In 2016, Abbie Barratt opened the Connect Conveyancing office in the heart of La Finca Commercial Centre. Having moved to Spain as a 10-year-old, she’s had plenty of time to get to grips with Spanish red tape and how to unravel it so her clients receive the best service. In 2020 she added estate agency Casas Connect to the business, since conveyancing and property transfer often go hand in hand.
Abbie manages a wide range of professional services in house, making Connect a one stop shop for all your legal requirements associated with life in Spain. She specialises in helping residents in Algorfa, and has excellent connections with the local Ayuntamiento (Town Hall). Abbie’s husband is Spanish, so she has a real understanding of how things work here. She told Around Algorfa:
One thing you can’t change about your house is the area it’s located in, so we make it our mission to pass on everything we know about Algorfa to our clients, meaning they can make an informed decision about where they want to live. Whether it’s a permanent home or a holiday base, you get so much more from the area when you know what makes it tick.
Prior to opening her own business, Abbie worked with solicitors here in Spain. As a result of this work, she’s built up an impressive database of professional contacts who help her expedite property transfers and other legal matters seamlessly. This means less stress for the client and speedier resolutions to official transactions.
Relaxation is a key word at Connect. Clients say it’s more like visiting good friends than conducting official business, and that’s down to customers getting to know Abbie during her pregnancies while she was working on their various issues. Now, even if they don’t have any business to conduct, they’ll call in and ask after her family. It’s a great way to do business!
Other businesses get flowers and thank you cards, and Abbie gets her fair share of those too, but if you want to make her really happy, turn up with a bottle or two of Calpol for the kids! Some well-trained clients always find space for some in their luggage, and it’s a heart-warming illustration of the bond that can grow between professional service providers and their clients. Business doesn’t have to be dry, dusty and stress filled; it can be the gateway to new and enduring friendships, built on a foundation of mutual trust. Abbie says:
We are very proud to say that since we opened, no client has ever left this office unsatisfied. Most of them are happily surprised with the seamless service we offer, and the lack of stress around their transactions. And we love getting good results for the people who put their trust in us.
As mentioned at the beginning of the feature, the house sales arm of Connect launched in 2020. We all know what happened then, so it’s only during the last year or so that the property side of the business has really taken off. Having an estate agency was part of the business plan from Day 1, but Abbie wanted to be sure she’d established a good base of well qualified and trusted contacts to network with first, so she could be sure of calling on the right people to talk to at every stage of the process. Now she’s looking to expand her team, but it needs to be exactly the right person, because they will be entrusted with maintaining the reputation she has built up since Connect Conveyancing first opened its doors.
Connect can help with so many areas of your life; there are 20 different professional services advertised on the website. Here’s a summary of the help Abbie can offer:
Connect your home
As well as sourcing your dream home, Connect can help with every aspect of the purchase or sale including:
- Land registry and legal checks
- Preparation of property transfer contracts
- Preparation and translation of Notary documents
- Debt checks
- Energy and habitation certificates
- Translation services
- Currency transfers
- Setting up or closing your Spanish bank account and direct debits for utilities
Connect your life in Spain
The property transfer is just the start of your journey in Spain! Let Connect ease your path with these services:
- Security system for your new home.
- Insurance advice.
- Communication with tax office and completion of essential documents, whether you are resident or non-resident.
- Obtaining NIE and/or Residencia, Non-Lucrative Visa
- Registering on the Spanish health system.
- Power of Attorney to act on your behalf when you are not in Spain.
- Making your Spanish will.
Connect your car
Driving in Spain is different – and we don’t just mean on the other side of the road! Talk to Connect about what you may need to do to stay within the law on the roads in Spain:
- Importing and re-registering foreign cars.
- Insurance advice.
- Exchanging your current driving licence for a Spanish one.
- Dealing with traffic violations and arranging payment of fines.
Due to their knowledge and experience Connect can assist at each legal step when selling or purchasing a property, and ensure all government requirements are met along the way. It’s not a matter of transferring a property, you need to understand the legal situation, carrying out mandatory checks and guiding the clients through each necessary step, so every deal fulfils all the legal requirements. Abbie says:
‘I love to be able to understand the clients’ needs and focus on finding them the right property. And being able to metaphorically hold their hand at every step through to completion is very satisfying. Many clients are confused by the Spanish legal system, let alone the language barrier. After the sale, we are always happy to assist with various tasks, such as translation services. Many of our clients return to Connect Conveyancing for all manner of things from residency applications, registering on the Spanish health system and arranging and changing utility suppliers.’
The main source of business is referrals from previous satisfied clients, as the fulsome testimonials on the website confirm. Next time you’re in La Finca, call in to the office and let Abbie lighten your administration load. Can’t get to Spain at the moment? Give Connect Power of Attorney to act on your behalf. Whatever business you need to transact, Connect can do it with their wide experience, professionalism, and understanding of legal processes and human nature. They care about what they do, but most of all, they care about their clients.
Image credits: All photos courtesy of Abbie Barratt and Connect Conveyancing