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  • Writer's pictureRobin Van Gansbeke

Navigating the future of real estate: a strategic case study with Groep Huyzentruyt




The real estate sector is at the edge of transformation, dealing with a mix of societal and industrial challenges. From sustainability challenges, fluctuating interest rates to the impact of geopolitical forces and the ever-evolving market landscape, this perfect storm demands change. In a world where traditional real estate norms fall short, Groep Huyzentruyt steps forward as a visionary, confronting these challenges head-on.


Their mission: to chart a strategic course in response to these changes and navigate the ever-evolving landscape, promoting accessibility and superior quality in residential real estate for a more optimistic and feasible future.


The sessions with Scopernia compel you to distance yourself from your familiar environment and to attempt a leap forward in time. The use of future scenario planning helps the group to develop a common framework of thought, after which substantive discussions about the future (both sectoral and corporate) can be conducted in depth. Very enriching!" Thomas Van Poucke, CEO at Groep Huyzentruyt



Context: The perfect storm in real-estate


The real estate landscape faces a critical juncture, dealing with a mix of societal and industrial challenges. Fluctuating interest rates, escalating costs, geopolitical instability, new sustainability regulations, and evolving market dynamics are applying unprecedented pressure for change.


In today's dynamic world, sticking to the traditional real estate business models puts pressure on the accessibility of real estate, creating hurdles for individuals aspiring to own property. This introduces a clear division in the sector: an upper-market characterized by high-priced, high-quality properties alongside the lower end, less expensive, and often inadequate real estate.


Acknowledging these shifts as significant challenges, Groep Huyzentruyt, a visionary in accessible and high-quality real estate development, embarked on a strategic initiative. Their goal: to anticipate and navigate these circumstances proactively, and evolve towards a new style of real estate player.




About Groep Huyzentruyt


For over a century, Groep Huyzentruyt has been a symbol of excellence and innovation in real estate. They lead the way in creating residential spaces that prioritize affordability, efficiency, and top-notch quality. As specialists in residential real estate development, their fundamental belief is that everyone deserves a home that fulfills their aspirations without financial strain.


Groep Huyzentruyt continues to pave the path towards a future where finding one's dream home is achievable for all. Their dedication to affordable housing, coupled with an unwavering commitment to superior quality, underpins their mission.




Goals of the project


The project conducted by Groep Huyzentruyt aimed to delve into the heart of the future real estate landscape. They wanted assistance in envisioning how the sector will evolve under pressure of the different societal and industrial forces that are in play.


The company's leadership wanted to explore this future and analyse the impact on their future strategies and operations. The goal was to really create a strategic compass for the coming years, actively steering their organisation in the right direction.




Approach: future scenario planning


We facilitated an executive session dedicated to exploring the future of residential real estate.


Initially, the sessions focused on an in-depth analysis spanning various dimensions, encompassing societal transformation forces and sector-specific changes. Drawing from comprehensive desk research, we presented evidence, potential models, and assumptions to spark discussions. The executive team at Groep Huyzentruyt assessed and scored the different transformation forces to define its impact on the sector and the organisation and the company's readiness.


Subsequently, we constructed four potential future scenarios for the residential real estate sector, stemming from two major variable forces selected by the participants. These combinations led to different outcomes, considering additional "fixed" influential forces in each scenario. This exercise fostered imaginative thinking and helped in making strategic decisions, charting the organization's future vision and direction. Furthermore, it can later serve as an early warning system, signalling potential shifts towards specific scenarios.


Finally, Groep Huyzentruyt defined its position, considering these potential scenarios. This entailed outlining the most likely (probable future) and most favorable (desired future) scenarios. This defined position shapes the organization's intended role in the future, offering initial guidance for high-level actions.




Results: a strategic vision as compass for the coming years


Following the sessions, Scopernia has crafted a comprehensive strategic vision, navigating the identified changes, disruptions, and potential future scenarios for Groep Huyzentruyt. As a result, the company has outlined a strategic position for itself within the evolving real estate landscape, transitioning from a strong, traditional, family-oriented project developer—primarily focused on individually sold real estate to users and private investors—towards a real estate services company.


In a world where purchasing power is increasingly under pressure, it is observed that the traditional real estate sector (as one of the last to do so) is evolving towards new business models. This involves a shift from ownership towards usage and from individual to collective management.


The challenge for many traditional players—and thus certainly for Groep Huyzentruyt—is to reinvent themselves and prepare for the future. In this future, the company aims to leverage its accumulated knowledge, decoupling it from capital to emerge as a robust knowledge-based enterprise, providing services for external capital.


"As a result, the company has outlined a strategic position for itself within the evolving real estate landscape, transitioning from a strong, traditional, family-oriented project developer —primarily focused on individually sold real estate to users and private investors — towards a real estate services company."


Conclusion

Groep Huyzentruyt's proactive approach to envisioning the future of real estate serves as an example of strategic agility within the industry. By embracing change, analyzing disruptions, and crafting a resilient strategy, the company sets a precedent for navigating the dynamic forces shaping the real estate sector.


We firmly believe that it will give the organisation a boost to overcome the challenges of today and thrive in the future.




Would you also like to talk about how we can help you in forming a future vision for your organisation?



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