Reag is a company that offers across-the-board services in the real estate sector. Specify which services these are and to what type of user they are addressed?
"REAG – Real Estate Advisory Group – offers professional and independent specialist consulting to the real estate sector. Over time REAG has established itself in the fields of valuation, property consulting services, proposing innovatory services answering the changing market exigencies: services in the environmental sector, in particular regarding the Green Building, services for banks and loan sector, those related to the retail field (Retail Park, Factory Outlet Center, High Street & Luxury and Food Court…) as well as the different services dedicated to specific chain and multi-sites operators. In all market sectors, REAG acts for international leader, among the others: Banks and Insurance Companies, Real Estate Funds, Investment Banks, Property Companies, Public Bodies, Property Developers."
Reag’s experience originates from the international experience of American Appraisal. How has it diversified and specialised over the years, compared to the original group, in supplying services to the real estate system, first in Italy and then in Europe?
"REAG forms part of the American Appraisal group, a world leading financial valuation company, founded in Milwaukee in 1896. Real Estate Advisory Group (REAG) was created in 1992 in order to provide clients with independent, specialized consulting services in the real estate sector. REAG offers consultancy services in all fields geared towards developing and increasing the value of individual assets or properties and pays the utmost attention to every project undertaken, while continuing to uphold the company’s philosophy of “Global Network, Local Consulting. REAG offices are present all over the Europe, in Madrid, Paris, London, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Prague, Warsaw, Bucharest, Budapest, Sofia, Bratislava and Istanbul."
In which sectors of Italian real estate is Reag’s presence most significant and where has it best developed its services in terms of the type of activity of its customers?
"Reag presence is most significant in the real estate institutional sector, as well as in the technical and environmental consultancy thanks to the subsidiaries companies ECOMAG and REAG Property Services. REAG has recently developed its business in loan sector with REAG 4loans and fuel retail and automotive retail with REAG Service Stations&Automotive. Due to the integration of different capabilities, REAG can provide a real support in the valorisation process for the large real estate portfolios."
How does Reag stand in its offer of advice to a foreign investor, looking towards Italy and its real estate opportunities?
"REAG is part of a multinational group so it is used to serve international investors. The Italian real estate market has its own peculiarities, these intrinsic characteristics are difficult to be understood by foreign investors; we can cite for example our cadastral system and terminology. In these cases we do not take anything for granted and support our clients in every step of the investment."
Can you explain to us in detail how the structure of the company is divided and which competences it offers? Is the same structural model repeated in foreign offices?
"REAG has specific subsidiary companies or departments closely connected with each single market sector. The company has a central nucleus that coordinates the administration, legal, marketing and training activities for all the European branches. The different skills are the key of our consultancy activities: qualified professionals with specific competences offer to our clients flexibility and professionalism. The company is certified by RICS and the operational flows are certified by the system ISO 9001:2000. The subsidiary companies of the group got specific certifications related to the specific activities, such as the LEED for Ecomag services, Anevar for valuation in Romania, HypZert in Germany. Moreover, the different braches of the company repeat the same structure model all over Europe."
You pay special attention when monitoring the Italian real estate market. At the present time, what are its strong and weak points, in light, also, of the current crisis the economy, in general, and the real estate sector, in particular, is going through?
"REAG has its own dedicated research & development office, it is in charge of collecting and processing economic and market data. The results of the analyses carried out by our R&D office represents a point of the reference for the general macroeconomic perspectives within the company. Over the past 10-15 years the Italian real estate market changed significantly: the real estate funds were established as well as the SGR operating in the management of large real estate patrimonies, several development projects were started all over the National territory and the large cities, the market became more and more transparent and appealing for the foreign investors. Clearly also the Italian market was affected by the consequences of the international crisis, but the effects reflected nearly exclusively on the transaction number: all the market sectors the transactions sharply decreased and sat at the levels registered during the 2000’s, while prices and rents, except for rare cases, remained stable or slightly decreased. During the past ten years prices in Italy increased at a slower pace with respect to the other European countries and to the USA, as a consequence the decrease of prices was less strong. The so called retail real estate market covers nearly the 80% of the Italian market volume: Italian families continue maintaining a low debt level and the propensity to save is increasing; families are confident in the real estate market both in residential and other sectors and represent the milestone of our market. During the next few months the residential sector will drive the recovery of the entire market, continuing to represent the natural outlet of the families’ liquidity."