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Big benefits for both

Portrait

I@D is a French realtor with a special concept. It acts as a broker for residential properties all over France but has no agencies or offices of its own, with the exception of the company’s place of business in Lieusaint in the Île-de-France region in northern France.

Instead, I@D works together with a network of independent real estate consultants and showcases its properties through various Internet portals.

“Our goal is to revolutionize real estate brokerage in France,” says Malik Benrejdal, Chairman of the Board. “We provide the same services as a conventional real estate agency, without any offices though.”

I@D was established in a garage in 2008. Since then, the company has moved twice in response to uninterrupted growth. In 2012, an investment fund acquired shares in the fast-evolving realtor. The following year, I@D started a comprehensive e-learning initiative for its partner agents.

In 2014, the company purchased a French IT start-up to advance its communication technology and create new customer contacts. In April, I@D opened its first operation abroad in Portugal. Today, the dynamic real estate firm has more than 2,400 consultants in France.

“We cover 95% of France as well as the French overseas departments and territories,” explains Mr. Benrejdal. “In Portugal, we have a local concession holder with whom we work and 40 independent agents.”

The main focus of I@D is on residential properties. “We sell different types of properties: houses, apartments and undeveloped real estate,” states Mr. Benrejdal. “To date, we have sold over 27,600 properties. On average, we handle 7,000 transactions a month.”

The services provided by I@D include accepting properties for sale, assessing their value and advertising them on the Internet. “Potential sellers approach their nearest real estate agent to have their offer published through the most visited property sites, such as SeLoger, Logic-Immo, Paru Vendu, Le Bon Coin,” Mr. Benrejdal describes the general procedure.

The agents are all over France and have strong local expertise. They are familiar with the local infrastructure, including kindergartens, schools or public transport. All consultants have fast, easy access to information put online, which is shared between all agents in the network.

“Our agents work from their private home office and use a single, common database,” explains Mr. Benrejdal. “This way, they can respond to customer enquiries very quickly.”

The unique I@D business concept offers significant benefits for both sellers and buyers. “Our commissions are much lower than those charged by conventional real estate agencies,” states Mr. Benrejdal. “This is a big benefit for the buyer. Our consultants receive 70% of the commission, which is a major incentive for them to provide good service. Buyers are on the safe side as we work together with reliable, external notaries. And sellers benefit from our extensive, country-wide coverage and thus reach a very large target group.”

In France, I@D currently has a market share of 2%. “Our objective is to achieve 10 to 15% by 2020/25 and increase the number of consultants to 2,800 by 2016,” Mr. Benrejdal describes the ambitious growth plan. “In particular, we want to further expand our rental activities to create synergies with our sales organization.”

While strengthening its position in the domestic market, I@D is determined to continue its international expansion strategy. “First, the goal is to develop the Portuguese market and to grow the number of agents there to 150 and achieve a market share of 10 to 15% within the next five years,” states Mr. Benrejdal. “In a second step, we will target other European countries, starting with Italy and Spain in 2017, followed by the Benelux countries, Germany and the UK in 2018 and Scandinavia in 2019.”

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