Cristina Santos, the License Partner of Engel & Völkers Albufeira Agency, answers the following 10 questions:
1. What did you do before opening your own Engel & Völkers agency?
My career has always been linked to creating projects and it was exactly 30 years ago when I set up my own consulting and engineering company where I developed numerous projects in the areas of tourism, hospitality and accommodation.
2. Why did you decide to start your own business?
I was already an entrepreneur and as a result of my professional experience, I realised that the real estate sector has room for improvement. I believe that my 'know how' and technical skills are an asset in real estate business.
3. Which aspects were most relevant when choosing to invest in a brand such as Engel & Völkers?
It was undoubtedly the concept of the brand and its 40 years of experience, combined with the 3 core values with which I identify and always follow, these are: Competence, Exclusivity and Passion.
4. What are the most important attributes to be able to manage a team of estate agents?
Transparency, discipline and trust.
5. What aspects do you take into account when choosing estate agents for your team?
An ethical attitude, creativity and ability to work in a team, the ability to focus on achieving goals, responsiveness to learning, positive attitude, self-motivation, and reliable.
6. What are the main benefits of a brand like Engel & Völkers for your franchisees?
The concept, the 40 years of experience, the core values by which the brand is based on: Competence, Exclusivity and Passion.
7. What makes your agency stand out from competitors in your area?
Image, values, the passion for providing an excellent service and the requirement to always find the best and most suitable properties that meet the needs of customers.
8. What advice would you give to a franchisee who is about to open an Engel & Völkers branch?
Always follow the concept of the brand to achieve quicker and more feasible results.
9. What factors should an investor consider when buying an agency?
Find out whether you identify with the brand's concept and values, create a business plan and choose the best location.
10. How do you balance your personal life with your professional life?
When you are a business owner it is not always easy, but it is an interesting task. With a well-managed team of agents, it is definitely possible to balance your work and personal life.