Unique Living
January 21st, 2020 | by Serge Cowan

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD

My role, finding luxury international properties for my clients can be fascinating and complex at the same time. Searches can take time and sifting through luxury property listing can be a laborious task.

But it is our job to do the leg work for our clients, sometimes we get the same property from six different Estate Agents who have all taken their own photos. You might have seen the international listings on the various property portals.

As well as offering suitable luxury properties to our clients, we also consider whether to add the villa to our handpicked selection featured on the Unique Living website.

We get numerous recommendations every single day for properties to promote or to suggest to our clients, only a select few go through our strict quality control and find their way onto our website. We only aim to promote the best villas available for sale in the areas we operate.

We do not accept everything offered to us, not all properties are as good as they seem in the carefully compiled marketing bumf.

At the same time, we are always on alert for our clients when looking through luxury properties, and every now and then a gem comes along that makes you look twice.

I have numerous property searches for various clients, dancing around in the back of my mind.

Every client I meet has a different set of key criteria that will ultimately contribute to the ideal luxury international property. There is always elements to avoid, and I also consider these as important as the top line ‘must haves’.

It can be something simplistic like the tiling in the bathroom, which can be changed, and we would offer advice in accordance to this. But then there can be the more complex necessities, for example, the distance to amenities, a child friendly swimming pool, and the essentials like a sea view, that doesn’t include a glimpse of the sea, or as it is known in the trade ‘a partial sea view’. It’s the same as saying a property is ‘quaint’ when in reality it is just ‘small’.

The fact is that the briefs differ from family to family, the lifestyle objectives, and the family dynamic is a key part of the search requirements and potentially what will work for our client. We listen to our clients when we meet and will also do follow up meetings where necessary with other family members.

This property, a 4 bedroom villa for sale in Roquefort Les Pin, is a great example and a scenario I wanted to share. Yes, it certainly is a superb contemporary villa, beautifully crafted, ideal on paper and the imagery certainly does exemplify the qualities.

But, while it would have been ideal in terms of style for one of my clients, who jumped to the top of my mind on seeing this property, there were three major drawbacks I had to take into account, the aforementioned location, views and swimming pool.

My client specifically requested a sea view, that much was non-negotiable, he also wanted to be walking distance to shops and have a child friendly swimming pool. This property sadly offered none of these, while the swimming pool could be worked on and made child friendly, it would be impossible to move the house to create a sea view and be closer to amenities. These drawbacks were reflected in the price of the property.

Despite this, the style was exactly what his family were looking for!

So what to do? Well, I offered the property with my caveats, and as expected I had the following reply: “Thanks as ever Serge, perfect in terms of the style as you say, but the other elements we discussed major no no’s. Back to the drawing board.”

That being said, it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be right for someone else, it just wasn’t the one for our client. So hopefully someone will see it advertised on our website.

We don’t put a timeframe on how long it is going to take to find the right property for our clients, we just want to ensure it is the property. It might be after their first or thirteenth visit, there is no rush, this isn’t a competition, this is a lifestyle choice after all, it is paramount we understand every single clients lifestyle objectives and the family dynamic prior to searching for a luxury property overseas.

I like to put myself in my clients shoes, ultimately, if I am not going to buy the property, why would they? And then it is back to the drawing board.

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