French real estate executive celebrates similarities, differences in US market

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Although Clément Delpierre is relatively unknown in the United States, he is one of the most influential real estate leaders in France with his brokerage iad Group, ranking as the largest virtual brokerage in Europe with more than 20,000 agents in 66 countries.

“First of all, thank you for having me here today, because you know.” [Inman] Connect is kind of the holy grail for an old-world proptech guy like me,” Broker Humbly told the Connect Crowd in his “What We Can Learn from International Real Estate Markets and Their Business Models” session on Tuesday. “I would probably describe.” [iad Group] like a teenager since the company was founded 15 years ago.”

“It’s grown from zero to 20,000 agents right now through its networking model, [and it’s] Europe’s largest digital brokerage with more than 20,000 agents in 66 countries. [We’re] quite strong in Mexico as well and [we’re] now he’s trying to mount an American challenge.”

As he plans to enter the U.S. market, Delpiro said there are many similarities between the challenges facing European and U.S. real estate companies — choosing between virtual and brick-and-mortar offices, building efficient technology groups with high adoption rates, and driving strong hiring and retention rates among agents, as long as they navigate global macroeconomic problems.

“We don’t have any physical branches, so we have to replace almost every aspect of what an office could break within our technology network and more,” he said. “But for the rest, it’s a lot about lead generation, of course not just buyers and sellers, but also agent leads because technology brings us a real 40 percent share of new agents today.”

Delpiro said the robust technology group continues to be a major selling point with agents, as beginners rely on iad Group’s virtual university to continue their training and more experienced agents use iad systems to save time on administrative tasks.

“Removing as many admin tasks as we can and saving them a lot of time is an absolutely key issue for us on a daily basis,” he said.

When it comes to technology adoption issues, Delpirou said it is a relatively new issue for French brokers since agents were previously classified as employees.

“In history [the] The European real estate model, believe it or not, agents were employed at the time. It was very simple. You could tell them, ‘Do it,'” he said. “But we can’t force them anymore.”

The CEO didn’t share specific adoption rates, but said iad Group agents tend to embrace the brokerage’s technology because it allows them to build a strong referral pipeline with agents around the world.

“We’ve built the company as a very international network, which means you can build your network for less and have networks in all of our 66 countries,” he said. “And the fact that your peers in dr [markets] We need to work with you… on the sales front with the same tool is a good enticement because it helps build their revenue path.”

Delpriu said another similarity between the US and Europe is the challenge of improving valuation tools and providing real-time market updates that help agents and their clients make smart decisions quickly.

“There is probably a lot of potential improvement around listing presentations and valuations as they relate to one of the key objectives.” [and] pain points in the relationship with our end customer, which are trust and transparency,” he said. “We’ve seen valuation tools come a long way in recent years, but there’s still a lot to be done, so it’s not the kind of tool that’s just going to generate a price or an estimate for the client.”

As in the U.S., Delpriou said French real estate professionals are carefully relying on artificial intelligence and other automated tools to give them more time to embrace their role as advisors, rather than simply being glorified transaction coordinators.

“We’re on an almost consulting path where you can recommend certain prices or even a quick sale and a short price if you’re not able to handle a slower sale,” he said. “So also with the use of AI.” [and other tools] we are able to get great pictures and write great texts… We have the ability to improve our level of quality in both of these aspects.”

Another common challenge comes with commissions, Delpriou said. While U.S. agents await a ruling by federal courts on agreements between buyers and brokers and a potential change in who pays agents for their work, the executive said European agents are focusing on getting bigger commissions.

“Six percent commission… I’d say you’re pretty lucky,” he said. “It’s probably a blessing for the brokers and agents here to be able to work on a proper commission basis.” If you take, for example, the UK with a commission of 1.15 percent, it means that both agents and their clients are not happy with the market.

“That’s what I think.” [six percent commission] is something that is very impressive for Europeans,” he added.

Finally, Delpriu said European agents are facing similar macroeconomic pressures as the global market frantically shrugs off recession risks and is also making a number of strategic changes to survive whatever 2023 may bring.

“So many people are telling me the market is bearish,” he said. “But we will be warriors.” We will be fearless [and] we will be in the fight to make a better market.”

“It is also true that European agents may have had time to be a little more rational and there was a little more doubt,” he added. “But being here for a few days is always a breath of fresh air and this is something very, very positive.”

Email Marian McPherson

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