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4-23-12 Snell Real Estate Changes Hands

The Largest Real Estate Firm by Dollar Volume in Los Cabos Takes on New Leadership as Snell Steps Down


(First Published in the Gringo Gazette April 23, 2012.  Written by Bill Jerome Holme.)

There has been some reorganization at Snell Real Estate. At the end of March, life partners, and now business partners, Vanessa Fukunaga and Dieter Esch became the major stockholders of Snell Real Estate with 50.1 per cent of the shares. Chris Snell remains on the board with 25 per cent and 24.99 per cent of the rest of the shareholders consist of Snell sales agents who were given the option to buy in. These include: Robin Hamilton, Andrew Lemke, Troy Swanzy, Julie Swanzy, and Janet Jensen.

Fukunaga holds the position of president and CEO and comes to us from Park City, Utah where she worked in global travel management. She worked as senior director, traveling and vetting 150 countries: setting up group and business travel events generating $28 billion in sales. She plans on extending that experience to Snell and taking Snell global. Her first commitment is to overhaul the website, using more sophisticated digital marketing tools. She is also going to encourage developers to give more product. She says the developer needs to have model homes on the lots, but she also envisions the potential buyer being able to digitally design their custom built house, opening up the global capacity and being able to shop for a home in Cabo from anywhere in the world.

She also wants to create a new market niche. She says the golfing, fishing and ocean are great draws, but what she would like to see is using the fashion and entertainment industry in marketing Los Cabos. She says this could be the next South Beach what with its proximity to California, and now with the convention center, and theater presentations at the new Cultural Pavilion, and more direct flights than ever before, she believes we should be attracting the fashion and entertainment industry, promoting growth in this area, and hopefully increasing homeowner values here.

That is where Fukunaga’s life partner, and now the chairman of the Snell Board, Dieter Esch comes in. Esch is still a director of the board of Wilhelmina International Modeling Agency and has over 21 years in the model management and artist management businesses. Esch is a big fan of Los Cabos and has been coming here since 1988.

Fukunaga is cleaning house and getting Snell ready for some big changes. She is adding the women’s touch according to Randy Thompson, Snell sales agent. She will be overhauling not only their global marketing strategies, but paying attention to the details – like having orchids in the office, supporting the local artists by displaying their art in the sales offices, and being more people oriented.  Fukunaga says she feels privileged to be here. She has visited and lived in many places and feels that Los Cabos has great potential, which she feels is largely due to the wonderful reception by the people who have received her here. She finds there is a lot of good will, good faith and good people. She knows that she has not just changed jobs but taken a bigger step in not only her own life but investing in the future of Los Cabos. The Gringo Gazette welcomes Ms. Fukunaga. She can be found in the Palmilla Store offices. Contact Vanessa@snellrealestate.com or her very helpful marketing director, Kylee Broughton, at kylee@snellrealestate.com.