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"We enjoyed being in a small, friendly Spanish community with such easy access to the town.  The apartment is very comfortable.  We made good use of the extensive library and the garden and pool – a lovely way to relax after a hard day’s ‘culture’!"
Linda & Robin Bell, Todmorden, Lancs

Word of mouth PDF
Friday, 07 October 2011 00:00

One of the many things I like about living in Spain is that the good old-fashioned system of de palabra (word of mouth) functions very well. You only have to put the word out about something and the response can be astonishingly rapid and very productive.

Take this week, for example. I needed to hire a gardener, as I’ve hurt my back and can’t do any heavy work for a while. I mentioned it in passing to our next door neighbour, 82-year-old María, and within an hour a relative of hers called Rafael turned up volunteering to take the job on. He started today and is outside, as I write, making inroads into neglected areas of our garden.

But my word-of-mouth experience goes way back. When I was looking for a property in this area 10 years ago, I only had to go into a bar in the middle of a village and ask if there were any houses for sale, and within no time at all the local corredor would show up jangling keys and offering to show us houses you would never have found in any estate agent’s window.

Having acquired a property we needed a cleaner. Word of mouth brought Vicenta, who is still with me after 10 years.  A couple of years later we bought a house to renovate and needed a plumber. Into the local bar in Barrio San Francisco (Ronda). Anybody recommend a plumber? and within the hour Paco was at my door and two days later the job was completed. The same applies to other tradesmen – everybody knows somebody, usually a relative - they know how to look after their own.

When it was time to sell the house in the barrio five years later, I only had to put the word out and people were asking all the time about the price, etc. I actually sold the house via a word-of-mouth contact.

Last year an English friend who has lived out here for years phoned me to ask if I knew of any houses for sale in Ronda. As it happened I did, my ex-girlfriend’s, so I showed Sara round, she agreed to buy it and within a couple of months we were all at the notary finalising the transaction!

When Frau W and I moved earlier this year, it was cold in the house and we had no fuel for the wood burning stove. I mentioned to a neighbour that we needed logs. Within half an hour Esteban was at our door offering to supply us. He delivered that afternoon. Brilliant!

I could go on, but you probably think I am going on already, so ...

© Paul Whitelock

Tags: word of mouth, de palabra, corredor, Barrio San Francisco, Ronda, plumber, logs, tradesmen, paul whitelock, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,


Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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