If you are planning to work or start a business in a field related to real estate in France, the first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with the trends in the French real estate market, which can directly or indirectly affect your business.
Unlike the real estate agency in other European countries, the practice in France is strictly regulated and you may not have the qualifications to create an agency or even to
work in an existing agency. French law does not recognize the activity of “intermediary” or “real estate service provider”; anyone involved in the sale of property – and even in leasing – is considered a real estate agent and requires proper registration. You cannot act as a real estate agent in France unless you have a professional card or are officially under contract with a card holder agent; to benefit from it, you must have a reasonable level of French and have one of the following qualifications:
• A certificate of professional studies in real estate professions, which usually requires two years of full-time study, although you may be able to shorten the period of study if you already have relevant qualifications or experience.
• A recognized foreign certificate or diploma attesting that you have completed at least two years of legal, financial or commercial studies;
• A secondary school diploma (eg A level) plus three years of higher education and at least one year of experience working as a real estate agency in your home country;
• At least two years (and sometimes up to ten!) Of real estate agency experience in your home country.
A real estate agency must be registered as an SARL and must have professional liability insurance with an approved body such as the National Federation of Real Estate or the SOCAF group.
A realistic option for those who do not have the necessary qualifications to obtain a professional card is to act as an independent real estate commercial agent (commonly referred to simply as a commercial agent), registering as a self-employed person with the Registry Office. Local Commercial Court. Commercial court clerks in many departments will refuse to register commercial agents, insisting that they become salaried employees of the “parent” agency. You should therefore check local regulations before attempting to establish yourself as a sales agent. If registration as a commercial agent is allowed, you must obtain a contract with a real estate agent (or preferably several) who has a professional card to work under his auspices. As a commercial agent, you benefit from agency guarantees and insurance and may even be authorized to sign agency contracts (mandates) with sellers. You receive a commission, which can be up to 60% of the agency’s commission (itself between 5 and 15% of the sale price of a property).
In the main cities of France, notably in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux, the business relocation market is huge, and a few companies also deal with private relocation. However, the private sector is generally underserved and there is currently no English speaking company offering such a service. This is not because people moving to France do not need help, but rather because of the bureaucracy involved in setting up as a relocation consultant. A company moving service is recognized by the French administrative authorities, but a private service is not. Your only option currently is to register as a consultant, which means you must join the Chamber of Engineering and Council of France.
If you want to start your own business in this field, you need to have many skills – negotiation skills, interpersonal skills, language skills – as well as extensive local knowledge and contacts. Obviously, English and French are the main languages, but Dutch is also a big plus. The other thing to remember is that relocation invariably involves buying or renting a property – the client needs a house first and other services later – so it helps to have some experience in the real estate market.
The ARA offers training and education for relocation providers, as does the European Academy of Relocation Professionals (EARP), which is the training body for the profession and offers both specific training to the country and general in all aspects of relocation services.
Maintenance and security of the property
The continued growth of secondary foreign ownership in France means that there is a demand for maintenance and caretaking services. Maintenance covers a multitude of activities, including small construction and repair jobs, gardening, pool cleaning and key keeping. The upkeep of a gîte involves cleaning, changing linen, repairing minor damage and liaising with maintenance services. Note that you must have the appropriate authority to do this with the French administration. Security is a highly regulated business with extensive background checks on people wishing to work in this field.
As with real estate agencies and relocation services, diversification is the key to a successful maintenance business, at least until you have established your reputation and learned in which areas of the market would work best for you. specialize.