What has Aguirre Newman been up to in the past 12 months? What are you focusing on at the moment?
Aguirre Newman has been active in the Spanish national market for the past 25 years, establishing a prestigious reputation of efficiency, reliability, independence and effectiveness in the delivery of real estate services.
Lately we have been trying to strengthen our relationship with big Private equity Real Estate funds, which are interested in the Spanish market and are active in the business world. Aguirre Newman provides local specialized consultancy services. Our activity in this field has been so successful that we have opened our own office in London.
We also focus on the business lines of shopping center strategy, consolidation and growth. In the past 12 months, we have undertaken a vigorous approach to huge transactions involving sales and acquisitions of real estate property portfolios. A case in point would be SAREB. Likewise, we have focused on our traditional business, which is the provision of consultancy services on office space, industrial & logistics and high-street shopping units. This line of business has seen renewed activity lately because of the economic recovery in Spain, which has led to a lot of good opportunities in this sector since prices are now relatively lower and very competitive.
How has your business changed along with the changes in the real estate markets?
Aguirre Newman has swiftly adapted to the changing times and has managed to deal with the global financial crisis. We did this by focusing on business lines which generate regular income and are not transaction-type products. These business lines have reinforced the areas of Property Management and Consultancy which includes Market research, Valuations and Appraisals and Town Planning.
In the same manner we have both adapted and modified our services to the new situation and needs of our clients. To cite an example, in the Department of Retail High Street we have offered a new line of service which is the renegotiation of lease contracts. The results have been mutually satisfactory for the company and our clients. Another example is in the Architecture Division. Whereas before our main service was to help our clients settle in their corporate headquarters, now we also carry out refurbishment of office buildings aimed at improving their corporate image and market positioning.
What are your plans for growth, and where will your growth be directed in the coming years? Are you planning to expand into other markets?
We have been exploring other areas of collaboration with partner companies in other countries through strategic partnerships, such as the British firm GVA. We are their partners in Spain and they are our partners in the UK.
We have also set our objective in relation to the growth and consolidation of the areas of commercial centers, hotels, student accommodation as well as Corporate Finance. We are doing our best to bolster the business line of Tenant Representation both for Office Spaces and Retail High Street. This is a very important area which needs to be tapped continuously with enthusiasm.
What differentiates you from your competitors?
We are the pioneers in Spain in offering a wide variety of technical services in the areas of Architecture and Engineering. Aguirre Newman is the leading real estate consultancy firm in town planning in Spain because we are well-versed in the particular interests, needs and objectives of our clients. We are proud of having established a reputable expertise in the field of Market Research. In fact, Aguirre Newman was voted by Euromoney as the “Best Real Estate Advisor and Consultant in Spain” for two consecutive years.
In your opinion what is the outlook for the retail real estate market in Europe over the next 12 months?
From a professional perspective, Aguirre Newman believes that in spite of the current economic difficulties in many European cities, there is still heavy demand for prime high-street locations. We have to emphasize that clients are becoming more and more demanding in their choice of location, specifying concrete stretches of the street and even the sidewalks or pavements where they want their flagship store to be set up. They are usually very particular regarding retail addresses and specific nearby brands. The luxury goods sector and high-end fashion brands are always meticulous with this type of requirement.
It should be noted that because of the economic crisis in Spain, a large number of international brands have seen Madrid and Barcelona as a great opportunity to establish their flagship stores and expand their operations.
On the other hand, we cannot ignore the importance of on-line sales or e-commerce. This selling tool is growing stronger and stronger each year. Any given operator, whether its fashion or electronic goods, uses this alternative channel to complement their sales through shops situated on high streets. In contrast, some other sectors may find online selling or e-commerce as directly detrimental to their business.