Can you give us a bit of background on the company and what it offers?
The Parli family has been in the luxury real estate business since 1998, with offices based in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Over the decades, we have been able to focus and specialise on various fronts, guaranteeing our customers professionalism and discretion. Exactly 20 years have passed from the first company founded by our father Ernesto Parli to the new company, PARLI AG – parli.swiss, founded by myself.
What has changed in the meantime, and why did you want to set up a new company?
The answer is very simple: we believe in a family business, and Parli AG, as the name suggests, wants to be the prime example of a family business. The generational transition and the changeover of the entire portfolio consisting of more than 4,500 international clients took place in 2019.
I had the privilege of supporting our father in negotiations as well as in customer management, both from a bureaucratic point of view and from a human and relational aspect. Thanks to what I learned from him, and during my architectural studies with archistars such as Mario Botta, Peter Zumthor and Aires Mateus, etc., I was able to strengthen the already solid foundations built over time. This allowed me to meet the new and increasingly specific customer requests.
The arrival 2 years ago of Alessandra, my sister, with her 20-year background at the executive level in fashion and luxury, has certainly brought an even more strategic and up-to-date modus operandi, with the development of all digital platforms and the consequent acquisition of new customers and business. Bringing together our expertise at PARLI AG has strengthened this business, and this is what we call teamwork.
PARLI AG, our Luxury Real Estate agency, offers 360-degree services, supporting our clients from the beginning to the end, whether they need to buy, rent, sell, or renovate. We are very proud to have made so many of our customers happy in finding their dream home and to have helped others with profitable and very quick, successful sales, avoiding leaving the property on the market for months or even years. We have made other clients happy by assisting them in finding their ideal seasonal home to spend holidays at. Last but not least, we are honoured to have helped clients with renovating their properties. This has been a success thanks to our knowledge and background in architecture and as a result of the skills of our local artisans who shape our ideas into reality using the best materials. This includes local Engadine wood, which is the region’s emblem and is still loved and requested by the majority of our clientele.
What are the key elements that make PARLI’s service and its properties stand out?
For sure, we can say our know-how of the entire region, our background thanks to our father, our local connections who are an added value, how we treat our clientele and the 360-degree services we offer to them makes our service stand out. The local professional providers that we have worked with for decades, whether it is the notary’s office, craftsmen, a local entity, etc., also play an essential role in our stellar offering. All of these elements together means we are able to satisfy our clients’ requests to the nth degree; from showing them the different opportunities on the market to suggesting the best home based on their needs, providing all the detailed information, helping with negotiation, assisting with all the processes (notary, bank, permits, etc.) and always being there for them.
In terms of properties, we always evaluate everything before accepting a house to sell. We indeed work 95% on exclusive mandates, which means having a close relationship with the property owner. This allows us to believe strongly in what we are selling, being able to discuss with the owner if we have to make adjustments. Of course, our mandates are subject to Swiss laws to protect both parties involved, but having exclusivity guarantees the sellers a single reference. This, nowadays, when everything is online, is crucial to avoid any issues with seeing different prices on the market.
For us, a trusted and close relationship still means a lot, and is part of our success. Our clients indeed trust us, whether they are the sellers, buyers, tenants or those who are renovating. This is something we have conquered over the years, which has grown thanks to word of mouth from our satisfied clients.
What process do you go through when representing a property to make it PARLI-worthy?
First, as said above, we personally evaluate the property, then we discuss all the details with the sellers. Once everything is defined and we are 100% convinced about the house, we start the process. This includes the exclusive selling mandate, professional pictures, sales documentation, publication on our website and a few other trusted real estate platforms, definition and implementation of a targeted marketing strategy specific to that property, as well as sending out a newsletter to our database. After that, we schedule all the visits, being available 7 days a week.
Once an offer is accepted, we, together with the notary, assist the client with all requested documents until the day the deed is registered. For sure, we continue to remain available both for the sellers and the new owner post-sale if anything is needed.
What makes Switzerland’s Engadine region such a special place for you, and what makes it an excellent place to live and/or visit?
I’ll give some examples: Thomas Mann said, “This Engadine is the most beautiful place in the world.” Friedrich Nietzsche said during his summer sojourns, “I feel better here than anywhere else on Earth”. There are many such examples, so this list of statements could be very long.
This clarifies that Engadine is not only a tourist region, but it is also a place of worship, philosophy, art, shows (natural and otherwise), tradition and innovation, all immersed in unique nature every season.
The quality of life in the Engadine is measured by the purity of the water in the lakes, springs, air and the colour of the sky. The Milky Way and all the constellations are visible to the naked eye at night, making for a breathtaking spectacle. The joy of living in this valley is reflected in the highest standard services offered, from savouring a slice of cake to eating walnuts in a hut at 3000 meters above sea level and enjoying a starred gourmet dinner. Here, everything is possible.
We could spend a week talking about the magnificence and the beauty of the Engadine region, all that it offers, all you can do amidst the nature and also about tax benefits, but we suggest you plan to travel here at least once in your life. We bet that you’ll be back! To get some travel inspiration for a fairytale winter escape to the Engadine, visit PARLI AG’s blog post here.
There is a fun fact we want to tell you about – a famous bet. Legend says that winter tourism was born in St. Moritz in 1864: “Summer tourism was already running at full speed when, in autumn 1864, Engadine hotelier Johannes Badrutt made a bet with four English guests: even in winter, they could enjoy the Engadine sun in short sleeves on his terrace. Otherwise, he would have taken over the costs of the trip. If they liked St. Moritz instead, he invited them to stay as long as they wanted. The British knew the cold and wet winters of England, and with all their goodwill, they could not imagine that in the Swiss Alps, it could be different. However, they arrived in the Upper Engadine around Christmas and did not return home until after Easter: tanned, rested and happy. They were the first winter tourists in the Alps, and they had discovered a new world: that of white weeks. Thus was born winter tourism in the Alps. ” – (Source: Engadin.ch)
What is it about the houses in the Engadine region that give them a unique character?
The Engadine is a 42km-long valley at 1800 meters above sea level and is the homeland of a centuries-old architectural tradition: the cowshed. In its most primitive form, the stable hosted cattle and farmers who used it to take advantage of the warmest space of the house: the Stüvetta Engiadinaisa.
Over time and with the arrival of new construction techniques, there was a switch from the cowshed to the Engadine house. The winter weather was the factor that led to the architectural façade of small windows decorated with the unique “Sgraffiti”, which are plaster and painting works that make the façades of Engadine houses distinctive across the world. This strong emblem, combined with wood and stone, make Engadine houses an open-air treasure and, today as yesterday, we are thrilled to be able to offer our customers this asset. For us, it is important to maintain tradition as it is this tradition that allows us to embrace what it is that makes a property absolutely unique.
In addition to all this, what makes the houses here so special is the Engadine itself. It is home to incomparable nature with its lakes, rivers and landscapes, painted by Segantini himself and numerous other contemporary artists. Above all, the Engadine sun makes this place special, as it shines 300 days a year.
Tell us about some of your favourite properties available now…
We are proud to say that all properties that we have in our hands, including those off-market, are unique.
The choice of a property to sell, rent or renovate is, to us, not only subject to the classic valuation fees, but most importantly, relies on the emotion – the butterflies in the stomach when we visit it for the very first time. Indeed, it is the first impression, the sensations that the property transmits, the lights, the shadows and even that moment of silence that is necessary to metabolise all these emotions. We try to imagine ourselves there. If we feel good, then it is the right property. Within that moment, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a small or large property, it’s just a question of feeling.
Each of our individual properties has its own particular history and specific reason to become part of our portfolio. This approach allows us to get to know the customer more intimately by sharing our emotions, not just as a cold real estate valuation. Each property is a gift for us, and as a gift, it must be treated with care, sensitivity, joy and enthusiasm. Our customers, knowing our approach, regardless of the property’s size, find in us a safe haven to shelter from the bad weather of a cold and stormy market.
What does ‘luxury’ mean to you, and how is this reflected in the service provided by PARLI?
Luxury means peaceful sleep, smiles, enthusiasm, passion and practicality.
Our professionalism is indeed based on these principles. Every day, it is our duty and pleasure to provide a competent and safe service to our customers. From the smallest things like a message to find out how the day is going to the perfect preparation of a house delivered with a welcome gift.
The real luxury for us is being able to sit with our customers, talking about the operation just completed, involving them in the renovation projects, and having relaxed moments with them, laughing with taste. This luxury is part of our world; this is the luxury that can’t be bought but that we want to gift to our beloved clientele.
PARLI is a family, and we want that our clients feel to be part of it.
To find out more about PARLI AG, visit their website at www.parli.swiss, send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on +41 (0)81 830 04 40. To keep up to date with the company’s latest news, follow PARLI AG at @parliswiss on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.