Catarina Costa, the estate agent at Engel & Völkers Vilamoura Agency answers our 7 questions:
1. What were you doing before becoming a real estate agent?
My career in the Algarve, where I have lived since the year 2007, started as a lawyer. But I quickly realised this job wasn’t for me, so I returned to my "roots" and started teaching pilates and tap dance. I have also worked for a golf agency based in Central Algarve which subsequently proved highly useful in my real estate career.
2. How many years have you been working as a real estate agent?
I have been working in another agency since 2013 in the same sector and with the E&V Vilamoura agency, since September 2015.
3. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I actually like everything about my job, in particular working with the E&V team in Vilamoura is most enjoyable for me. I also like the fact that every client is different. They come from different parts of the world, which helps me learn something new every day. In terms of property owners, I like offering them a hassle free service to sell their home. And for the buyers, I enjoy showing them this “heavenly corner of the world” that’s Vilamoura and the Algarve region as a whole.
4. In your opinion, what does it take to become a great real estate agent?
Resilience, consistency, interest in working in a team, and thinking 'out of the box' with some light-heartedness. Of course, identifying with the values of the brand in your daily life, i.e. passion and competence, mean we can provide exclusive services to our clients.
5. Do you have any experiences as an agent that you’d like to share with us?
There are always certain situations that we all experience, but I prefer to highlight the fact that I speak French well enough now because of the need I felt in everyday life. It was a language that I’d forgotten but with the help of the grammar that my colleagues taught me and from very kind French clients, today I am continuously improving!
6. As an estate agent, what does it mean for you to be backed by a brand like Engel & Völkers?
It is the biggest seal of quality we can have in the initial establishment of a relationship of trust with our clients, even though this is a people-to-people type of business so our reputation is just as important. Every day, we have access to a highly useful data management system. What’s more, the E&V Academy allows us to continuously update our knowledge.
7. What’s your advice to people who want to become estate agents but don’t dare take the step?
Take this opportunity if you want to face daily challenges that require confidence, resilience and persistence. Take the step knowing that you have a team that welcomes you as well as all the right tools and resources you require from day one.