Condominiums: landlords pushed by cheeky start-ups who want to take their place – 5/27/2022 at 10:23 am

“There are existing players who defend a pension”, attacks the CEO of one of these new players, while the heavyweights


(AFP/THOMAS COEX)

The property management sector is turned upside down with the arrival of start-ups, who present themselves as “neo-síndicos” and who seek to find a place for themselves by pushing traditional players.

They are called Bellman, Homeland, Syndic One, Hello Syndic… Young companies that present themselves as

“neo-síndicos”, in the model of the “neo-banks”

offer computerized solutions to facilitate the management of trustees.

The joint-ownership trustee manages the common parts and charges of a building. It can be cooperative, that is, piloted voluntarily by the co-owners, or professional, when it is entrusted to a company for payment.

One of these new companies crystallizes the oppositions: Matera.

Offer assistance to volunteer managers, without being a professional administrator himself,

the start-up had shared, in 2019 and 2020, an aggressive advertising campaign that ridiculed the traditional heavyweights of the industry.

Legal battle

The community’s reaction was quick: two lawsuits were directed at the company, accused, mainly, of illegally exercising the profession. In the first instance, the Commercial Court of Paris ruled in favor of Matera on this point, but ruled that she had acted as c.

unfair competition and deceptive business practices.

Matera appealed and another subpoena, for similar complaints, is being examined in the Paris Court.

“Matera has cultivated an ambiguity between being a trustee or not being a trustee,” thunders Jean-Marc Torrollion, president of the National Federation of Real Estate (Fnaim).

“For me, it’s an absolutely ridiculous case,” snapped Matera boss Raphael Di Meglio. “They know very well that, each time, we present ourselves as an aid to the cooperative trustee”, he guarantees.

Trustees “annuitants”?

Recently, an online curator comparator has once again drawn outrage from professional organizations, who accuse Matera of creating “clickbait” or indulging in “syndic-bashing”.

“There are actors who defend an income

, and who, in my opinion, are not very capable of creating innovation in their sector; and its means of defending its market share is, mainly, the initiation of legal proceedings”, says Raphaël Di Meglio.

Because behind, there is a very real economic battle. The new players “steal market share from curators, who are divested of co-ownership in favor of management by the co-owners themselves.

there is still a commercial issue behind it”

explain to

AFP

Me Elisa Bocianowski, attorney specializing in real estate (and not involved in these cases) at the office Simmons and Simmons.

“It works a bit like it did thirty years ago”

These young companies intend to automate, through applications, certain time-consuming tasks: accounting, filing administrative documents… “Today, if you go to a traditional administrator,

works a bit like thirty years ago

“, says Antonio Pinto, founder of neotrustee Bellman. “It is the accountant who prints things, the assistant who will put the letters in the folds and post them, we receive the invoices in paper format, we put a buffer…”

“And when you run 40 buildings, 50 or 70, every second counts,” he says.

“Online trusts are interesting for small condominiums

that cannot be managed in a traditional way”, thinks David Rodrigues, from the CLCV consumer association.

Bellman, who manages about 500 condominiums, had co-owners interviewed for a study: 45% of them rate their satisfaction with the manager between 0 and 6 out of 10. Which led her to also launch a bold advertising campaign, where co-owners who give up on leaving a dysfunctional manager are represented as leather-clad masochists.

Industry heavyweights are trying to adapt. Foncia is therefore putting the finishing touches on a trustee management smartphone app. “I think there is room for everyone, but the added value is still linked to a real professional”, defends Danielle Dubrac, president of the Union of Real Estate Professionals (United), while warning: “If the economic model (of the new players) is not profitable, if there is no return on investment, we move on.

there could be a very rapid obsolescence of these neo-actors”.

Neither Bellman nor Matera are currently beneficiaries.

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