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Safe as houses

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Groupe Immobilier du Mail is structured as a holding company with four subsidiaries, each of which is responsible for a different aspect of the business. Simonin Partenaire Immoblier SA manages jointly owned properties, which are generally apartment blocks with approximately 20 separate living units. ABI SA manages apartment blocks owned by local authorities and by pension funds.

Regie du Mail specialises in the management of apartment blocks on behalf of private investors. Finally, Courtage du Mail is responsible for the purchase and sale of property and real estate and also has its own architecture and planning services company GEOFICO SA.

Thanks to the expertise contained in each of these companies, the group can offer a full service ranging from property portfolio management, legal and financial services, tenancy management and building services. “We see ourselves as a GP able to diagnose problems and call on the services of specialists to provide a solution,” says Administrator Flavio Brisotto.

Groupe Immobilier du Mail employs 50 people and generates annual turnover of eight million CHF. It has two offices in Geneva and one in Lausanne and is a member of the Swiss Association of Professional Property Managers. “We offer a personalised service provided by highly professional property specialists,” adds Mr. Brisotto. “We also have a tax expert on the team to deal with tax questions.”

The property management specialist manages rental income of around 100 million CHF each year on behalf of its clients. Switzerland is an attractive market for property investors with its strong rental market and stable house prices. Although non-Swiss nationals are largely barred from private house ownership, foreign companies are permitted to buy property for business purposes.

“There is a lot of interest from Russia, the USA, the UK, Germany, France and Italy to invest in the Swiss property market,” says Mr. Brisotto. “We can estimate long-term returns of 5% together with significant capital gains.” A further advantage is a revolutionary IT system that allows foreign investors to keep tabs on their investments and negotiate property deals entirely online.

“This is a first in the property industry and will completely change the way we do business,” adds Mr. Brisotto. “It provides customers with worldwide access to their property portfolio and allows them to react more quickly to market changes.”

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