Interview With José Carlos León; NVOGA Realty Marbella

Born in Marbella, José Carlos León has been hugely successful in carrying out his dream of growing his business from one office in Puerto Banus, which is now cellebrating its 5th anniversary, to an operation that covers the entire Costa del Sol, always challenging himself and his business on ways in which to progress.

José Carlos LeónJosé Carlos, what is your view of the market today?

My view of the market today is a very positive one. We are coming to the end of the recession where the prices will not go down anymore. Next year, prices will start to stabilise for the next 2-3 years, then after that we will start to view an increase in prices. I often meet different professionals in the sector like advisers, banks, other real estate agents, etc. so this is an opinion based on my own experience. The high end of the market is already starting to see an increase, and the medium and lower priced properties will soon follow.

What is the most important element to your business?

The team. For us this is very important because we work 100% for the client, and in order for us to do this well, it is vital that we all work well as a team. We always look out for the needs of the client. For example we find out if they need to be close to schools or amenities and we try to find out what they really need as well as what they want in order to achieve the best possible outcome. Sometimes they may have an initial idea of what they want, then meeting with a real estate agent, they realise that this is actually something very different.

This is why it is so important to develop a good relationship. We have a very strong team, and everyone who works at Nvoga has been in the real estate business for a long time, some of them for over 15 years, so they know the market here well and each have their own area of expertise. I’m very fortunate with the team I have – this is the strongest we have ever been. We work in a close circle and offer a great range of aftersales services to the client to meet their every need.

We do everything from setting up utilities contracts to helping out with refurbishments. It’s a full service package that we provide, and the people working for us are very professional, efficient and honest, which to me is the most important thing. Also Nvoga has successfully sold several promotions during the last 4 years belonging to different banks and with very positive results for both parties, thats is probably why the banks have chosen us as their real estate agent, because they can clearly see what we do and the way we work.

What is the biggest opportunity for your business today?

Bank repossessions and business opportunities like hotels, lands, restaurants, etc, are getting very good level prices. The price reductions have become up to 40-70%. Individual owners have also been reducing the price of their properties, however not as much as the banks.

So far, who or what has been the biggest influence in your career?

I’ve learned a lot from everyone I have worked for over the years. I started out in real estate working for the Los Monteros Sales Office. I joined their team in 1992 and stayed there for many years where I really learned a lot from my boss, Juan Carlos Giménez. He was the sales director there and he taught me a lot before I moved to Kristina Szekely in 2006 when she offered me the opportunity to join her team, where I worked as sales director before starting up on my own.

What is your personal goal?

To continue selling dreams to clients. My family is Marbella’s native, I was born here and because of my job I travel quite often, so I can 100% ensure that Marbella is one of the best places to live. We have also had the opportunity to expand and open new offices in Moscow and The Emirates as we have been attending several real estate exhibitions during the last 3 years in Russia and the Middle East.

Do you think you will continue to focus on bank repossessions?

Nowadays, we are the primary agency in Marbella for Banco Santander, BBK-Cajasur Bank and we actively collaborate with Banco Popular, Banco Sabadell, BBVA, etc. Our plans are to continue working with them as the results have been very positive.

What advice would you give to someone looking to sell their home?

The first thing would be to guarantee they 100% want to sell their property in today’s market, or find out if they are able to wait a little longer until the market improves and rent it out in the meantime. If they do want to sell it then they need to set a realistic price rather than having to reduce it after time and then eventually selling it for a lot less than they initially wanted.

What advice would you give to someone looking to buy a home?

A very important factor is to find the best agent who meets your requirements and who you can develop a bond with. It’s impossible to find a house purely on the internet as many of the websites are not up to date and often are not accurate. So the best thing is to find a professional real estate agent to help them. Many of our clients have tried to find a home on their own and they have finally desisted.

What are your expectations for the coming year for the Costa del Sol real estate market?

I think all the views are very positive now. We are frequently in contact with relevant people working for the Town Hall, Andalucia Government, Real Estate agencies, Lawyers, etc and they all see an improvement. Not only the hotels have been fully booked this year, but we have also noticed that the holiday residential market has been increased, and we are starting to get more interest from foreign investors.

There are a lot of business opportunities direct from the banks just now and there is a lot of interest from big foreign companies to invest in these. Particularly from Scandinavia, Russia and Saudi Arabia where I have a large portfolio of clients. I often receive phone calls from clients looking for big business opportunities as they see Marbella as a lucrative place with lots to offer them. I predict 2014 as being a good year, but 2015 being even better. In fact, it is with no doubt the best moment to buy a property in Spain since many years ago.

NVOGA Realty Marbella, Avda. Boulevard de la Fama, Urb. Jardines del Puerto Local 2, 29660 Puerto Banús ; Properties for Sale by NVOGA Realty Marbella

Lucy D'Agostino
By Lucy D'Agostino
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