Presentation of Magrey & Sons, real estate agency on the French Riviera
“ We always try to stay ahead of the game! So now, we are considering opening a department dedicated to Cap-Ferrat, Beaulieu and Monaco, by January 2020…”
What are the foundations of Magrey & Sons?
Franck Magrey: Magrey & Sons is a family agency with traditional values, which has combined a global vision with a rigorous knowledge of the local market. This has allowed us to earn the loyalty of a naturally demanding clientele and to establish a solid international reputation.
Why did you decide to open agencies outside of Cannes?
Michel Magrey: The historic Magrey & Sons Cannes agency is effectively located on one of the most beautiful avenues in the world - La Croisette. A location we have actually held for over 40 years now; because the family property adventure has been going on since the 1970s. Today we are a reference, a reliable force on the French Riviera market, which we are constantly expanding. That is why, in 2018, we decided to open an agency in Saint-Tropez, then in Mougins in 2019.
From now on, what is your geographical sector of activity?
Alexandre Goldstein: Whether it is an ultra-residential or commercial property, our teams in Cannes, Saint-Tropez and Mougins can satisfy any demand - including the most challenging - in the entire region. From Bormes-les-Mimosas to Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.
How many employees do you have at the moment?
Franck Magrey: We had a team of twelve when we only had the Cannes agency, now there are 25 of us.
What are the connections between your three agencies?
Michel Magrey: The first connections is a technical one, with common Intranet software linking the agencies in real time. It seemed obvious to us that our strength would come precisely from the addition of the skills specific to each micro-market. Then, the opening of the Saint-Tropez and Mougins branches allowed us to put the spotlight on the long-standing employees in the Cannes branch, by offering them the opportunity to become partners. Because they enabled us to develop these new sectors. We have also welcomed experienced professionals, skilled connoisseurs from Saint-Tropez or Mougins, to take up this challenge with us.
Franck Magrey: It is actually the DNA of Magrey & Sons, to work on a long-term basis with people who share our vision of prestigious property. We are experts in our markets because we are there every day, in the field.
Interview Demeures & Châteaux 2014
You are both parts of the dynamic forties of the city of Festivals ; for how long have you been real estate agents ?
Since we were born ! Our father had managed, for almost forty years, the most famous luxury real estate agency, here in Cannes.
One can thus say that , for you, real estate is a family affair ?
A kind of. In fact, I would even say that it became a culture. We grew up in this universe, and we have learned the bases of our activity on a most natural way.
Did your father influence you, when you decided to create your own structure ?
No, as I told you, it was a natural choice. Of course, we could have done something else, but it would have been a pity not to take advantage of this opportunity. So after our studies and our first professional experiences, we decided to create the agency.
Have you noticed any significant changes between the day you started your business and now ?
The most significant change is that today’s client is fundamentally different. Our target clientele is demanding and this is not pejorative – quite the opposite. Clients have a thorough knowledge of the evolution of both the market and products available; on the whole they are younger and much more professional.
How have you adapted to this « new » clientele ?
Quite simply by listening to them and taking into account their expectations; our clients travel widely, they spend shorter stays on the French Riviera, they invest in new destinations and therefore we must optimise and customise their properties. This is why we have paid particular attention to our rentals department and we have created two new focal points: property management and the provision of services. This means our role extends well beyond the typical property rental transaction and becomes “property management”, or “à la carte” services. We are convinced that this business requires multiple talents. Let me explain: we are quite capable of counselling our clients in fields as varied as banking and finance, tax, law, notarial services, town-planning or architecture.
Are property sales still the backbone of your business ?
Yes, of course. Sales make up 70 % of our turnover but now that we have broadened our range of services, we forecast – in the medium term – that 50 % of our turnover will be derived from these services accessory to a sale. The idea is to create wealth independently from the fluctuations in the real estate market and hence in sales. Having said this, theory is one thing and practice is another matter entirely. We shall see the difference from our competitors in the field thanks to our new method of working.
New in which way ?
On one hand, because of the relationship we create between our client and us. Our conception of real estate, leads us to a complete implication into each of our professional relations, which means a huge amount of work. But it is clear that, nowadays, making easy money is no longer possible.
On the other hand, our objective is not only to sale. We offer a global service. Our policy is to be with our client before, during and after the sale. An activity that brought us to offer a large panel of flexible services according to their needs.
How did you cope with last crisis and what is your overview today ?
Simply being mindful and confident. Beyond this self-satisfaction we have tempted to create new partnership, notably abroad (in Moscow and London). But also we have tried to strengthen our local attendance, thanks to the seek of new sole agent contracts on outstanding properties. (Properties in Eze and St Jean, refurbishment of last century castle, development in countryside, marketing of new building with unique view and architecture) Therefore we feel like ready and super motivated, facing this coming new cycle.
You also made substantial investments in terms of communication ?
It’s true ; our environment is moving a lot and communication is really important in our job. To sell an apartment in Cannes or a villa in Mougins is not enough. Clients must know how we do it and what is our efficiency. That is the reason why our communication tools are constantly changing. For example, with this huge proportion of Russian customers we created a full Russian version and a special marketing policy for our website.
Furthermore, we have representative and bank purchasing advisors, insurance agents, business lawyers, notaries, “family offices” and others throughout the world. For example, when we get in our files a villa for sale with an exclusive mandate, we send to all of them, a complete file, (videos, professional pictures, descriptive …) to allow them to provide this offer to their clients. It is a very efficient method, allowing more chances to estates, apartments or penthouses, which we propose for sale or to rent.
What is this globalisation for ?
We are really attentive to the evolution of the market, and more precisely to the evolution of the demand. However, since a few years, the demand got considerably diversified, and brought us to offer global services. Our strength, is first hat we can identify the needs of our customers, and secondly that we are extremely reactive.
The best example of this globalisation is the systematic accompaniment of our clients wherever they wish to invest. This is how we came to make several purchases in Paris and Courchevel for our clients. Obviously, the starting point for our trusting relationship is when they purchase a property on the French Riviera and this is when we offer our “property management” service and our private concierge service, which leads us to develop very close ties with our clients. Consequently, this trusting relationship builds over the years and it goes well beyond counselling to result in the follow-up “outside the French Riviera market”.
For most of the professional, you became an established reference on the luxury real estate market. What are you attributing your success to ?
We are very proud of it. We can first attribute it to the fidelity of our clients, that found in Magrey & Sons, what they were looking for. It's also the benefit of many years of a methodical work, following only one objective, the absolute satisfaction of our clients.
There's no doubt that you love your work, and that you claim it high and clear...
Absolutely. We meet incredible and exceptional people, discover some fabulous properties, in an unique environment. What we offer them, it's to reach the well-being they are looking for, by bringing them high quality services this is all totally spontaneous and confidential