Marco on the Map as real estate company woos Europeans

A favorable Euro as well as lower home prices have prompted international company Engel & Voelkers to woo the European market aggressively. At the same time, there's exposure for Marco

Guests and visitors crowd the interior of the Engel & Volkers office in the Marco Walk plaza on Marco Island at their official opening earlier this year..

Photo by QUENTIN ROUX, Staff

Guests and visitors crowd the interior of the Engel & Volkers office in the Marco Walk plaza on Marco Island at their official opening earlier this year..

While drumming up international real estate business geared to Marco Island for themselves, agents at Engel & Voelkers are pleased with the general exposure they’re generating for the area.

Just back from a trip to Germany where they visited key European offices, local Engel & Voelkers franchise partners Stefan and Bea Bolsen are bullish about the reaction they received after presenting a series of seminars.

“They were to inform people about the Florida (and Marco) market,” Stefan Bolsen said. “At the moment the Euro is advantageous for Europeans, and with property prices up to 50 percent down it makes sense to pursue to foreign market.”

He said the Marco Island Multiple Listing System (MLS) has been translated into German to further capitalize on this market.

He said Engel & Voelkers had a successful August on Marco, with sales to people from Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

An English buyer, for example, snapped up a $2.2 million mansion on a tip lot on Scott Drive in the Estates Area of the island.

Bolsen said the local office has undergone some expansion, with the addition of associates Khahlil Khalil, Ronald DuPlessis and Michael Trzyna.

Former math professor Khalil is originally from Palestine and speaks Arabic and French, while DuPlessis is French Canadian and will be the liaison to the company’s shops in France, Cote D’Azur and Paris.

Trzyna is originally from the Ritz Carlton hospitality business and trained to cater to affluent clients, Bolsen said.

A further move by the company has been to established a new rental department.

Kelly Maguire is the point-person for short term vacation rentals.

The logic behind this move is that quite a few home buyers want Engel & Voelkers to rent their properties to offset expenses, Bolsen said.

This is bolstered by the European penchant for summer vacationing on Marco, he added.

Engel & Voelkers made an aggressive entry into the Florida market about three years ago, and now has 27 branches in the state.

Licenses have recently been sold to California, Boston, Connecticut and Rhode Island interests, which is in line with the company goal of nationwide representation, Bolsen said.

More on the company is available at

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