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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey Guys,

I have just phoned eight people/letting agents from fotocasa.es to organise to view a property I was interested in in the Alicante area. All but one of the conversations went like this:

Me: Hola, habla Ingelse
Them: Perca?
Me: Would like to view property for rent.
Them: Non hablo, non hablo.

Phone call ended

--------------

The other phone call went a little better.

Me: Hola, habla Ingelse
Them: A little.
Me: Hello, I would like to view property.
Them: Rent or Buy?
Me: Rent.
Them: Wait 1 minute......

Phone call ended

So how does one find a property when they do not speak Spanish. It seems Alicante is not as English friendly as I have been lead to believe. 8 phone calls and no progress.
 
G

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you would be better served by hiring a bi-lingual person to help you...the younger people tend to have taken English in school...the older lot either did and forgot or just never had the opportunity. I'd also suggest looking for real estate agents in Alicante as many will have English enough to help you as there are loads of English speaking expats in that area, also fotocasa.es only has a small portion of existing properties.

good luck
 

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Me: Hola, habla Ingelse
Them: Perca?
Me: Would like to view property for rent.
Them: Non hablo, non hablo.
Do you know Italian? Because it looks like you're more familiar with that language than Spanish.
I used to be a rental agent in the UK, and it is pretty nerve-wracking and stressful when you're trying to communicate with someone about a rental and they have no idea what you're saying (and equally for the prospective tenant), so I can understand why you're having problems - though hanging up on you isn't very polite.

I would look for a translation service, or even better a rental agent in the area who specializes in relocating English speakers. Have a look on Google.
 
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I've seen 'nearly' every time that you start looking at properties in English, the prices go WAY up. It's called ****** on ****** crime....
 

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Estate agents are notorious, don't even consider using the telephone, visit them with the basic questions written in Spanish, you will do a lot better.
 

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I've seen 'nearly' every time that you start looking at properties in English, the prices go WAY up. It's called ****** on ****** crime....
agreed :mad:


one thing though - it's much harder for most people to speak a 'foreign' language on the phone than face-to-face

I bet if MaxTucker walked into some of these agents rather than trying on the phone he'd find that he could get by with his bit of Spanish & the agent's bit of English
 

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Agree with the others, phoning is not easy for you or them, and they often dont take you seriously, most want you to go in. Emailing is worse because 9/10 dont reply! Its so hard for some who do speak some english to speak on the phone. My OH is fluent in english but cannot speak to a brit in engish on the phone unless he knows them without saying "sorry" 3 times a minute.

Do a visit, get someone who speaks spanish to go with you and spend a day or two going round - also pick up costa blanca news an look for agents or long lets.

If you dont know a spaniard or spanish speaker then you will find translators in the local paper, charging anything from 10 euros an hour - so a full day is gonna probably cost you less than 100 euros - a small price to pay for not knowing the lingo.
 

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Agree with the others, phoning is not easy for you or them, and they often dont take you seriously, most want you to go in. Emailing is worse because 9/10 dont reply! Its so hard for some who do speak some english to speak on the phone. My OH is fluent in english but cannot speak to a brit in engish on the phone unless he knows them without saying "sorry" 3 times a minute.

Do a visit, get someone who speaks spanish to go with you and spend a day or two going round - also pick up costa blanca news an look for agents or long lets.

If you dont know a spaniard or spanish speaker then you will find translators in the local paper, charging anything from 10 euros an hour - so a full day is gonna probably cost you less than 100 euros - a small price to pay for not knowing the lingo.
Steve,
not trying to be picky here, but are you sure of the translators fees?
I ask because if you're going round with someone translating like that it's usually classed as interpreting, translating normally being written and charged by words, not time. Interpreting is usually pretty expensive, although probably infinitley cheaper in Alicante than in Madrid.
 

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Steve,
not trying to be picky here, but are you sure of the translators fees?
I ask because if you're going round with someone translating like that it's usually classed as interpreting, translating normally being written and charged by words, not time. Interpreting is usually pretty expensive, although probably infinitley cheaper in Alicante than in Madrid.
well, note i said anything from 10 euros… you get what you pay for! when i started out i had a woman from south america who was cheap, but … ermm… ok! i also used an english woman who lived here for 20 years and was fluent and she charged double but was excellent, really stood her ground when we hit spanish beurocracy! then of course you could find a spanish english student who is very good although not professional but who is glad of the practice for a lunch and few euros! depends who you know!

if its a doctor or lawyer appointment you need someone who is very good, but if its just browsing leting agencies then you dont have to be so picky… until it comes to checking contracts and negotiating!
 

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So basically, If you want to go to a foreign country and do anything other then get a few beers in a bar and laze in the sun then you need to learn some of the language. If that sounds a bit harsh, look at it from their point of view:
  • Today it is you, a Brit;
  • Yesterday, a Dutchman,
  • The day before, a German,
  • Before that a Pole,
  • and before that a Romanian
  • and a Swede,
  • Then last week ...

People expect them to be multilingual which isn't really fair. They live where they speak the local lingo so why should they learn yours? Let's face it if you want to live there then you are going to need to be able to speak some of the language so why not start with learning how to ask the basic questions ''Do you have any properties to rent?'' and PLEASE do it face to face, you will get on so much better since much of any local lingo is down to non-verbal communication such as a shrug of the shoulders, a smile, a look of disappointment, etc. and your approach such as when you shake right hands, placing your left hand on the other guy's right shoulder or arm - this is dual purpose in that it all is OK, it is seen as a gesture of friendship, if not, you are ready to throw him. :D
 

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Max, I dont know if you intend renting or buying. However, either would receive some interest from some landlords on here (including moi).

If you are renting for how long? When do you want to rent from? How many bedrooms do you require? Do you want coastal or inland property? Proximity to schools or place of work might be desired?

If you can supply some more info, I have no doubt that you might not have to go beyond this forum.
 

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If I remember correctly from his other threads, Max is actually living in Australia right now, so coming here to look at property won't be a case of just taking a two hour flight each way, as many of us do.
So, having a few places ready to look at when he visits in a few days time sounds pretty sensible to me.
He can always visit more estate agents when he arrives, but having somewhere to start from I should imagine would be useful!

But agreed, this can be a very frustrating business to attempt from afar and speaking Spanish on the phone isn't easy, even for many of us who have been here quite a while.

So Max, I hope you manage to get at least some useful replies from agents!
 

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If I remember correctly from his other threads, Max is actually living in Australia right now, so coming here to look at property won't be a case of just taking a two hour flight each way, as many of us do.
So, having a few places ready to look at when he visits in a few days time sounds pretty sensible to me.
He can always visit more estate agents when he arrives, but having somewhere to start from I should imagine would be useful!

But agreed, this can be a very frustrating business to attempt from afar and speaking Spanish on the phone isn't easy, even for many of us who have been here quite a while.

So Max, I hope you manage to get at least some useful replies from agents!
Wrong!
I've just seen that he lives in Edinburgh.

Oh well! :eek::)
 

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You may want to try...

Hi Max,
Don't get discouraged.
You may want to try Vacation rentals, private rooms, sublets by the night - Accommodations on Airbnb
for a place to land short-term and then take it from there.
It is really better to check out the place in person,
preferably with some assistance from someone else
who speaks the language.
Also just walking around the town you are bound to see signs
reading "Se alquila".
At times, you can knock on the door and see it on the spot.
If you really need assistance, I'll be happy to help after you send me
a private message with contact e-mail.
Cheers,
10C:ranger:
 

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I have had better luck than described here. Found properties on fotocasa and idealista and contacted advertisers via the email forms on the pages. It's much easier reading a foreign language than it is trying to understand it and speak it on a phone (I'm not English).

I got replies from quite a few and I rewrote the ones that didn't reply. Ended up with about a 70% percent reply rate and set up 7 viewings before going to Spain. And we ended up renting one of them.

So try writing instead and write a little about yourself, why you are going to Spain and how long you want to rent for. Don't just write that you are interested.

Best of luck,
 

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relocation4u handled everything for me. Tell them what you want and they'll take you to visit several properties in one day. The company paid so I'm sorry I don't know what it will cost.
 

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relocation4u handled everything for me. Tell them what you want and they'll take you to visit several properties in one day. The company paid so I'm sorry I don't know what it will cost.

These relocation companies can charge the earth tho, alot also claim that they can do NIEs, residencias, padrons........... when in fact these things have to be done by the person moving. When we moved to Spain we found a few British letting agents who showed us several properties and they all became friends and helped us to integrate, sort out problems etc. Even now I consider them all friends

Jo xxx
 

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I have had better luck than described here. Found properties on fotocasa and idealista and contacted advertisers via the email forms on the pages. It's much easier reading a foreign language than it is trying to understand it and speak it on a phone (I'm not English).

I got replies from quite a few and I rewrote the ones that didn't reply. Ended up with about a 70% percent reply rate and set up 7 viewings before going to Spain. And we ended up renting one of them.

So try writing instead and write a little about yourself, why you are going to Spain and how long you want to rent for. Don't just write that you are interested.

Best of luck,

I would try emailing as another option - but I wouldn't expect much success from it. The Spanish just don't seem to be so into it as us. I would stick to the point and wouldn't give them loads of details - that's just harder for them to translate.

We just managed, without paying for any help, by phoning and phoning until we found a few who spoke enough English to set up viewings - it took several phone calls to set each one up - they do seem to like phoning a lot!!

Strangely enough, I visited loads of estate agents and all bar one offered absolutely nothing!

It would be a good idea though to get someone to read over any contract before signing - although I'm sure delaying to sign will irritate an agent greatly!
 

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I would try emailing as another option - but I wouldn't expect much success from it. The Spanish just don't seem to be so into it as us. I would stick to the point and wouldn't give them loads of details - that's just harder for them to translate.

We just managed, without paying for any help, by phoning and phoning until we found a few who spoke enough English to set up viewings - it took several phone calls to set each one up - they do seem to like phoning a lot!!

Strangely enough, I visited loads of estate agents and all bar one offered absolutely nothing!

It would be a good idea though to get someone to read over any contract before signing - although I'm sure delaying to sign will irritate an agent greatly!
I agree that you shouldn't spill your heart out and write tearfully about the times you had your heart broken back in school. But in my experience not all the advertisers are agents. Some of them are the owners themselves looking for someone to rent their flat or house. And in cases like that, as an owner you really want to know who it is that wants to rent your place.

I have rented out my own home on quite a few occasions, and when going through the emails from possible tenants, I always choose to contact the ones who write a few words about themselves and sound like they are going to pay the rent on time and not trash the place.

Just my two pennies worth ...
 
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