February 8, 2022
Luxuria Lifestyle Spain interviews Alejandra Vanoli and Javier Fur
Alejandra Vanoli leads the Viva Sotheby’s International Realty franchise since 2013 and has 30 years of experience in the Spanish real estate sector.
Javier Fur leads a family business that started more than 40 years ago and has been evolving into a large and successful company. One of the brands he is in charge of is the prestigious Somium project developer of premium real estate that initiated Morning Breeze Morning Breeze
LL: Alejandra, with 30 years of experience in the Spanish real estate market, what defining features set Viva Sotheby’s International Realty apart from the fierce competition in the luxury real estate market in Spain?
A: There are many different type of real estate companies, including those working independently from home with no more than a logo on their car. Those who choose VIVA Sotheby’s International Realty as their real estate partner, usually choose us either for the wide international network in 1,000 countries to market their homes, or either the quality of the products and exceptional, personal service to acquire a home taking the client anywhere around on the island with professional advice, knowledge and business partners. Also, we are provided with a multidisciplinary team that speaks more than 10 languages.
Having an extensive network of clients to show properties to, as well as national and international agents who offer the highest and best visibility for the property and having experts who carry out exhaustive monitoring in a market as changing as the real estate market, are some of the company’s strengths.
LL: Alejandra, with so much experience and leading the company since 2013, what’s the next milestone you would like to achieve?
A: My objective is to continue to grow both with the team and with our expansion to the rest of Spain. Our milestone is to position ourselves in a couple of years as the leading company in the real estate sector in Spain, not only in terms of sales volume but also in terms of professionalism, quality and honesty in our customer service.
LL: Javier, you are at the helm of prestigious property developer Somium. You believe the only way to take firm steps towards the future is to revolutionise the way you design your products. That revolution begins in your atelier. Please elaborate.
J: Not just the product, but the experience.
This is where it all begins, and by “all” I mean the life of a home linked to a person. When a client understands our process and sees that it is real, his relationship with his home and with us changes. They practically cease to be a client because they are the ones who decide, although with the advice of our experts. We work as a team and that is something that is not usual in construction.
LL: Javier, your atelier is autographed by renowned Italian designer Monica Armani. What makes Monica the perfect match for Somium’s Atelier?
J: Excellence and non-conformism are always important values for our company, so we look for the added value of Italian design and branding. I met Monica more than 5 years ago at a business day organised by the Círculo de Directivos de Alicante. Monica Armani’s studio is one of the international protagonists of the industrial design scene, she has designed collections for prestigious firms such as Tribù, Luceplan, B&B Italia, Moroso… iconic pieces that blend art and architecture. I was thinking about how to make the company evolve and I proposed a challenge to Monica, which was to carry out an emblematic project here in Spain.
LL: Javier, why did you choose to work with Alejandra to market Morning Breeze?
J: Alejandra understood perfectly what Morning Breeze was all about as soon as she heard about the project. From our first conversations, I knew she was the perfect partner to work with. In addition to being a great expert in the sector, Alejandra has unique characteristics that cannot be taught and you are born with, among them, her ability to understand when something is different and valuable. We share the same values and work philosophy. She, better than anyone else, together with the brand she represents, VIVA Sotheby’s International Realty, are the best allies to represent Morning Breeze and the Somium brand.
LL: Alejandra & Javier, have you noticed a change in the kind of property that is highly sought-after in Spain?
A: Yes, especially during the last years there have been some drastic changes. The pandemic has increased the demand to homes with terraces, gardens or open-air spaces as well as spacious rooms in which it is possible to combine relaxation areas with work areas. In other words, priority has been given to homes where space can be optimised and which are functional. Finally, the sustainability of a home, one of the main focal points of our partner Somium, has become a more important factor than ever before. Today’s main challenge is constructing sustainable homes.
J: It has changed enormously and I believe it is heading in a better direction. My whole life has been linked to the world of construction and clearly, there has been a shift in terms of understanding the importance of living with the environment, of respecting it and understanding it. We were pioneers in making people see the need to build homes, starting by respecting and valuing the environment in which we live, and time has proved us right.
A: I fully agree with Javier’s words, and this is one of the reasons that gives sense to our alliance with SOMIUM. Javier’s exceptional innovative approach, the quality in the design and construction of his homes together with professional excellence that makes him an outstanding businessman in his sector.
LL: Javier, What are the design trends we need to watch out for in the years to come?
J: Houses are becoming more and more functional and beyond places to “eat and sleep” they are becoming entertainment spaces. If I had to choose one trend in particular, it would be the prominence given to the architecture of light. Good lighting design plays a fundamental role not only in design but also in creating ambience and therefore in the well-being of the inhabitants.
LL: Alejandra, What are the challenges the luxury real estate sector will be facing in the next year(s)?
A: Undoubtedly to be able to transform the concept of luxury-focused on price/brand into a concept of sustainable excellence of housing and territory.
LL: Javier, what would your key piece of advice be for buyers interested in purchasing/investing in luxury real estate in Spain?
J: In my opinion, if you have chosen Spain, you have already made the best decision. In addition to the area’s own characteristics, such as the excellent climate and proximity to the sea, world-class cuisine and a lifestyle linked to “enjoyment”, make us one of the destinations with the highest quality of life according to prestigious international rankings. When investing or buying, it is important to always do so in the hands of professionals with experience in the sector, who guarantee the highest standards of quality both in the product and in the acquisition process.
A: Having experts to advise you on the best investment, financially and emotionally. Let’s not forget that we are selling a lifestyle, to be able to enjoy the concepts that Javier has listed.
LL: What is your definition of Luxury?
J: A lifestyle. Luxury is also personal, and that’s how I see it. When we created Somium, we did it thinking precisely about the privilege for our client to be part of something unique. I understand perfectly when someone tells me that luxury for them is to be able to have an aperitif in the sun, for example. In the same way that travelling is for someone else. It is something very personal and something that I link to the experience, rather than to belonging.
A: Luxury is time, and for our clients who buy a second home in Spain, it means spending their time in cities very well connected to their home countries, in homes with excellent quality and location. Being able to access a cultural and cosmopolitan life. Our museums, art galleries, opera houses, restaurants, outdoor spaces, marinas and golf courses. A country with a public and private health system that allows you to enjoy your stay in safety.
LL: What is the most important factor in a luxury experience for you?
J: Undoubtedly, personalisation in the customer experience, digitalisation, big data… will continue to help (and surprise) us in the coming years to create increasingly tailored experiences. In addition, the story of the product is gaining prominence. As I said before, I put myself in our customer’s shoes, the delight that choosing a unique piece can mean for them, for example knowing the history of the craftsman who thought of it at the time, what materials have been used or how it has been transformed.
LL: If you were allowed to take one luxury item to a desert island with you, what would you take? (Alejandra and Javier)
J: I believe I would bring good sun protection!
A: The books I have started on my bedside table because there I will have time to finish reading them. That will be my luxury!
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W: VIVA Sotheby’s International Realty