Belsquare races into the big league

Charles & David

The most recent arrival on the professional real estate consultancy scene in Belgium has made a spectacularly rapid rise into the world of the ‘big boys’. It was just five years ago that two experienced real estate professionals – David Vermeesch and Charles Lasserre – came together to form Belsquare, operating from a shared office space alongside the Abbaye de la Cambre.

Belsquare has already grown to embrace three disciplines – Letting & Sales, Investment and Valuation – with a team of 12 persons, and it has had to move to new offices of its own just off the top of the Avenue Louise. Property management will become the fourth discipline next year. The story isn’t over yet, though, because a 13th person (at least) is about to join, meaning a second office move is also imminent!

The client portfolio is extremely impressive for such a young company, including names such as Besix, Ghelamco, BPI, Thomas & Piron, AG Real Estate, Belfius… Belsquare indeed advised on the transfer of AG Real Estate’s Silver Tower to Ghelamco, one of the keynote transactions of recent times.

Asked how they had managed to build up such a reputation in a short time, David Versmeesch spoke of the quality of the past of the two founders, whose joint experience was built up at Colliers, CBRE and BNP Paribas Real Estate among others. Another major element which inspires the confidence of the major companies cited above is an immovable adherence to the strictest professional ethics.

Charles Lasserre illustrated this in two ways: firstly, if a potential case of conflict of interest arises (such as two clients both wanting to buy the same building…) Belsquare simply lays this out transparently on the table and asks the clients what they would like to happen. Secondly, all of the members of the personnel are being constantly trained, and this ethic is instilled into all of them.
David Vermeesch added that the ethics extend to the fact that if the right course of action is to advise a client not to buy a building, this is what they do, even though it means missing out on a fee.

A final demonstration of the ‘arrival’ of Belsquare is that they have become the first broker on the market to produce a detailed end of year report on the Belgian real estate market. A new article on these figures and trends will be published on this website tomorrow.

Tim Harrup