These start-ups are thrilled with traditional co-ownership trustees

They are called Bellman, Homeland, Syndic One, Hello Syndic … Young companies, presenting themselves as neo-syndics, in the model of neo-banks, offer computerized solutions to facilitate management of syndics.

The co-ownership syndic manages the common parts and charges of a building. It can be cooperative, i.e., voluntarily piloted by co-owners, or professionally, when it is entrusted to a company for a fee.

One of these new companies is crystallizing the opposition: Matera. Offering help to volunteer managers, without him or her being a professional manager, the start-up split, in 2019 and 2020, into an aggressive advertising campaign that mocks the traditional heavyweights in the sector.

“Ambiguity”

The community reacted quickly: two lawsuits aimed at the company, specifically accused of illegal use of the profession.

For the first time, the Paris Commercial Court ruled in favor of Matera at this point, but ruled that it had committed unfair competition and fraudulent commercial practices.

Matera appealed, and another summons, for similar grievances, is being reviewed in Paris Court. “Matera has cultivated an ambiguity between being a trustee or not a trustee”ton Jean-Marc Torrollion, president of the National Federation of real estate (Fnaim).

“To me, this is a completely ridiculous incident”Matera’s boss Raphaël Di Meglio replied. “They know very well that every time, we present ourselves as help to the cooperative syndicate”he assured.

Recently, an online comparator of trustees once again sparked outrage among professional organizations, accusing Matera of setting up a “clickbait”or indulge “syndicate-bashing”.

“There are current players who are defending rent, and I don’t think they are very capable of creating change in their sector; and their way of defending their market share, in particular the initiation of legal proceedings “said Raphaël Di Meglio.

“Commercial challenge”

Because of the back, there is a real economic battle. The new artists “Nibble market share from the trustees, the latter being robbed by the co-ownership in favor of the management of the co-owners themselves within. So there is still a commercial issue behind it”explanation to AFP Me Elisa Bocianowski, lawyer specializing in real estate (and not involved in these cases) at the company Simmons & Simmons.

These young companies aim to automate, using applications, certain time-consuming tasks: accounting, filing administrative documents, etc. “Now, if you go to a traditional syndicate, it works a bit like thirty years ago”said Antonio Pinto, founder of neo-trustee Bellman.“The accountant prints things, the assistant puts the letters in the folds and posts them, we accept invoices in paper format, we put stamps …”

“Online trustees are interesting for small condominiums that can’t be managed in the traditional way”in the opinion of David Rodrigues, of the consumer association CLCV.

Bellman, who manages about 500 condominiums, asked co-owners for a study: 45% of them rate their satisfaction with their trustee between 0 and 6 out of 10. Which prompted him to also launch an outrageous advertising campaign, in which co-owners who gave up on removing a non-functional trustee were represented as masochists all wearing leather.

The heavyweights in the sector are trying to adapt. Thus, Foncia puts the ends in a trustee management smartphone application. “I think there is room for everyone, but the added value is still associated with a flesh professional”defends Danielle Dubrac, president of the Union of real estate professionals (United), while warning: If the economic model (of new players) is not profitable, if there is no return on investment, we move on. And there may be a very rapid aging of these neo-actors. » Bellman or Matera are not currently a beneficiary.

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