An interview with residential developer Fenixco: “Live where you want, the way you want”

For three generations now, the Fenixco family business has been offering urban buildings to meet today’s needs. Now the forward-thinking team is moving forward with legal, ecological, and innovation challenges in mind. Founder Hélène Bostoen shares Fenixco’s story below. 

The company based in Ghent carries out residential projects in Belgian urban centers, wishing to offer products that go hand in hand with their vision of real estate, modern and efficient. They are deeply committed to ensuring that their homes are built with high-quality materials, have an optimal location in an urban center, and match both our way of life today and the ideal home of tomorrow.

“Our team, although small, is very ambitious and efficient. We wouldn’t be where we are today without all our amazing members”, Hélène Bostoen smiled. 

What’s unique about your company?

“Being neither a small nor a big player, we occupy an intermediate position in the residential market. This allows us to play on both fronts, and therefore to have a wider field of action.” 

“It also allows us to maintain a very close relationship with our clients. Personal contact is very important to us, as it allows us to respond optimally to the questions and needs of our clients. That’s why we always prefer face-to-face meetings. But of course, with the pandemic, we had to make some adjustments…”

“Personal contact is very important to us.”

Fenixco’s objectives revolve around sustainability and innovation. How do these goals fit into your daily work?

“Naturally, we attach great importance to innovation, at all levels. We’re not afraid to try new things or digitize our processes.”

“We believe progress comes in stages: while the real estate sector was once very risk-averse, today the world is gradually coming to grips with the urgency of getting on the innovation track. The sector is changing, mentalities are evolving. Now anyone with a long-term vision is interested in innovation.”

“The world is gradually coming to grips with the need to get on the innovation track. Now anyone with a long-term vision is interested in innovation.”

“At our level, of course, we don’t think we know everything and don’t have a detailed vision of all innovative advances. But that’s where collaboration comes in. We are convinced that it will allow us to move forward on the path of innovation. So yes, we’re a big believer in collaboration.”

“Fenixco’s Hélène Bostoen says collaboration is of paramount importance to move forward on the road to innovation.”

“We strongly believe in “Living as a Service“(LaaS). And not just because it’s fashionable, but because we truly believe in it.”

“That’s why we are looking into co-living options for our new project. We are starting to look at partnerships with companies offering interesting solutions. But there is no need to make a decision right away, as it could take some years for the project to be built and ready for use…” 

“The future holds a million exciting possibilities, which will grow as innovative potentials are embraced. In a few years, the range of options to choose from will only increase, and in ways we cannot yet imagine. So I’m not worried: I look forward to seeing it happen.”

What’s your biggest challenge at the moment?

“We try to keep abreast of all aspects of innovation while keeping a close eye on urban and legal changes.  So it’s a challenge, yes, but we see it as an opportunity as well.”

“Every day, we ask ourselves how we can optimize our work. But the good thing is we are not alone in this. And that means we can share our solutions too.”

“It is always instructive to take a look at what else is happening in the Proptech sector”.

“We’re always looking to work in partnership with other like-minded companies. As an example of a successful partnership, we met Ziggu at a Proptech Lab event some time ago.

We were immediately seduced by the project. So we contacted them, and we are now a very happy customer: their solution  meets our needs precisely.”

“We’re always looking to partner with other like-minded companies.”

“In addition, other challenges arise in terms of sustainability. I constantly wonder how, as a mid-field player, I can make a difference.”

“We are dealing with such a multitude of players, who do not necessarily share our convictions and vision of the world, that it is difficult to bring about real change quickly.”

“So at our level, what we can do is talk to our clients and partners and try to convince them.”

What’s your take on the urban future?

“The future is in modern buildings*, adapted to current challenges and our new way of living.”

“*Whether new or good as new; because naturally, we consider renovation first if pieces can be recovered.”

“It’s really about adapting the structures to meet our emerging needs.”

As a company active in the market for quite some time, if you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

“In a startup, it’s important to have a team with complementary skill sets. You’ll soon realize that starting out in this business requires a wide range of varied and complementary skills.”

Thank you. Before we conclude, do you have anything else you would like to add? 

“We are very happy to be part of the Proptech Lab movement.  I think it’s a game-changer in our community.” 

“It’s great to be a part of the Proptech Lab movement”.

For more information on their projects, visit their website here.

Liuba Diederich