How is the situation of the luxury real estate market?
It has grown steadily since the beginning of the economic recovery in 2014, both in terms of the number of operations and prices. The expansion phase has been led until last year by the large cities (Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia) to give way to medium sized capitals and the premium market of second homes. On the other hand, there has been an evolution in the client's interest in higher value assets.
And the situation of the company?
Engel & Völkers Iberia grew by 8% in Spain in 2018, exceeding 2,000 million euros for the first time. Our commitment to the Iberian market is decisive. We have just opened our fifth CMM in the peninsula, which is the second of the company in Madrid. We are also expanding our commitment to Andalusia. Our presence is consolidated on the Costa del Sol and we have initiated a round of contacts with potential investors to expand to other provinces such as Seville and Cadiz. In Portugal, we have just completed one year after the opening of the MC in Lisbon in June 2018.
What requirements must a property have in order to be part of your portfolio?
Buyers in the premium segment are looking for high quality properties in privileged locations, with all kinds of amenities and unique views. The type of facilities they demand vary over time, although these preferences remain unchanged. In this sense, the two trends that focus the demand now are energy efficient properties and smart homes that incorporate the latest technologies.
What does the company offer its customers that others do not?
Professionalism, exclusivity and passion. These three adjectives define the being and the essence of Engel & Völkers and are the ones that differentiate us. The professionalism of all the staff that integrates the company and that of our consultants, trained in Engel & Völkers Academy, allows the whole structure to react quickly and in a coordinated way according to the preferences and characteristics of the client. All our staff knows what they have to do: offer personal advice based on the exhaustive knowledge of the areas where the brand is present. Our offer is defined by the exclusivity of the network of properties and advisors we have around the world to design a high value-added offer. Likewise, the passion for a job well done, with the help of all the tools that Engel & Völkers makes available to its workers, is another of the pillars of our offer.
What about your workers?
The figure of the real estate consultant has evolved, we knew how to see it and we continue betting on it, to train our collaborators to be qualified professionals and that, more than real estate agents, they become personal advisors. Each of the people working in our network benefits from the good reputation of Engel & Völkers and, at the same time, contributes to maintain that reputation. In this way, it is essential that everyone identifies with the brand and the values that define us. Our goal is to provide clients with first-class services and excellent consulting skills, and this can only be achieved with the right people.
What are the advantages of the franchised office model?
Our franchise network consists of more than 800 real estate agencies around the world where about 11,000 employees and collaborators work. This system has allowed us to gain size, something important in the sector and especially in the high standing segment, to offer the best possible service to our clients. The wide experience and the deep knowledge of the local real estate situation by our agents is what guarantees that the franchise system of Engel & Völkers is optimally adapted to the needs of each client wherever he is.
What else does Engel & Völkers offer besides housing?
It is also very important the role played by our Commercial division, focused on non-residential real estate assets (offices, commercial premises, hotels, warehouses, etc). In our third year of activity in the Spanish tertiary sector, Engel & Völkers Commercial grew a 60% in turnover in 2018 after intermediating more than thirty operations distributed among its offices in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Vigo and Andorra. On the other hand, our goal is to provide a 360º, personalized service that covers all needs, not only the search for a residence, but also for a boat or an airplane. Our trajectory in the segment of premium yachts began in 2007 and the division of sale and rent of private jets began its activity in 2015.