10 Questions With Laurent Callu, Co-founder of Bonnie.fr

November 24, 2022
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Bonnie.fr is an interesting business—and one that property investors around the world will appreciate—because it allows them to invest in a property by themselves!

With a major focus on real-time data on new developments, comprehensive algorithms and transparency, co-founder Laurent Callu is confident that Bonnie can revolutionize the investment market in France.

Translated from French, here's what Callu had to say on an opaque French market, his background in wealth management and the opportunity for new-build markets.

 

What is the problem that Bonnie solves?

Acquiring a new property in France is often complicated. Often, information online is incomplete or not up to date. It is sometimes an opaque environment, and it takes a long time to progress projects.

Bonnie revolutionizes and upsets an archaic function, simplifying the acquisition of a new property to live in or to invest in.

 

Laurent Callu, Co-Founder Of Bonnie.fr

Laurent Callu, co-founder of Bonnie.fr

What is Bonnie’s USP?

Bonnie references an almost exhaustive offer of new real estate coming onto the market, which is updated in real-time thanks to advanced technology. We were able to bring together the vast majority of promoters to centralize the offer into one space.

Bonnie provides free and instant access to all documents, plans, simulations, instructions, and maps, for all projects, all the time. In other words, I can visualize everything, in-depth, without needing to leave contact details.

Bonnie gives agents access to an algorithm capable of ranking and prioritizing projects according to specific rating criteria through the analysis of hundreds of thousands of pieces of data.

 

You and your co-founder are from a wealth management background. Does that give you an advantage over founders who might be from an agency or tech background?

Yes, that's a definite plus. 

Our primary business has for many years been advising individuals in their investment process.

Our experience helped us realize that a certain part of the population wanted to undertake their acquisition process alone, independently and without an intermediary.

People are looking to emancipate themselves from advisers and salespeople. They want clear and transparent information and to regain control of their investments. They want to buy alone, on their sofa, from France, New York or Singapore, with everything they need in the palm of their hand. That's Bonnie's promise!

 

How does Bonnie make money?

Bonnie is paid as a business contributor. It's not the customers who pay us—it's the property developers. These promoters give us a cut of their margin, so it is totally transparent and painless for the end customer.

 

What is one thing our readers might not know about but would probably find interesting about the primary real estate market in France?

The market for older properties will experience a period of turbulence—the state is pursuing a real policy against what it considers to be ‘thermal sieves’. This is why the new home market will meet with growing interest.

The latest RE2020 standards will have the environmental impact of constructing buildings at the forefront of the regulations. They will be far more restrictive and more demanding for developers.

 

What about Paris specifically?

The Grand Paris Express is in development. It will bring real estate opportunities and new-build developments in cities surrounding Paris that will benefit from new stations and new metros.

Paris will take on a whole new dimension, like London for example.

 

What is Bonnie currently working on?

We are actively working on a communications campaign to establish the brand and build awareness. We are in the process of activating all the levers, television, radio, and written press. The advertising campaign is also underway.

We are also studying some development projects such as online brokerage, online rental management and also online accounting procedures.

 

What is the most common request from clients?

Transparency; our customers crave transparency, authenticity and simplicity. And that's good, Bonnie wants to advocate absolute transparency across all stages of the transaction.

 

What is Bonnie’s biggest challenge?

There are between 100,000-150,000 new home sales in France every year.

We are convinced that 5% of people will be able to buy their property independently. This is our challenge: to convince at least 5,000 people every year.

In short, we want to democratize real estate investment online. By providing the whole offer, in real-time, with total access to everything, we will get there!

 

What are Bonnie's goals in 2023?

Real estate remains one of the only sectors where digitization has suffered from a serious technological delay.

Our goal is to become a recognized player—a new, sustainable and essential distribution channel.

It's a revolution but we are proud to bring this serious added value in a market that was too muted. We are shaking up the established order—it is Bonnie's calling!

November 24, 2022
Harvey is an experienced property journalist and copywriter. He has written about the property industry since 2015, starting at The Property Franchise Group in the UK, before moving to Spain to work for Spotahome. He has blogged for the private rented sector, ghostwritten for UK property experts and written case studies for franchise owners around the UK. Harvey joined Online Marketplaces as a News Editor in 2022.

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