The 26th Property Portal Watch Conference was held in Madrid this past November; it was our largest event thus far, with 400+ C-Level leaders attending from 40 different countries around the world, among them, Sophie Desmazieres, President at BureauxLocaux who was kind enough to grant us an interview.
Paris-based BureauxLocaux is one of the leading real estate advertising websites focused solely on the commercial realm, claiming 330,000 visits per month, displaying 40,000 listings, including offices, shops, and warehouses, for rent or for sale throughout France. BureauxLocaux also lists the best coworking spaces in Île-de-France and the surrounding region.
Sophie Desmazieres hails from traditional printed media, where she specialized in trade magazines of the course of 20+. Approximately 10 years ago she conceived and launched the commercial online property portal, BureauxLocaux.
“BureauxLocaux is quite different from anything and everything I've seen here [at the Property Portal Watch Conference]. We are very specialized; we give accurate information to the businesses that are looking for properties,” said Desmazieres, adding that her company provides a database with prices for each line of product from previous years, as well as past transactions for comparison for its clients.
“We have 700 customers with the loyalty rate being nearly 100%. They used to buy only the visibility of their ad for their properties, whereas now we do so much more: we offer online exposure, expertise, their own showcase portal, and track sellers,” commented Desmazieres. The portal also provides price observation, a corporate real estate guide, directories of professionals, legal advice, among other services.
BureauxLocaux differs from residential real estate, because commercial properties are overwhelmingly more (70%) geared toward leasing over buying. Property owners who are looking for agents to rent or sell their properties, can browse experienced agents via their showcases, where reviews, past sales records, etc. are displayed and make for an easier and more informed selection of the agent who will best suit their needs.
Transparency is key, and an essential part of the process; once an agent signs up with BureauxLocaux, they are required to sign an ethics form, ensuring that the information and prices associated with the properties advertised on BureauxLocaux are accurate and the agents can be trusted. “We, as a portal need to be responsible for the information which we publish. It’s very important when dealing with real estate, because big money is involved, and the potential loss is much greater,” added Desmazieres.
When asked if BureauxLocaux plans to expand into residential real estate, Desmazieres explained that the property portal is going to remain focused on commercial property but that there have been requests from other companies to partner with them and duplicate the model internationally, and that this is something they are exploring. “We want to first be the best in our own country – we are not far from achieving this – to then go elsewhere. We are investing a lot into data and will be producing our first report at the end of the year.
BureauxLocaux is one of the only portals in the position to give an idea of how prices are going to rise… because as you know, when looking to buy a property, you have 6 months during which to make a purchase, so we know how the prices will increase or not, as well as which are the best areas to invest in, which is a very useful KPI for our customers,” she said.
We asked Desmazieres if she had any advice for companies just starting out. She recommended that they be careful with their funds, “Because I am a woman, I am more cautious before I invest money. I am careful about how much and what I spend it on.” Desmazieres explained that this due in part because of the many years of entrepreneurial experience she has accrued but also because her business is not funded by outside sources, and it is, after all, a family-fun endeavor so it is more personal for her.
Over 400 attendees are expected at our next event – the Asian Property Portal Watch Conference in Thailand. The Conference will be held in Bangkok from 26th to 27th February 2020, and it will run for two days, featuring expert Industry Speakers, Innovative Companies at the forefront of the online real estate industry. The Asian Property Portal Watch Conference also offers amazing Social Events, a perfect opportunity for networking.
We hope to see you there.
Join us February 26-27 for the Property Portal Watch Conference Bangkok 2020.