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  • Le Journal de l'immobilier / March 2023 edition

    The openStore by Swixim is revolutionizing real estate

    The openStore by Swixim is revolutionizing real estate

    If you'd like to set up or boost your real estate business without incurring excessive costs, the "Real Estate OpenStore" is for you! Officially launched by the Swixim International group, this turnkey solution includes financing and fitting out the agency, as well as digitization and customer reception. Bringing together the best of both worlds - physical and digital - this innovative concept is aimed at the brand's franchisees, as well as the associates/owners of Swixim subsidiaries. It was presented at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne to an audience of 170 real estate agents and brokers from the Swixim network. Thierry Caminati, CEO of Swixim International, gave us an update.


    – Why a real estate openStore?

    We started from the following observation: by closing at lunchtimes, evenings and weekends, real estate agencies are operating at times that no longer correspond to their customers' needs. We came up with the idea of open-access arcades, open seven days a week, from 9am to 7pm: set up in our customer center, an assistant welcomes visitors wishing to sell, buy or rent a property by videoconference. The customer is then directed to the appropriate broker. In addition, they can deposit the documents required for their transaction in a secure box. This system has the advantage of combining human contact, personalized service and digitalization. After two years of testing in five pilot units in Switzerland and France, the concept is now ready for deployment.


    – What are the competitive advantages for brokers?

    This system - already common in the banking sector - enables us to stand out from the crowd with our high value-added services. Founded in Geneva in 2005, we are the first franchise to make the initial financial investment for its franchisees, so that risk-taking is not an obstacle. The hosting of several branches is pooled, and operating costs (premises, staff, etc.) are reduced. Brokers can concentrate fully on their core business, i.e. carrying out the mandates entrusted to them; they are mobile and freed from all constraints at the branch. At the same time, they benefit from an arcade in the window (30 to 50 m2), as well as from the Swixim brand's reputation. Just as a cobbler needs to be well shod, if you're selling real estate, you need premises that are worthy of the name, with a street address. That's the minimum credibility we can offer our customers!

    In sum, the real estate openStore means greater mobility and profitability for brokers, but lower costs (50% savings). This new service is fully in line with our ambition to offer a win-win business model to agents and brokers sharing the Swixim International banner. These partners - 300 agents in all - remain independent without being isolated, and we provide them with guidance and support, notably through training programs.


    – With the openStore you have the ambition to become a standard. What kind of development are you planning?

    In order to give ourselves the means to promote our concept internationally, we have launched a fund-raising campaign, with the aim of tripling the company's sales by deploying by deploying 150 new openStores. Wherever our subsidiaries and franchises are already established - in Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain and Portugal, the challenge will be to find the best locations. We believe that the future of real estate - just like that of retail - is "phygital": a real presence in strategic locations, offering high visibility, combined with certain digital services. Our profession is fantastic, and deserves to be defended at all costs!


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    The openStore by Swixim is revolutionizing real estate