From left: Homexperts.lu founders Laurent Rouach and Marc Neuen
“Quite a lot of participants realised after several weeks that the agency they had selected was not living up to their expectations but by then it was too late”
Photo: Maison Moderne
2 seasoned entrepreneurs have launched a new service, Homexperts.lu, to take the hassle out of selling a home. Marc Neuen gave Delano the lowdown.
Jess Bauldry: What’s your elevator pitch for Homexperts.lu
Marc Neuen: In an overcrowded market of more than 500 active real estate agencies, the project aims at helping owners, who have a property to sell, to find a competent and trustworthy realtor, assuring them to sell their property at the right price, in a reasonable time-frame and without any hassle or bad surprise.
Our commitments to the owner are to guarantee them access to the highest quality realtors in the country, to help them define the right selling price for their property and to assist them until the successful sale thereof.
There is no additional cost compared to working with a standard agency, so there is no reason for any owner not to benefit from our added values.
What was the turning point that made you decide to create Homexperts.lu?
During the proof of concept we organised a user group with a dozen or so owners, who were in the process of selling a property. One of the main feedbacks from the participants was, that they all considered the help of a good realtor as valuable and important, but there was a serious mistrust towards agents and a big question mark on how to identify competent and honest ones upfront. Quite a lot of participants realised after several weeks that the agency they had selected was not living up to their expectations but by then it was too late, as most often the agents work with exclusive mandates of 6 months. This clearly showed us that there was a need to help owners make the right choice and providing them assistance all along the way.
Tell us about your experience in the real estate market?
We are 2 co-founders with complementary backgrounds. I was co-founder of athome.lu back in 2000 and have the realtor licence since 2017. Apart from this, my main background resides in Internet platforms as, besides athome.lu, I co-founded monster.lu and founded Sympass.lu and yellow.lu. Laurent (Rouach) has been working in the real estate sector since more than 20 years. Amongst others, he co-founded PROgroup, a building engineering group in 1996 and joined PWC as partner to create the sustainability--green real estate department. In 2017, he created Eliacin, an investment company specialising in supporting promising proptech (real estate technology) startups.
You work only with real estate agencies which have the broker certificate. How many agencies in Luxembourg have this certification and what does it mean for customers?
The certification is very young. It was developed over more than 6 months in 2017 and was finally validated by ESCEM in November last year. The first half-dozen real estate agencies were certified in the second half of December. The certification is open to any interested agency and its aim is twofold. First, as any certification, its goal is to help agencies identify their strengths and weaknesses so they can build on their strengths and work on their weaknesses. Then, as the label is materialised by a 5-star rating, it helps the public to get a good idea on the overall seriousness of an agency. But unlike other pure rating systems like Tripadvisor, the rating is not based on simple customer feedback but on a thorough examination of some 200 questions, analysed in a face to face interview of about 4 hours. Homexperts, indeed, only works with a severe selection of agencies having scored best at the label. This is of high importance to us, as we want to be absolutely sure to direct our clients to 100% trustworthy agencies.