A day in the life of a property shopper
Hi . . . My name is Pierre Alban Waters. I am the Founder/CEO of the Moving2Madrid Property Shopper Team. We focus exclusively on the Madrid property market- hence my clever inclusion of Madrid in our name 😉
People ask me what my job is like. I think many of them saw my feature on HGTV’s House Hunters International and assume my life must be similar. For those not familiar with it, House Hunters is a reality TV show that focuses on the emotional ups and downs experienced by people purchasing homes.
Is the life of a property shopper really that dramatic?
The truth is, the life of a property shopper is very different than the drama depicted on this show. Yes, we may have an emergency at a property we manage or a big negotiation with an estate agent, but we are professionals. I work with an outstanding team that includes property search specialists and a dedicated property analyst.
Our job is to focus on our clients and make their home buying experience as smooth as possible. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that my life is filled with processes, checklists and team meetings to ensure our clients have a smooth property hunt, negotiation and purchase. If our clients feel like they’re on a roller coaster ride, then we’re not doing our jobs very well!
That said, it could be interesting to learn about the behind the scenes work that goes into helping our clients find and secure their ideal property investment.
Let’s take a look at our day . . .
First thing in the morning
I drink coffee! And lots of it. Then, I like to focus on my most complex task while my mind is fresh (and caffeinated!), so I start my day by thinking about my clients’ investment objectives and other feedback they have given me. My goal is to optimize my client’s objectives, given the apartment inventory currently available in the market. For example, my client might have the following goals:
- Purchase a property that will generate an 4% long term return (most of our clients buy properties to generate rental income).
- Doesn’t want to spend more than 450,000 euros.
- Wants the flexibility to be able to stay in the apartment if they visit Madrid.
- Wants it to be centrally located.
- Wants a terrace, or some other special feature- we saw this in House Hunters- they absolutely had to have a terrace!
With all of this in mind, I use my experience and the work of our Property Analyst to generate a short list of apartments that will help them meet these goals.
The good news is that Moving2Madrid clients typically achieve returns 50-100% above average. How do we do this? Experience has taught me that one of the best ways to achieve a high return is to find “fixer-uppers.” These are properties with defects that can be fixed with refurbishment, yielding a higher price when finally sold.
To summarize: my objective is to find fixer-uppers within the client’s budget, keeping in mind their other wishes. After I identify these, I pass them to our Property Analyst. He looks at the properties from all possible angles to ensure they will optimize our clients’ goals. Once we have prepared a short list of 5-8 properties, we send it to the client.
Meet our Property Analyst:
This is Brian. He is our property analyst. He is an integral part of my team, and reinforces the value provided by any property shopper. He constantly monitors the value of every investment in our portfolio, and makes sure all are performing optimally. His duties include:
*Providing an initial analysis of all properties we show to clients. Brian ensures properties are well priced and will provide the client with their desired return on investment when the property is sold.
*Analyzing the expected return on all refurbishments. He makes sure every euro invested by our clients in apartment upgrades will gain them at least a 1.5 euro return.
*Maintaining Airbnb listings for our clients’ rental properties.
*Finding premium tenants for our clients.
*Optimizing rental fees charged to tenants.
Brian’s vigilance guarantees that we deliver our clients with the highest possible returns. In fact, our clients typically receive 50-100% above the average return on their investments.
This is the time I go through my inbox. As the CEO of the Moving2Madrid Property Shopper Team, my focus is problem solving and removing roadblocks so my team can function at maximum efficiency. For example, this morning I received an email from a client, worrying about the timing and status of their refurbishment. I made a call to the contractor to ensure all was well. It was, so I sent this information, along with a timeline of the renovation and a checklist demonstrating the progress made so far, to my client. Another issue I had to deal with was getting a deal to close. I made phone calls to our lawyers, our accountant and the other agent to keep the process moving. This is particularly important in a market that is moving quickly, like Madrid.
To fully understand my day, you should note that Moving2Madrid is not just a property shopper. Buying an apartment in Spain requires a certain amount of bureaucratic paperwork. This is further complicated if a client obtains a Spanish mortgage, or sets up a Spanish company to purchase the property (a great strategy to save on taxes!). We work with a number of lawyers, accountants and gestors to ensure all steps of the closing process are co-ordinated and all paperwork is ready in time to close a deal. If you want to buy a property in Madrid but are hesitant to deal with the Spanish bureaucracy, give me a call today!
Late Morning/Early Afternoon
Sometime during the course of the day the Moving2Madrid Team “Huddles Up.”
We meet every day to brainstorm, problem solve and remove roadblocks. Any issue that might potentially stand in the way of our clients receiving the best possible service is put on the table.
One of the things we spoke about today was the issue of unpaid community fees. A seller has a large account arrears and we needed to figure out a way to rectify it so the problem wasn’t eventually passed to our client.
At the end of our team huddle, we all walked away with specific actions to help us achieve our clients’ goals.
This is often the time I call clients to present the results of my early morning strategizing. I show them a short list of properties, including videos. I listen to their feedback and respond.
When a potential buyer visits Madrid we show them 5-8 properties in a day, perfectly matched to their objectives and investment goals. Creating a short list of properties to view, and refining it based upon client feedback, takes weeks or even months. Brian is integral in this process!
Afternoons are always different in the day of a property shopper. Today, I called an agent to discuss a negotiation they are undertaking on behalf of one of our clients. Madrid real estate agents are notoriously unreliable (and often untrustworthy) so I must stay on top of them!
End of the Day
Tomorrow I am taking a client around Madrid to show them properties, so I need to prepare. Before I leave the office today I will confirm all appointments, clear my inbox and, with the help of my assistant Cristina, finalize our itinerary. We always stop at a nice place for a typical Madrileño lunch, and weave sightseeing and coffee breaks into our property viewing. I also look at the weather forecast. Madrid is typically sunny so when it rains, our clients rarely have umbrellas. So I always make sure I bring an extra! This is the type of client attention you can expect in your apartment buying experience if you use our services.
If you are interested in learning more about our services, don’t hesitate to arrange a free consultation with us.