In May 2016, Jean-Florent took part in questions / answers with villagers and on social networks. Here are 6 features to discover Villages In Paris:
Self-taught in the fields of interior design and real estate property consulting, this globetrotter passionate about languages, with a sharp aesthetic taste, graduated from Kedge Business School moved his first steps in the luxury industry, particularly within the LVMH group, spending more than 8 years between China, Switzerland, India and Chile.
Who is behind Villages in Paris? It is an independent firm or are your part of a group?
Uh … is that a real question made by one of the Villageois?
Villages In Paris is a consulting firm specialized in real estate and interior design. It is a totally independent structure on a human scale … You know very concretely to whom you are speaking and who will manage your project. The whole team is integrated into the company, trained in a method and process specific to Villages In Paris.
We are not an internet platform bringing together freelances payed by assignment or by % The requirements of consulting and project follow-up we offer necessarily imply a complete integration of the teams.
We have been searched by independents and by a larger group. But it was not my wish to develop so fast at that time and the profile of the potential investors didn’t match. We follow a craftsman spirit, with a strong focus on customer service, therefore we want to keep it this way.
Today our business model is confirmed, and we have a strong request for our services.
The door is far from being closed, but in order to ensure the quality of our projects, which makes our reputation, our investors need to understand the craftsman and long-term approach of our adventure!
We are going to create a new service offer and a new customer experience in a dusty field that needs to be modernized, it takes time and we have to be patient.
HOW TO DEFINE VILLAGES IN PARIS IN A SINGLE SENTENCE?
Don’t let the chance decide for you, we take care of everything!
One day a villageois putting us in contact with a new client, made an original correlation, comparing us to a Michelin star chef.
« Choose a property is like shopping at Rungis, everyone can do it. But choose the ingredients, know the right producers and have the recipes to make exceptional dishes, this requires a know-how that only chefs have. Villages In Paris offers you this know-how. »
I found the comparison amusing and flattering, but quite meaningful in the end.
I HAVE FOUND ON THE INTERNET THAT OTHER COMPANIES HAVE COME TO MARKET SINCE 2015 AND SEEM TO PROPOSE THE SAME SERVICE, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE ARRIVAL OF THESE COMPETITORS?
Very well, it’s an very good signal for the overall development of this new service offer.
When I traveled throughout China for Louis Vuitton, looking for new store locations, I realized that the luxury companies had every interest in settling at the same time, giving a wider visibility to a new product offer in the country.
That is the case for Villages In Paris today. These newcomers allow us to naturally reinforce our clear and reassuring positioning. This has also brought us new customers, particularly in the rental investment segment.
Nonetheless, it is unpleasant to be copied and competed with methods that are sometimes questionable, but that’s probably a part of the game!
Our clients and our future villageois will not be fooled and still prefer the original to a copy…
ARE THERE ANY PROJECTS THAT YOU HAVE NOT ACHIEVED AND THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO REALIZE?
We’re very lucky because we have managed very beautiful projects very soon, while we were not well known yet.
Our complete service offer, allows us to work on different projects, which is very stimulating for the creativity of the team.
Regarding the projects that we have not realized yet, the team and I look forward to realizing our first hotel project that will give his client the brand « Villages ».
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA OF CREATING VILLAGES IN PARIS?
The idea came to me very naturally, as a result of my personal experience.
When I lived in China, I was unable to manage my real estate projects from that far. From Switzerland, I realized 4 real estate operations in Paris. It was easier because I was closer. But this experience monopolized all my days off and my weekends for 3 years!
While discovering my vocation, I understood the time and energy that it took. A simple question came to me: how do people in my situation act without an appropriate service offer?
I didn’t hesitate for a long time before creating Villages In Paris. My personal network quickly asked me to manage their projects and my company developed by word of mouth. Customers based in Paris also developed very quickly, because the time saving issue and the real estate managing challenges are the same one whether you live 5000 km away or on the spot with a busy schedule (work, business trips, children, nannies, weekend …).
What kind of boss are you?
Seriously? Ok, ok, I am just kidding… Let’s go for it !
If you imagine a tie-wearing man glued on his comfortable leather chair in a cozy office in the business district, you have it all wrong. Same for the too cool guy completely focused on design concepts out of reality, this is not me either.
I live in the real world with real people. I am both pragmatic and creative. This is an integral part of the brand’s DNA and our corporate culture. Customers are looking for this dual approach : to provide a strong competence in project management (reactivity, budgets and deadlines) and skills in interior design.
I am also a person who works in the field. Finding apartments and managing building sites, means moving all the time. Our new premises are located in the heart of Paris in the 1st district, allowing us to move fast and join any place over Ile-de-France.
WHY THE NAME VILLAGES IN PARIS?
What I missed the most during my experience abroad and especially during the
four years spent in China, it was this “je ne sais quoi” that makes Paris Paris: café terraces, its fishmongers, its bakers, its cheese sellers, newsstands, and the toothless accordionist who sings poorly, but whom we like anyway (because yes there are still a few of them).
The Village spirit, that’s all.
IN WHAT VILLAGE DO YOU LIVE ?
It is A little personal as a question… but let’s play the game to the end!
I grew up between the 12th, 20th and the 15th districts of Paris. More recently, when I was living in Switzerland, I made my first purchase real estate in Paris 14th, near Pernety Village. I quickly rented it and bought other properties.
Today I live in the Olive Village, in the 18th.
A neighborhood that I love: the Paris of the old times, without any fuss, intact and authentic, and that is still changing.
You can find everything and are numerous and of high quality. In 10 minutes you find yourself in the Little India of The Chapel, passing by boho restaurants of the Pajol, covered marketto join the channel.
A neighborhood for insiders… as were Williamsburg and Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn 15 years ago or Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan not long time ago …
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS for a fitting out? YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE TO MAKE THE PLANS ?
This is a question I ask to myself every day. How did I come up with this idea?
Today Villages In Paris is a team of very involved professionals bringing a healthy competition within the company.
Renovating an apartment is not enough, today you need to know how to bring a genuine expertise in space optimization while including an added value in aesthetics ; our expertise goes far beyond the simple choice of a wallpaper or a shade …
This step is the end of a more complex process requiring expertise, common sense and a lot of ingenuity. We talk a lot about the fitting out plans, and creative projects, we challenge each other in order to get the best results. That is the reason why we have called the meeting room of the new office The Creativity Room … a whole program!
WHY THE WHITNEY MUSEUM?
Because New York is a city that feeds my creativity.
The Whitney Museum is an amazing place. The room of the 2nd floor of 1675 m² without structural column is an ode to creativity: a volume that is fully scalable in which everything seems possible.
WHERE DO THE ORIGINAL OR EVEN bizarre NAMES OF YOUR PROJECTS COME FROM, IN PARTICULAR, THE SYMPHONIC DWELLING?
Ahaha! Strange? Not at all!
Original, yes definitely
All project names are consistent with the context and the villageois!
As for The Symphonic Dwelling, the client is a singing teacher and vocal coach. The project also had to take into account the soundproofing of one of the rooms of the apartment … Hence the name of the project (dwelling translating the word housing).
In 2016, you announced the LAUNCHING of a new offer FOR stores AND ENTERPRISES, ISN’T IT A DIFFERENt KIND OF BUSINESS?
The approach is the same at all levels.
This is also a logical continuation of my career: I have worked in retail development for several luxury companies and have been involved in numerous openings and the fitting out of concept stores.
Today, Villages In Paris supports human size companies, wishing to (re)define their brand identity through their work space : shops, restaurants, hotels, practices, businesses…
ISn’t YOUR service PROVISION A SUPPLEMENTARY COST IN A PROJECT?
This is an important issue requiring a detailed answer.
In addition to the undeniable time savings, we need to take into account te savings made at all stages of the project.
Knowing that a good product at a good price sells in less than half a day, it is necessary to be extremely reactive. We provide this added value. When you already save tens of thousands of euros on an apartment with high potential, our service is already absorbed.
Contractor estimates can double : there are companies that abuse considerably. After the purchase of a property, you are caught up in the whirlwind of decisions and it is difficult to see clearly. A good timetable management, qualified contractors and pre-negotiated estimates make it possible to start work immediately after signing.
Save extra money: an empty apartment is an expensive apartment. Meanwhile, you must live somewhere!
A very important aspect is often neglected: the aesthetic value. When you realize the most significant expense of your life, you also want to enjoy it. Optimizing a space or designing a creative universe is not very expensive. You just have to have the experience and know certain rules to do it.
Our projects speak for themselves: an aesthetic performance is an additional valuation factor when selling or renting out a property.
Our Villageois are unanimous : with the same budget, they would never have had the same finished product without our advice and management.
WHAT IS YOUR CONCEPT?
Do not let the chance decide for you any more, we take care of everything!
To be concise: we advise, you decide, we act. Whether you live on the spot or abroad.
For more details, I invite you to visit the concept page!
YOU MANAGE RENTAL INVESTMENTS worth LESS THAN 200 K € AND other PROJECTS worth SEVERAL MILLION EUROS, don’t you think that your positioning is CONFUSED?
Not at all!
Impervious to any dogmatic constraint, and allergic to any form of snobbery, I think it is very important to know how to manage all these types of projects.
The formula is the same no matter the project : to enhance the value of a property again, and again !
Whether you are looking for a small surface for investment with clear financial objectives, a family apartment to live in or a pied-à-terre, you want to buy at the right price. You want to optimize your m2, to create unique living spaces and interiors that will make the difference!
The multiplicity of projects that we manage is the guarantee of a global experience as well in the budget management and in the requirement of creative projects.
YOU HAVE A method of payment THAT IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT’S USUALLY DONE, HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN IT?
When I realized my personal real estate projects, which are the basis of the Villages In Paris project, I have not found a service offer adapted to my needs.
The % requested for the research of real estate properties or the works management did not suit me: the neutrality was not guaranteed clearly (you cannot be both judge and jury …). That’s why we have implemented an innovative method of payment: fixed package, unique way to guarantee neutral advice and therefore a quality one.
Today future owners are looking for transparency and our way of functioning, meets these new expectations.
HAVE YOU EVER FACED THE INABILITY TO COMPLETE A PROJECT?
No! All our Villageois have completed their projects with us and we are very proud of it!
We evaluate the degree of involvement of the future villageois and the financial feasibility of their project from the stage of the study.
We are here to accompany determined people , not to manage the “real estate tourism. ”
That is why the road map should be clear: to find the right product you must know exactly what you’re looking for.
Projects can last up to 9 months, and involve a whole team full-time. A space designer and interior architect begin to work even before the apartment is found. The idea is to have a specific provisional specifications to establish works estimates very quickly when the time comes (even before the signing of the commitment to buy).
WHAT ARE THE AREAS WHERE it is possible to FIND GOOD DEALS?
There are no rules. We have realized and found apartments at competitive prices in all the districts of Paris.
You should always compare the prices of properties available for sale with the weighted-average price (according to the surface) of the district where they are located.
A property with attractive price and high-potential can come out on the market in any district. A good knowledge of prices by neighborhood and a good network to facilitate the decision-making process as the key to success is above all to be extremely responsive when the time comes to position ourself quickly.
WHAT ARE THE MOST DIFFICULT ASPECTS TO MANAGE ON A DAILY BASIS?
We could name dozens of examples, every day has its part of surprises !
The most problematic aspect to manage which gives us real headaches, are the deliveries … It is incredible to see the low level of service of many companies. The time slots are endless and the deliveries are often forgotten …
When, for some projects, you have close to 200 objects to select with more than fifty deliveries to deal with, logistics can become a nightmare when deliverymen are approximate!
YOU HAVE CLIENTS WHO live IN FRANCE AND ABROAD, DO YOU MANAGE ALL THESE PROJECTS IN THE SAME WAY?
Yes of course!
Today, career paths are more and more international: one day live abroad, the following one you come back, living on the spot or abroad. The issues related to property acquisition and the required availability are the same for all. There is no reason to treat the projects differently. Our first French clients living outside of France are also reassured to know that we also manage projects of villageois living on site: our added value and expertise go far beyond the mere fact of managing from distance …It just requires more organization. Calls to Asia are in the morning; the afternoon, we contact our villageois, French or European and we end the day with the American continent.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT?
We have loved all projects! No favoritism here !
But it is true that there are stories that we have made a deeper impression on us more than others.
We can mention the projects of our first French customers living at the time in Mexico and today in Miami, and our first Swiss customer living in Geneva.
They trusted us completely at the beginning of our adventure, when the company barely existed. They are great ambassadors (if they read this, they will continue to be), and they made several projects with Villages In Paris .
A big thank you, to them!
There is also the project of two American customers, The Impetuous Revolutionary Mansion, which was a very intense and very motivating for us. The project is a real success and the established trust has created a relationship that goes beyond the professional one, we have even welcome the son of the client to join us for a summer internship!
Last but not least, The Virtual Cellar was a beautiful encounter with a Parisian investor, as well as The Above The Trees Residence, the main residence for a very nice Parisian family, whose project has undergone multiple twists and turns!
We manage each project as if it were our own and this is visible. Once we establish a link of trust with our customers, it never breaks, it’s a team effort that requires mutual respect.
The site www.villagesinparis.com is the property of:
SOCIETE DE COUNCIL VILLAGES IN PARIS with a capital of 1000 €
RCS PARIS – SIRET 794 113 555 00013
VAT N °: FR 16 794113555
31, rue Etienne Marcel – 75001 Paris, France
The head office :
Villages in Paris
5, rue Cugnot – 75018 Paris, France
E-mail: contact [at] villagesinparis.com
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