About Hondón Villas SL.
... and Maureen's story in Real Estate
Well Established as the Expat's Local Agent
Maureen Cook is the first AIPP (Association of Property Professionals) registered Property Agent in the Hondón Valley. The company has been a member for over 5 years. She has been an active member of the local community for 15 years. Hondón Villas are an S.L. company and our staff are on work's contracts.
Maureen prefers to work from a real local office in the central plaza of Hondón de los Frailes village. This office is open Monday to Friday (10.00 - 17.00). Weekends by appointments. [ See MAP ].
Our Experience and Award Winning Service Points
- Top Reviews and Reputational Ratings
- A registered SL (limited) company, we are serious!
- 35 Years' Experience in Real Estate (UK & Spain)
- 15+ Years in the Hondón Valley
- Over 5 Years membership in the AIPP
- A Family Business in a real local office with local staff
- Business of the Year (voted by Expat Newspaper Readers)
- Over 2 Million website visitors to date
- Local Staff, Local Offices, Local Knowledge
- As seen on "A Place in the Sun" 2015 to 2020
- Consistent in Sales and Reputation
- Friendly, No Pressure service. We will not rush you.
"Business of the Year Award" Winners!
As a company we will always be very proud to be nominated, voted for and to win "Business of the Year Award" in 2015. Something that to date no other agency in our area has ever achieved. Winning this prestigious award was extra special for us as it was a people's vote from a popular Expat newspaper. We appreciate the time our clients took to nominate Hondón Villas. So, a BIG THANKYOU to all of you. [ See Our Business Award ]
Having Trust in Real Estate is Critical
Well our reputation depends on it! We aim to have every client feel they have a friendly and trust-worthy team at Hondón Villas SL. We know from the praise, gifts, the many emails and calls that we get. Clients have said we go above and beyond. Referrals are a plenty and our buyers become our friends. We haven't forgotten how exciting and stressful buying/selling can be! The last thing you need is a dubious property experience.
So we truly will look after you. After all we live here so we want to hold our heads high and for you to feel safe buying through Hondón Villas SL. [ See our genuine Testimonials ]
A client commented that Hondón Villas were like an emergency service and joked we should be allowed to use the flashing blue light on our cars! Our vast experience, network of local experts and extensive local knowledge has come in very handy for countless new Hondón Valley homeowners... We care and it shows, we are on hand to help... something you may not get with newer agents here or coastal agents who do not know the area.
Caring and serving you in the Hondón Valley
#LoveLocal We love being local and are proud to be part of the Hondón community! Which is why we think a real local office is essential, even in this online world! And we truly believe that selling the location and lifestyle is an important part of Real Estate after all.
Love The Locals, they Love You Back
All our staff live in the Hondón Valley area, so we have that important local knowledge, (yes, we know where to get the milk over the weekend, or who does the best menu-del-dia). We regularly sponsor and support local events and charities including "Stars of the Costas", Pride of Spain Awards, Hondón What's On, the local Food Banks, Theatre Groups, the local children's home in Elche and local animal charities.
Hondón Villas SL also have excellent ties with local businesses, bars/restaurants, solicitors, banks and tradesmen. We have spent many years building up this network which our clients directly benefit from.
History Means Experience
Hondón Villas came from Humble Beginnings...
Hondón Villas, now a registered Limited Company in Spain, was started mid-2007 by husband and wife team Derek (an IT professional) and Maureen Cook after relocating full time to the Hondón Valley urbanization "La Montanosa". It began as a very basic property website then built by Derek as vision that eventually the new build residents would want to sell up at some stage, whilst Maureen was learning the quirks of Spanish Realty with a Inspection Tour company: Medsea Estates Plc. We had a "loose" plan.
Knowledge & the Internet, a New Way
Using Derek's vast experience in IT and Web Design and of course Maureen's knowledge of the property market, we took the decision to start small and see where it took us, so we registered a few different domain names and initially went with the simple name HONDON.CO.UK. This was a simple online property portal charging a small fee to locals to list their properties with photos and a descriptions. Derek set about making sure Google loved the site and a Page#1 search ranking.
Meanwhile, Medsea Estate Plc had exceptional in-house training which covered all aspects of buying and selling property in Spain. Indeed a great tool for Maureen's future in Spain. Thankfully, Maureen's sales achievements and customer feedback were consistently one of the highest in the company, indeed she was the top-ranking female agent for the three years she was there 2007-2009. It was the 2008 global financial crisis that killed off many property companies in Spain. (like Amba Sun, Iberian, Atlas, Masa International and Medsea Plc. What to do?
Seeing the Real Estate Opportunity in Hondón
Luckily our initial Hondón Portal website was now growing steadily. NO other English Agents were working in the Hondón Valley at that time. We were keen to be the FIRST English real estate Business serving the people in the Hondón Valley, the people we lived with. So we took advantage of the gap in the market. Hondón became Hondón Villas as our brand name.
Since opening our first Estate Agency here in Spain, Hondón Villas have gone from strength to strength. Our first small office, circa 2011/2012, was on the main road through the village of Hondón de los Frailes. It was a gamble post-financial crash in 2008 but we had quick success. Within a year it became apparent we needed more space for more staff. So we found a better located office in the main Frailes Plaza. The location opposite the Irish Bar certainly got us better known and helped with footfall custom.
Growth and Boom!
Thankfully the Spanish property market (sales and rentals) was very slowly improving and the Hondón Valley much more widely known for retiring Expats from northern Europe. We grew steadily but controlled. We had year-on-year growth for sales and income. Great days.
In 2017, demand for our services meant we needed an even larger office, more desks and display space. So as we write we have had another 3 years success in the Plaza, next to Restaurante 28, one of the most popular and busier establishments during office hours. (we can recommend the coffees and breakfasts there. This is so handy to meet and greet our clients "al fresco". And it doubles as our 'outside office'.
Not just a job, a vocation... the history
The Early Years: Financial Expert to Property
Maureen's UK experience and journey started in the mid-80's after working in the financial service and banking sector where she gained experience in customer services and mortgages. Despite the 90's economic downturn, Maureen was keen to be self-employed and so decided to set-up her own estate agency "Catlows" in Leeds (UK) along with her daughter Kathryn. The office was a local success taking on the likes of the Halifax, Manning Staintons and W. Browns.
Maureen's Real Estate Training is second to none. She has been trained in all aspects of customer sales, property documentation, mis-descriptions act, communications and property administration. She has also been a successful Mortgage Broker (FSA approved UK) qualified to give independent financial advice. All her staff are trained with customer service as a number 1 priority.
Selling Her Success
In 1995 Maureen was approached by an investor who was very keen to purchase an estate agency business. She decided that the offer was too good to turn down, and she sold her agency "Catlows" for a profit. "Catlows" is still trading today under new management.
Maureen took a long-earned rest for 6 months, moved to a new house and was then ready to start her distinguished career again. Maureen took a manager's job with Halifax Property Services she was asked to manage one of their offices where they were losing trade, she worked long and hard and with the help of her new team turned the office around. After a couple of years Maureen was approached by her old Area manager from the Halifax who had secured an Area Managers job with Your Move and they were looking for a manager to open a new office in Morley. Maureen decided to jump ship and took the opportunity did a sterling job and the office is still open today.
After a couple of years Maureen was approached by another local agency Manning Stanton's they were opening a New Office too and wanted her to move to them, Maureen was thrilled to take on a new challenge and again her and her team made a great success. Due to Derek's I.T. work Maureen relocated to an area closer to Derek's family and planned for the next two years the move to Spain.
So here we are 15 years on...
Under Maureen's guidance and Derek's IT experience, Hondón Villas SL has gone from strength-to-strength and gained an enviable service reputation in the Hondón Valley. She prides herself on giving realistic and honest advice, often at her own expense and time. Her commitment to the client is never questioned. She has corporate awards, gifts and testimonials by the bucket load. She is outwardly friendly, always helpful and above all professional.
Having opened the 1st office in Hondón de las Frailes, we now employ multi-lingual staff to service the international buyers (Dutch, French, Spanish and German). Kathryn her daughter who also worked within the property business in the U.K. is now managing the day to day running of the office, she will of course carry on the good name when the time comes for Maureen to take a step back.