City and Beach magazine is a luxury lifestyle and property publication run by the renowned interior designer Nicky Summer. In her latest online issue, she interviewed HH director Tim Swannie to find out more about Home Hunts and the service we offer – You can read the full article here
The article includes a great conversation about how Tim met Francois and set up the company together, the challenges we have faced over the years as well as information about how we help our clients, the areas we cover and so on.
NS: ”How did you first meet your co-founder of HOME HUNTS, how did you start and how did you know you’d be successful?”
TS: ”I was introduced to Francois-Xavier de Vial through a family friend within a month or two of moving to France; Francois was working in a different industry at that time, however he had experience of the immobilier world, he speaks four languages and has lived in many countries. We hit it off right away, we are quite similar people in many way and had a lot of the same ideas; we knew very quickly we could work together. We started doing our research online, contacting potential buyers to discuss ideas and contacting a small number of agents to find out how open they may be in working with us as a buyer’s agent – before long Home Hunts was born…”
“We saw a gap in the market for a ‘buyer’s agent’ on the French Riviera; I’d actually been looking for property myself – as had my parents and also some friends – and we all felt the same thing – that agents in France were more focused on the seller than the buyer and they also needed constant chasing. The Riviera is very international, but few agents spoke good English or other languages back then, so communication was difficult. Francois and I saw an opportunity to act on behalf of international buyers, proactively searching for properties on their behalf. We could really keep on top of the agents and developers and make sure the entire market was covered for clients, then guide them through the whole buying process…”
NS: ”How has the market changed since you started your company?”
TS: ”The market is constantly changing and HOME HUNTS in constantly evolving in terms of areas we cover and so on, however our service has remained consistent throughout. We’ve expanded a lot over the past 18 years or so, and we now have a team of more than 30 property consultants in France who are each an expert in their local area. When we started HOME HUNTS, we covered the French Riviera – where we still have our largest team – and now we also cover Provence, Paris, The Alps, Occitanie and all the South West of France, we launched in Burgundy at the end of 2022 also; additionally, we cover Monaco and the Swiss Alps. We launched our service in Spain at the beginning of 2022, specifically on Ibiza, Mallorca and the Costa del Sol, we then also launched Catalonia towards the end of last year. As we’ve expanded, we have had to really focus on the local markets in each area to make sure we can offer the best service to clients…”