It’s been a circuitous route to PV, but one she wouldn’t trade for anything.
Born in Louisiana, Harriet had an early love of art and studied art education in college. Upon graduation, she went on to become an art teacher in New Orleans public schools.

She later moved to TX and taught art there; as well as science, speech arts, and other subjects like most young teachers do. First graders through ninth graders amazed her daily with their creativity and inquisitive natures.

While she gained experience and invaluable insight from those days, she found herself becoming disillusioned with the school system and its bureaucracies.

She had volunteered to go into the inner-city schools to teach, but the school system didn’t equip its young teachers for the cultural differences in those schools, and she was getting discouraged and took a leave of absence.

“You have to understand the culture before you can do anything,” she says, “and we were really not prepared to work with these kids.”

"Real estate was in my blood"
During her leave, she looked into the possibilities of working in real estate. Her grandfather had been a real estate agent, so, as she says, “Real estate was in my blood.”

She became an agent but took with her the lessons she had learned as a teacher in different environments with diverse populations. She learned to work with her real estate clients as individuals with unique wishes and needs; helping them clarify what it is they are really looking for.

Her skills as a teacher were a natural fit for this work: Once again she was not only imparting knowledge but had to encourage others to think about that information, plus how to wade through feelings to get to the core of what they really wanted.

Managing Expectations While Making Dreams Come True
There’s a delicate balance she has to strike between managing expectations while making dreams come true – a sort of very practical Fairy Godmother.

So how does someone with Harriet’s special blend of personal insight, love of art, and talent for real estate end up in Vallarta? By accident of course!

An Homage To Family Creates A Fitting Name

She began working with a local real estate firm, but now in a completely new environment; after 25 years in the business, once again she was the rookie! 

It didn’t take her long to form her own company, however, and Cochran Real Estate was founded in 1997.

Harriet chose the name “Cochran” as a bit of an homage to her grandfather who was a real estate developer. As he was part of the reason she found herself in the industry, it seemed fitting to use his name for her new company.

The Cochran logo is a Mayan spindle; a pre-Columbian symbol representing the Sun’s endless journey over the sky, down through the underworld, and back again, but it was also a common household tool used in weaving and spinning.

This bit of ancient iconography is the perfect image for her company: it conveys the “big picture” of the circle of life, but also recognizes the everyday small needs of the home, with a solid connection to Mexico.

A Woman-Owned Business In Mexico

Working in real estate in Mexico required some adaptation and flexibility. Harriet recalled her days as a teacher in Louisiana and Texas and found herself experiencing a bit of déjà vu. Once again, she had to listen to and learn about a new culture in order to succeed at listening to her clients and finding the right fit for them.

The challenges of running a woman-owned company were even greater in the more patriarchal culture of Mexico, but Harriet, who describes herself as “the tortoise, not the hare” was determined to make it work.

She had the advantage of her vast experience in other real estate markets, and she studied Spanish every week (as she still does) to maintain business-level fluency.

A Local & International Real Estate Force

Since founding Cochran Real Estate, Harriet has become a formidable force in the Banderas Bay real estate market.

She is the current President of the Vallarta chapter of AMPI (after serving as Vice President under different Presidents for 15 years); and is AMPI certified in both the US and Canada, as well as a member of the NAR. 

She is a proud Certified International Property (CIP) specialist – an achievement only attainable after intense training in real estate in markets all over the world. 

In addition, she travels to many markets around the world such as Luxembourg, Russia, France, Spain, Greece, and the Netherlands to attend courses and presentations of internationally known economists, developers, and real estate companies.

She is also a member of FIABCI, a network of international real estate brokers who collaborate to share knowledge and expertise, as well as the designated Banderas Bay broker for Leading Estates of the World. 

She is a Realtor with NAR International and travels each year to the FIABCI consortium of developers and real estate brokers.

“When you work on a global level,” she says, “it raises your personal standards”

BA in Art Education / Minor in Business 

LSU Monroe, Louisiana



AMPI Puerto Vallarta 2014 to current
Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals


AMPI Puerto Vallarta 2003 to 2013

Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals

AMPI Certified in Mexico, US & Canada 


National Association of Realtors (NAR) 

Realtor and Member

NAR International 


Certified International Property (CIP) 


International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) 

Member of USA and Mexico chapters.


ICREA International Consortium of 

Real Estate Associations 

Official National Real Estate Certification

CONOCER (Mexico) National Counsel for Standards and Certification of Professional Skills

Designated Broker

Leading Estates of the World

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“Don’t look back – you’re not going that way.”
— Mary Engelbreit
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Telephone Numbers:

USA / Canada

+1 (504) 298-6730

Puerto Vallarta Office

52 (322) 223-4027
+52 (322) 228-0419

Visit our Office:

Cochran Real Estate
230D Leona Vicario, Centro
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
CP 48300
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