MALLORCAN PROPERTY BUSINESS WITH EDINBURGH ROOTS ENJOYS UNIQUE MARKET NICHE AS ITS LOOKS TOWARDS FUTURE GROWTH
- 2018 predicted to be bumper year for Elan Palma
Having reached its fifth birthday with properties on its books valued north of twenty million euros, an upmarket Mallorcan estate agency, founded by an Edinburgh surveyor and property developer, is now able to demonstrate that its knowledge of the market in the Balearics for both buying and selling is unparalleled in the industry.
Elan Palma was founded by Richard Heaney who is originally from Edinburgh, in 2013 just as the recession continued to bite in the UK.
Set up in order to provide clients with an advanced and highly personalised level of service, the firm caters for international buyers and sellers from all over the world, looking to obtain luxury property on the island of Mallorca and Ibiza. It’s two principal business activities include acting as property finders on behalf of clients looking to acquire property on the islands, and as lead sales agent for clients looking to sell their properties. Elan Palma also sources and secures residential investment opportunities for a prestigious portfolio of clients in the UK and abroad.
“We expect 2018 to be our most successful year yet, with demand for property in the Balearics at an all time high,” said Richard, who has worked in development for First Mercantile LLP in Edinburgh, and World Mate Japan in London.
“Having undergone an impressive transformation over the past five years, the Balearics prime market is appealing to an increasingly wider audience of international buyers and investors, from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Scandinavia, along with the British, despite Brexit,” he added.
“They are taking advantage of the recent influx in tourist numbers, coupled with other strong economic fundamentals.”
Richard cited the increase in disposable income, higher employment, and a boost in consumer confidence in the Balearics, which in turn had made way for investment in infrastructure, technology and businesses.
“All of this has added considerably to property values,” said Richard. “The islands are highly accessible now through flights from virtually every major city in Europe, and enjoy a low crime rate. They are not short of direct investment in the tourist sector, with a fifty million euro investment in Palma marina. This will do a great deal to draw wealthy yacht owners and guests to explore Mallorca as the location for a holiday home.”
Elan Palma’s in depth knowledge of the islands’ impending property hotspots have been built up over the last five years, as have contacts regarding buying off plan.
“These give Elan Palma a unique advantage,” said Richard. “Our involvement doesn’t end at point of sale either, we operate an extensive after care service.”
The son of Edinburgh Chartered Surveyor, Bobby Heaney, a well known and hugely respected face in the 80’s and 90’s Edinburgh property development scene who was also the co founder of DHKK – Dixon Heaney Kean Kennedy – Chartered Surveyors, Richard has property in his DNA.
“I have always worked in the property world, and my father was a huge inspiration to me,” said Richard. “Whilst working in Edinburgh my parents bought a retirement project in the South East of the Mallorca, a ruined Finca, but sadly my father passed away before he could start the project.”
“I moved to the island two months after, in January 2010 and built the house. After coming back to London, and holding various property positions with private family offices, I realised that people looking to buy property in the Balearics, whether for investment, or personal use, needed someone they could trust to advise them on buying, or indeed selling, in an unfamiliar environment,” he added.
“Elan Palma was born, and we have never looked back with business. A new service is project management, allowing us to draw on our expertise and contacts in the building sector.”
As Richard outlined, the property market in Mallorca was growing fast, with huge potential, in the early 2010’s, but the biggest challenge for him as an estate agent was adapting to the different attitude in how business is done in Mallorca.
“It’s much slower paced, with the property deals far more intricate than in the UK,” said Richard. “In the early years, I had to adapt quickly, predicting hurdles which needed to be overcome.”
Now, a typical day for Richard whilst in the Balearics, where he spends several months of the year, can be anything from meeting a builder to discuss a client’s new bathroom, to checking out a new development at planning stage, to meeting clients who are about to exchange on their dream villa.”
“It’s very hectic whenever I am on one of the islands,” said Richard, who unwinds through tending and cultivating what he calls “the gardeners’ paradise” which is his garden in Mallorca.
“Everything we do is time consuming at this level, with some properties on Elan Palma’s books commanding up to twenty million Euros. “But the property finding service probably requires the most attention as you have to build a close relationship with the buyer, whilst building on relationships with other agents. It can be a delicate and time consuming process, but ultimately a very rewarding one,” said Richard.
As for Elan Palma’s future plans, an office in each of the Balearic Islands is a realistic and achievable objective as the company continues to grow.
“This would give us additional market reach, but at the same time we don’t want Elan Palma to lose its identity, or its very personal level of service and attention to detail,” said Richard. “I think we can successfully grow a great deal in the next five years, whilst retaining these core values which have benefited our clients, even bringing repeat custom over the years.”