A busy day in the varied life of Tom Maidment, Partner at Lucas Fox’s Maresme and Costa Brava office
[Image: Tom Maidment seen here on the right alongside Lucas Fox Maresme director Rafael Rosendo]
“A typical day begins at around 7.15am. No alarm required. The wake-up call comes courtesy of my 7 and 5-year-old children. If they oversleep, our two hungry cats are also pretty effective.
After a quick flick through The Times Newspaper App (always starting with the sports pages), I’m out of bed and into the shower. From here the daily routine kicks into action and few words are exchanged between my wife, Carrie, and I.
Whilst getting ready we listen to UK radio. Carrie (a former journalist) and I are both news junkies and the BBC’s rolling news station, Radio 5, is a constant soundtrack in our household. Besides which, as I open the shutters to a view of the Mediterranean, I get some perverse comfort from hearing the traffic and weather reports back in London.
I go downstairs to find the kids staring at a blank TV. We’ve banished morning TV during the week in the hope that it might speed up the morning routine. It doesn’t. They still stare vacantly at the TV set willing it to come on.
By 8.30am one of us will be out the door with the kids for the school run. They both attend Hamelin International School (in the village of Alella), which is only a few minutes drive away and, conveniently, a couple of minutes walk from the Lucas Fox Maresme Property Lounge.
The most stimulating thing about my work is that no two days are the same. On any given day I might be in the Costa Brava, inland Girona, Barcelona City or Alella.
Wherever I go, it’s always by car. I drive around 40,000km per year. With two young children and a busy working life, being alone in the car is my refuge. It is my personal space where I can make phone calls, listen to music or think without any other distractions. With little traffic on the roads between Barcelona and the Costa Brava it is a remarkably stress-free experience and, from door to door, I always know exactly how long the journey will take.
I lived and worked in London for more than a decade before relocating to Barcelona, leaving behind an 11-year career in Sports Marketing. For some time I had harboured the dream of living in Spain – I read Spanish and Business at University, the highlight of which was my year abroad in Madrid. I also attended a local school in Alicante for 6 weeks at the age of 15 as part of a school exchange programme. From that moment I developed a passion for Spain, its quality of life, its culture, language and people, and my experiences in Madrid and Alicante convinced me that I wanted to experience it again.
When I was first introduced to Carrie at a friend’s wedding in 2002, we quickly discovered our shared love for Spain and within 14 months of that initial encounter we had moved to Barcelona and married in the city 3 years later.
I now have the privilege of working in one of the most beautiful coastal areas in the Mediterranean and have swapped a packed London Underground for the beautiful wine growing villages of the Maresme and the spectacular coastal roads around Begur in the Costa Brava. Whenever I get the chance to stop for lunch with clients, overlooking the stunning beaches at Calella de Palafrugell, Llafranc or Tamariu, I often contemplate what might have been had it not been for that chance encounter.
A typical working day can involve any number of tasks: liaising with clients – both buyers and sellers; arranging viewings; listing new properties; dealing with lawyers, banks and staff; and generally keeping across my teams in Maresme and Costa Brava.
One of the great pleasures of my job is meeting and dealing with such an eclectic mix of people. Our clients come from all over the world and with hugely varied backgrounds. Many work in the financial sector but I have had clients with professions as diverse as international rock stars to internet entrepreneurs and world famous ballet dancers to pilots.
I have always enjoyed the personal contact and this is a key element of the job. Gaining the trust and respect of clients is fundamental to the success of our business. It is not unusual to find buyers a little stand-offish at first. It is quite understandable as our sector does not (or certainly did not) have the greatest reputation in Spain, but I enjoy the challenge of breaking down the barriers. In my view, the key to a successful salesperson is gaining the respect and trust of clients and this is earned by knowing your product, your region, your market and by listening to, understanding and delivering on the client’s expectations. Most buyers will be making the biggest investment of their lives so it is crucial that they have absolute confidence in their agent.
Whether I am in the Costa Brava or in the Maresme office, I will always try to get home in time to catch the kids before they go to bed, or at least in time for their bedtime story. I don’t read fiction much these days so it’s a rare opportunity to pick up a book, even if it is Winnie The Pooh! After a quick bite to eat – or, if I’m up to it, a quick run along the beach (we only live 300m from the sea) – work continues and I invariably spend the evening catching up with emails whilst listening to music or watching the TV.
In the summer months, we often walk down to the beach with the kids for an early evening swim and a sundowner at the local Chiringuito (beach bar). From there you get a spectacular view down the coast with the sun setting behind the Barcelona city skyline. Some people travel halfway round the world for this kind of experience. We are fortunate enough to have it right on our doorstep.
No longer do I get that sinking feeling when going to bed, thinking that I am on a treadmill and not knowing how I will ever get off. I left that all behind in London and since making the move back in 2003 I can safely say that I have absolutely no regrets”