HOW WE WORK

A move to, or investment in, a new country inevitably begins with research. Getting to know your destination market is key. With a wealth of online resources available, becoming a “desktop expert” is not difficult. However, there is no substitute for visiting the region and getting “hands on” the location and the product. This implies, at some point, undertaking a Discovery Tour of the short-listed locations. Take a look at how we work with customers.

Often, we talk to clients who demonstrate they have spent significant time investigating and gaining knowledge of the target market. We are here to save you that time, and to do the job more efficiently.

We are totally independent: you may think you wish to rent before you buy, but fall in love with a property or you may think you wish to buy but then decide you need to spend some time experiencing the lifestyle before making a final commitment. We will not pressure you to do one or the other, but continue to provide independent opinion as to the pros and cons of each.

Our proven methodology, which includes approaching owners, developers (mainly for new product or resorts), agents, and in some cases banks, includes not only communication with people we know but also the wider market and first-time contacts.

You will rarely see any real estate on our site. An on-line search functionality is only appropriate for a fixed and limited number of properties and not for an individualised search.

IS OUR MODEL RIGHT FOR YOU?

A tennis coach once answered a fellow coach who was having difficulty defining how much to charge his students: I have 30 years of coaching experience. When a student takes a 30 minute lesson, they are not paying for the 30 minutes but for the 30 years.

Our model should appeal to almost everyone because it represents a very customer-centric approach. Unless you have lived in a location, you will not easily replace local knowledge. But changing real estate agent and buyer/tenant perceptions in the very traditional real estate sector takes time. Some people will not feel comfortable with a model which is different to what most traditional agents employ.

There is an often-held misconception that sellers or landlords pay the commission on a transaction. The first thing we do is dispel this myth: clients need to understand that the money for the commission always comes from the buyer or tenant. The seller only pays an agent a commission because they take part of the money that the buyer pays them, and pay it on to the agent. The seller simply acts as an intermediary, or temporary fiduciary agent, for the portion of the buyer’s funds intended for agents.

For this reason, it makes a lot of sense for the buyer to pay the commission for the agent that acts on their behalf. In the US, for example, with the existence of an MLS system and a buy-side and sell-side agent, this concept is easy to understand and well-accepted. In other markets, the principle of direct representation needs to be explained. This includes, for example, the reason why we often bill commission separately as a way of reducing overall rental cost by eliminating tax on rental commission for the owner.

If any of the descriptions below are a match, our service will be a good fit for you:

    • Clients with little time, who travel extensively, who are working or have existing time-consuming commitments;
    • Clients with urgency, such as wanting to submit a Golden Visa or a Non-Habitual Residency application quickly;
    • Clients who are looking for a service that is more than just finding a property (although that is a key part of the process), such as wanting to compare areas, understand the market, find a school, benchmark an investment, etc.;
    • Clients who live far away or are unable to make one or more visits until late in the decision-making process;
    • Clients who prefer to have their representative on their side, rather than on the side of the seller or landlord, or are accustomed to having buyer representation, such as in the US MLS system;
    • Those who see real estate, whether a property to buy or rent, as part of a bigger strategy and process;
    • Those who like value for money AND saving money.

If, on the other hand, you see yourself matching one of the descriptions below, it is unlikely you will be convinced by the value of our service or a match to our way of thinking:

    • Have spent years investigating the destination, sending multiple e-mails, building an information base of direct contacts;
    • Have made multiple visits, already visited options, and not yet made a decision;
    • Are already in contact with multiple real estate agencies (as we have a large network, the risk of overlap is large) which have undertaken work on your behalf;
    • Come from a background where you absolutely need to vet every option on a long-list, as opposed to analysing only a pre-vetted short-list;
    • See real estate as purely transactional;
    • Hesitate to put a verbal commitment in writing.

How we work makes our job very interesting and rewarding as we get to work with people of different backgrounds and experiences. In return, clients find that a bond of mutual respect and often friendship is established. In a world where clients have so many choices, we value relationships borne out of mutual respect and shared objectives. When our clients are successful, we enjoy savouring the shared success which comes with that complicity.

FEES

Our Finder Service contains three key elements:

  1. An exclusivity agreement
  2. A fee of €350 + VAT (applicable only to EU clients) to cover out of pocket expenses related to the Discovery Tour, payable up front
  3. A finder’s fee which:
    • For a purchase, is 2.5% + VAT (applicable to EU clients only)
    • For a rental, will be a percentage of the monthly rent amount, plus VAT (where applicable)

If you purchase a property, we warrant (contractually) to negotiate a reduction in price of at least 2.5% OR claw back part of the commission from a selling agent. You will also save VAT on our services if you reside outside the EU.

Any questions on “How we work” feel free to contact us.