Barnes, an expert in luxury estate, opened its first agency in Megève in 2011. Other locations followed, including Chamonix and Annecy, towns very close to the mountains. David Prétot, CEO of the group, chose this location for a reason. For this native of Megève, the mountain is second nature. Hit the slopes with a man who loves his job.
How did it all begin?
Our Megève agency has a beautiful 450 m2 space. We quickly specialized in real estate services, from sales to rentals, property management and concierge services. We rent and we sell, but above all we serve our clients on a daily basis. In Megève, vacation rentals are an active and attractive market that require a professional every step of the way. My wife is an interior designer and provides advice and expertise on personalized design, furniture and decoration, all the way down to the dishes. This as an incredible advantage for anyone looking to invest in a ski resort.
How does Barnes work?
We personalize everything we do. At Barnes, our clients usually make an appointment before coming in. We receive them in relaxing lounge-like spaces in all of our locations in Megève, Chamonix, Annecy and Archamps. We model this personalized support after private banking. This innovative concept is key in real estate, because our clients who rent properties often turn out to be potential buyers who we need to understand in order to meet their needs.
Is that what sets you apart?
Yes, of course! Not to mention the fact that I was born here and I know the village like the back of my hand. The Barnes name has stood the test of time. We have a reputation for trust and excellence. We are also the only group to have built up such an international client base. Our clients come from all over the world: Lyon, Paris, London, New York...
How is real estate in the mountains?
The market is in constant flux and changes depending on the season, which requires a specific, logic-based approach that takes into account location. Let's take the example of Chamonix, where there are activities all year round in the mountains, such as hiking, very popular in the summer. Real estate prices are very reasonable there. So, we focus on adapting our offer to fine dining and activities and so that we can bring in clients all year round. The challenge is to attract more and more families who want to reconnect with nature and breathe in the fresh air. Proof that you can vacation in the mountains any time of year!
Interview by Catherine Delaby for the HOME Immobilier magazine Switzerland - France