Meet Claudia Goetting who swapped being an estate agent in Berlin for a new life in the rural Languedoc eight years ago.
Berliners Claudia and her husband Jürgen, have owned a holiday home in the tiny little hamlet of St. Martin de l’Arcon in the Hérault since 1991, but when Jürgen retired in 2011, they decided to move full time to their Languedoc home, and Claudia became a Leggett agent six years ago.
We interviewed Claudia about what life is like as an estate agent here.
Why St. Martin de l’Arcon?
We have long loved this area as it’s authentic France, where people don’t worry about what car your drive – like parts of the Cote D’Azur. It’s got a great climate and we loved the tiny little medieval hamlet where everyone looks out for each other in a very nice way. It’s also very sociable and we often go and sit on the terrace of a neighbour for a glass of something. The countryside around it is beautiful.
So you swapped being an estate agent in Germany for France?
I was dealing with rental apartments in Berlin and it was very much a 9 to 5 job. I much prefer the flexibility of being a Leggett agent and also selling people the beautiful homes in this region – here I’m selling dreams not just properties! I originally came here to retire – although I am only 51 this year – but I got bored and now love what I do.
If you don’t like driving around the countryside you might not enjoy this job, but I love it. There’s nothing that is especially challenging apart from the fact it is so social here – there are many things going on that involve too many Apero’s!
What is home in France?
We live in our one-time holiday home, a 300-year-old “little castle” with four bedrooms in the centre of the hamlet. It’s got a courtyard and we have a separate garden of 3,000 sq metres which I love pottering in, and I have Indian Runner ducks there too. I also love painting and decorating.
Your favourite restaurant?
We love Fleurs D’ Olargues that is in the beautiful village of Olargues overlooking the river. It’s only 8km away from us, it has a Danish chef who is very creative with fresh ingredients, it’s not the traditional entrecôte and chips French fare.
What do your customers typically want?
British buyers seek old style properties, and their budget is typically around €300,000. They tend to prefer buying up to one hour inland rather than on the coast…they love “my” Orb valley when they discover it. Still popular are Pezenas, Marseillan and the wine region of Saint Chinian.
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Claudia is now one of the co-ordinators of the local team of Leggett agents, and is looking to increase her team. Leggett Immobilier have over 500 agents throughout France, and Lorraine Deuré, head of Leggett recruitment, will be at the Cracker Fair this year and available to discuss the role of an Independent Sales Agent in France for anyone interested in pursuing a career with this award winning agency. So if you want to know more come along to the Leggett stand in the Abbaye for an informal chat.