Being chosen for a new TV Series
In 2016, It was early morning, and I was working in the Spanish Property Choice offices in Mojacar. It was as usual, a beautiful sunny, warm day. The sea is just across the road and I could hear the waves splashing on the shoreline from my office. Have you got the picture? Yes, it was idyllic, but just a normal day in our world, or was it?. No way Jose! It was a day that all of our family will never forget.
We were expecting a really busy day with clients, which is normal for Spanish Property Choice. Most of the staff were preparing for the day ahead and were all having a laugh and a joke. The phone rang, and a call was transferred through to me from a lady called Claire. She told me she was from a company called Ricochet/ Warner Bros and did I have time to talk. She said.
Sharon, are you free to have a chat to me about an idea I have for a TV show, which your family business would be ideal for
At first, I must say that with the laughing and joking that was going on in the front office, I thought it was a joke. However, Claire said rather than going through it all on the phone, could she Zoom call us. Whilst I was waiting, I called Steve and the family in to tell them. Steve said “are you kidding” Emma just rolled her eyes and Shaun just laughed. Claire and a couple of producers Zoom called, and we all had a general chat. Claire said initially they were looking for Expat families who had moved abroad and set up a family business. Possibly one in Spain, one in France, Portugal and Italy was the initial idea.
What happened next?
They suggested the first step would be to come out and meet us, and we agreed they would visit us the following week. Claire would bring a team with her, and she would spend the day with us and follow what we do. I must admit, I was in shock but excited at the same time, as I absolutely love a challenge. The family and team just took it in their stride, as I am always coming up with new ideas, and this was just another one of them.
The following week, Claire and the camera team turned up as planned. I was shocked to see a camera crew, as in my head they were going to sit and observe, not film. However, for some strange reason I was not phased, neither were the family and team, apart from Emma who was most definitely staying way behind the camera.
I was standing outside our office taking pictures of them filming in the office for our social media. A man in a red jacket came up behind me and said
Do you work here, what is going on inside
Yes, I am the owner, and we have a film crew here today filming our business for a new TV show.
Our first clients to film with us
He went on to tell me that he had been in Mojacar for a week looking for a property. He was really disappointed at what they had been shown by his agent. I asked what he was looking for, and he wanted a 2 bed property and had a budget of €120,000. Being me, I told him to walk this way and he and his wife came in and sat down with me. Now, at this point, Claire asked if she could film. I got to know the clients names were Paula and Mick Ward. They were so lovely and both agreed to be filmed, and I knew exactly the perfect property and community to show them.
So I asked if they would like to go and view with myself and Steve now. They were delighted and Claire’s face, well I will never forget it, she was over the moon we were off on a viewing. We all headed off to the Al Andaluz Resorts on Vera Playa. Having a film crew with us was strange, I must admit, but our focus was on finding the perfect property for Paula and Mick. So both Steve and I just did what we do daily, and Claire just filmed everything.
A little fun in the sun
Mick had said to me that he wanted to wake up to a view in a morning. At one property, I asked him to lie on the bed with me. Paula was in fits of laughter when I asked him to lie down and look at the view. The film crew could not keep the camera still for laughing, but at least Mick agreed it was a great view.
Viewing another property, Paula said the bath was too small. I was having none of that and got in to prove my point, her face was a picture, but she could not stop laughing. We then headed to the kitchen, where I proceeded to open the microwave to find a world of its own growing in there. Someone had left a tea bag in a mug. Yuk. Claire said to Steve she could not believe everyone was having such a good time. He replied, “get used to it, she is like this all the time”.
After seeing 3 properties with us, Paula and Mick fell in love with one of them. It was perfect for them and when we returned to the office, they actually made an offer. The offer was accepted, and they moved in not long after. They have actually since sold this apartment through us and purchased a villa as their family had grown. Claire I think was in shock and was exhausted by the end of the day, but did say they had really enjoyed their time with us.
Waiting for the call
A few weeks went by, and I just thought, oh well it was a fabulous experience and never thought anymore of it. Then one morning in January 2016 Claire called. She called to say that the Pilot episode she had made with us, had been presented to all the channels. Not only had Channel 5 loved it, so did Channel 4. To everyone’s excitement, Channel 5 had asked to see a few more episodes.
However, Channel 4 loved it so much, they commissioned 20 x 1-hour episodes there and then. She then proceeded to say that they had not gone ahead with the multi location idea. They actually only wanted us as a family business and another family in Alicante. The programme was going to be called Sun Sea and Selling Houses. WOW! I nearly fell off my chair and for the first time ever, I was actually speechless.
Keeping it real
One of the things I wanted to make sure of was that, if we were going to do this, we would stay true to ourselves. The Garners are not actors, we are not presenters, we are just a family estate agent. Our main focus must remain our clients and finding them their dream home in the sun. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, life it too short, however we do take our business very seriously.
Also, I wanted the viewing public to see there are good estate agents out there, who love their job. Estate agents in general tend to get a bad name. This is unfair as there are agents who do put everything into looking after their clients and genuinely care. Agents that don’t always think of the commissions first and our family business are one of them.
So once we said let’s do this, it was a whirlwind. Before we knew it, we had the lovely Alan King producer/director and an army of crew, incuding Harryet & Jaz, filming with us for 7 months solid. Alan is seen in the picture above after visiting us recently with his daughters to catch up with us. Their support was heartfelt and they genuinely became part of our family. He filmed series 1 and 2 with us. I can honestly say, I never thought we would be offered series 1 in the first place. So for channel 4 to commission series 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Series 7 we have just finished filming, we feel extremely humble and blessed. Where did those 7 years go?
Where are we now
Now, we are 8 years down the line since Claire visited us. We have made 7 series so far. Sun, Sea and Selling Houses has become a huge success and yes we are well known now for sure. The good thing is, for me, what I set out to do has happened.
We are well known for being a close family unit with an amazing team at Spanish Property Choice. A no pressure agent, who really enjoy what we do. We laugh with our clients, we cry with our clients. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we do take our business very seriously. Our clients now trust us as they know we have their best interests at heart.
We have helped thousands of people achieve their dream of owning their little slice of paradise here in Andalusia, Spain. Most (I say most as no one can like everyone they meet) but the majority of our clients arrive a stranger and leave a friend and that’s a fact.
Maybe you are the next one? If you are looking for a property in the Almeria region, I am waiting to hear from you. You may or may not want to film with us. I may not get into bed with you to show you the view or lie in a bath for you, but I will find you the best property out there for your money 100%
I hope you have enjoyed hearing about our TV journey. More to come soon.
Make memories – Take the first step – Be happy – Stay tuned – Keep it real – Just be you
55 responses to “Taking a chance and Garner-ing TV Heaven”
Really enjoyed reading your story Sharon. As they say “right time, right place” and certainly the right family for the job. I look forward to many more years of watching Sun Sea and Selling Houses.
great story, and what a jjoy to watch you all on the show if it was on 7 days a week i would be watching, hate it when a series comes to an end, so i watch old ones .. please keep up making the programmes,if the powers that be allow it. love to you all . i will be calling in to see you next time i can get there,i had a bad accident,2021 and stuggling to even walk as yet. fingers crossed for me xx <3
Brilliant Sharon, love the show, I called into your office this summer and said hello to Shaun 😘
What a Fabulous Story .You have Done So Well
Loved meeting You and Steve in Albizua’s
Your Journey is Fantastic xx
What a fantastic insight into the beginning of Sun Sea and selling Houses. Have never met the Garner family in person but feel like they are friends. Here’s to the next 8 seasons. Keep on doing, what you all do so well. Hopefully get to meet you guys someday.
Love your show and just read your blog.You are a smashing family and have an amazing team.Fantastic what you all have achieved .
Hi all the Garners,
I absolutely love the show and the fantastic relationship you all have together. The show gives me my Spanish “top up” when we are not over on holiday.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, you all feel like family.
Looking forward to seeing many more series.
Best wishes to you all, Jan x
Oh wow, what a read Sharon. I just love the laughter and love you all have with each other. It’s wonderful how the last 8 years have gone for you all. If i ever get the chance to buy a villa i will be on your doorstep for help. Wishing you all the best. Love julie x
I really enjoy watching the TV series, and seeing what is available at less than 100000 euros
Love watching your Tv series you are a wonderful family , I just love the laughter & love you all have for each other , always laughing and making sure the couples are well looked after , and making sure they get what they are looking for . Oh wow what a lovely read too , love to you all have a great weekend ❤️😘 Karen Bobby
Love the programme gives me a top up of Spain, I wish there were more episodes in a series, and it is not necessary to introduce other agents in the mix. The Garner and Rodrigues families are all we need. I love the family bits inbetween the selling and buying. More episodes please.
Hi Sharon lovely hearing your amazing story and its fantastic how its all turned out for you all and us getting to know you and watching your programme ,i can’t wait to start my new journey and adventure in Spain i will be in mojacar from 28th October so will try and pop into your office 😀 love ❤️ julie southam xx
Absolutely loved reading this blog cant wait for the next one, I was in stitches about the bed, I guessing the lovely view was out the window. HA HA HA
Hi Sharon from Ireland;
I concur with all the previous messages! You light up my livingroom in Wicklow, Ireland during the darker winter months! Thank you 🙏 and keep it up!
Really enjoyed the blog, good to hear how it all started. Love the show and everyone involved in it.
So pleased it has all become so popular.
Waiting for the next blog now.
Brilliant story, so good to hear of genuinely lovely people running an estate agency and making a success of it
The programme it’s self is uplifting and fun in a TV world which sometimes seems such a miserable place
I absolutely love the show but can’t believe its been 7 years wow! Can’t wait for the next series. I have to admit though I haven’t warmed to the new families in the series yet. Perhaps I will eventually.
Hi Sharon and family You are an amazing family very caring and work very hard for your clients also your growing family Wish I could visit but watching your tv programmes is really great and I look forward to your new series xx
Loved hearing your story it’s amazing and best show on tv you all bring sunshine and a good laugh to everyone this is what life needs especially in challenging times I get my cuppa ready and the odd cake or biscuits and it’s an hour of pure delight and always so happy to see clients fulfill their dreams thank you for all you do can’t wait for new series .
Love the series. It is an absolute joy! after a day of doing chores my favourite part of the day is sit down with a coffee and be entertained by your fabulous families. To laugh, smile, and dream… maybe one day 🤔💕
You are certainly the right people for the job. So natural and rapport you have with one another is lovely. Carry on what you are doing.❤️xx
Sharon as usual you have shone through and being a fan could even imagine you lying on the bed and getting in the bath. You and the whole family are amazing and I do hope your going to keep doing what you love and bring us some great tv with it. Well done for making your and all your clients dreams come true. Oh and don’t forget the cushions and the shazza tingle!!! Xx
Fun,fun and more fun with you guys! We love our fix of Spain,and Spanish property watching you help people make their dreams become a reality.
It’s easy to see why your business is so successful. You get to know the clients and what they want. Sometimes, you know them better than they know themselves! All whilst having fun along the way.
You,Steve,Shaun and Matt are made for the big screen 😂
Loving the blog ❤️
Loved the blog, what an insight to how the series came about. Claire not only changed your lives she definitely changed ours as the series introduced us to an amazing family, who have become part of our lives. Just can’t wait for series after series and hope they put shine coronation street. Look forward to following your blog. Thank you Sharon ❤️
I was at the place in the sun show at Birmingham on Saturday I wish you had been there ! I love the programme and you always come across as being determined to find people their ideal property, We are not quite at the ready to move stage atm but hope that within the next two years we will be ! We have looked around the quesada area but would also like to look around the Almeria is there any areas you can point out to us as being a nice and friendly expat area to settle ?
I am a new fan. We live in Ireland and love to think about ways we can make the move to Spain. We were in the Albox office in August and spoke to the very helpful Bev who gave us her card. I was talking to my sister about the region and she spotted the card and almost fainted! She told me all about SS&SH so we’ve watched every episode since! It’s such a cheerful programme and gives us real information and prices etc. It was so nice to see folks getting to live their dreams. I think that the team at SPC really listens to their clients and tries to match them to the right home. We’re looking forward to watching series 7, and we hope you guys are in EVERY episode x