Costa del Sol agents closing down

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This topic contains 81 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 8 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #53521
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Several big agents on the Cost del Sol have closed offices or closed down completely in the last couple of days. Sign of the times: Everyone is struggling to stay afloat. But I hear the Spanish-based agents selling ‘investments’ in places like Bulgaria, Morocco, and various places in the developing world are still doing okay flogging rubbish to Brits and Irish who haven’t a clue what they are doing with their money. Greed and ignorance are still driving sales, but the jig will be up before long.

    Mark

  • #76605
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “the developing world are still doing okay flogging rubbish to Brits and Irish who haven’t a clue what they are doing with their money. Greed and ignorance are still driving sales, but the jig will be up before long.

    Mark: Not all the developments are rubbish in any Country or anytime of the economic/property cycle. The old, buyer be aware applies now as it allways did. The majority of the buyers know what they are doing as there are more satified buyers than the ones who sadly got caught out. As pointed out on the forum on many occassions.

    I think, greed is a motivating factor but like all things in life it has to be managed and controlled.

  • #76606
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    One who we don’t mention seems to have a lot of employees. Last week there was about 25 of them stood outside their office (wondered if they were on strike 😉 ) All in black and white uniform!

    Driving into marbella this morning I saw one of those ugly billboards which said “Invest in Romania…apartments from only 90,000E” ❗

  • #76607
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I have a close friend who is married to a Bulgarian who’s brother is an Estate Agent in Bulgaria (if that makes sense and you know what I mean! 😀 ) and apparently the market has nose-dived. Investors and life-style purchasers are at great risk of losing deposits paid because developers are going bust. Another friend (I sound like a popular guy!!! 8) ) is a surveyor in the UK and he has never experienced such a sudden ‘turn-around’ and decline in activity in this country in al the years he has been doing the job. This could all get very, very nasty indeed.

    Incidentally, who in their right minds would spend E90,000 on an apartment in Romania? This is a lot of money.

  • #76612
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Shakeel, you are quite right that not all property in these new markets is rubbish. What IS rubbish as both an investment and a home, though, is the property being flogged by the sorts of companies that Brits tend to deal with, and that was my point. Most buyers don’t get near the good stuff, as the companies they deal with are only interested in shifting volume at the highest commission, which usually involves mis-selling crap new developments to ignorant buyers. Let’s face it, how many Brits know the first thing about the property market in a place like Bulgaria when they buy, other than what they have been told by estate agents?

    Buying property aboard is much riskier than most people realise due to the lack of professionalism in the sector. Many of the companies selling property abroad have come from nowhere other than timeshare, and have no scruples. In fact, the overseas property industry could be the biggest scam ever.

    Maximus, the property market in Bulgaria et al lacks transparency, so I am grateful for the information relayed from your friends of friends of friends, as it’s about the best market intelligence we are likely to get. The lack of transparency of overseas property markets makes the scam so much easier. Buyers should always be cautious in markets that lack transparency, as they are operating in the dark. It amazes me how this age-old axiom of investing has been so ignored by overseas property buyers.

    For what it is worth I am convinced that the Bulgarian property market where Brits have bought will melt down. It will make Spain look like a safe haven in comparison. Having said that, Spain isn’t going to be a smooth ride either.

    And yes, isn’t it amazing how 90,000 Euros can be made to sound like small change just because it is property. Next it will be mud huts in the Congo ‘from only 50,000 Euros’. Not a bad idea, actually. Just think of the commission you could make….

  • #76613
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Here’s a repost of my opinion for what it’s worth.

    If you’re not entirely happy with the reputation for honesty of Estate Agents at home here in the UK, wait till you meet some of the ex Transylvanian Donkey rustlers selling unsuspecting Brits holiday homes in Tulcea and Constanta on the Black Sea! Where next? Ski lodges in Nagorno-Karabakh, just 8 days yak ride from Baku international airport. Or Beach Villas on the Aral’s Sea health Spa, specialising in chemical body scrubs, with all the toxic pollution you can drink. “Prices start at 3 million Dram (£15,000), 10% discount if you buy off plan. Legal title guaranteed by The South Caucasus Development Corporation of Kazakhstan All deposits underwritten by the Bank of Chechnya, as advertised on Channel 4 by the regional goodwill ambassador Borat! Don’t miss this ground floor, investment opportunity of a lifetime”……….. I mean seriously they are now advertising apartments in Ulaan Baator Mongolia, to us Brits, as a fly to buy investment destination. The decedents of Genghis Khan must by laughing into their celebratory ‘airag’ (fermented mares milk) cocktails!!!

    Don’t let the next, up and coming, leading edge location that’s being pushed as a must have investment, turn from leading to bleeding edge for you!

  • #76614
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Of course, there is always Panama 8) 😉

  • #76615
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Mark: Point shared. As you know good development do not even get to the Estate Agents. The majority of the units/phases get sold through internal market and its contacts.

    I have always stressed to people that they should buy for retirement or impending retirement. Even in UK buying to flip is a very risky business should only be done by people who can afford to lose the money or have plan “b” etc.

    In the well established Med countries the high cost of buying/selling alone will eat into your speculative profit. The same applies for the so called emerging markets. Infrastructure will take years and if you cannot find another foreign buyer than you have no local market. The second hand market is not very lucrative for the Agents and an individual does not have the kind of marketing clout.

  • #76619
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    anybody got any news on Viva, seems even more goings on have been happening late last week

  • #76620
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    anybody got any news on Viva, seems even more goings on have been happening late last week

    Apparently closed down wholesale and canned somewhere between 40 and 60 staff.

    The expo is carrying on, though, as this is run under a different company name.

  • #76624
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Wonder what will happen to the holding deposits that people have paid to VIVA 😕

  • #76625
    Profile photo of Black_Pear
    Black_Pear
    Participant

    I wonder if a similar fate waits ‘you know who’. The Estate Agent who must remain nameless.

    Now that would be a Christmas present.

    .

  • #76628
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @black_pear wrote:

    I wonder if a similar fate waits ‘you know who’. The Estate Agent who must remain nameless.

    .

    The management will move on to the next scam.

    They led the way on timeshare, then overseas property…..who knows what next.

    Tulip Bulbs, South Sea Company, Mississippi Company….3 hundred years of fools being relieved of their money by men such as these.

    Overseas-off-plan-tat will be replaced with something else.

  • #76631
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Being really mercenary about it I am delighted that a lot of agents are going bust down here, there are far too many anyway spending far more money than they can possibly make from sales.

    It leaves room for small hungry but ethical agents who want to build up there business on doing the right thing by there client which certainly hasnt been the case down here to date as say Viva are charging clients 7.5% and there not the worst.

    As I said on another thread id be happy to work on 2.5% if it meant more volume but at the moment thats very unlikely to happen and for most agents its a case of maximising the Commission from what little sales they have.

    My business being new has the advantage of low overheads and not having to cut corners to bring revenue in and I think the way business is done down here in the next 12 months is going to change radically

    Lets not forget that Spain is almost 40% UK overseas property market and still represents the best security V risk and at the moment represents fantastic investment opportunities for those who can sit on there investments for 3-5 years

    Anyway Lets see what happens

  • #76634
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Senor Nick

    with all the data and opinion (both macro and micro) that is coming downstream at us, are you seriously predicting that prices on the Costas (UK influenced markets) will be higher “fantastic investment opportunities” in 3 to 5 years than today. The global credit crunch is just getting started and the fall out from it will change a generatrions attitude to debt assisted discretionary property purchase. On what do you base that prediction as many wise people I know are saying that these markets are going to go the same way as Florida in the US?

  • #76635
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Senor Nick wrote:

    … and at the moment represents fantastic investment opportunities for those who can sit on there investments for 3-5 years

    Your ‘advice’ presumably has nothing to do with the fact you are an estate agent then?

  • #76637
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    the phrase ‘massive potential for improvement’ springs to mind!

  • #76638
    Profile photo of Aunty Val
    Aunty Val
    Participant

    Can anyone actually confirm that Viva have closed all their offices?

    Rumours aren’t good enough for me – too many things get discussed on forums and then don’t get realised.

  • #76639
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Viva have closed most of their offices, and laid off staff with full severance pay. However I understand that they have not closed down, and I get the impression they are optimistic about their Expo model for 2008. With most agents struggling to stay afloat it strikes me that Viva are just doing what they have to do to keep going in the present market.

    Mark

  • #76640
    Profile photo of Aunty Val
    Aunty Val
    Participant

    Thanks Mark, do you happen to know which offices have closed and which ones remain open?

  • #76641
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Kristina Szeckley has also closed some offices, including central Marbella.

    re: Viva Alzambra office is still open it would appear.

  • #76649
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Mark, your post appears to give the official Viva line. To all intents and purposes all the offices have closed with the sales people being given the option to continue working at the Expo or to seek pastures new and gift any outstanding commissions to the company. Those contract staff who have been given notice have been offered a fraction of their legal entitlement on the condition they sign a document confirming that they have received the full entitlement. A skeleton staff will remain in the hope that the company can salvage whatever commissions are due on pending sales. As for optimism about the Expo in 08, why don’t you poll the developers who are present as to their opinion whether such optimism is justified?

  • #76651
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @pablo Silver or Lead? wrote:

    Senor Nick

    with all the data and opinion (both macro and micro) that is coming downstream at us, are you seriously predicting that prices on the Costas (UK influenced markets) will be higher “fantastic investment opportunities” in 3 to 5 years than today. The global credit crunch is just getting started and the fall out from it will change a generatrions attitude to debt assisted discretionary property purchase. On what do you base that prediction as many wise people I know are saying that these markets are going to go the same way as Florida in the US?

    Obviously depends what price you buy at, its my opinion and if I could liquidate my assets Id be happy to put my money where my mouth was.

    Investors who club together can probably buy at very low entry price and eventually the slack has to be taken up from somewhere, Andalucia is changing from a tourist economy to a business economy

    We shall see what happens but I dont see buiders costs decreasing at the end of the day your property costs are made up of 3 things

    Cost of land
    Building Costs
    Builders profit

    For me that means an eventual increase of property prices in the medium to long term

    Just my point of view

  • #76652
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Well, desperate times…..desperate measures. They could always get a job as a pin-up, as one REA in Seville has done. He now appears in the Vatican calendar, dressed as a priest, & says ‘Let’s see if this helps me to sell some flats’.

    http://www.typicallyspanish.com/news/publish/article_14189.shtml

  • #76653
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @el pajarito wrote:

    Mark, your post appears to give the official Viva line. To all intents and purposes all the offices have closed with the sales people being given the option to continue working at the Expo or to seek pastures new and gift any outstanding commissions to the company. Those contract staff who have been given notice have been offered a fraction of their legal entitlement on the condition they sign a document confirming that they have received the full entitlement. A skeleton staff will remain in the hope that the company can salvage whatever commissions are due on pending sales. As for optimism about the Expo in 08, why don’t you poll the developers who are present as to their opinion whether such optimism is justified?

    Viva has recently made a bit of a comeback through the internet but obvioulsy not enough to keep them from serious financial trouble.

    They have a business in Costa Calida and Costa Blanca where there is more volume of sales be interesting to see if that is effected by the current goings on.

  • #76655
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Little Bird, I rang Viva for confirmation, so it IS the official line, nothing else.

  • #76656
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Senor Nick wrote:

    and still represents the best security V risk and at the moment represents fantastic investment opportunities for those who can sit on there investments for 3-5 years

    Everything else seemed quite reasonable in your post, but the above is either wishful thinking or delusion…..You’re having a laugh with that one aren’t you?

  • #76657
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    In defence of Senor Nick – though Im sure he doesnt need it – and at risk of further ridicule, I dont think he is too far out.

    Spain is a safe investment, good infrastruture and easy to get to, people are still buying here and that is people who live here, second homes, retirement or enjoyment and large investor funds too – they cant all be wrong

    Yes there is a lot of rubbish to trawl through and yes there are and always will be people who for whatever reason HAVE to sell and sell fast, but mid term investment would fit in with the cycle we are seeing now.

    Proeprty is cicular and while most people think it is just starting, the facts are the downward trend has been happening for a good 3 years now.

    Prices are coming down and if you get a good property good price and ood location you wont lose out – unless you HAVE to sell, but then like anything, if you have to sell at the wrong time, you will lose on it.

    As the rest of the so called emerging markets flounder, and fall much faster and further than Spain has, people wanting a safe longer term investment in bricks and mortar will buy here.

    OK Im under cover now, so shoot!!!

  • #76658
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Pablo.Silver,Lead 😉
    Better still why dont you tell us who these wise people that appear to have one impressive crystal ball. 😯
    2 years 3 years 5years no one can predict with any accuracy apart from know alls who normally sit on the fence. 😥

    Frank 8)
    :

  • #76661
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @inez wrote:

    In defence of Senor Nick – though Im sure he doesnt need it – and at risk of further ridicule, I dont think he is too far out.

    Spain is a safe investment, good infrastruture and easy to get to, people are still buying here and that is people who live here, second homes, retirement or enjoyment and large investor funds too – they cant all be wrong

    Yes there is a lot of rubbish to trawl through and yes there are and always will be people who for whatever reason HAVE to sell and sell fast, but mid term investment would fit in with the cycle we are seeing now.

    Proeprty is cicular and while most people think it is just starting, the facts are the downward trend has been happening for a good 3 years now.

    Prices are coming down and if you get a good property good price and ood location you wont lose out – unless you HAVE to sell, but then like anything, if you have to sell at the wrong time, you will lose on it.

    As the rest of the so called emerging markets flounder, and fall much faster and further than Spain has, people wanting a safe longer term investment in bricks and mortar will buy here.

    OK Im under cover now, so shoot!!!

    Id agree with that but I suppose we’ll be in the minority

    the biggest problem in Andalucia is the people who used to live here cant afford to live here anymore and thats about cost of living not property prices but they are being replaced with middle class to wealthy English (less volume) and the Germans are starting to come back and you have the andalucian business economy increasing.

    There are great oppotunites but its the usual story of money going to money Im afraid

    The only negative at the present time is that you can rent for 50% of what the mortgage would cost you (depending on the term) but that wont last forever

    No one has a crystal ball and what I have posted here is just my opinion time will prove if I was right or wrong

  • #76662
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi all

    Fundamently I agree with the agents Inez and Nick, as we have always said, buy the right property at the right price in the right position and you will be ok, a fair 3-5 year investment as long as it is legal.

    Estate agents both old and new will survive in this market as long as they provide the above, are honest as possible(sorry a 100% honest one does not exist) and keep there overheads low, it would kick start the market if agents adopted a general 2.5% commission rate, hell this is 5 grand on a 200k unit and so on. You dont need to offer any add ons, just do the deal and point them in the direction of a lawyer.

    Re Viva, the post on this topic earlier from el pajarito who incidently only joined today is probably a now ex employee so is to be believed.

    Steve V

    BE GLAD WHEN CHRISTMAS IS OVER, CANT STAND IT ANY MORE, WISH I WAS IN SPAIN

    BAR HUMBUG

  • #76663
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If you want to buy a property to live in and enjoy now or in the next few years it could be a good opportunity as it is obvious there will be some bargains. However as far as ‘fantastic investment opportunitys’ is concerned that is very doubtful, with buying costs at 11% selling costs including cgt of 20% plus I don’t see where the investment is.
    Estate agents allways refer to buying a property as an investment which must sound pretty hollow to the thousands in Spain that are finding it impossible to sell their properties at the moment.
    If you want a true investment with ready access to your cash plus dividends the stock market must be your number one choice over a dubious ‘investment’ in Spanish property.
    Spanish estate agents should concentrate on selling property on the quality of life climate etc and drop the investment angle because it does not ring true at the moment, and just makes you look like cowboys.

  • #76666
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    The property market here can be a bit similar to buying and selling cars. To buy the oncosts can be about 12%. Even if you get a good price from the sale there is 18%CG, app. 2% fees, 5% agents fees. If you are buying another there is the 12% buying costs again…not much incentive to buy and sell is there!

  • #76667
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Really does depend what price you buy at.

    If you go to a development along the costa an bank valuation is 300k, the real valuation say 250k but because you can buy so many units you buy them for 170k then even with the costs involved your gonna make money in the medium to long term.

    Agree with the other poster who was saying quality of live etc is the most important thing in buying down here but because the resale market is so screwed up at the present time there is a good opportunity for Big investors who have buying power to do very well, anyway thats my opinion.

  • #76669
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    And if this (crazy) person buys all these “bargain” units it will have to be very long term. ( the last property slump lasted more than 5 years and there was less construction then.) What will they do with them in the meantime? Rentals have hit the floor and will get worse because unemployment is rising fast. Taxes still need to be paid on empty units and they will need maintaining. Ever seen a spanish property that is not lived in and left 😯

    I would say “no way, José”! Buy for pleasure but look on it as only an investment in improving the quality of your life.

  • #76670
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    And if this (crazy) person buys all these “bargain” units it will have to be very long term. ( the last property slump lasted more than 5 years and there was less construction then.) What will they do with them in the meantime? Rentals have hit the floor and will get worse because unemployment is rising fast. Taxes still need to be paid on empty units and they will need maintaining. Ever seen a spanish property that is not lived in and left 😯

    I would say “no way, José”! Buy for pleasure but look on it as only an investment in improving the quality of your life.

    unemployment will get even worse if the housing market crashes too with so many people employed in the construction sector, and the proportion of gdp in the construction sector. I’ve never been one who believed the soft landing talk, and am of the opinion it was wishful thinking from agents, etc. to try and almost bring about a soft landing cos the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about, i foresee 2008 as the critical year in the cycle. I certainly wouldn’t be bargain hunting at the moment, things will almost certainly get worse and there aren’t really too many bargains out there at present.

  • #76672
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    The soft landing has been happening since 2003! To be honest I thought it would slump earlier, but there are a multitude of factors to bring into the equation – in a country such as UK, a person living in the house HAS to try and keep it – its their roof! In the majority of cases bought here, people have the income to see them over the slumps so no need to sell. The ones that are stuck are the owners working here who are seeing a drop in income – or none at all – and speculators.

    Funds are buying up developments at developer mortgage rate and will sit on them until it picks up – that is fact. Outgoings are costs in the business world for them so not the same as an independant investor. And buyers finding a good deal are still around.

    I agree with the commission statement Steve – ours always has been 2.5% and drop if need be to close a deal.

    And I would consider myself honest – no one anywhere is 100% honest!! 😉

    Roll on 08 – there will be many many casualties and not just in RE. Yesterday I was in Banus and it was a ghost town. Loads of units empty and at 11am, many shops not even bothered to open!!

    Might go into the cheap food market myself…………….. 😆

  • #76674
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @inez wrote:

    The soft landing has been happening since 2003!

    that does not mean there wont be a sudden further crash, which is my point.

  • #76676
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    I dont think there will be but if there is it wont be for a while. Banks are bending over backwards to avoid reposessions and the Bank of Spain has introduced further criteria to check out people wanting mortgages as well.

    Its certainly going to be interesting and the ones truly to suffer will be the speculators or owners reliant on rental income or who have overstretched, but in all honesty time will tell if gets as bad as the mid seventies when there were people on the street who couldnt sell villas for love or money – incredible stories from then!

  • #76677
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Happened in the mis 90’s too, people didn’t want to buy even though the prices were rock bottom.
    What is interesting when the employment figures came out is that the highest increase in unemployment was in the service sector a close second being construction trades. This could suggest that tourism is down too. I definately know the golf courses are having a tough time.

  • #76681
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Yes the government of the day actively encouraged a service orientated culture – good money and didnt need to be qualified really, but they do go when there is no money for the real earners to spend. Here is the same and on the Costas in the main it is a total service industry – we are all based on others from cleaners to agents!

    There are no factories to provide a steady wage, low as it may be and so most expats from whereever they may be face a stark choice, try and make it work or go back home.

    As immigrants there is no UK social and housing to rely on and only the toughest will survive here.

    Yes it happened in the 90s but the main difference between both of those times and now is there is finance involved. You couldnt get a spanish mortgage before and so this phenomenan is new to the spanish.

  • #76685
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “There are no factories to provide a steady wage”
    The Govt has lacked the vision and an anti enterprise culture/ethos. Small or large investors will not invest Spain.

    1) High social security cost.
    2) Lack of training/trained work force.
    3) Employment legislation’s
    4) Available housing from private sector and housing legislation to facilitate the movement of labour.
    5) Lack of confidence in the Legal system
    6) Bureaucracy
    7) Bank’s greed
    8) Public holidays, this accounts for a very large unproductive time.
    9) Lack of appreciation by employers of quality/output of an employee.
    10) Dare, I say Andalusian attitude towards work, manana & pasa nada.
    11) Managers , who can manage and not there because of their contacts.

    Andalucia should be like California, if only there is a serious shift in policy, employee are made to feel their worth in the setup. Change of out of date working hours when nobody knows who is working what hours. Make civil servants accountable .

  • #76690
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    When the employment figures came out this week it also said that 90% of workers in málaga province are on short term contracts. Employers are cautious abut long term contracts because of the european model of generous sick leave etc.

    I know someone who took over the contract of running a large Hotel restaurant in marbella. Experienced in running large ones he thought he knew what he was doing. Within a few months, most of the staff were on long term sick, due to that and other staff problems he went bust within a year.

  • #76697
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Can confirm that all Viva offices bar expo are closed or the 4 I saw today were anyway, the big one in mijas Costa was reasonably new and had a lot of money spent on it.

    There signs they we have moved to expo offices, it will be very interesting to see how this unravels

  • #76698
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    as for the other topic I personally think the doom mongers will be proved wrong.

    I am very positive about business in Andalucia and not just real estate

    On another note I today met an old colleague from ADH who left over 6 months ago and hasnt been paid his commission, when I joined the company they prided themselves on everybody being paid, times change I suppose

  • #76699
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Mijas Costa one has been closed for months now. I noticed the nueva andalucia one shut – dunno about the banus one, but their original in Calahonda is closed as well as estepona and the one opposite the expo!

    Hey ho, what goes around DOES come around!!!

  • #76701
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @inez wrote:

    Mijas Costa one has been closed for months now. I noticed the nueva andalucia one shut – dunno about the banus one, but their original in Calahonda is closed as well as estepona and the one opposite the expo!

    Hey ho, what goes around DOES come around!!!

    There inland flagship office in La Trocha, Coin is shut as are all there offices in the Alhaurin/Coin area.

    All with the sign we have relocated

  • #76702
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Ahhh – but where have they relocated to? each others offices??? 😮

  • #76703
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Sorry what is this “expo” the forum is talking about.

  • #76705
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    The big main offices of Viva located along the N340 or now A7 at El Rosario got turned into a permanent exhibition. Supposedly independant, its full of developers, a furniture company and one estate agent – Viva!!!

    All the other Viva offices (although not totally confirmed) seem to have closed down with this expo still going on – goodness knows for how much longer as there never seems to be many cars outside when I pass it!

    Bit like Viva Espana, only a lot smaller and emptier! 😀

  • #76706
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @shakeel wrote:

    Sorry what is this “expo” the forum is talking about.

    Its Viva’s head office (or only office now) where they have an expo with developers, Furniture companies and food all based there as an exhibition which basically is just another property exhibition.

    The only thing I dont know is if Viva in Costa Calida/Costa Blanca is set up as a seperate company because when I was there they seemed to be doing ok without having loads of offices. Also there magazine is called the Viva magazine and not Hot Properties

  • #76707
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Their website still shows 8 offices including Alhaurin, Mijas Costa, Dona Lola………..

    I am sad, still in the office this time of night!

    Hey ho – going home in a bit then back in ermmmmmmmmm 7th Jan!!! 😆

  • #76708
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you both. Does that mean “beafy” Ian Botham is out of a contract ???

  • #76709
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Nope – he now has the contract with Andalucian Dream Hoes telling everyone theres never been a better time to buy than now!

    So why was it so good 6 years ago then and how do you explain to your clients you sold to then that they were sold a pup??

  • #76711
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The advert stated ” dont buy in Spain until ….. Viva ” . So taken the message as gospel why would one buy from ADH.

    In so far as ADH is concerned, I do know some not very pleased people.

  • #76712
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @inez wrote:

    Nope – he now has the contract with Andalucian Dream Hoes telling everyone theres never been a better time to buy than now!

    So why was it so good 6 years ago then and how do you explain to your clients you sold to then that they were sold a pup??

    Its very clever marketing because he’s never bought a house through ADH, he says he recommends them however at Desert Springs he says he had to buy a house there big difference in the stamp of approval

  • #76713
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Senor Nick 😆
    Oh bugger now you have really done it as you have mentioned the 2 taboos 😯
    POSITIVE AND DOOM MONGERS. 😯
    I take sooooo much flack for looking at the positives in what is a less than positive situation for many of us.
    Bloody good on ya and lets just hope that you are right and had a biggy meeting with bankers today and the total view is interests rates are to head South in a big way in 2008.which at least is something that may help.

    Frank 8)

  • #76714
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Cheers and as we say in spain Feliz Navidad Y Prospero Ano Nuevo

  • #76715
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Was told today that ..cough…the one we can’t speak its name, have closed their calahonda office!

  • #76717
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    No problem 🙂 As we say in England “Mines a Pint” 😀

    Katy, But isnt that his territory you are entering ,cough talking about 😆

    Frank 8)

  • #76719
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    It really is ‘what goes around comes around’ time for most agents on the CDS at the moment, most subscribers to this forum will be rubbing there hands we glee, and I can empathise with there thoughts as most at some point during the past have been had by the CHEATING ROBBING BASTARDS, however two wrongs never make a right and its always sad to see a business go to the wall, there is always so much knock on effect with the former employees famlies etc.

    The CDS will always have estate agents, and the clued up, profesional, honest as possible, low overhead ones will do very well in 2008 and this may well be Viva

    Steve V

  • #76721
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Well, ADH will soon also realise that you can´t tell people a lot of lies, make false promises and get away with it. Word of mouth is a great recommandation to get business. Word of mouth also works the other way! Many people I know have taken their business elsewhere and bought from reliable estate agents,that they can trust (yes there are some !)

  • #76722
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @laggen wrote:

    Well, ADH will soon also realise that you can´t tell people a lot of lies, make false promises and get away with it. Word of mouth is a great recommandation to get business. Word of mouth also works the other way! Many people I know have taken their business elsewhere and bought from reliable estate agents,that they can trust (yes there are some !)

    Your right, I know several (not mine) well maybe 2 or 3 in each area who share my view that if you look after your client your client will look after you, obviously like bad agents you can get some very bad clients who may double cross you and get you doing a lot of running around for nothing but you have to take the rough with the smooth.

    I used to work for ADH and I wont get Mark in any trouble by posting what I saw, safe to say there were some good people there as well.

  • #76725
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I think the small one-owner agencies will have a better chance of surviving because they don’t have to sell many properties in a year to tick over. They are usually in the rental business too so they earn off that.

    I know a German woman and many of her sales are/have been with the people who have rented as holidaymakers. She sells mainly to German and Scandinavian clients all re-sales (no off-plan) and I have never seen her advertising. When people do buy she picks up managing their properties. She is still doing very well.

  • #76726
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I have had unbelievable service and help from a couple of small agencies when I hav bought from them. Their service has been outstanding and they have given help and advice beyond what was expected. When dealing with ADH I was quite shocked and appaled how misleading and false they were. With that kind of unethical business practice they will not survive.

  • #77431
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant
  • #77434
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Stevev6 wrote:

    I know its old news but!

    http://www.theolivepress.es/2008/01/17/no-viva/#more-948

    SV

    I was chatting to an agent in Calahonda last night and he was telling me most agents down here were getting emails from Viva saying they want to work with agents, maybe they’ll franchise areas off or something.

    Watch this space

  • #77435
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    They have a networking thing set up now, I was approached last year with it which is what some of their 40 staff will be doing.

    Fine if you can sell at 10% as they want 5%………………………….. Hey ho!

  • #77442
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @inez wrote:

    ]I agree with the commission statement Steve – ours always has been 2.5% and drop if need be to close a deal.

    Inez,

    I’m curious. Most estate agents in Valencia where I live take comission off both the buyer and vendor (typically 2% from each party). It always struck me as odd, and I can imagine would be a hard sell to British and Irish buyers on the CDS who are used to the vendor paying the estate agent fees. It will be interesting to see if the practice changes now that buyers are thin on the ground.

    Sean

  • #77482
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi all

    Just tried Viva’s website, it now says just two words ” service unavialable”.

    This does not appear to be a technical fault, can someone else try please in case its me.

    Steve

  • #77484
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Steve6

    Logged on to the Viva website OK this am. http://www.vivaestates.com They appear to be “surviving” at the moment.

  • #77486
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Says on another site that they will go into liquidation tomorrow ❓

  • #77506
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    In the Olive Press paper, (the only one which seems to expose the scams in Spain), Viva´s chairman Chris McCarthy at least has the cahones to state they have closed 13 out 14 offices and that they are struggling.

    It´s a pity Ocean Estates hasn´t gone yet, because IMO they are the ones who started most of the mis-selling which other cowboys then jumped on the lucrative bandwagon. However Ocean are now operating in similar fashion in other emerging markets and were exposed for mis-selling in Turkey for example.

    I think Spain´s property market on the dodgy Costas will not come back unless prices seriously crash and become irresistable, and there is a major demolition of the llegal builds as well as the over developed prison look-alike apartments., they´re ghastly.

  • #77543
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Hi Seanvalencia. In the old days agnets here tried all sorts of tricks, but the main one was adding commission on to the net price mainly as prices were so low. The Valencian practice is the ame in Morocco and other countries where both buyer and seller pay, usually 2 separate agents, one for the buyer and one for the seller as in the USA.

    I doubt that will happen here, but agents will have to drop their prices to close deals, or not do the business!

  • #77552
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Inez,

    I don’t think it does them any favours because both buyer and seller have a vested interest in cutting the agent out. It consequently leads to agents being very cagey as to the exact location of the property. At the time (around 2001/2002) I was trying to find a property while living in London and grew very frustrated. I ended up buying a house direct from a builder/developer.

    As an aside the property market in the Valencian metropolitan area seems very flat with a lot of completed houses lying empty. I’ve also noticed that some properties are being marked down (but not more than 5%). Annecdotal evidence says the property market peaked 12 to 18 months ago.

  • #77555
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    I would have thought at least, and its not such good news for the rural areas when the towns and cities have a fallback!

    No industry here and no back up jobs. I reckon the UK will be seeing an influx of English immigrants this year!

  • #77597
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    I have heard from a source that Viva have closed down. Their websites have gone and they have a week to post a notice on their head office to advise creditors.

    Gosh – quite a shock really as they have been around for ages

  • #77604
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi guys

    Just spoke to Claire Thomas at Viva headquarters they are very much still open.

    I am not here to defend Viva, other than to suggest that it is important to clarify what is rumour and what is the present situation.

    Regards

    AP

  • #77605
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Good to hear it. Perhaps its another scaremongering then, but their webs are still down.

    If you can speak to someone there, it may be an idea to tell them this. Smoke and fires and all that.

  • #77606
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Inez

    Yes I let Claire know that the site was down.

    According to the OPP magazine, some 40.000 agents closed in Spain last year. Just market forces… I guess.

    AP

  • #77607
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Yes at least that many and they were the offical ones! There are loads of so called agents who are introducers and do it for nothing, cutting all us legal guys out. There are more closing all over

  • #78150
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    A very sad story, one I expect to be repeated many times over. These companies are almost like a pyramid , so many of them come from nowhere open up 5-10 offices take on staff ,always self employed ,during the good times it works, when the famine comes their stores are empty and run on air then collapse ruining the lives of thousands.

    I remember in the mid 80´s , I think it was Thames Tv did a programme called Sun ,Sea ,Swindle relating the adventures of various people who had bought or were thinking of buying on the Costas. One poor guy bought a property that had been sold twice and had lost all his money. But what I really remember is a couple who had come out on an inspection flight for three days and were being whisked around the coast at 100 mph. They were interviewed after the first day and it went somethinglike this.

    Interviewer How are you getting on,have you bought anything yet?

    Punter, Mug ,Buyer. We have seen some nice properties but my
    husband and I will go back to a misty cold day in
    Bristol and discuss it fully. We are not stupid.

    Now forward 24 hours ;
    Inter Have you seen anthing you really like?

    P,M,B Well yes we have paid a deposit on a property.
    John the sales rep is so honest and nice and we have
    met the developer. We are sure we are in good
    hands.

    These were professional people, doctors I think, what had come over them in 24 hours to make what would be the second largest investment in their life?

    There was as far as I know no follow up programme, I would love to know how they got on . Hopefully it was not a scam,and they lived happily ever after. Unfortunately the estate ageny closed down within a year so the portents are not good. Wonder where “Honest John “is now. What I cannot understansd is how a couple of above average intelligence could be taken in and make such an important investment decision in such a short time.

    There used to be a saying that British people leave their brains at Gatwick airport , how true that is/was.

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