Start-up Homexperts.lu, poised to disrupt the property market, has convinced BIL and SNCI to support its project owners at a very early stage of their entrepreneurial adventure. Interview with founder Marc Neuen.
(Featured Image: Marc Neuen (right), founder of Homexperts.lu, alongside Frank Hollerich, Corporate Relationship Manager at BIL)
Mr Neuen, what is Homexperts.lu’ pitch?
Homexperts.lu puts homeowners wanting to sell their old home in touch with a very strict selection of trusted real estate agencies. We work with 10 or so of the top accredited agencies in the country. Depending on the location and type of property for sale, sellers are given a shortlist of three to five agencies and can then make their selection with full peace of mind. In the end, homeowners are assured the support of a skilled agent who will advise them, from estimating the value of their property through to finalising the sale.
What is your start-up’s business model?
High quality agencies work with fees of 3%. Homexperts.lu takes a finder’s fee directly from this agency fee. Our service therefore doesn’t cost homeowners more than the traditional fee they pay to the agency.
Let’s talk about time to market: how long did it take between coming up with the idea and getting the platform online?
The idea came about in February 2017. After five months of development, we approached BIL in July about financing, as well as SNCI, with a positive response in September. The company was founded in mid-November and we launched the platform at the beginning of January 2018. So, less than a year to get this project off the ground.
“We had to find someone who could believe in our idea before operations had even begun.”
What kinds of financing did you use to develop the project?
In addition to our own capital, we needed external financing to support our marketing expenditure. We had to find someone who could believe in our idea before operations had even begun. BIL followed us up with an innovative solution combining a BIL loan, an indirect development loan from SNCI, and the InnovFin guarantee from the EIF. We were the first to benefit from this brand new structure in Luxembourg, which allows for the risk to be spread.
What are Homexperts.lu’ aims for 2020?
We hope that Homexperts.lu will become the go-to for homeowners wanting to sell. We are also already thinking about diversifying our services and will soon offer cutting-edge training for real estate agents. Lastly, following a trial phase on the Luxembourg market, we have also set ourselves the aim of expanding into other countries.
“The good news is that we’ve now found solutions in Luxembourg to finance both early-stage and late-stage start-ups. The fact that Marc Neuen – as founder of Yellow.lu and Linc in particular – is a trusted entrepreneur with recognised expertise was a decisive factor” – Frank Hollerich, Corporate relationship manager – BIL
For the first time, BIL has combined the InnovFin guarantee from the European Investment Fund (EIF) with an indirect development loan (PID) from Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement (SNCI) within its financing solution. This unprecedented structure will make it easier for BIL to support innovative start-ups in Luxembourg. You can do it too! Find out more at www.bil.com
That’s how many real estate agencies operate in Luxembourg. But according to Homexperts.lu, not all of them have the expertise desired by homeowners to help them to sell their property.