Charles Marlow is determined to become Deia’s most trusted and highly regarded real estate agency. I talked to Patrick Hill, one of the two brothers who run the company, about what life looks like at Charles Marlow right now.
How are things going for Charles Marlow, Patrick?
Good. I feel like we have got through a tough period of proving and establishing ourselves in the village. Now we have our place in the community and are looking forward to helping make sure Deia thrives and remains a vibrant place in which to live, work and holiday.
Could you tell me some of the highlights of your year so far?
From a business point of view selling the big mansion in S’Empeltada was a great result for all of us. But there have been plenty of good things happening for us in Deia this year. Sharing the moment when people we’ve helped find a new home in Deia step over the threshold, after having been on the journey with them, is absolutely thrilling. It’s also been really satisfying to hear about the extra exposure and interest the Deia artists featured on Village Café placemats are enjoying.
How’s the property market looking in Deia and the North-West of Mallorca?
Interest in properties along the North-West coast is probably as strong as ever at the moment. There was a bit of a wobble for a few years but since the start of 2014 it’s been non-stop with enquiries through our website growing every month. We’re biased of course, but for climate, beauty, cuisine, safety, infrastructure and easy access to Europe I don’t see many other places that rank as highly for a second home. Plus, Palma was recently voted best place in the entire world to live, according to The Times. Yes, the whole world.
Where are your clients coming from?
The majority are from Britain, which is representative of buyers looking along the West Coast in general. I spend a lot of time in London for this very reason, making sure people are aware of us if they’re thinking about buying in the Balearics. That said, we get enquiries from all over the world. Last year we sold to people as far away as Singapore and Australia. The Scandinavians, Swiss, French and Germans are all keen on this part of the island and we’re actively marketing to them.
Do you have any tips/inside information you’d be willing to share when it comes to buying and selling?
Having had experience in both, buying a property in Spain can be a lot simpler than purchasing back in England. You’re generally under contract with a deposit paid as security in a shorter period of time. Once you’re passed that point, it’s rare for deals to fall out further down the line.
My top tip would be to use a good lawyer. In Spain, this can make a big difference as to how smoothly a deal goes through, unlike in Britain. You want someone familiar with the area you’re buying in, with strong connections to the local town hall.
What does the rest of the year look like for Charles Marlow?
We are putting on a small get together in the village on 12 September. It’ll be an evening of drinks and live music. Hopefully, this will be mostly the splendid David Templeton but there are rumours that Charlie and Maria from the office are working on a special duet. Although they don’t know about this yet! We’re hoping the get together will provide a great opportunity for newer residents to meet each other as well as more long standing residents. Deia attracts really interesting people so fun things will happen when we bring everyone together, I’m sure.
Aside from that, we’ve started offering a rental service and we’re already getting interest for 2016. We’re working hard to make sure we can offer a good service. Plus we really want to launch our Charles Marlow Foundation.
From day one we committed to putting aside a percentage of every sale to give back to worthy causes. We’re taking time to make sure we get this right and maximise the impact of our donations. Once the Foundation is up and running, it’s going to be a hugely exciting extra aspect of our business.
That’s the plan. But, truly, we never know when an opportunity will present itself. This is one of the things we love about what we do and where we do it.
What do you personally like about Deia?
I love that it’s like no other place on Earth. I enjoying travelling and there are so many places I love to visit as well as many more I hope to see one day. But Deia is totally unique. Its whole vibe is just magical. Nature, the mountains, the people the village attracts, great restaurants, beautiful architecture, the food – all of these together are, just…wow.
What are your favourite things to do in the village?
When I’m in Deia there are a few things that over time have become very special to me. I love to unwind after a working week by turning off the phones and email for a bit and either sit on the terrace of the Village Café with a G&T or down at the Cala with a beer. I love sitting on the terrace of the Residencia with a cup of tea and looking out across the mountains. I love going up to Sa Fonda and not knowing what’s in store at the top of those stairs. Sometimes it’s eerily quiet, other times utterly unforgettable.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just to say that we are always open to feedback. We’re proud of what we offer but we know we can always do better. Our goal is, as we say, “Mastering the art of real estate”. But this is an ongoing challenge, as it should be. Please tell us if there’s anything you think we can do better. Positive comments have helped us get to where we are today.
Thanks Patrick. Time for a beer down at the Cala?