They are young. They have set up their own property management organisation by incorporating asset management from the outset. They have positioned themselves as an alternative to the major players in commercial property management. Discover eRE with its founders Charles Haezebrouck and Henri Haquin.
Business Immo: Introducing eRE.
Charles Haezebrouck and Henri Haquin: We formed eRE (www.element-re.fr) in October 2010 with the aim of developing a property management organisation on a human scale, combining property and asset management from the outset to become a unique intermediary for investors. This strategy was born of our early experiences in asset management companies, in France and internationally, especially heading up acquisitions and mediation teams.
BI: What type of clientele are you targeting?
C.H and H.H: At first we were primarily interested in private investors, foreign investors in particular because we speak their languages fluently (English of course but also German and Italian), who pass under the radar of major management groups, and who generally turn to consultants who don’t necessarily have real property management skills. Today, with a three year track-record, we are starting to target institutional investors, with a desire to show them our added value. What our clients want is a unique intermediary to take care of everything regarding their building/s from A to Z, which is more about the buildings themselves than the reporting.
BI: In what kind of buildings precisely?
C.H and H.H: Today, we manage, with a team of 6 people, a portfolio of 60 assets valued at €160 million, for 80 tenants and an annual lease total of €8 million. We cover all commercial property assets, with a particular speciality for managing town-centre commercial premises, which are often under-valued by their owners. We have gained real know-how in the practices and procedures particular to this category of asset, which we put to good use for both private and institutional investors. We have just taken over the management of a portfolio of ground-floor retail premises recently acquired by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI) and Paris Inn Group.
BI: What are your long-term ambitions?
C.H and H.H: We want to consolidate our position in high value-added management, whilst developing specific know-how to increase the value of managed assets. Our fees are based in part on improving the performance of an asset, by generating greater cash flow and/or by selling at the right time. Our services extend to advice, mediation and asset searches. For example, we’re supporting an investor in the acquisition of individual empty shops to which we add value before selling them on. And we’ve signed a mandate for the conversion of an office building into residences. By having a deal ticket in the operation, our fee is aligned with the interests of our clients. We’re also carrying out a project of lot-by-lot sales of offices for an investment fund that holds a portfolio of around a dozen assets. All these examples show that we are flexible in our market approach and guided by concern for adding value to assets on behalf of our clients. Our next step will be to become an entry point for international investors interested in commercial property in France.