We talk with Meritxell Miret, Atipika’s business manager
Meritxell Miret is a graduate English philology from the University of Lleida. He began his career in Atipika in 2000, at the first office of the company, with the aim of assisting international customers that arrived in the city. A psychology enthusiast, a travel lover and eager to know different cultures, Meritxell has evolved further within Atipika, so much that, for more than fifteen years now, he has been the head of the commercial department. We sit with her some time to talk about her experience in the corporation and to understand her vision about this constantly changing real estate market.
Which is your business approach?
We try to project several approaches to achieve the greatest success. However, I would say that our main focus is to always be at the forefront within the real estate sector in Spain, to anticipate change, and that is not an easy task. It is a very dynamic and changing industry, difficult to predict, so we must constantly review our strategies and adapt them to the technological and commercial developments which are needed to keep on being competitive. New products and services are essential to get by the pace of the market and meet the needs of our customers.
And, with this pace… Which is the training your agents receive to face this sector? What do you expect your team offers to customers?
All our agents are highly qualified to offer an impeccable service. Nevertheless, I think that the experience they get during their career in Atipika gives them the bonus they need to stand out in the industry. Our training is steady, personalized and changing over time, just like the business world, in which there are more and more changes every day. We get this mainly thanks to fluent communication, technology and to a horizontal work structure, something that makes us faster and more effective. Regarding to customers, I intend my team offers a differential value in terms of treatment and monitoring, a personalized search and serious and professional attention.
Atipika develops many campaigns and actions focused on foreigners, how do you approach this task?
It is somewhat complicated, but essential within our business style. In addition to our networking, from which most of our business opportunities come from, we use many SEO and SEM digital marketing campaigns, in order to recruit customers from the beginning and keep them loyal through a functional method that guarantees a long-term relationship. In addition, Atipika participates in many international events and fairs in Barcelona, such as chambers of commerce or the International Community Day, in which we are premium sponsors. However, our most powerful tool is the word of mouth of our customers, who, satisfied with the service they receive, make us grow.
So, I understand that due to the globality of Atipika, it is common to attract all kinds of audiences and nationalities. Which customer is harder to attract? The local one or the foreigner?
At Atipika we work with profiles of all kinds, and I have always thought that it is difficult to attract them both just the same way. The main thing is to develop a personalized strategy and to consider how to face each client according to their culture, origin or education. If I had to point out a particularity of each one, I would say that foreigners tend to value service more in terms of language and empathy with their traditions and requirements and, on the other hand, the national client, especially in the case of landlords, greatly appreciates the trust and personal treatment we provide; It gives them security and peace of mind.
How did you experience the digital transformation of Atipika?
It has been perhaps the most drastic change in these twenty years. We lived it with great pride because we were pioneers and we dared to innovate soon, although we knew it was risky. We started with the first website in 2000. You have to think that, at that time, the sector needed a transformation, it was very obsolete, and it needed an urgent technological update. We were among the first to adopt a more innovative concept, reinventing ourselves gave us a strong push and it has given us the experience of the whole journey of these years. Since then, we have learned to set up new techniques, to discover the best tools in the market and to give more visibility to our product. This was also the case with social networks, a land we have browsed for ten years now.
And so, how do you progress with that? What importance do you give to the corporatism of a company? And to web content (blogsite, social media, website, advertising …)?
As with everything, we can’t stop learning, and we have reached a point where social networks and web content are essential for Atipika. For me, the first image of a company is what remains in people’s minds, the initial perception is what prevails. As I said before, the world evolves so fast that we have to determine new marketing and advertising strategies almost every week. At first, we used the press to advertise our services, and when I stop and stare at the strength of the social media, the real estate portals and the blogsite nowadays, it amazes me, really. We must try to keep this approach and see which is the dominant advertising by a certain date to know what to invest in.
And, returning to the market, I assume you have many kinds of products, right? Which are the most popular ones?
Well, our catalog offers an endless variety of properties, we have offices and buildings for residential use as well; Modernist-style refurbished houses, exclusive villas facing the sea, and also cozy apartments in the city center. No rip lacks for a patch and that is why we try to offer a plural assortment. The most popular ones? It is not an easy question… Besides the bargains, which are always very sought wherever they are, properties with good location always attract more attention. People seek to be close to what attracts them most: the sea, the city center, the children’s school… So, in the end, this always tilts the balance and concentrates the greater number of requests we receive.
And at the time of signing a contract, how do you handle negotiations?
Negotiation is the most delicate step of an operation, it requires tact, subtlety and, above all, psychology. Social psychology in negotiation is essential, since it is a stage where emotions play a very important role. You have to be empathetic and, at the same time, insightful. For the other party to show their emotions, trust is a sine qua non condition, so it is important to convey security and tranquility. If this happens, a transparent dialogue will be possible. Nevertheless, it is a real challenge to seek benefit for both parties, and any small mistake in the negotiation can spoil the whole operation.
Interesting… And something that attracts attention is that Atipika stands out for offering an “atypical” service. What makes you different from the rest?
Atipika is a single corporation, not only for the service we offer, but also for our values and our philosophy. We have a special system that is based on our experience, and that allows us to approach each operation individually and transparently. You need to understand that we have grown up with the company, hand in hand, we have started from scratch, knowing our virtues and our defects, something that has allowed us to take stock of situations, to have self-criticism, and to constantly move forward. We are different from other real estate corporations because our service relies on technology and it is focused on individualized treatment as well, we trust people and their particular value and, therefore, we give each experience a unique value.
How do you see the real estate market today? Any predictions for the future?
It is almost impossible to predict the evolution of this sector. It is changing and cyclic. I consider it a strong and solid sector, but, at the same time, it is very sensitive to any external circumstance, and I mean politics, economy and society in general, it is logical if you stop and think that, when buying or renting a property, someone is settling in an unknown territory. In addition, I am afraid that the media plays an important role as well. They dominate the population and influence everyone’s thinking. Any news, true or false, can have a direct effect on the consumer, and, in our case, on an owner or someone looking to move. One thing is certain, we are pragmatic, and we are not afraid of anything that might happen, because we have been through worst times and we have always got back stronger than ever.
What stock do you take of your more-than-20 years path linked to the company?
Definitely, a very enriching balance. Given how complicated it is to stay afloat in this industry, and how unprofessional it is sometimes, I am proud to belong to a corporation like Atipika. It’s like being in the jungle and staying safe and sound, like surviving a shipwreck; you have to face new challenges and situations every day to overcome yourself. Being part of this company has brought me many things and it also has made me a professional without losing my essence, and that is what I try to convey to my team. We tackle new challenges every single day.
And, to finish with, could you define Atipika in three words?
Transparency, character and freshness.
Atipika’s successful path in the real estate market over nearly 20 years makes it possible to offer a broad and attractive range of properties for sale and for rent in Barcelona, with a concise up-to-date information. Do not hesitate to browse our website to find out other properties: https://atipika.com/en/. You can contact us through our live chat, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 93-4575032.