Jean-Noël Marcellesi, this year Agence Immobilière du Golfe is celebrating its 20th anniversary, what is your opinion of the previous years since establishment?
Jean-Noël Marcellesi: The last twenty years have seen deep-rooted change which has seen the Extreme South stand out as the leading tourist destination in Corsica and the real-estate market is organised around property which is, for the most part, located in luxury areas. And whilst the rise in importance of this small region owes almost everything to the incomparable strength of its sites, it has also benefited from some pioneers: developer Georges Giorgetti, architect Pierre Puccinelli and Toussaint Canarelli who is more than just a hotel operator.
Today many of your counterparts have opted to join forces with a large brand or franchise, what is your opinion? And do you plan to do likewise?
This is a global phenomenon and it is unsurprising that it has also spread to our shores. As far as we are concerned, we are keeping a close eye on this development without ruling anything out for the future. However, if we should opt for such a method of working, this would by no means be to hide behind the image and reputation, resources or skills of a large brand, but rather to favour the strength and depth of a network offering genuine synergies, namely a large flow of transactions.
Since its establishment in 1994, Agence Immobilière du Golfe has been involved in almost all of the major property transactions in the far south of Corsica, how do you explain this?
We are and have been for 20 years, the unrivaled leader in luxury real estate in Corsica. No doubt this is because we were the first to really believe in this and to focus all of our efforts in this sector, but also because we have always favored the creation of long-term relations with our clients. Our purpose is never to sell just for the sake of sell-ing, but to patiently seek the property which will become your home sweet home. Many people also seek our expertise wherever they are investing in the world.
Your Agency offers exceptional properties, how do you manage to get your hands on these?
This is a little indiscreet, but my answer would be even more so…
How do you select your properties? What assets do you seek?
It is, above all, important that a property, whatever its category, is offered at a price which matches its intrinsic characteristics and the market conditions. Those people who confer the sale of a property to dream sellers often have the bitter experience of disenchantment due to a property lingering for too long in the window of an agency because of the unwarranted price tag.
Have client searches developed over the years?
Yes, absolutely. From properties which were available for one or two months of the year, we have gradually moved to secondary homes occupied during half-term holidays and school holidays as well as many weekends. This is why requirements in terms of installations, services and decor have seen clear developments.
The economic crisis is on everybody’s tongue, have you witnessed the effects?
Whilst it is correct that the market sector between 1M and 3M Euros is slightly affected, it should be noted that beyond that demand is strong provided prices are justified. However, I do not feel we can talk about a crisis. In all instances, 2013 was an historic year for us.
How do you see your future? What are your plans?
We will continue as we always have done in finding exceptional locations and properties and working hard to faithfully and confidentiality bring together requirements of the owners and the expectations of buyers. With 20 years of experience at the highest level and a solid, skilled and devoted team, I believe we will manage this…