A benchmark in luxury real estate


This month’s estate agency focus is on luxury realty agency Barnes Marbella.

Interview and article by Victoria Wood

Vista Residences Marbella

In just over 20 years since Barnes was established it has become a benchmark in the luxury real estate sector. The Barnes brand is an international network of 90 agencies with offices in many major international cities; Paris, Brussels, Geneva, London, New York, Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Budapest, Athens and Miami, as well as in numerous cities and holiday destinations in and around France, where the company originated. They are a major player in the luxury real estate world and a true ambassador of the French ‘Art de Vivre’.

Now the Barnes name has opened up in Marbella as the destination ties in perfectly with their luxury-living ethos. Opened in January 2020, the Barnes Marbella group is spearheaded by Marie-Laurence van de Berg and Jeremy Lauwers. Jeremy was active in real estate development in Belgium for 15 years before Marbella and its gorgeous climate won him over. Marie-Laurence has expert local knowledge of the region, having lived in Marbella for 20 years. They combine their exceptional skills and knowledge to provide an exclusive service backed by the powerful Barnes network and brand.

Marie-Laurence van de Berg and Jeremy Lauwers
Marie-Laurence van de Berg and Jeremy Lauwers established Barnes Marbella at the beginning of 2020

Barnes Marbella offers exceptional properties for sale with a portfolio spanning from Sotogrande to Mijas. From opulent apartments to front-line golf contemporary villas, Barnes properties encapsulate the prestigiousness that is Marbella.

We spoke to Marie-Laurence van de Berg to find out more about the strength of the Barnes name and the state of the real estate market on the Costa del Sol.

What do you think sets you apart from other agencies?

What sets us apart from other agencies is the strength of our global network of high-end real estate. Barnes operates in more than 15 countries and supports its clients in all their life projects.

How do you go about personalising your service?

We personalise our services by taking great care of our clients. We are at their disposal at all times to accompany them with their most demanding requests.

Do you think living in the Spanish countryside is becoming more of a sought after lifestyle or are people still generally leaning towards the coast?

There are two types of clients. Older and younger people (35-50 years old) who are looking for a house outside the centre for several reasons, to live in a quiet place with more privacy and security. For some also, for economic reasons and the desire to have a panoramic view of the mountains and the sea.

What prompted Barnes to choose to work alongside BRIGHT?

Barnes has a reputation for working with developers such as BRIGHT who are representative of luxury and quality of living.

Vista Lago Residences, developed by BRIGHT,
Vista Lago Residences, developed by BRIGHT, with panoramic views across the Mediterranean
Do you think the current pandemic is deterring people from the idea of moving to Spain?

No, on the contrary, the pandemic has made many people aware that location and home are fundamental values for living happily outside the city. They have understood that having a house with a garden, a swimming pool and outdoor terraces is one of the greatest fundamental qualities of life.

What do you think sets this area apart from others?

Marbella offers a good climate all year round, pure sea and mountain air. It is only 40 minutes away from Malaga airport and only 2 hours flight time from Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland etc…

What is the most challenging part of your job?

I love my job, but it is true that nowadays with the restrictions of movement the organisation of visits is becoming more and more complicated. For this reason we have developed a whole process of organising virtual visits in order to keep in touch with our clients and prospects during this difficult period.

What do you see for the imminent future of the property market in and around Marbella? And longer term?

Buying a house in Marbella and its surroundings has become a more secure investment and the real estate market in Marbella will not lose its value. On the contrary, it can only evolve because many people want to have their main or second home and be able to take advantage of it by renting it out.

The BARNES magazine and property handbook
The BARNES magazine and property handbook

BARNES publishes a magazine twice a year which is packed with the world’s most delectable properties – 180,000 copies are distributed worldwide to their clients and partners. They also publish a sought after “Global Property Handbook”, which is basically a major international survey of luxury real estate, well worth a read – full of fascinating facts and insightful quotations.

Visit their website for more information: