What's the story behind your move to Cyprus and opening an agency there?
We came here on holidays initially and after falling in love with the island bought an off-plan property. We then started a homefinding service to help others do the same and found we enjoyed it so much that we decided to do it full-time. We'd also come to realise that Cyprus would be a great place to raise our children - Charlotte, 12, and Daniel, 11. To get the ball rolling, I (Eileen) then did the NFOPP Estate Agency course. We left our home in Mansfield and moved to Cyprus in 2008, when we launched Hardy Estates Cyprus - and the rest is history!
Which types of property are you currently selling most of?
Most of our buyers are looking to buy a holiday home initially, with a view to retiring/ relocating here, so we get a lot of interest in bungalows and villas with pools, especially those with that all important sea view. Prices have come down in recent times and it is a buyer's market at the moment.
Describe the last property you sold and who bought it
Our last sale was a three-bedroom villa in Tsada village, with views over the Paphos coastline and nearby vineyards, to a Russian family relocating here. We helped them out by setting up an appointment with the International School and assisting them with visas. Since then we have become good friends and have an invitation to a Russian themed house-warming party!
Could you tell us a story about a memorable client?
In January an Englishman came into the office and asked to see a show villa that was for sale. In passing he said he was here on his own and planning a surprise wedding for his girlfriend on her birthday in March! I (Eileen) was so amazed, I forgot all about the house and quizzed him about the wedding to make sure he hadn't forgotten any details. To cut a long story short he loved the villa and so did his future wife. In fact, we got on so well we ended up as guests at the wedding! The couple are in the process of selling up in England and hope to move to their dream villa here later this year.
It sounds like you get involved a lot with your local community
Yes, that's certainly true. Our son is a keen footballer and we help with the Paphos Warriors youth football club. We also sponsor tournaments between RAF and Cypriot teams, and are doing some marketing for them. Phil also runs a soccer skills afterschool club at the International School. We are involved with the local Church and take part in fundraising for local charities. We have lots of Cypriot friends and get regular invites to parties, weddings and christenings.
What's your own home like?
We have a lovely three-bedroom villa in a village near Paphos town, with a private pool and sea views. It's a perfect place to relax and unwind and we've made lots of friends, both Cypriot and British.
What do you do to wind down when not working?
We try to make the most out of our life here and enjoy becoming tourists on our days off - the island has so much to offer. Phil relaxes by taking an early morning ride along the coast on his motorbike. Then, as a family we head off for the day and take in some sights, relax on the beach and have a leisurely meal.
In one sentence, what makes a good overseas property agent?
Sounds obvious but it's about listening to your clients and having a thorough knowledge of the property market and not being pushy.
If you weren't selling property in Cyprus what would you be doing?
Good question. With a strong background in advertising and sales we often get asked why we don't produce a magazine here in Cyprus and have often thought that a Hello! style magazine would do very well, so watch this space... In the meantime we are launching our own in-house magazine in time for the high season.
Phil and Eileen Hardy run Hardy Estates Cyprus (00 357 26 911 263, www.hardyestatescyprus.com)