11 July 2016 – La Vanguardia
The real estate group Don Piso has 10 housing developments underway, worth €36 million, in the province of Barcelona, according to its majority shareholder and CEO, Luis Pérez. “Property development has always been a complementary part of our company’s activity; we mainly focus on brokering the sale and purchase of homes”, explained Pérez. The group, which has created an independent company for each construction site, has already completed one development in Badalona, the first one it started following the end of the real estate crisis; and it expects to finish its flagship development, opposite the Clínica Quirón in Barcelona, on the site of the former headquarters of the Tusquets publishing house, in September. In addition, Pérez explained that the group has three developments underway in l’Hospitalet de Llobregat, two in Cornellà and three in Sabadell. “We buy small plots of land on which to construct between 10 and 30 homes, in areas where we already have representatives and therefore where we know the market”, he explained. The developments are all at different phases, some are still under construction, whilst others are waiting for licences to be processed.
Don Pizo, explained Pérez, has accelerated its pace of growth to manage the increase in transactions being brought about by the real estate recovery. Thus, he explained, the group already owns 20 offices of its own and a network of 51 franchised agents. “We are going to open an office in Madrid, with 8 people, which will operate as a sales office and which will also centralise the relationships with our franchisees: this represents our return to this market following the crisis”, he explained. The firm has also returned to the Canary Islands, where it had 60 offices before the crisis. “It is a very important market and we have hired a very powerful local partner there to undertake the significant expansion”.
Don Piso used to have more than 400 offices before the outbreak of the real estate crisis, in 2007 – it owned 156 of those outright and also had more than 260 franchises, but the crisis forced it to cut back, to just 8 own offices and less than 20 franchises, with a workforce of 40 people. Thanks to the recovery of the market, the firm now employs 296 people.
“We are enjoying an ideal market at the moment, with affordable prices and satisfied buyers. We hope that the market will continue like this, with price increases of between 2% and 6% p.a., and that we avoid repeating the mistakes of the past”, he acknowledged. Last year, Don Piso recorded a turnover of €7 million and brokered property sales worth €92 million. The firm, which returned to profit in 2014, expects to close this year with a 30% increase in revenues, to reach €9 million, with brokered property sales of €117 million.
Original story: La Vanguardia (by Rosa Salvador)
Translation: Carmel Drake