29 June 2017 – Eje Prime
It is one of the survivors of the property crisis, but with differences. DonPiso, founded in 1984, has lived through several economic crises and has seen itself both grow and contract. It has changed hands several times and has reached a new economic cycle, in which, finally, the real estate business seems to be getting a break. (…) It plans to have 120 offices operational this year and invest more than €22 million on the construction of around fifteen residential developments, as Emiliano Bermúdez, Deputy General Manager of DonPiso, explained to EjePrime.
DonPiso was one of the first real estate agencies to be founded in Spain, along with Grupasa, although it was not until 1997, that it began its expansion through franchises, achieving penetration across the whole of the Spanish market. Its mixed model, based on intercalating the opening of own offices with franchises, allowed it to leave Barcelona and begin expanding across the national market. “The results broke all expectations”, recalls Bermúdez.
In 2001, DonPiso was acquired by Ferrovial and, in 2006, it changed hands once again, on this occasion to be controlled by the real estate group Habitat. It was then, when the firm had a network of almost 400 offices, that the economic crisis hit its business, forcing Habitat into creditor bankruptcy and, whereby, leaving DonPiso in a delicate situation.
“Luis Pérez, José Antonio Pérez, Miguel Ángel Vázquez and I (Emiliano Bermúdez) joined forces and took control of DonPiso for €1.8 million”, said the Director. The distribution network was cut to fifty offices.
“We now find ourselves in a new era for DonPiso” – added the Director, “We have been born again and we have managed to weave a network of 90 establishments”. “The company is smaller, but it is not unreasonable to think that, at some point, we could be as large as we were ten years ago”, said the Director.
In this way, DonPiso has set itself some ambitious objectives for the next few years. According to the company, the optimal outcome in 2017 would be to reach a network of 115 operational offices across Spain, which would mean opening 25 more in the next six months. Bermúdez sees that as “more than feasible, thanks to the pace that we are enjoying”.
Besides second-hand homes, the company’s plans also include a sizeable business relating to the new home segment, with its residential developments. It is currently marketing seven developments. “This year, we will build six more, at least, depending on the buildable land that we are able to access and in 2018, we plan to build between 5 and 6 additional developments”, added the Director.
According to DonPiso, each development requires an initial investment of €1.5 million. Then, according to the Director, you have to add the other expenses “which tend to be financed through debt and partners joining the project”. “The average DonPiso development sees around fifty homes coming onto the market”, said Bermúdez.
Thanks to all of these plans, DonPiso has also set itself the objective of increasing its turnover. In 2016, the company sold €309.6 million in terms of production, with 2,048 units and the business margin was €1.55 million. “The forecast for this year is optimistic: sales of more than 2,500 units and a growth margin of 25%”, said Bermúdez.
Original story: Eje Prime
Translation: Carmel Drake