Do you remember the sale of “Antica Checchera”, the farmhouse sold by the GE consultants Valter Luciani and Alice Ceccomoro in June 2020? After the impressions of the vendor, we are now going to propose you the interview with its new owner, Mr. Todd Petersen.
Welcome Mr. Todd, thank you for your time. First of all, we would like to congratulate you on the purchasing of “Antica Checchera”, a charming farmhouse in the countryside of Parrano, near the border between Umbria and Tuscany. Would you like to tell us the reason why you decide to purchase a property in Umbria and, to be more specific, in Parrano? Did you already know the area?
I had some lovely family holidays in Italy with my children when they were growing up and this was an area we especially loved, so I wanted to find a place in Umbria both for the wonderful memories and to find a house in which my adult children would return to over and over.
I wasn’t too concerned about a particular area and had never been to Parrano, but I loved the house when I saw it.
How did you discover Great Estate?
I had not heard of Great Estate before this trip and had been using a different estate agent on my two previous visits. This time I did much more research before I organised this trip.
I really wanted to find a house this trip so I actually made appointments with 4 different companies to see a total of 10 houses.
With Great Estate I saw 3 I liked very much including the one I purchased.
I visited 10 in total and then had a shortlist of 4 with 4 different estate agents.
Antica Checcera and one other property were my favourites. I decided on this one because of the quality of the house, the price, and location.
We know that your GE trusted consultant was Mrs. Alice Ceccomoro. Why did you decide to entrust yourself to her?
I liked Alice the moment she responded to my queries. She asked very thoughtful questions and really seemed to understand what I was looking for.
I think it was one of the best decisions I made in the process was to work with Alice.
What did you like the most of “Antica Checchera”? Why did you decide to purchase it?
I really loved the house when I saw it as it had been beautifully renovated, was large enough to fit all of us, and was not too isolated. It had beautiful views of Paranno and it was not too isolated.
It just seemed what I had been looking for, for some time.
Do you remember the first property visit you did at the house? Which were your first impressions?
Yes, I do… I thought wow. I knew immediately that it would be one of my final choices. It was not difficult to get from 10 down to 4, but the final 4 properties were all amazing, I just really loved this one
What can you tell us about the negotiation process? Did you have to face any particular issue? What do you think about the services offered by Alice and the whole Great Estate Group?
I would say it was in the negotiation where Alice was most brilliant. I felt we were a very close team and she was really looking out for me.
I’m sure if I ever buy another house here I would want Alice to negotiate for me. She is truly outstanding. I would give her my highest recommendation.
The negotiation took place in a really particular moment: under Coronavirus emergency. We believe that, as for everybody of us, it was a very hard one: surely both because of the health emergency and its possible consequences on the sale. Would you like to tell us something about it?
I have to say it was extraordinary to be here during Covid. I was staying in Todi and had little contact outside of Italy. At first when Covid hit Lombardy it really began to become very real. None of us, myself or the agents I dealt with really knew it would change so quickly and be so bad. I guess what I worried about the most was the terrible impact Covid would have on tourism and the economy in Italy.
To conclude, what do you think of the advertising, communicational and multimedia tools used by great Estate to keep its client updated and informed? Is there something that could be improved? Finally, would you recommend our Group to other clients who, right as you did, want to purchase a prestigious property in Italy?
I consider Great Estate to be an extremely professional organisation, given the quality of your staff and I would certainly recommend anyone who is interested in buying a property in Umbria or Tuscany to look at you.
In this business I would say the two most important factors are the quality of your portfolio and your staff and on both of these I would give Great Estate highest marks.
I do think there is room for you to strengthen your profile. You are competing against firms who are owned by people from the UK, Germany and other EU nationals who really know their client base. I think you need to strategies how you can develop your profile more outside of Italy. My guess is many of your clients are Italian but you should look at how you can increase the number of non-Italians who are customers.
GE comment: we really understand our dear client’s thought. It is also true that Great Estate is still not present in some countries. However, our business plan includes the creation of more than 200 cooperation agreements within the period 2021-2025. These will bring higher international visibility to our brand. We also have to say that, during the last 10 years, the Group realized more than 90% of its sales with an international clientele (as, for example, in this case). All of this was possible because of a huge WEB presence that allows our brand to be in every country of the World through an innovative vision of what is considered “international presence”.
I discovered you wholly by accident and I am so glad I did. Your website is good and easy to navigate which is very important but I would think it would really be important to increase your profile.
GE comment: in this case too we perfectly understand the idea of our client. His “I discovered you wholly by accident” confirms what already said: the easiness of finding Great Estate – both in Italy and abroad – is seen as something accidental by the clients. However, this “accidental” comes from a constant and important advertising investment, the same that brings to our brand a huge national and international visibility. This is something Mr. Petersen confirms too: he found us during research in the international real estate portal named Zoopla, one of the many where our agency is strongly present.
I am certainly happy to recommend you to any prospective buyers.