Economy & Politics

Property management, “a shadow profession”

The Managing Director of MVGM Luxembourg, Stéphane Thauk, explains what this activity consists of. He takes stock of the health of his company, which employs around fifteen people one year after arriving in the Grand Duchy.

The Managing Director of MVGM Luxembourg, Stéphane Thauk, explains what this activity consists of. He takes stock of the health of his company, which employs around fifteen people one year after arriving in the Grand Duchy.

(JFC, with Mara Bilo) – The October 1, 2019, the Dutch company MVGM officially took over the property management activities of JLL in continental Europe. The transaction gives rise to a European player present in ten countries – including Luxembourg. One year after this takeover, the Managing Director of MVGM Property Management Luxembourg, Stephane Thauk takes stock of the development of activities in the Grand Duchy. The new company, whose offices are located in Leudelange, has an appetite: in the long term, the objective is to become the benchmark player in property management in Luxembourg.

Stéphane Thauk, what exactly does the property management activity consist of?

Stephane Thauk – “It is the local management of a building on behalf of an owner. This includes in particular the technical aspects, the cleaning of the spaces, the comfort of the tenants, the regulations and the application of the conditions of the rental leases. It is ultimately about managing all the strategic, administrative and financial aspects of a building. To do this, you need to demonstrate technical skills, have environmental, real estate, financial concepts, and know the local market. It is a shadow profession, unfortunately little recognized.

In Luxembourg, MVGM employs around fifteen people, who collect all the information from our buildings under management and who are the first point of contact in the event of a problem. We then use the suppliers we work with on a regular basis – there are over 350 in total.

With 117,568 m2 newly acquired, the sector has nothing to complain about in the first half of 2020. But the figure could hide a more timid market in the months to come.

How are your fees calculated?

“In property management, fees are generally calculated according to the amount of the rent; it is of the order of 1 to 2% depending on the specific features of the buildings. The invoicing of our services is included in the charges that tenants pay to their landlord. When it comes to intervening for small repairs, which do not exceed a defined amount, we can do it directly without the owner’s approval. The situation is different when it comes to major repairs: the costs can quickly rise to several hundred thousand euros.

We want to expand our activities to other segments.

Stephane Thauk

MVGM has taken over the property management activities of JLL. How would you rate your relationships now?

“We work independently, but we have an agreement – JLL always comes to us when there is a need for a company specializing in property management. You should know that most of the big names in real estate have their own property management department.

But in my opinion, separating the activities of property management from the rest of the activities of a real estate agency is very relevant. Because the interests are not the same: an agency that negotiates a real estate transaction works in the short term with the client, the company specializing in property management works on the long term, the idea is to build a relationship of trust with the owner of the property. ‘a good.

In the Netherlands, your parent company is a leader in property management and, according to your communications, represents 75% of the market share. What is your goal in Luxembourg?

“The same! The project is to develop the business model that has worked in the Netherlands in other countries, but while keeping the specificities of the local market. We want to keep the DNA of each country in which we are present. For the moment, in the Grand Duchy, we are only active in the management of office spaces.

Stéphane Thauk:

Stéphane Thauk: “we have 58 buildings under management for around thirty clients”

Photo: Chris Karaba

But in the long term, we want to expand our business to other segments, including residential, retail and industry, as we are doing in the Netherlands. The opening of a new residential department is also scheduled for next year. However, the current situation does not allow us for the moment to plan this project more concretely.

Where are you today in your office management activities?

“Before MVGM took over the property management activities of JLL, the company was among the top 3 in the Luxembourg market in terms of property management. Today we are certainly still a part of it, we have 58 buildings under management for around 30 clients – institutions, international funds and local investors. In one year, we managed to gain new assets. But in property management, we should rather observe long-term growth; negotiations can last for months or even years.

You mentioned that the current situation makes it difficult to plan your future projects. How has the covid-19 crisis impacted the way you work?

“We were very surprised with our workload during containment. Almost overnight, we had to respond to an increased number of requests from our landlords, who wanted to know which of their tenants were still paying their rent, which were late or were unable to pay it. . I am satisfied with the results obtained with my team, we have been responsive to our customers.

We had to take the lead by implementing the covid-19 protocols, particularly in terms of signage, the installation of disinfectant gel dispensers, plastic plates, etc. We had to work urgently, the buildings had to be ready when the companies resumed normal operations.

The health crisis has had positive effects on work

Do you think that your current growth in the office space segment could be stopped because many companies are betting on telework in the future? The construction of new office space is likely to be less important in the years to come …

“As long as there are offices, there will be the need to have a property management company, which manages the spaces. It is possible that the construction of office space will slow down, but I think that it is especially at the level of the way of thinking of companies that changes will take place. Companies will be likely to rent different spaces or rent other offices closer to borders to meet the needs of their employees.

The health crisis has also had positive effects on work: many employees have proven to be much less stressed and more productive working at home. The current situation has led many companies to organize an office rotation and optimize their spaces. Companies are taking these new elements into account in their office space planning. ”


Related Articles

Back to top button