What will the future hold for Home Invest Belgium? What does the business strategy look like? It is very easy to summarise.
Home Invest Belgium has a winning formula. And we will continue to use it, but even better.
An anti-fragile product
If the corona crisis taught us one thing, it is this: residential real estate is an “anti-fragile” product. People will always need (rental) housing.
The markets in which Home Invest Belgium is mainly active, such as Brussels, have a structural under-supply of rental properties. This results in a high occupancy rate of our homes, which usually fluctuates around 95%, and which never fell below 94%, even at the height of the corona crisis.
We will therefore focus on rental properties more than ever in these types of markets in the future. We will do this according to four strategic pillars.
Pillar 1: Premium experience and buildings
Because of the way we work and the way we finance ourselves (see: 3x value creation) we can construct high-quality buildings in excellent locations.
Thanks to the high quality of our buildings and our many years of expertise in letting, we can offer a superior experience to our tenants. Today, renting is far too much of a game of chance: you can have a good landlord or a bad one.
And a bad landlord can saddle you with a lot of costs, annoyances and worries. Home Invest Belgium wants to remove that element of opportunity from the rental relationship. One of our central goals is to become Belgium’s landlord of choice.
Renting does not have to be something you do “while waiting” before you buy your own home. It is – especially in the city – a fully valid form of living.
Pillar 2: Affordable
This does not mean we do not let luxury apartments. We are resolutely aiming at the mid-market. For example, we can offer a well-located two-bedroom apartment in Brussels for less than a €1,000 per month.
and quality are not
opposite, by the way. Although our buildings are constructed with better
materials than the average owner-occupied apartment, it does not cost us more.
After all, we are not looking at the short-term return on a sale, but at the long-term total cost of ownership of a building: Home Invest Belgium remains the owner of a building for years, and sometimes decades. By ensuring high-value construction quality, we keep the costs of maintenance low and guarantee that a building can generate good rental income for many years.
Pillar 3: 19-99
We said it earlier: renting does not necessarily have to be something you do “while waiting” to buy your own home, it is a fully-fledged form of living. Our mission is to help Belgians get the monkey off the back of both the investor and the tenant.
We want to offer homes that are suitable for all lifestyles and all stages of life. Only then can we become Belgium’s landlord of choice: by making sure we can offer something suitable to everyone and for every phase in life: from first rental home to family apartment, to flat for the old age. In doing so, we are not only providing shelter, we are providing a place to build your life.
Pillar 4: Common areas
Perhaps the biggest annoyance for tenants is this: many apartments are not adapted to modern city life.
Rental homes are often found in older houses that have been renovated into divided floors. This means: narrow stairs, small communal halls, no bicycle shed, little storage space in the apartment.
Just look around the city to see how many bicycles, drying racks and even washing machines you see on balconies. Tenants do not like that, and it is not necessary at all. For most of our buildings, we provide common areas: a bicycle shed, laundry rooms, communal roof terraces, and even workplaces and guest rooms.
We can make these spaces affordable because a block of rental apartments follows a different logic than an owner-occupied apartment – we do not necessarily have to let the largest apartments, but the most comfortable ones.
All these strategic pillars help us to not only be the market leader in our segment, but a reference: a beacon of confidence for the tenant. This is what will ensure we continue to deliver above-average returns in the long run.