EDITION: August - October 2010


Ruth Osborn

Who are Broekman & Olivera?
Broekman & Olivera is the partnership of me, John Broekman, a marketer from Amsterdam, and Gabriel Olivera, an architect from Montevideo, Uruguay.

What do you do?
Buying, selling, renovating and renting properties on Ibiza and Formentera – Broekman & Olivera group together all of these services in one company. We’re well resourced, with a wide range of international clientele and more than fifteen years experience on the island. We have our own building team, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, an in house architect and assistance with all paper work and permissions. Our team evaluates all aspects of a project; artistic, technical and administrative, from the very beginning until the very end. This close involvement ensures a tight control of the project with better communication. We check the client’s background and the state of property right through to the finishing touches of renovation or sale.

How does the partnership work?
We’re both involved in the creative processes of the business, but I look after the marketing and business side of the company. Gabriel is the architect and more creative side of the company. We are both active on the building site. I specialize in a more rustic style and Gabriel definately has a more modern focus. Our skills and styles compliment each other, thus broadening our scope of service.

How long have you been doing it for?
We met eight years ago when I asked Gabriel to do a special technique of Italian stucca (marmelina), on a clients house. We started working together from then on, forming Ibiza BO.

Have any projects you’ve done really stuck out in mind?
Each and every project results in a new and enriching experience. Working with Robert Plant, for example, gave us a new and gratifying experience, as he is not only a renowned musician, but also an extremely professional constructor.

How did you come to be in Ibiza?
We were both invited to Ibiza in our professional capacities. Gabriel arrived on the island in 1990, asked by a French client to help assist in the building of a house here. I came in 1992. It was my first time here, I’d never planned to come but had met a man in Holland who wanted me to help set up an interior design company here. The island itself and it´s charm captivated us both and made the desision to stay obvious and easy.

What’s the property market like in Ibiza at the moment and where do you see it going?
In general the properly market needs to be better regulated, there are too many people trying to establish themselves as estate agents, the whole market needs to readjust and go back to certain basics. At low level it is flat, there’s hardly any movement on properties up to a million. The middle class market has collapsed because the banks have shut down credit lines. There is no access to credit, so the middle classes aren’t buying. Also, three or four years ago property price became unrealistic, authentic values need to come back. The market above 2 million euros is still moving. Those that are fiancially able to afford these prices don’t need credit, although in general it’s not as it used to be. What’s going on at the moment is not good for the development of the island, however Ibiza is always popular, there is a magic and a cosmopolitan pull here and it will regenerate itself, although it may take a few years.

What key piece of advice would you give to prospective buyers?
Cash is king! If you have certain budget, search for properties bit higher in value and take advantage of opportunities. As a buyer you’re in a much stronger position than you were two years ago. Now is your moment!

And to sellers?
True values – every seller has their own castle and thinks its worth top dollar but be realistic about your prices, if you start too high you may run into difficulties with your sale negotiations. It’s best to make a true and realistic value price to start with. Buyers do not take high prices seriously any more.

If you could have a house anywhere on the Island where would it be and why?
Gabriel and his wife have just recently reformed their house, a modern villa with a large pool in Santa Gertrudis, he’s very happy there. I would live in the north of the island, in San Carlos or San Juan, on top of the mountains looking over the country, seeing the beautiful Ibiza colours – red earth, green pines and the natural landscapes – in an old finca with high roofs and sabinas wood in the ceilings – romantic.

Text: Ruth Osborn