An estate agent’s random journey from one stunning British seaside resort to another in Aljezur.
I first met Charlotte when she helped me sell my house in Monchique in 2020. I remember her calling me one afternoon and kindly saying that there might have been someone living in my now empty house that I was selling: a curtain in one of the bedrooms. I smiled to myself on the other end of the line and assured her that my son had decided to pitch a tent in his “old” room and use it as a den. For Charlotte this was a relief as her experience of working in the UK as an estate agent had been slightly different and encountering squatters was not necessarily unusual.
Charlotte began her career as a diamond dealer on the south coast of England. He told me that part of his job was sourcing diamonds from Spain and Italy. She especially loved it when men came to choose an engagement ring for their future groom!
From a young age she learned to deal with a high-profile clientele, a lesson she learned and put to good use when she became an estate agent and worked selling properties at the prestigious Sandbanks resort in Poole, Bournemouth. Here, according to Timeout magazine, properties are selling for £4,640 per square foot!
During his time in Sandbanks, he modestly reveals that he sold houses to Premier League footballers, one of whom is a very famous English player, but due to non-disclosure agreements we are not allowed to name names.
Charlotte has the opportunity to sell in areas where the price per square foot is breaking records. This year she sold a home in the popular Arrifana area that did just that!
Credits: Image provided; Author: João Gonçalo Furna Seraphim;
Describing the last few years spent in the UK wearing hard hats (to visit building sites), stiletto heels, jewelery and fast cars, life here is a little different now and she spends a lot of time outdoors in flip flops and often on the street. dirt to tend her garden with her toes in the dirt rather than wrapped around the steering wheel of a brand new BMW are the perks she gets from selling luxury homes.
He tells me of times when people would come to his office in England with a circle cut out of a newspaper ad and ask to see that particular property. There were no mobile phones or social media and, apart from the internationals to whom he sold houses, he dealt mainly with English nationals. Now, as an on-call physician, he is available virtually 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, working with clients from all over the world, meaning he can be accessible to clients in different time zones.
Charlotte had never thought about becoming an estate agent in Portugal, but dreamed of opening a holiday company when they arrived. Having already purchased their home through Guthrie Rocha Properties in 2019 through an online viewing and then moved into it almost immediately, she naturally developed a good relationship with them.
The agency quickly realized that he had over 16 years of experience in the property industry and had also run his own agency in Bournemouth for 3 years. The idea of managing holidays faded and she found herself working on an all-male, Portuguese-speaking sales team.
By quickly identifying her audience, resonating with them and providing everything needed to capture their attention, Charlotte’s Instagram posts caught the attention of the team behind A Place in the Sun, which airs on Channel 4 in the UK. In this program, agents are asked to present properties located in warmer climates to families hoping to move to “a place in the sun.” Of course, at the end of the show they have to choose a property to buy. In an episode aired in November 2023, they chose Charlotte’s property in Vila do Bispo!
Beyond advertising and marketing, don’t underestimate the responsibilities that real estate agents face.
After purchasing my fair share of properties myself, I realized that when you find a real estate agent you feel comfortable with – no pun intended – you begin a process that reveals more than just the need for a “2 bedroom house”. 3/4 bedrooms, same number of bathrooms, sea view, land for farm/garden, space for kids to play, no neighbors etc etc – haha - but a long term relationship that takes your vulnerabilities into account , expectations, finances and all relationships are brought to the forefront not only in your life, but also for the real estate agent.
Credits: Image provided; Author: João Gonçalo Furna Seraphim;
Being able to trust the person or company that will actually determine where you will put down your roots for years to come is an important decision. After all, it’s probably the largest item you’ll ever buy.
Thanks to this experience, Charlotte and the team at Guthrie Rocha Properties hit the jackpot. More like friends than salesmen, their modus operandi fits perfectly with the liberal mindset and open-air surf culture that characterizes the Vincentine coast. It’s no surprise that Scoring.pt included them in the “Top 5% of SMEs in Portugal in 2023” for the fourth time in a row.
Charlotte and James, her partner of 12 years, yes, my mouth dropped open in shock, promised themselves to never return to the country they visited on holiday and to continue exploring other places in the world. But, like many others, they could not contain themselves and continued to return to the Aljezur area. Having had the opportunity to host some people in Vila do Bispo, they got to know the Algarve better.
I was intrigued to hear about his experiences living in England. He describes his days as “moving”! And the logistics of caring for dogs, running around school and not having time for anything other than “running to make ends meet” – personally, I haven’t lived in that environment for many years, so it’s hard for me to understand. . And then I remember a friend recently telling me that in Britain he spent more time in the car than with his children – no wonder people want change!
James was an aeronautical engineer and barely saw his two children due to his busy work schedule. They decided they wanted to spend more time with their children and get outside in a safe environment. The transition was easy for James because he had already left a career as an aeronautical engineer to become a carpenter so he could have more time to devote to his children. This skill took hold well here, and when they moved, he also found a lot of work.
Despite being 40 years old, this is a family of immigrants who have integrated, worked and survived in this usually very difficult place to make a decent living for themselves. Having decided to enroll their children in the local school and immerse them in all things Aljezur, they are an important part of this small community and fit very well into the culture that has been created here in recent years: young, dynamic families, entrepreneurial, with a good work ethic and an insatiable appetite for outdoor recreation.
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Source: The Portugal News