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Interview with Valérie Poupa 18 January 2019

Valérie, why did you choose to work as a real estate agent?
I chose to become a real estate agent for my clients to benefit from my managerial and multilingual skills, since I speak French, English, Norwegian and Spanish fluently.

You are originally from Saint-Raphaël and you know the town perfectly. Why choose Saint-Raphaël?
Yes, I passed my baccalaureate diploma at Lycée Saint Exupéry in Saint-Raphaël. I have seen the town embellish more and more over the past years, with numerous architectural creations, such as the old port, the Krakowski palace and the Alain Chataignier stadium (Olympic swimming pool, where many of the best swimming teams come to practice.) It is a beautiful provincial town, with a small-town feeling. You always meet and greet some acquaintance while strolling down the streets. It is also a town that offers modern comfort, for example with the installation of optical fibre by the end of 2019. You find all the cultural amenities that you need, such as the media library, the cinema and the convention centre. There are lots of animations troughout the year (fireworks, competition showcases, the carnival, rowing competitions ...) and festivals (jazz, comic, conferences ...). You will also find many sports clubs (hiking, sailing, cycling, yoga ...) as well as lots of local shops and many restaurants (Scandinavian, Thai, Vietnamese, sushi, Italian, fast food ...). Not to mention quality medical services with several renowned specialists.

Saint Raphael has its "feet" in the Mediterranean, with several marinas and its "head" in the Esterel mountains (oldest volcanic massif in Europe). It’s a dynamic city, as much for the French residents as for any other nationality.

You have lived in Norway for many years and you are fluent in Norwegian. What services can you offer to our Scandinavian clients looking to settle in Saint-Raphaël?
I can help them with their installation in Saint-Raphaël and assist them in their administrative procedures, such as opening a bank account, contacting the electricity supplier and the water company, or find providers for the maintenance of their property. I can also assist them if they wish to rent out their property. Since I am a year-round resident, I can help out during their absence by overlooking works in progress. I can be the "guardian" of their residence.

What can you tell us about the real estate market in Saint-Raphaël?
The city offers quality housing in buildings or residences sometimes classified as historical monuments. Many properties, both apartments and villas, offer beautiful views of the sea or the Esterel mountains.

What is your favourite place on the Côte d'Azur, apart from Saint-Raphaël, to spend a Sunday with your family?
Apart from Saint-Raphaël, I like spending time in Cotignac, a major pilgrimage site. I also like to discover all the hiking trails of the Esterel in neighbouring towns like Puget-sur-Argens, Roquebrune-sur-Argens, Le Muy, Les Adrets de l'Esterel and Bagnols-en-Forêt.

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