Let’s give the floor to Stefano Petri, the Great Estate Group CEO and founder. Being optimistic person, Stefano led the agency toward lots and ever-increasing successes during these years. This is why it became one of the most important in Italy.
Stefano, what are the origins of Great Estate Immobiliare?
I founded it when I was 23, in 1997, after a short but interesting personal experience in the technical design area. Thanks to it, I got in touch with some international customers interested to renovate a few properties in Italy.
The love and the happiness they instilled in renovation works made me want to become the promoter of further happiness. Here is the reason why I decided to focus on international customers. Choosing the name “Great Estate”, I immediately wanted to outline both the international organization and the type of properties managed.
Over the years, the agency developed and currently it is one of the most important in Italy. What are the origins of this great success?
I think the answer is in the fairness, professionalism and willingness where the agency is built on.
I come from a family where I have always been taught by my parents to be honest and respectful of all the things around me. I believe that this kind of education I had, applied to our job, is the solid foundation to build that little or much – everything is relative in life – we realized in these years.
In addition to this, it has been fundamental and absolutely essential following a working method, perseverance and the luck to be born in one of the most beautiful areas of the world.
Last, but not least, I think that the positivism and the optimism in life allow to create a virtuous circle that brings to various connections, which are special most of the times. Lots of these connections are the partners with whom I created a cohesive and pleasant working group.
Without hurting anyone, I would like to thank the person who I have always considered my right-hand man and who, with me, gave life to this business: Roberto Biggera, an example of professionalism and dedication for everybody. Then, our responsible for the international sector, Elisa Biglia, who added an international planning to our group thanks to her professional skills and with her husband support. This is something that only a foreigner or someone who have lived abroad for many years can do as she does. Currently, our international team is composed by more than 80 professionals: everyone is a fundamental element for our group, that everyday lives and bases itself on teamwork, with the consciousness that only a cohesive and professional group can reach the results we are looking for.
Great Estate became a reference agency for foreigners who want to buy a property in Italy. In your opinion, what are international customers’ most preferred Italian areas?
Definitely Tuscany, where Great Estate has its headquarter. It has always a great international success but, as we all know, during the last 20 years, many other Italian regions have been “discovered” by customers from all over the world.
Furthermore, as the time goes on the adjacent Umbria, Marche, Liguria, the southern regions or all our amazing islands with their magnificent sea, as Sicilia and Sardinia attracted many of international investors.
There are also other regions like Piedmont, Veneto or Emilia Romagna, which territories have a lot to offer to people looking at the Italian culture, food and (luckily) worldwide-envied lifestyle homeland.
We cannot forget then all the big heritage cities like Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan, as well as Verona, Siena or Torino: here, international customers can really meet the cradle of Italian culture and have always available a huge amount of “open-air” artworks that is hardly to find in any other part of the world.
Our group follows the ambitious goal of covering the entire national territory within 2020, in order to satisfy all the Italian and international customers purchase demands, including in the regions where our brand isn’t present at the moment (see our branches).
But instead, what parts of Italy Stefano Petri loves the most?
I am half Tuscan and half Umbrian, both because of my parents’ origin (my dad comes from Umbria and my mom from Tuscany) and, even if I always worked in Tuscany, I lived for 13 years in Spoleto while, for 7 years now, I’m living in the Trasimeno Lake area. I don’t want to be biased, but my origins and my life made me particularly love these two special regions, even if I love the whole Italy. I think that every place of our amazing country can offer a lot, both to us, the Italians, and to the foreigners.
The Great Estate Immobiliare Group had, and still has, important customers from all over the world: can you name us some personalities who had faith in you?
In these 20 years of business, we have been lucky, and may I say also skilled, to know and manage both Italian and international high-level customers: finance, business, show and politic personalities.
Among other things, our Magazine has also the objective to directly give a voice to those customers, allowing them to tell their experience with Great Estate.
One personality among the others: my “little buddy”, as I jokingly love to call him, Mr. Paolo Bulgari. We know each other since about 20 years now. We have done lot of things together in the real estate field, but the thing that I appreciated the most was the opportunity to share with him some values: honesty (that is a fundamental part in a friendship and in a working relation), extreme respect for people, pleasure to do and share projects and emotions and get emotional for the smallest. Well, thinking as people that maybe belong to another era, who find themselves and, most of all, who do every daily action with a huge civic sense, that’s not a so usual thing in today’s society.
Finally, I have to admit that Paolo has a huge attribute: every time I wanted to make an important decision, a lot during these years, I always found by my side someone ready to give me an advice, often quickly and specific, but always damned right.
His experience, his recommendations and his respect gave me a special energy that contributed and still contributes, to increase day by day our agency.