January 22, 2022 12:00 p.m
S IMMO and its CEO Dr. Bruno Ettenauer are fans of the OWN360 community. That’s why here are the answers to our follow-up questions about the S IMMO shareholder question time and the exclusive interview in May. Even the difficult questions.
Max: In our last interview at the beginning of May 2021, you said that digitization will occupy S IMMO AG more in the future. Give us a glimpse. What has happened since then and what is planned?
CEO Ettenauer: We have now finalized our digital road map and are now working intensively on various projects such as a learning platform for digital further education, the general expansion of the digital workflow in S IMMO or the integration of a sustainability tool for recording, processing and analyzing all sustainability-related Data.
In the shareholders’ question and answer session, which the OWN360 community was allowed to take part in in November, you said that the trend towards ever smaller apartments could be stopped to some extent. Could you elaborate on that? Does that also mean that housing is becoming more affordable again?
The trend towards smaller apartments was and is primarily driven by the cost situation. However, the pandemic has caused people to spend more time in their own four walls, and more home office plays a key role in this. This situation has resulted in a trend reversal from “tiny flats” to more space with open spaces. At the end of the day, the limit is of course affordability.
Also in the last shareholder question time you said that a merger requires synergy potential. Which synergy potentials are particularly relevant in your industry? Where can efficiencies be gained?
Basically, size and market penetration are in most cases a competitive advantage. In particular because you then become more interesting for real estate service providers of all kinds. What does more interesting mean? For example, you are considered to be a top address when it comes to being able to offer services and in the end you will most likely achieve more business deals. However, the profitability and added value for everyone involved must always be clear, otherwise a merger makes no sense.
Around 30% of the S IMMO portfolio consists of residential properties. If you had to choose one of them for your home, which one would it be?
The Adlerhof in Vienna.
Speaking of home, the average OWN360 investor is 31 years old. For many young people, property ownership currently seems almost unaffordable. Do you have any advice?
The problem is that savings interest is currently significantly lower than the increase in value on the real estate side. I would therefore always rely on longer-term financing options with fixed interest at the moment. Another possibility is a kind of stage model – in case I have some savings on the side: I first buy a smaller apartment that is affordable for my situation and can later use this as equity for the next larger apartment.