IT was 38 years ago that Antonia Martorell launched her business in Santa Catalina.
The boss of estate agent Caimari had an inkling that the area – then known for its gypsies and drug users – was set for bigger and better things.
“The streets were wide allowing more light and sun and the market was giving the area life. I had a feeling it was a good place to launch,” she explains from her central office in the heart of the popular Palma suburb.
The 67-year-old had arrived in the area having lived in Sweden, Germany and the UK and teamed up with a South African boat owner to buy up and renovate properties in the area.
They now own 53 properties, the vast majority rented to foreigners, many of them working on boats in the nearby marina.
“We have British, German and Danish clients, a lot of Swedes, particularly from Stockholm, a lot of Italians and even some Spanish,” she says.
“The area is an amazing place to live and you know everyone once you have been to the market twice.
“On top of that it is very safe and even as a woman you can happily walk home at 4am without any fear.”
These days she is getting three or four clients walking into her office every day and she collaborates with three or four other local agents.
As she has been working here for so many years, she knows almost every single property and she is a fiscal advisor by trade.
“A fair amount of them haven’t got the right paperwork and are not legal, so I always warn buyers to be careful,” she adds. “It pays to be careful and remember, while quite a few agents claim it, you mostly cannot buy to let.”
The urbane businesswoman is now working on a number of projects with her son Samuel, who is a graphic designer and specialist in CAD.
It means they can tailor make exactly what each client wants in terms of materials for the walls and floor and in terms of furniture and even colours, if they want.
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