Some people think that the job of a Spanish Property Finder is easy, get some enquiries in, pass them onto an agent, wait, get money. If only things were that simple. We know of lead generation sites that actually do that, their backup, information and knowledge are somewhat less than zero, however good Spanish Property Finders would never do that because without knowing the inside details of what a client wants and scouring the market for everything that may suit there is no chance of finding the ideal property for someone.
In the old days of the Spanish Property boom property finders set up just to add another level of commissions into the property purchase. My tentative first steps into property were as a lead generator for an agent nearby who didn’t speak English. They loved the fact that I was able to supply them with clients but they couldn’t communicate with those clients once they came over meaning they had to get somebody with less knowledge about the properties and areas in to cover those clients and therefore their completion rates were low. It was a logical step to actually provide all of the information and also set up an estate agency as there was a gap in the market.
However because of the success of the estate agency it was impossible to actually bring in as many properties as possible at the same time as keeping quality control and giving the best possible service to the client. Therefore moving into the Spanish Property Finder area was again a logical step to increase the range of property options open to our clients. This can only be done effectively if you have a large network of trusted contacts, language skills and an effective supply of purchasing clients. Luckily we have that.
So compared with the day in the life of an estate agent the work of a Spanish Property Finder is different as it is much more client focussed and less property driven. Take a look at how the typical working day is divided when working for you.
Before taking any client out or on days when there is no client, the first part of the morning is administrative mostly. This means dealing with emails from clients, queries, skype calls and writing about the market and trends within it. (This post was written around 9am in the morning for example.)
The types of queries are often about opinions about areas, about properties and questions about the process and timescales for buying Spanish property. Once these questions are answered then the networking part of the job can begin.
Again when there is no client the morning may be taken up in contacting agents and private sellers looking to put a property on the market. Luckily our reputation means that agents often send us a new hot property as soon as it comes onto the books as they recognise that we may well have a buyer in the pipeline interested in that property. Explaining how we work to new potential clients, contacts and sellers takes up some time but usually they are delighted with the potential to have new visitors to see their properties or a larger range of properties to view.
Coffee time is an important time of the day and is often spent meeting somebody involved in the Spanish property transaction whether that be a lawyer, a notary, a potential client or a seller, increasing the network in this way makes better connections.
This is usually the best time to check out properties offered to us by individuals or agents. Looking at properties and getting first hand experience of them is 100 times better than just a description and set of photos sent by somebody as they tend to stick in the mind more, especially when it is a particularly impressive property. The link between a potential property and a particular client is established best like this.
After the visits, photos and videos etc… the late afternoon can be spent compiling details for our clients who have contracted our services, checking out more listings from the multitude of online portals and private sales and contacting people again through Skype, Phone or Mail.
The evening and into the night can be spent putting up listings, working on social media promotion, matching potential clients to properties that will suit them and sending them out to those people, editing videos made specifically for one client who has asked us to check out a property in advance of their visit and more. There are so many things to do to wrap up the day and this can often go on into the night when lots of work is required. Also many of our clients are in different time zones and a lot of the phone calls to North America are made at this time of the day.
But There Are Differences of Course
When we have a client visiting then the day changes totally. It starts the same but usually by 11am we are with the client and meeting with owners, agents and administration depending on what part of the property search we are at.
The Preparation Stage
This is the administration part and may involve visits to lawyers, police stations, notaries etc… to do official paperwork. You cannot buy a Spanish property for example without a NIE number so it is better to prepare that step in advance. A power of attorney is a useful thing to have to avoid having to make extra trips in the future and we often arrange that at this stage for a lawyer.
The House Hunting Stage
We start early and visit only the properties that tick the vast majority of the boxes that our client has told us would suit their search. The weeding out of these properties from the thousands on the market as described above is an essential part of the job prior to this stage so as to waste as little time as possible. The house visits are conducted with the owner or an agent present to answer any questions that come up and the arrangements from house to house make our clients feel very comfortable usually as we know the time required both for viewings and for getting from place to place. It usually looks very smooth and organised and often it actually is 😉
The Post Visit Stage
We have a debrief at the end of each session of searching for a property so we can get even closer to exactly what the client wants or if they have realised at that point that they may want something totally different (It doesn’t often happen but sometimes it is inevitable).
Once the client leaves if they haven’t decided on a property we now can have much more precision about the type of property they want and we can send them potential properties that may come up as and when they do. (We have actually had clients buy places after just seeing a video made especially for them of a property that we know will interest) If they are happy with the selection they received and wish to make an offer then we move into the next stage of the process.
The Offer Stage
Once a client makes an offer we do the negotiation with the owner to get the best deal for our client. We know more or less what an owner will accept in many cases, each owner is different in that they may be insulted by a low offer as they know they have a very good price already or they may be willing to negotiate everything even including the car! We guide the client through this negotiation process and come to a mutually agreed price and terms and conditions of sale.
At that point we inform their lawyer of the details and get him or her to perform the due diligence on the property to make sure that they can buy with the required independently verified security.
If the client is here we accompany them to the completion, and prior to that to the bank to make sure the cheques are correct. (if there is an inventory then we make sure the property is sold as listed) If they have given powers of attorney to their lawyer or a friend then we still go to the signing to make sure everything runs smoothly and at the end we make a phone call saying “Congratulations, the property is now yours”.
We then tie up the loose ends such as utility bill changeover and any issues with the previous owner such as redirection or picking up of post in the future and after that we are available to help out too. Only this week a seller from ten years ago phoned me up to pass on some information to the buyer of their house from 2004. We remain friends with many of our buyers and sellers for years after purchase as they get so comfortable with us during the purchase process.
So as you can see there is a lot more to this job than what you might think on first sight. Communication, networking and contacts are ultra important. The bigger the network the greater the opportunities for our clients and at the Spanish Property Network we like to think that our network is second to none and growing each year. If this post has informed you and you would like to work with us either as a buyer or seller/agent just fill in the form below and tell us more.
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