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Uber Buenos Aires Redux

Uh oh…

Uber Buenos Aires ReduxAbout four months ago I wrote a blog post detailing the reasons I thought there was no Uber in Buenos Aires, especially when they were launching in other, smaller South American cities.

That post generated some heated discussion in the comments from Argentine readers who took offense with some of my reasoning and pointed out what they thought were flaws in my logic. I disagreed.

Fast forward to last week… Uber posted a job listing for a General Manager of Buenos Aires (see below). It was starting to look like I might have to eat my words.

Luckily for my logic, while there is a job post, there is no definitive word on if or when Uber will actually launch here. Also, since I first posted, we have seen the (slow) addition of 4G networks as well as continued smartphone adoption. And to further backup one of my points, it has been reported that the four major taxi companies and union leaders are already meeting to plan their strategy to block Uber from entering the country.

So, was I right or wrong? At this point, only time will tell… And just for the record, I’m rooting for Uber.

Here’s the full text of their job posting:

The City General Manager at Uber is by far the most demanding position Uber has to offer; it requires such a degree of talent, guts and leadership that the right person is difficult to find. As the leader of Uber in each city, the GM is responsible for the development and growth of our business in Buenos Aires.

The core of Uber is in the city team, led by a General Manager. They make the magic that is Uber, a reality. It’s a big deal and the qualities and capabilities required of an Uber GM mean you are an incredibly intelligent, talented and highly sought-after professional. Sound like you?

This is first and foremost a role for a strong marketer, focusing on reaching new users and extending the Uber brand to the masses. But as the city lead, you’ll also be responsible for operational excellence and maintaining ‘Uber’ quality throughout the rider’s experience. Rider and Partner support, local marketing, supply chain management, service quality management, social media, PR — all of these sit under the GM. Continual improvement and a quality focus are the name of the game. We believe in solving local problems with local solutions, so understanding your market and delivering custom messages is important. This is where creativity meets analytics head on.

And it’s the cross of the analytical with the creative that makes the Uber GM an incredibly difficult job to fill. If you’re potentially one of the truly rare, gifted Uber GMs, we want to hear from you! Make sure to include an English version of your resume to be considered!


  • Initiate creative local marketing strategies and user growth campaigns
  • Manage deployment and quality of supply chain (i.e. Uber’s driver partners)
  • Represent Uber at local events and with local PR
  • Manage local regulatory concerns and local politics
  • Communicate product/process needs to HQ, work with product/engineering to deliver on them
  • Help scale our other cities through developing and sharing best practices
  • Continue to grow REVENUES and RIDERSHIP!!!


  • 6+ years of marketing or operations management experience (not quite there? Apply for Community Manager or Operations & Logistics Manager instead!)
  • Data-driven decision mentality and sound business judgment through strong analytical thinking
  • Creative solutions driven mindset, with a *get shit done* attitude
  • Relevant experience in consumer service marketing is helpful
  • Stellar networking skills and the ability to make smart partnerships happen
  • Entrepreneurial DNA and fear tolerance of a honey-badger


  • Employees are showered with Uber credits each month.
  • Ground floor opportunity with the team; shape the strategic direction of the company.
  • The rare opportunity to change the world such that everyone around you is using the product you built. We’re not just another social web app, we’re moving real people and assets and reinventing transportation and logistics globally.
  • Sharp, motivated co-workers in a fun office environment.
  • Monthly gym reimbursement.

Full-time salary negotiable based on experience, and equity compensation plan.


Buenos Aires Contacts: Elias Kier Joffe, Argentina Real Estate Attorney

We get a lot of questions about buying real estate in Argentina, so we’re excited to bring you this overview from Elias Kier Joffe. Elias is the managing partner of one of the premier law firms in Argentina representing individuals from the U.S. and other countries in luxury, personal residential, specialty and commercial real-estate transactions.  Elias was featured in this New York Times article on Argentina’s real-estate markets for foreigners and expats, and he contributes the following overview and guide to Argentina real estate for foreign buyers.

Real Estate in Argentina – Markets, Opportunities and Issues for International Buyers

For more than 70 years, we have assisted international clients in locating and selecting their ideal properties, and helped them achieve favorable terms in negotiations.  Smooth transfer of ownership and trouble-free management of tax and regulatory issues are also key objectives.  In the past few years alone, Kier Joffe has represented internationally known clients with multimillion-dollar transactions.

Buying Property in ArgentinaOur lawyers provided a range of international real estate legal services across Argentina for clients in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Israel and other places throughout the world.  Our main role has usually been to help international buyers identify and take advantage of the values available, plan for the future, and maximize returns on their existing properties.

In this article, I give a run-down of the salient things an international buyer will want to know.

Summary of the Property Sales Process in Argentina
Before discussing some of the real-estate market conditions and opportunities in Argentina, let’s first review the sales process and the issues of property ownership integrity and security.

Minimal Transnational Purchase and Ownership Barriers
In general, purchase and ownership of property by foreigners is unrestricted and foreign individuals and companies have the same property rights as Argentinian citizens.

The only major exception to this is that government approval needs to be obtained for foreign ownership of property in the immediate area of Argentina’s national borders with neighboring countries.  There are also size limits for foreign ownership of rural lands and restrictions on ownership of major portions of larger lakes or rivers.

Though the foreign acquisition and transfer of property in Argentina is quite straightforward, for optimal outcomes, I highly recommend hiring a lawyer.  It can often be ideal if you do so before contacting an Argentinian real-estate agent.

Simple and Straightforward Process
Once you negotiate the price on the property you’re interested in, it takes about four to six weeks for deed transfer.  And if you’re not available at that time, the deed transfer can be handled for you by a trusted agent through a power of attorney.

Bureaucratic Requirements
Your passport and a CDI (Clave de Identificación) are your fundamental document needs for doing property transactions in Argentina.  (Through a power or attorney, you can arrange for someone to obtain your CDI for you.)

Sequence of Events
Once you’ve found the property you wish to purchase, the following are the typical steps leading to final title transfer:

  • Reserva – this is your initial offer, and the seller’s realtor will ask for a deposit equalling 2% of your offer price.  If it is not accepted or you do not accept any counter offer before the reserva expires (typically one week after your offer), your deposit will be returned.
  • Boleto – this is prepared by the notary, usually completed immediately after or within a week or so after the reserva process.  The boleto is is a pre-contract that sets out the specifics of the planned sale and transfer, which includes financial, encumbrance, and property boundary and build-out specifications.

Typically, 30% of the agreed price will be due to the seller at this point.  If the buyer backs out, the down payment is not refundable.  If the seller backs out, the down payment must be returned to the seller – in double.  In such a case, the buyer also has the legal right to enforce the sale.

  • Escritura – this is the closing date (typically set within a week or two, or up to a couple months, of the Boleto completion) when the formal deed transfer is made and the buyer takes possession of the property.  At this time, the balance on the agreed sum is paid in cash or by verified bank transfer.

Role of Escribano (Notary Public)
The role of a notary (escribano) is legally required for property transactions in Argentina.  The notary investigates and certifies title security, tax and mortgage history, lien issues, and property specifications.  (If the seller already has a Certificado de Dominio, this simplifies the process of title security and encumbrance investigation.)  The notary also registers ownership transfer with the government.  The notary also prepares the boleto (pre-contract) and final deed.

Foreign buyers should also use a good law firm to ensure the best terms and outcomes, and many of the firms with expertise in real estate matters will have a qualified civil law notary on staff.  (Many law firms are also now recognizing the need for a responsively efficient, cost-effective, and well-skilled multi-lingual team as real estate becomes more and more globally fluid.)

Beyond the actual purchase price, the costs you can expect will include legal fees, escribano (notary public) fees, property registration fee, stamp costs, and agents fees.  In most transactions these will total  10% or less of the purchase price.  Some of these costs may be shared with the seller, as well.  In our practice, the lawyer, notary and closing costs often make up about 3% of the sales price.

Once you become the new owner of a property in Argentina, you will also be responsible for annual property tax payments.  You tax rate will be based on factors including the sales price, the ‘valuación fiscal,’  the VIR, so take care with the advice and assistance you employ in this area.

Most properties are also subject to an annual municipal tax of about 1/2% of property value to cover garbage collection, street lighting and infrastructure maintenance.

Cautionary Note – because properties are priced, and bought and sold, in U.S. dollars, avoid unnecessarily converting your funds to Argentinian currency, because you will just have to convert it back – and you are likely to lose some value in each direction of conversion.

Argentinean Real Estate Market Overview
The real-estate market in Argentina is sometimes confusing to international buyers, sellers, developers and renters.  But when understood and handled knowledgeably, the values available in Argentina are some of the very best in the world.

If you do your own research, you’ll find that, on average, property in Buenos Aires is widely considered to be 30% undervalued, and properties throughout other parts of Argentina are seen as undervalued by 20%-30%, and more.  Like other dynamic markets, the key to the best values is “location, location, location.”

Argentina’s culture today shows a deep legacy on the surface – tango, polo, fine wines, a rich multicultural history, and a vibrantly expanding international economic sector.  It also includes rich qualities to attract the young trailblazers as well, in the vast, varied, adventurous and breathtaking natural expanses.  All of these are potential targets of a real estate search:  vineyards, polo ranches, private villas, luxury residences in Buenos Aires, spectacular Patagonian estates, mixed-use developments, etc.

There is much more to be found and experienced by digging beyond this vibrant surface patina.  A good law firm or other native advisor will always discuss all potential avenues with a potential buyer.

The goal is to make the potential buyer aware of all the options, opportunities and drawbacks to choose from; and to learn as much as possible about the potential buyer’s interests and situation.  Only in this way, can the communication lead to the best outcomes, and often discover possibilities that forge a new way that no one had anticipated.

Regional Overview
Buenos Aires is sometimes compared to 1920’s Paris and to modern-day New York City, with a native beauty and cultural vibe undeniably of its own.  Currently, there are many North America, British, Italian and French buyers, and word has been spreading.

But it goes far beyond just Buenos Aires, depending on your personal orientation or business focus.

From Patagonia, one of the few places on earth where glaciers still calve into the ocean, to the wine country of Catamarca at the foot of the Andes mountain range, to the stunning, nearly virginal areas with population densities from a few to less than one inhabitant per square kilometer, visionary people from all over the world, including but not limited to American media moguls, world reckoned international CEOs, and forward-looking adventurous types of all stripes, are drawn by the exceptional and varied beauty and largely undiscovered economic values still to be found.

With the ongoing growth of tourism and high occupancy in luxury hotels and other short-term rentals for tourists, the opportunities there are strong, too.

Many have seen the potential for a vibrant and exciting overseas property investment in Argentina.  Most who have succeeded in their quest credit the choice to engage a team of well-chosen knowledgeable, insightful and hard-working local assistants.  This is very important – choose your guidance and service providers with care.

Buenos Aires Real Estate Attorney



Bouchard Plaza Building
Bouchard 557/599 – Floor 20
Buenos Aires, Argentina (C1106ABG)
USA: +(1) 212.300.6377
ARG: +(54) 115.218.3100


Residence Club of Argentina – A Great Way To Vacation

Palermo Tower, Buenos AiresA good friend of ours, Eddie Rubio, recently launched his latest project in Argentina – Residence Club of Argentina.

The Residence Club of Argentina (RCA) is a multi-location equity residence club, which basically means you can buy into their three amazing Argentina locations at a fraction of the cost of owning property and with much less of the headache. Joining RCA means that you’ll get 45 guaranteed days per year with the option to add more based on availability. And, their locations are very high-end , including:

Auberge du Vin, MendozaYou couldn’t ask for better locations in Argentina than these three, plus you’ll also get your own club concierge, pre-arrival provisioning service, housekeeping, bell service and private RCA staff. You can also exchange your lodging privileges with other residence club members through the Elite Alliance exchange program.

As the project has just launched, they are currently offering Founders Pricing opportunities for $49,500 with financing available. The other great thing is that you can handle the transaction completely in the United States which means no dealing with the hassle of getting money into Argentina. If you’re interested in more information, please send an email to [email protected].

Arelauquen Lodge BarilocheHere’s their own quick intro text:

The Residence Club of Argentina, offered by highly acclaimed P Hotels, is a new and amazing wine, sports and cultural society that brings together like-minded people seeking life-enriching experiences in one of the world’s most alluring countries.

Imagine days and nights spent discovering the myriad attractions in vibrant Buenos Aires, the “Paris of South America” and home of the tango. Revel in the vineyard lifestyle, exceptional wines, diverse recreation, and beauty of Mendoza. Skiers, golfers, fishermen, bikers, hunters and equestrians will find their paradise in stunning Bariloche. RCA members are also members of exclusive golf, polo and wine clubs. You can escape North America’s winter in any or all of these destinations during Argentina’s summer. Or carve your way down 3,700 vertical feet at Cerro Catedral — South America’s largest and most famous ski resort – in July!

The meticulously designed and elegantly appointed Club accommodations, which are owned by our members, serve as your headquarters for limitless adventures in each magnificent location, with more planned for the future. Your Club staff assures that every vacation is seamless and worry-free. If you would like to explore beyond Argentina, RCA has been selected to participate in the exclusive Elite Alliance exchange program (, which is your passport to other premium destinations around the world.

Argentina is a country of remarkable beauty, warm hospitality, life-changing experiences, exceptional food, outstanding wine, and amazing value. These attributes are also the hallmarks of The Residence Club of Argentina. There is no other club like it in the world – at any price.

We suggest you take a look…


Co-Working Buenos Aires at “The Office”

Just wanted to let everyone know about a new co-working space called The Office that a friend of ours is opening in Palermo Hollywood this month.

The Office is an upscale, professional, collaborative work space for individuals, freelancers and small business owners. They have created a co-working environment with the latest technology and infrastructure available to all members, offering an efficient alternative to traditional office space. It’s a pretty cool space and will have a great vibe of tech people, local business people and many more. They plan to also have a wide variety of networking events and business gatherings.

As they’re getting ready to open at the end of the month, they are running a promotion on their website where they’re giving away  one 6-month membership, two 3-month memberships, and three 1-month memberships. You can enter the contest at

There’s also an opening cocktail party with drinks and hors d’oeuvres on August 24, 2012, from 7pm – 9pm and they wanted to invite the BA expat community to come down and check out the new space. You can RSVP for this on their Facebook page. (Please note that space is limited, so signup soon if you’re interested.)

We wish them the best of luck and are happy to see another expat business open in Buenos Aires.