Guifré Homedes Amat, General Manager of Amat Immobiliaris.
What does Amat Immobiliaris do?
Amat Immobiliaris is a real estate services company that specializes in residential property. We are proud of our almost 75 years of experience in the market in Barcelona and its surroundings.
When was the company founded and when did you start working there?
The company was founded by my grandfather Joan Amat in 1948. He died at a young age, so my grandmother (Concepció Amigó) took over the management of the company. The second generation, my mother (Imma Amat) and my aunt (Joana Amat), developed the company considerably and have developed a reputation as leading lights in the real estate sector.
I am a member of the third generation of the family and I joined the company in 2010, at a time of severe crisis for the sector. I have been General Manger since 2018.
What do you like most about your job?
Every company makes an impact on society: on its own team and their families, its customers, and its environment. The most rewarding thing is to try to make this impact as positive as possible.
And the least?
The fact that entrepreneurship is so poorly valued in many social and political spheres. As in any area of life, there are good and bad entrepreneurs, but entrepreneurs and their companies have always played a fundamental role in the development and progress of our society and will continue to do so in the future.
What do you think your company excels at?
We have always been very critical of our sector, which can be opaque, opportunistic, and unprofessional. For this reason, we aim to be transparent, honest and professional.
What is your main challenge?
Like any company, our challenge is to evolve and adapt our services to an environment that is constantly changing. There are two areas in which the sector needs to evolve: energy efficiency in buildings and affordable rental properties.
Where is your business located? Do you know why this location was chosen?
Our corporate headquarters in Barcelona is at the point where Via Augusta meets Avinguda Diagonal. It is a very central location that connects three key neighborhoods: the Eixample, the Zona Alta, and Gràcia.
What do you like most about the neighborhood where you work?
The fact that it is quite a neutral location. It is very representative of the city, but not linked to any specific neighborhood.
How important is Barcelona for your company?
Our history is intertwined with the history of Barcelona. By its very nature, real estate is closely linked the way in which a city develops and takes shape. The sector plays a key role in the direction of the city.
With which city would you compare Barcelona?
Comparisons are always odious. Barcelona can be compared with any European city that is dynamic and undertakes local changes that other cities around the world can learn from.
What form of urban model should Barcelona adopt?
Each city should retain its own character. With globalization, cities risk becoming very similar. As I said before, we should learn from other cities that are ahead of us in certain areas and apply the lessons to Barcelona, but we should always be conscious of what makes us unique.
What good practices from other cities would you like Barcelona to adopt?
Barcelona has to recover the consensus and public-private partnerships that it had in the past and which helped transform the city at the time. Internationally, I would look at what the cities who have attracted talent are doing and adapt their approaches to our reality and characteristics.
What do you ask of the Barcelona of the future?
I would like all the main actors in the city to be generous so we can reach a broad consensus on a clear and exciting direction. This would enable Barcelona to become a leading city that is also socially cohesive. Transformation and cohesion must go hand in hand when facing the challenges of the future.