Having opened her first Engel & Völkers shop on the Golden Mile many years ago, Smadar Kahana’s expansion into Puerto Banús marks a successful trajectory that has seen this elegant and sophisticated lady become a dominant figure in Marbella’s luxury real estate segment.

Stepping into the main Marbella office of Engel & Völkers on the Golden Mile, I have the opportunity to meet up with Smadar Kahana again. Newly revamped, the office is not only sleek and modern but also reflects the sense of growth and dynamism that she has created, expanding from one to four shops in the space of just a few years.

What’s more, she achieved this during an intense recession, but if you ask her about it she is inclined to say: “what recession?” The glint in her eye reveals that she knows very well what I’m talking about, yet Smadar has accomplished the enviable in that she has been selling luxury homes in Marbella at a steady rate since 2005.

Add to this the fact that it is at an ascending rate and you can see why she has become such a dominant force in the top end of the market. It is this growth that saw her expand from her original operation on the Golden Mile to owning the Engel & Völkers licenses in El Rosario and Elviria – and culminated in the recent acquisition of the important E&V shop in Puerto Banús.

“It completes a process that allows me to cover the most important areas of Marbella, as the way we work is that every office is manned by people who are specialists in their specific areas and know the properties there inside out. Engel & Völkers offices work very well together, locally and internationally, but by bringing these four shops under a single organisational umbrella we can provide a totally seamless service within Marbella and its surroundings.”

A Rising Star

Like Smadar, Engel & Völkers as a global brand is a rising star in the luxury real estate sector, developing over the past 25 years to become a major global player, with almost 6,000 people working in 600 offices in 39 countries across the five continents.

Luxury residential is the main field of activity, though there are also successful divisions in commercial real estate, yachts and aviation, with an original emphasis on primary homes and increasing growth in the secondary ‘holiday home’ segment. “It isn’t by coincidence that we are selling many of the most luxurious estates in the Marbella area,” says Smadar, “just as it isn’t a coincidence that Engel & Völkers has become so successful.”

She puts it down to a unique combination of a centralised and consistently high standard of presentation, service and professionalism, and the resources of a global organisation. “They provide Engel & Völkers agents such as myself with a valuable ‘toolbox’ consisting of marketing clout, technical expertise and a valuable international network of colleagues with access to many of the most important property buyers and investors in the world. We receive client referrals from E&V shops worldwide throughout the day.

One of the reasons why people like this choose Engel & Völkers is because it is a known quantity – if they have had dealings with the company in their own country they know that they can expect the same service and procedures wherever in the world they step into one of our shops.” Having said that, the shops are operated by people who marry this corporate philosophy to their local knowledge of the market.

The licenses are geographically defined, and those who buy one have the benefit of marketing platforms with a global reach – such as a powerful online presence, in-house publications such as GG, which with its print run of 300,000 is a leading lifestyle publication that reaches a targeted international audience, and effective PR and press coverage globally.

“But we also have to comply with the highest standards, so in addition to technical and marketing support we receive on-going training and courses designed especially at the company’s central Real Estate Academy.” The international scope of Engel & Völkers means that shops from different areas, regions or even continents work closely together to bring buyers and properties together, but it also provides the means to develop bespoke features such as the carousel screensavers that enable different agents to share news, information and requests on a platform visible to Engel & Völkers colleagues around the world…

Words Michel Cruz Photography Courtesy of Engel & Völkers

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Engel & Voelkers Marbella
Blvd. Príncipe Alfonso de Hohenlohe,
CN 340 km 178,2 – CC La Póveda, Local 5,
29602 Marbella, Málaga.
Tel: +34 952 868 406.


Engel & Voelkers Puerto Banús
Av. Manolete, 529, 29660 Puerto Banús.
Tel: +34 952 859 860.