As part of our Pure Portugal Past & Present 14th Birthday Celebrations we decided it would be nice to interview one of the agents who has been advertising their property for sale with Pure Portugal since the early days.
See their featured property for sale here
What were you doing before you started selling properties?
We’ve always had our own smallholding producing about 95% of our own food so there was never any lack of work. Over the years we’ve had cows, donkeys, horses, pigs, sheep, a herd of goats and poultry, now we just have a few chickens but still grow all our own food (or rather my wife does !) At some point I started working in Switzerland in the summers. I’d take about 50 cows way up high into the alpine pastures and stay there in a wooden hut for nearly 3 months. The cows had to be milked everyday, put out to pasture and I’d make tons of cheese in a big copper vat over an open fire. They were good days, it was so so beautiful, my little daughter always came with me too. I did that for 8 summers. Then one year when I came back from Switzerland I heard about a guy staying in the area looking for people to put up those huge wind turbines for a German company. To cut a long story short I went for it and got the job. I did a year putting them up and then moved on to 6 or 7 years doing the mechanical maintenance. In the end it was too much trying to juggle both the wind turbines and the quintas so I left to do the property thing full time.
What led you to get involved in the property market?
Locals would always ask me if I didn’t know of anyone who would want to buy their abandoned or surplus properties. So when a friend of mine asked me if I knew of a nice place he could buy I showed him a lovely little smallholding nearby. He loved it and wanted to secure it immediately by putting down a deposit. He had money in England but not here, and none of us had internet banking in those days, so as he was a good friend of mine and was going to England a few days later, I paid the deposit for him and he was going to transfer the money to me from England. Unfortunately when he got to England he died so I had to decide whether to loose the deposit or spend every penny I had on buying the place and try and sell it on afterwards. I decided to risk it. I bought it, cleaned it up with the strimmer, advertised it, and it sold really easily. Weeks later I bought another one !
How did you first find out about Pure Portugal – What did you know about us before you joined us?
I didn’t know anything about you. I heard that a friend of mine over in Gois had sold her property through a company called Pure Portugal. I checked Pure Portugal out on the internet and thought blimey I better get my adverts on there quickly before everyone else does. I think they had about 10 properties advertised at the time 🙂
You’ve been advertising property now with Pure Portugal for many years! What are the major changes you have seen over this time with the property market?
I’m not an expert in the property ‘market’ as such, my company just buy and sell nice smallholdings. But talking about the international market, obviously it’s boomed over the years. In fact it boomed many years ago. In the beginning it was easy to sell as very few people were buying and selling and there were very few estate agents too. If you have good properties they still sell, it’s finding them that’s the problem now, we find ourselves going further and further afield to find the good smallholdings. We’ve sold a few recently so are very actively searching for new ones at the moment. We just bought a beauty some days ago, not yet advertised!
Tell us something you love about being connected with Pure Portugal?
I’ve known Sophie for many years. She’s a great person with good values, morally and environmentally. It’s always been really easy and a pleasure working with Pure Portugal. She’s picked great people to work with her. I like what’s behind Pure Portugal, the clue’s in the name, good down to earth rustic country living.
If you could go back to the beginning of your business and could give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
To keep business advice to myself!! 🙂