you are getting.
There is a doorman, a pool, a gym, and every apartment comes with a storage room and parking. The apartments are very spacious. For example, a two-bedroom apartment is between 1,200-1,400 square feet, while a three-bedroom apartment can reach 1,560 square feet.
“The ceilings are much higher than usual. The windows are larger than normal. The blinds are electric, and each apartment comes with an exclusive VRF air conditioning system. There is also an underfloor heating system—perfect for Jerusalem winters—and the floor tiles are large and modern. Each apartment comes with three toilets, a shower and a bathtub, as well as with a sun balcony that is suitable for a sukkah.
“Most of our clients are interested in cities such as Tel Aviv, Ra’anana, Netanya and Jerusalem. We provide service in other locations in Israel according to our clients’ needs.”
If you are looking to get into the Israeli property market, contact Tal now!