Ibiza Business People: Uwe Richtberg, Ibiza One

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Uwe Richtberg started Ibiza One here in the mid-nineties after taking time to get to know the island. He launched this real estate agency in partnership with Coci Tappert and together they created a business selling and renting luxury properties. Here, Uwe recounts what he has learned.

When did you first come to Ibiza?

1989

What did you do when you first came here?

“I came with a famous DJ friend who had just started playing at Privilege, so I had a great introduction to the island.”

What were your first memories of the island?

“Good vibes – truly this was the first thing I felt. It was really sunny and had a really warm feeling.”

Tell us about your business in Ibiza

“It’s a real estate agency and also we are involved in property development. I was renting a house when I first came from 1989 to 1996, as I didn’t want to be tied to anything. Then I bought my first house, knocked it down and rebuilt it from scratch. Then I bought two more houses to develop and sell. Soon, people were asking me how they could buy from me, but I wasn’t a real estate agent at the time. When I learned that I could make money from doing it, I started to put a business together and looked for someone with good experience to help me found the business: that was my partner Coci Tappert. I had a business in Germany and that helped me to launch this one.”

How does Ibiza differ as a place to run a business?

“First of all, there are lots of people form different cultures and nationalities here and this merges together to make a very particular entity. People come to Ibiza in search of peace, love, and happiness: it’s a very different dynamic and very different from say London and Paris where I have lived and seen the differences. A lot of wealthy people come here too to live and you only ever used to meet multi-millionaires and billionaires in casual clothing – a much more relaxed way of doing business. It’s changing a little; now many people want to show their wealth.”

What is your proudest achievement?

“Being satisfied with what I have achieved here. If I wasn’t satisfied, I would stop and go somewhere else.”

What is the market like for real estate in Ibiza – what are the dynamics?

“Price wise it’s difficult to generalise, for example in London, everything is based on specifics, like square metres and location. In Ibiza, pricing is more emotional and depends on the customer and what they want. Things like prime location and a sea view count, but if the property ticks all the boxes that the customer wants, they can often offer to pay a lot more because they want that property. Only when there is no emotional attachment will the buyer haggle over price.”

As a top real estate agent, what are your three main considerations when advising clients?

1) “Understand the client’s needs: why are they buying; is it a holiday retreat; are they coming just to have fun; do they have children or even do they have a boat and like sailing.”

2) “Do they want to use the property as an investment or to rent out? If the latter, then I’d advise looking around Ibiza Town for somewhere with a good sea view. It all depends on what they want.”

3) “Then you ask them, how many times do they want to come here; is it two or five times a year? Do they want to come in November for a short break; what do they want to do exactly? People used to come just a couple of times a year, though now people from London especially have more flight options during winter and come more.”

What have you learnt as a person through your business on Ibiza?

“The most important thing is that you learn very fast that if you want to be successful, you need to be relaxed and not to be stubborn – you can’t be fighting people on such a small island because you bump into people you know all the time. Even if you think you are right and want to fight, don’t: it’s a waste of energy. You soon understand whom you should do business with, so it’s best just to work with them. Finally, I seriously think that if you can survive here as a business you can survive anywhere in the world.”

What are your plans for the future?

“I have no serious plan for the future, because I think this: yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery and today is a gift.”

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