The strength of the Engel & Völkers network and tools
Real-time, up to date and relevant information on all transactions in progress: Engel & Völkers clients have been taking advantage of the services offered by the Owner App since long before lockdown, an application developed by the in-house team designed to guarantee the best service possible from the 12,000 real estate consultants in the worldwide network.
Fully digital organisation and services: signing of the preliminary sale agreement internally, increased use of in-house digital tools, client appointments via video-conferencing. “In addition to tracking the selling process - from the valuation appointment to the property viewing by a buyer and photo shoots for vendors eager to get their property on the market - the entire chain of services offered by Engel & Völkers has been fully digitised and allows us to ensure continued business activity” explains David Scheffler, President Engel & Völkers France.
The local team, accustomed to mobile working and the everyday use of E&V digital tools, has also adapted to this unprecedented context that is changing the sales process: networks of notaries, brokers, bankers, surveyors, and removal companies who remain fully operational to allows our consultants (and our clients) to take advantage of the recovery of real estate after the lockdown, thanks to close monitoring of regulatory changes and potential market developments.
Luxury real estate: anticipation and mobilisation with a view to the market recovery
The pace of the economic recovery will depend on the developments in the health situation, but Engel & Völkers is preparing in order to anticipate the post-crisis rebound fuelled by private individual’s mistrust of ‘risk action’. “We predict a catch-up in sale and acquisition plans that could not be conducted during lockdown and which could be facilitated by a marginal price adjustment in Paris (-2%), particularly in areas where the market is strained like the centre and the left bank” says David Scheffler. “The objective situation of property scarcity will remain unchanged, particularly in the Île-de-France region with buyers still outweighing vendors and a rapid return of the market to the tension rate seen since 2016, which will be accentuated by the investment in real estate as a safe haven” adds David Scheffler. Lastly, with regard to banks, “their credit granting targets for 2020 will need to be achieved over a shorter period which should facilitate the securing of a loan, particularly for luxury real estate clients” explains David Scheffler.
A rapid recovery that the Engel & Völkers teams have been anticipating for the last ten days as part of their ‘preparation’: skills upgrading with an emphasis on in-house training, systematic portfolio work and reclassification of requests. “Our in-house methodology based on inter-team work and the benefit of the many has been reinforced now more than ever at Engel & Völkers with the exchange of best practices and joint work on portfolios: all the strengths of a collaborative approach” confirms David Scheffler.
Big ambitions still on the cards for the Engel & Völkers group in France
With a 30% increase in its commissions received in 2019, Engel & Völkers France has confirmed its solid base in the French market established over four years. The group - which reached the €800 million milestone for commissions received in 2019 - is anticipating significant growth in France in the coming years as part of its aim to intensify its international activities. David Scheffler, President of Engel & Völkers France since 2016 - with the group for 22 years and having played an active role in the success of the business model in Spain, Italy and Dubai - is calmly confident and has confirmed his intention to expand the brand’s activities beyond the Paris region and the Côte d’Azur: “The results recorded in 2019 confirm the stability and success of our collaborative model. With average annual growth of 90% since our arrival in the market in 2016 and +30% in 2019, we intend to expand Engel & Völkers to all of France”.
Present in Spain during the 2008 crisis, David Scheffler remains confident and optimistic: “The 2008 crisis was both an economic AND financial crisis - a crisis of confidence between banks themselves. Within the context of the current economic crisis, however, governments and central banks are doing everything possible to avoid a spillover to a financial crisis. A significant and lasting downward shift in the real estate market is not forecast; a market which - despite the French’s aversion to the tax on personal real estate assets - will be encouraged by a predilection for tangible assets”.