It was around 16 years ago that Caroline and Tony owners of Taurus Real Estate bought what they thought was going to be a holiday home in the village of Competa. They found Competa towards the end of a two week visit to the area starting in the Costa Blanca. In actual fact they were beginning to become disillusioned over whether they would ever be able to find their perfect place for a holiday home. However, once they found Competa and sat in the main Almijara square they knew straight away it was the village for them.
The initial idea was to buy a town house to visit regularly around their busy businesses’ in the UK. Caroline ran an antique business whilst Tony had a construction and management consultancy business. This worked for a while until the death of a young close friend over one Christmas period. It shocked and greatly saddened them and led them to take a closer look at their lives. As a result of this personal reflection they decided to take a year off and move to their holiday home. It was within six months that Tony and Caroline decided to make the move permanent, so they sold their business in the UK and came to retire to Competa. For many this could be where a story ends and for a while they enjoyed being retired. However, Caroline realised she wasn’t ready to totally stop working. She felt that setting up an Estate Agency with a huge focus on service was what the area really needed. A service based Estate Agent with solid after sales care and independent affiliations with builders; lawyer etc was a business gap that needed filling. So on the 1st of September 2004, they opened Taurus Real Estate in Sayalonga.
It seems appropriate that The Grapevine interviewed Carline and Tony last month as they have reached a huge milestone of 10 years in this business. Although being so busy over the last couple of months meant we didn’t actually sit down together until November despite their 10th anniversary being on the 1st of September.
The premise they opened in 2004 is still the same one they have now in Sayalonga. They spoke to the village town hall that offered support and help with necessary grants and are still as supportive now as they were 10 years ago. Within two weeks of opening they sold their first home and despite a limited portfolio and much competition from many agents in the area, their new business venture soon became viable. Over the following years their property portfolio expanded considerably and with their motto “service with integrity” a firm presence in their business, they have built an excellent reputation and a successful business, which has kept them solid through the recent recession period.
After 5 years in business it seemed appropriate to expand further and an opportunity came up to take on a central location in the village of Competa which was Clara Country Homes. Spike, Clara´s husband was looking to retire and so Caroline and Tony took over their premises and portfolio of properties whilst also retaining Clara a close friend and hard worker, and started up the second Taurus Real Estate office. This expansion came around the start of the recession in Spain, along with this and the new changes in paperwork with the 218 Law, meant hard work and determination was needed to ensure the expansion was successful. Caroline explained that although the paperwork changes and the stricter laws meant more work it was an important change for the protection of the buyer. They believe that their sincere approach is what keeps their business solid, often proven by the number of recommendations they get.
Tony and Caroline are still looking to expand the business to the coast and are looking for a suitable opportunity to present itself like it did in Competa. In the meantime they are preparing for this expansion by employing new staff to join themselves and Clara, firstly Esther and then more recently Rafa joined the team both on a full time basis.
Between their whole team they can speak Spanish, English, French, German and Dutch and now due to a drastic increase in sales to Scandinavian buyers, they are looking to increase their staff further.
Caroline and Tony are very happy with their lives and their business, they are extremely proud of their staff for their commitment, enthusiasm and energy and they believe in the area’s future growth.
They are a sincere and committed couple clearly enjoying their lives in Spain whilst helping others do the same. Congratulations on your 10th year anniversary!