In Brussels: an estate agency has set up shop in a cafe
The Universal Cafe isn’t just any cafe. As well as being a friendly, welcoming place, it offers the chance to meet estate agents. This personal touch promotes the world of local real estate within the neighbourhood and offers the customers what they want.
The cost of flats has risen in Brussels by 2.7% in less than a year (Source: lesoir.be). Finding property can be a stressful, exhausting marathon task.
The Brussels estate agency Universal decided to improve its close links to customers with an original initiative. On September 15 2014, the first Universal Café opened in Brussels. This cafe, which also serves as a restaurant, is open to customers. Around a coffee or a salad, people can find out about the latest news on Belgian real estate and abroad, or get professional advice. This new-style agency, which offers meals, breakfasts, snacks, coffees or beers, is open from 7.30am until 6pm from Monday to Friday. As well as free wi-fi, the independent advisors who are members of the Institute of Professional Estate Agents, share information on the city’s locations, different neighbourhoods and also give advice on purchasing. The two entrepreneurs behind the project, Anna Susswein and Michaël Abizdid, advocate local real estate in each of their 23 agencies in Belgium. The cafe, which is located in the heart of the trendy Châtelain district, allows them ‘to meet people, be a part of their lives and enjoy the most important moments with them’.
A number of local websites have praised this initiative which makes real estate more accessible: online magazines Avenir.net, expatsinbrussels.be, lesoir.be. Universal’s Facebook has more than 4,400 fans and shows that real estate can be social, local and connected at the same time.
Practical information: Universal Café, 24 rue Defacqz, Bruxelles, Monday to Friday from 7.30 to 18.00