A PLACE IN THE SUN 2019 ::: Hondón Villas have been consultants to A Place in the Sun again in 2019. We just finished helping them …. read on! This year we met Laura Hamilton (see picture) who was so lovely and gave us a few PR tips which should come in handy later.
It’s always a great pleasure to get involved with what is probably the most popular Property Show in the UK. How many years has this been going?
So we are pleased that APITS as we call it, have been to the Hondón Valley areas just about every year for 10 years. And we all think it’s our little secret place, well people do know it exists and still, thankfully, want to come to the area. Which of course, is good for the property market and our sellers.
We have assisted APITS and other TV Property programs quite a few times now, most years in fact, including “Escape to the Continent” and ” A New Life in the Sun”.
Having met many of the APITS presenters we have to say they are all very professional, charming and always happy to do a few publicity shots in-between shooting the program. As we stand watching the program being made, they make it look so easy and slick. They are great at putting the potential buyers at ease as I am sure the cameras can be a little intimidating… Interesting stuff.
Maureen, director of Hondón Villas, often gets praise from her clients. One of the best we ever got was from Richard and Sandra Seal who bought a villa through Hondón Villas in 2014.
“always gives you a Rolls Royce service…” Please see the full text below.
We checked with them and they are so well settled in the Hondón Valley and Spanish life, both content with a place in the sun. A true expat success story.
Sandra loves cats and gardening and couldn’t be more happy away from the stressful life of the UK. And Richard, a teacher is working in the area. He has also used the experience to restart a new “life” as an author of short stories which he publishes on Amazon [link]. He is already on his eighth book “Familiar” (see cover image). Most of his stories are inspired by his observations and lifestyle in Spain. They are very amusing and a recommended holiday read.
They kindly wrote a very nice 5* testimonial and recommendation. Thank you.
“My wife and I will never forget how helpful, positive and supportive Maureen and everyone at Hondon Villas were when we moved to Spain in 2014. They have always been there to help with any queries ever since.
Mo’s customer service skills are excellent, she works incredibly hard for all her clients, and always gives you a Rolls Royce service without ever making you feel under pressure.
We were so pleased when Hondon Villas received Costa Blanca People’s Pride of Spain Award for Business of the Year – this recognition was so well deserved.
We highly recommend Hondon Villas. Maureen and her wonderful team will ensure that all your questions and concerns are addressed and take the time to find a property which meets all your needs.”
: Richard & Sandra Seal
CONTACT US: The Local Agent with Local Knowledge for Local People. TEL: +34 965 075 357 Mobiles • +34 683 635 339 | +34 622 314 244 OFFICE: Central Plaza in Frailes (Mon-Fri 10 til 5 or Appointments on weekends)
Well… we’ve SOLD a few Hondón Valley houses in our time… and we sell more houses in this area than any other agent. We’ve lived and worked in the area for about 15 years… that longevity and experience is for you to take advantage of… Please let us help you buy or sell your Hondón Home. 🙂
Every year we beat the previous year’s sales figures.
THANK YOU for your support and please [ COMMENT, LIKE and SHARE this post ] if you care about keeping local businesses alive…
Over 1.8 million website views since we started! (AMAZING!)
We also know we sell more homes than any other agent in the area.
This graphic attached might illustrate our success a little
(click to see in full – actually there are more, we just couldn’t fit them on).
We are honoured to have served so many people and lasted so long … over 10 years now!
Pop-in to our Frailes office or visit our website for all contact points and the latest property for sale : www.hondonvillas.net
Hondon Villas SL are the most prominent local agents to the Hondón Valley, including the popular La Montanosa Urb. We are the registered AIPP Property Agent in the Hondon Valley, Costa Blanca South. 15 years in the area so far. And WooooHoooo, we were voted Business of the Year by the popular Expat “Costa Blanca People” regional newspaper. Last year we hit OVER 1.8 MILLION website visitors and always do well Customer Ratings. We have many client testimonials to vouch for our service and expertise.
With over 30 years real estate experience there is no-one else in the Hondon area with the same pedigree in property sales and service.
Our bricks & mortar office is in the mainHondón de los Frailes Plaza, next to the best restaurants and bars in the area. So you can actually pop-in to see us in the flesh, sit down, relax and chat about your property needs. We’ll also show you around the area to make sure the location, location, location is right for you!
We have been regular contributors to the “A Place In The Sun” TV program over the years who are also AIPP members, the industry standard for Real Estate services.
Being residents here for about 15 years means we have a accumulated lots of experience in Spanish property buying, rural laws and pitfalls, a wide network of local experts and skill people and an invaluable extension of local knowledge. This will and has come in very handy for countless new Hondon Valley home owners.
We certainly strive to show we care about you and your dream of living or holidaying in your dream Spanish property. We are on hand to help before during and after you come to the area… something you may not get with other agents here or coastline collaborators who do not know the area at all.
So let us hold your hand, care for you and get that dream home in the Hondon Valley. Visit our hondonvillas.net website for more information, call into our office Monday to Friday, or call for an appointment TEL: +34 965 075 357
Regards, Maureen: Hondon Villas owner and service champion.
A few people have enquired if our office in Nieves is closed now… here is our response:
The main Hondón Villas Office will continue to be in the main Frailes Plaza (Next to 28 Restaurant). Having had continued success there, we are looking to improve this facility over the next 6 months.
Now, having test-run a second office in Nieves for a year at a very low-cost lease we have struggled to staff this new office as we would have liked, due to being so busy in the-field, holiday cover and staff illness. However it more than paid for itself and we are pleased we tried the location whilst we had the chance. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
However, we now feel our resources and marketing budget is better spent improving the Hondón de los Frailes office as it is by far the most buoyant plaza of the two villages. Footfall is always good in Frailes.
Our Nieves landlord had another service provider interested so we have agreed to let it go and move forward with the Frailes office. Hence, Hondón Villas are no longer using this Nieves office for real estate.
Of course we appreciate andthank you as always for supporting all local businesses and Hondón Villas SL as you have for many years now. We hope to be here for a lot longer… so we Hondón Traders need your custom! Regards Maureen Cook and the Team Business of the Year and nearly 15 years of success in the area. If you wish to buy sell or rent in the Hondón Valley area always come to see us, call us or email us. Easy and hassle-free!
Hondon Villas is dead … Long live Hondón Villas S.L.
That’s right, we are proud to announce that we are now (August 2019) a fully registered S.L. company ( Sociedad Limitada ) which is similar to a Limited company in the U.K. And more than that we are a family business as our daughter Kathryn joins us from the UK as the 3rd director and head of property sales having previously run her own successful business in Leeds, UK.
Progress, Growth & Commitment
If you follow our progress and success thus far you will be aware that we have grown steadily since 2009, beat our annual sales targets and expanded staff and office capacity year-on-year. And all in a difficult and competitive property market, particularly in this uncertain BREXIT climate.
“Becoming an S.L. clearly shows our commitment to keeping Hondón Villas a viable and legal local business for as long as we can, after all we have been part of the Hondón high-street for about 10 years now.” – Maureen Cook, Director.
Past, Present & Future
As I write, we are currently supporting 6 members of staff, 3 cars, mobiles, offices, rates and E.U wide marketing budgets. Yes, we make it work but we don’t profiteer, we have real business costs and we certainly don’t run on a shoe-string from a bedroom for two minutes on a Tuesday or finish early on a Friday! It’s an expensive market to be in. Yet we are actually the cheapest Pro’ agent in the area! We have done and will continue to ensure our staff have legal contracts, pay their taxes and have public liability cover. Our office is passed by the Town Hall, we have a certified accountant and practice the AIPP service standards. Above all we value our customers as real people with real dreams to live in Spain or to sell through a professional service.
And we are glad to say we are still the top selling agent in the area, no contest! Despite many requests, we are very particular who we collaborate or “share” our business with, our customer service is very important and we would not want to risk anyone else spoiling that. But, thankfully we hold our own due to a positive reputation, local high-street offices, multi-level marketing, a friendly and knowledgeable personnel and of course our hand-holding work ethic.
Our extensive online presence and technical investment pays off as we have continually added to our video equipment and social media strategy. We help promote the local area, events and culture with videos, guides and blogs. We think it’s as important to sell the area as it is to sell the houses in the Hondón Valley.
Of course whilst we a confident of our future we have no crystal ball and we know post-crash Spain and the local economy is still far away from the dizzy “boom” heights of 2004/5… so we have to tread carefully.
Offices and Investment
Our main office will continue to be in the Frailes Plaza. We are looking to improve this facility over the next 6 months. Now, having test-run a second office in Nieves for a year’s low-rent lease we have struggled to staff this new office as we would have liked due to being so busy in-the-field, holiday cover and illness. We now feel the resources and marketing budget is better spent improving the Hondón Frailes office as it is by far the most buoyant plaza of the two villages. Our Nieves landlord requires the premises for another service provider which we have agreed to. So the Nieves office will close at the end of August. But we are also looking to recruit a new member of staff to cover Admin’ tasks and busy times.
So all-in-all we are looking forward to more success but a challenging year ahead. BREXIT looming may well be our biggest challenge yet but the last three years would suggest the Brits still want to buy in Spain. If the sales cake does get smaller we will endeavour to get more than our fair share. After all, my 30+ years in Real Estate has shown that hard-work, resilience, flexibility and experience can overcome most business challenges. Please, SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS, as without it the local economy and its vibrant culture will diminish and that of course will affect the property market for sure.
Regards and happiness to you all, Maureen Cook and the Hondón Villas S.L. Team
EMAIL: property @ hondonvillas.net / TEL: +34 965 075 357 HONDON VILLAS S.L. [ NIF B42662981 ] Calle Juan Carlos I, #24 Centro Plaza Hondón de los Frailes Alicante 03689 Spain
The Spanish property market is much more competitive than the UK… The Hondón Valley as a mature market now is no exception. This brings many challenges for the property agents here. Indeed it can get quite cut-throat and has been known to turn nasty and cause client dissatisfaction with so much money at stake.
Multi-Agent Marketing: So, vendors of Spanish real estate can and do choose to market their property with more than one agent in the hope it helps expose their property to a wider audience. This makes sense to a degree. The competition should make the agents work harder to sell that property. But do they? Often that array of agents are advertising on the exact same portals such as Kyero, Zoopla, A Place in the Sun or Rightmove … and do very little locally or market elsewhere. Yes, you’ll often see the same property at the same price numerous times on the portals because of this multi-agent “system”.
Increased Selling Costs: But as a direct result, this multi-agent listing actually increases the price of selling a house. Why? Well, as an example, if you have 6 agents all listing, photo’ing, videos, marketing, portal costs, viewings, admin’, staff & business costs for the exact same property …etc but only one agent sells the home, the other five agents make NOTHING on that house but of course they still had all the work to do. That’s why the % selling fee is a lot more in Spain than say the UK. Simply, the sales that are successful have to cover the losses of the ones sold by other agents or that take a long time to sell. And fully marketing a property across the target market of the EU and un some cases the World is an expensive service.
Split the Commission: This “system” also encourages some real estate agents to team up, we call it collaborating. Often if an agent has a potential buyer but no suitable properties to sell them, that first agent will approach other agents in the target area and seek to split commissions if successful, usually 50/50. This is more favourable to the first agent than losing the buyer to another rival. This can work well and is done a lot but it can have it’s downsides, nor is it ideal in all situations.
To Collaborate or Not to Collaborate?
Here at Hondón Villas we are fortunate not to have to turn to collaborators too often. other agents usually approach us. In deed we go out of our way not to collaborate if we can help it. However we do have a few trusted agents we will help or work with providing we are always in attendance and can hold the clients hand professionally (buyer or seller).
If we don’t collaborate with a particular agent it’s usually because we have already tried them or know their service is sub-standard. And to be honest, some we don’t trust at all. Plus, some agents have tried to double-cross us and our clients. And also: a) We garner 100,000’s of online visitors annually to our own websites, portals and blogs, so we have an established sales funnel. b) We dominate Google rankings for the area which gives our sellers more exposure / gets more buyer’s eyeballs. c) Our leads to sales ratio is well over our target / break even point so we are self sufficient. d) We like to manage the customer experience the “Hondón Villas” way. A poor / pushy / rude agent could risk the sale and damage someone’s dream! e) We prefer to not confuse the buyer/seller as to you they are actually dealing with.
f) We are AIPP Members for 5 years and try to ensure anyone we collaborate with is also an AIPP member or on par with our service standards and trust. g) We maintain a wide portfolio of homes on our books and being established & experienced can stock up on houses that are more likely to sell. h) We have our own high-street offices and get a good footfall of local and tourist interest. … the locals can identify with us and our brand. i) We brand our company car, billboards, stationary, social media, emails and brochures so people know who we are. Our staff wear branded name badges… indeed yes, we actually have staff! Just about all the other agents in Hondón are one-person businesses (even if they keep saying “we”).
We’re cautious with whom we work with: We have found that the agents without a high profile or a poor local network are more likely to want to collaborate. We get approached weekly I’d say, we turn most agents down after a vetting process or we insist on doing the service part / qualifying / viewings. These agents often work from home, a car/mobile or from outside the Hondón regions. Many are “newbies” or have no experience. We say no to them!
When it’s not a good idea for the Client
Confused dot com! So collabs’ are usually better for the agents cashflow and if a sale is forthcoming, the buyer/seller may say it’s good for them. But … We have heard far too many times from buyers and sellers that they simply do not know which agent/company turned up to help them or who the agent’s company is. Some wonder how that agent knew them in the first place. Communication is harder and more problems are likely to occur. Simply, that “too many cooks spoil the broth”!
This is the bad part of collaborations. The seller lists with one agent but somehow another agent they don’t know turns up at the door or calls them for a viewing (with no legal contract, safety net or follow-up). The 2nd agent either saw a “Se Vende” board on the gate and unethically approached the vendor or they got the address from another agent. The data protection act suggests swapping data may be illegal. And it increases the risk of a ‘dodgy’ agent doing a double deal… and it’s happened.
Or the buyer enquires through a property portal, gets an agent call but has no idea who they are dealing with or if the agent is even any good or legal! Next thing it’s “meet me at the petrol station on the B999 road! Not a great idea is it? We bring them to the offic where ever possible.
High Risk for All: Example…. Many collaborating agents have been known to pass house keys willy nilly between each other to do viewings. Some are even leaving keys for collection at local bars! This is a high risk game. Hondon Villas have a key safe that only staff have access to. We never give keys to another agent or person without express permission from the vendor or we let the agent in. The idea that you let another agent have the keys unaccompanied is madness and unsafe to our way of thinking.
Recently, a collaborating agent let a surveyor enter the property without the owner’s permission (they are abroad & the house is empty). The reason is the collaborating agent did not have the owner’s name or telephone number. One seller we know had money stolen from her home during an ad-hoc viewing via a collaborating agent.
It Gets Overcrowded: We have seen 3 and 4 collaborating agents all turning up at the Notary / Completion day to claim their % of the sales fee! Overwhelming!
Greedy: We have also seen many times some agents wanting to inflate the property asking price to cover their loss in a split commission. And a few agents have, once they see where the house is, go back later and try to undercut our service or worse want to do a black money deal. This is not professional or ethical. And not AIPP standards.
Thankfully, our years in the business and local knowledge minimises the worst parts of a collaboration. We know who we want to deal with and as a result 99% of our sales are stress-free and easy. If we do have problems it is usually because someone is double dealing, not being honest or is incompetent... and now and again the wolves do wear sheep’s clothing.
Alas, we cannot fix the weaknesses in the Spanish property market but we sure as hell try to minimise them for our client’s sake and to save on our leg-work and reputation.
Contact Hondón Villas: 30+ Years of Experience & Local Knowledge Telephones: +34 965 075 357 / +34 865 571 981 Mobiles • +34 683 635 339 | +34 622 314 244 OFFICES: Central Plaza in Hondón de los Frailes
We at Hondón Villas (the #1 local Hondon Valley Real Estate agent) are celebrating 5 years in the Association of International property Professionals (AIPP).
We were the firstHondón Agent to apply and be accepted by the AIPP due to our long international experience in real estate. Maureen Cook (Director) saw the benefits of the AIPP long before any other local agent did because the AIPP pretty much echoes Maureen’s own attitude to professional service standards. Indeed, she believes she goes beyond the AIPP’s service recommendations.
Professional Customer Care is our Top Priority Hondón Villas have 5 years of AIPP membership and fully support their ethos. Plus, with our 10 years in the Hondón high street and 20+ years in the UK Realty industry, we are the ONLY LOCAL AGENT that have and do consistently strive for pro’ standards! The other agents are still catching up… well we welcome that they all now want a AIPP Members Badge which should raise the standard of services in the area.
Of course actually practising the AIPP standards is different to just displaying the badge online and is no substitute for our passion, knowledge and experience. We’ve proved time and again that it’s safer to buy through Hondon Villas than any other local agent, most of who work from a car, have no office, have few credentials or pedigree, with limited experience, no corporate liability insurance or a local network. We are the safe way to buy your dream home in the Hondón Valley, Spain.
Ultimately we love selling home in the Hondón Valley and we hope that shows when you meet us! We look forward to looking after all your property needs. Call +34 965 075 357 or visit us at our offices in Hondon the Hondón Valley.
About the AIPP – The industry standard The AIPP, set up in London 2006, is now a well established non-profit body of estate agents and related professionals looking to improve the work and business standards of the international real estate industry. They do not sell property but with over 380 members and growing they do help promote, train and educate the industry and buyers to ensure a smoother and stress-fee property buy/sell experience. AIPP is also a Trustee of the IESC – International Ethics & Standards Coalition . Learn more about the AIPP here.
VIDEO TESTIMONIALS : Hondon Villas. Irana Davidson talks about her experience buying her Hondón Valley home through Hondon Villas.
What was the main reason you chose the Hondón Valley? We actually fell in love with the village to start with (Hondón de los Frailes). We sat at the 28 Restaurant and we looked down the village and we saw it had everything we imagined we wanted.
Why would you recommend Hondón Villas? The name “Hondón” being associated with Hondón Villas seemed a natural choice. As I said before, we were never pushed into looking at any property. We looked at properties that we chose. And when we decided on the property we wanted it then became a real hand-holding process.
Not speaking Spanish it (the buying process) became quite daunting. But everything was basically done for us. We were taken to the notary. We were given real good advice. And once we had bought the house it was more hand-holding.
Anything we needed, whether it was to do with the property or not I could contact Maureen and she’d say “Right, OK, fine. We’ll sort it!”
And we felt we were looked after. They were more friendly than a lot of places we went to. We were not pushed into looking into anything, it was what we wanted to look at.
How do find the social side of Hondón? I think the first social event I went to, I was invited by Maureen from Hondón Villas. She invited me to the Ascot Ladies Day which was fabulous because at the time Charlie (my husband) was away in Scotland for a wee while so it was a fantastic way for getting to know people.
You do feel like you can walk through the village and people will speak to you. You can go for a coffee and someone will speak to you. … we rescued a dog and you get to know people through that. I find it very social here.
Yippee… Google says our main website WWW.HONDONVILLAS.NET is faster than all our competitors! In fact our HOME PAGE scored a perfect 100 for desktop and 95 for mobile today with Google! *
*Why does this ‘page speed’ matter? Well, we want the end-user to get the most out of the website and ensure that potential buyers don’t drift off to the competition. Google tell us that faster websites get more enquiries and conversions – and 90% of people use Google to make informed choices of products and services! Now how fast a website loads varies from minute to minute as there are many external factors that influence a website’s speed. But page speed is a critical factor to end-users! If a site is too slow users soon get fed up and move on, (we’ve all done that right?). Indeed Google deems it a very important ranking and search factor these days, it’s part of their legendary algorithm.
In-House Web Development Hondón Villas host and manage a few property and blog websites to help promote our client’s homes for sale or rent. As we have our own in-house web developer we have full control, speed and design flexibility in how we present, optimise and manage our websites…. down to the core coding.
Faster. Full Stop! We can react to issues faster, add new offers, banners, change the layout and add properties quicker than agents with off-the-shelf products. Our main websites are bespoke and optimised for speed and mobile devices. Our web technology and coding is checked for errors and standards. We write content and code that Google likes… yes there is a knack to all this and it’s not automatic that Google likes a website.
Google Page 1 Ranking for Years! All that extra work & web knowledge pays off as Hondón Villas have enjoyed 10 years of Page #1 search Ranking with Google. As we compare ourselves to local Real Estate competitors, most don’t have a clue on how to get listed or ranked by Google. And we get 1000’s of page hits every week. Even we are surprised at the interest in this “secret” we call the Hondón Valley!
Simply, having a fast and popular website is work work work! So it’s nice that Google recognise our sites as better than most.