Florent Vaudelin worked in finance in New York before creating My Expat when he returned to France. “I wanted to design a platform that would enable users to invest in real estate from abroad as easily as any other financial transaction,” he says. His service has won over users in more than 60 countries since being launched in 2014, and enables buyers to purchase property for rental purposes in France without actually being in the country.
One of the advantages of investing in France is the low, stable interest rates, Vaudelin says. “For now, there are three accessible cities: Paris, which offers a safe investment, and Lyon and Bordeaux, where returns are a little higher.”
From looking for an apartment to signing the preliminary sale agreement, everything is digital and accessible from abroad. Clients only have to take care of the financial side of the transaction. “We check the viability of each project before granting access to our platform, where users will find investment opportunities that have been selected and visited by our team.” Once the property – generally studios and one-bedroom apartments – has been acquired, it can be placed under rental management. “In total, 99% of investors who use our platform successfully complete a purchase,” says the CEO.
Sophie and Thierry, who live near Washington D.C., were looking to invest the money from the sale of their primary residence. In just five months they became the owners of a 400-square-foot apartment in Lyon for 210,000 euros. “We knew that the best properties go the quickest, but as we were abroad, we could not be responsive enough to find the right place for us.” After being helped by My Expat, they are delighted with the “simplicity” of the process and the “availability” of their contacts.
With fees of 7.5% payable at the end of the project, My Expat is a unique service and is riding the wave of its popularity. “Some agents even offer us their properties before they go on the market.”