Despite difficult conditions in the current real estate market, Cardis – Sotheby’s International Realty registered excellent results in 2014, therefore confirming the new brand’s leading position among real estate brokers in the Lake Geneva area.
Lausanne, 28 January 2015. Cardis – Sotheby’s International Realty was founded one year ago following the purchase of the real estate brokerage company Groupe de Rham by a contingent of its managing executives, including CEO Philippe Cardis.
272 sales - 588 billions CHF
This first financial year was a true test for the former Groupe de Rham team. An analysis of the 2014 figures confirms that the launch of this new brand has been an indisputable success.
In 2014, Cardis – Sotheby’s International Realty made 272 sales for a total volume of 588 million Swiss francs. This is the sales teams' best result in 25 years! The record sales volume brought in 14.5 million Swiss francs in turnover. "These results are truly remarkable," says Philippe Cardis, "because they were achieved amid difficult circumstances for real estate in the Lake Geneva area. Everyone has had their work cut out, but our teams' field work – their proximity to the actual market – made the difference."
A segment analysis of the 2014 results reveals several general trends. In its first year, Cardis – Sotheby’s International Realty managed to equalise its various lines of business. These comprise the sale of rental properties, the luxury sector, the development of new properties and the general sale of houses and apartments. Today, each of these categories represents a quarter of the company's total activity.
Real estate development projects
This balance can be attributed in large part to the excellent results achieved in property development and the sale of rental properties. All the real estate development projects entrusted to Cardis – Sotheby’s International Realty were carried out successfully, as were rental property sales. "Considering the difficult circumstances that we encountered in 2014, this is truly satisfying," remarks Yves Cherpillod, associate director. "Market demands have changed considerably in the last two years. Our strength has been our adaptability and anticipation of the new situation. The development projects that we launched during this period correspond to the new market conditions, which is why we made so many successful sales. The act of closing a sale today is complicated by the demanding market and restrictive conditions for obtaining a mortgage loan. We have developed real expertise adapted to current property development market conditions, and we regularly assist our purchasers in finalising their financial packages."
The luxury sector also achieved good results. The sales volume of luxury houses has practically doubled compared to previous years, while prices have fallen by 20% to 30%. "What makes the difference," explains Pierre Hagmann, associate director, "is that we know how to set a fair price for the market, and our clients listen to us because the Sotheby’s International Realty label has credibility. If the price requested by the seller does not correspond to our appraisal, we do not accept the assignment. The aim for us is to close a sale, not to watch a property lose value because it is not adapted to the market."
A rewarding digital strategy
The development of digital marketing was also a key element of Cardis – Sotheby’s International Realty's success. Today, most purchasers use the Internet in their search for a property. The company's social network strategy boosted real estate development. The Facebook page is a success with more than 3,200 fans, making it the most "liked" page of any real estate agency in western Switzerland. The website, which features a search engine adapted to the latest technology, now includes a blog featuring lifestyle article content, and is also available as a digital magazine. In total, 1,250,000 page visits were registered in 2014, an admirable achievement for a website launched just a year ago.
In 2015, Cardis – Sotheby’s International Realty is seeking to draw on its success in project development to reinforce its role as leader in the field. New development projects will be made available for sale this year in all the geographic regions covered by the company. After an evaluation of the situation, it has been decided that the mountain market will be developed in partnership with local agencies located in the most prestigious ski resorts of the Alps, enabling Cardis – Sotheby’s International Realty to offer properties in this market.
The luxury sector will attract new buyers because of the drop in prices. However, the real impact of the strong Swiss franc remains to be seen. "This new situation as far as currency is concerned will create a new dynamic, and opportunities will present themselves," explains Philippe Cardis. "Certain prices will drop, attracting new buyers, especially with the increase in the internal demand. Keep in mind that property investment remains a solid option compared to the instability of the stock market and currency fluctuations."
Pierre Hagmann and other new experts
After assigning Pierre Hagmann to Geneva, recruitment of staff to support the sales teams is currently underway, primarily in the expanding Nyon and Fribourg region where demand is strong. The objective is to establish one associate director per agency to reinforce the proximity of client relations: Luca Tagliaboschi in Fribourg and for the Riviera, Yves Cherpillod in Lausanne and Pierre Hagmann in the Geneva-Nyon region.