Tranio: How we spent 2020
Despite the turbulence experienced by global markets in 2020, we have continued to flourish. In fact, faced with such pandemic-era obstacles as border closures, we quickly adapted and mastered the art of closing deals remotely, all while expanding our partner networks in Greece, Spain, Germany, the United States and other countries. During the course of this unprecedented year, we closed the biggest deal in the team's history, launched our own real estate investment training course, and celebrated the company's 10th anniversary.
Making history with Tranio’s largest-ever transaction:
In July, we helped a Swiss investment firm acquire a hotel in the heart of Dresden. The four-star Innside by Meliá Dresden features 180 rooms, which span a total area of 15,500 square meters. The hotel is located in the historic part of the city, with views of the Frauenkirche, a historic Lutheran church that was completely rebuilt after it was destroyed during World War II.
The hotel is managed by the Spanish company Meliá Hotels International, Spain’s largest hospitality company, with operations in 40 countries. Tranio brokered the transaction from the buy-side.
Closing other major deals on the German commercial property market:
We completed Mezzanine loan transactions for service apartments in Aachen as well as apartment buildings in Berlin and Leipzig.
We closed the sale of a retirement home in Essen. In so doing, we worked directly with a prominent German developer who specialises in this sector. The client bought this property with a 15-year lease agreement already in place with the operator.
Completing development projects in Hamburg and Barcelona:
We commissioned a three-storey apartment building in Hamburg and quickly sold all of its flats to local residents. The yield was about 3.5%; our investors got about 12% p.a.
A seven-storey building in Barcelona's Eixample district was completed in December 2019. More than 90% of flats in the building have already sold.
Launching large-scale redevelopment projects in Athens:
We are in the process of redeveloping two buildings in the Athens city centre. Our Greek team scouted both sites, prepared investment and redevelopment projects, secured an investor and is now overseeing the redevelopment and renovation work. The result will be the renovation of 11 residential flats to be added to the investor's rental portfolio.
One of these is a six-storey building constructed in 1980, which is located near the iconic St Panteleimon Church. Prior to our redevelopment project, the building housed commercial space, including offices, a karate club and a tailor.
The second project is a three-storey art deco building with high ceilings and stained glass windows. All flats retain their parquet floors and fine wooden doors. The house is located in the popular Kypseli district, near the National Archaeological Museum.
Navigating COVID-era obstacles:
In 2020, we closed most of our deals remotely. These transactions varied widely in location and nature, and included sales of new buildings in Spain, flat packages for a residence permit programme in Greece, and micro-apartments for rent in Germany. In 2020, our sales team closed its first Montenegrin citizenship deal.
In order to remain fully engaged despite the requirements of social distancing and other pandemic-related policies, our team got creative, hosting Zoom viewings, recording video reviews on YouTube, conducting 3D tours, and using drone technology to film the areas surrounding some of the properties in our portfolio.
Our company made it through the quarantine period with relative ease, thanks in large part to the assistance of the international partners and legal teams that we have assembled over the years.
Cataloguing Berlin’s new-builds:
In 2020, we prepared a catalogue of all of the new buildings in Berlin and calculated the potential yields for each development. In doing so, we took into account each property’s price, location and average rental price per square meter in different parts of the city. Ultimately, we selected Berlin’s top 10 most profitable new buildings, all of which we are confident will offer high yields in a low-risk environment.
Launching a real estate investment course:
We developed and launched a training course on overseas property investment. Although the course is so far only available in Russian language, it is free for anyone who wants to bolster their understanding of the property market and gain valuable insights into evaluating potential returns. We based the course on our own experience, thus fueling the course with real estate case studies. The course focuses on teaching our students to think like savvy real estate investors, analyse data and make sound decisions.
The course is based on an internal Tranio educational project that we launched last year. While we initially developed it for Tranio employees, we found demand from specialists at other firms, some of whom went on to land coveted jobs at large Russian and international firms.
Increasing website traffic:
In 2020, Tranio’s international website traffic surged by 110%, while the Russian-language version of the site grew by 45%. On average, more than 600,000 people visited our websites every month over the course of the year.
Our editors and analysts have conducted market research that has been picked up by such major news outlets as The Bell, Forbes, Interfax, and TASS. Demonstrating our agility with staying up on current topics, we made our latest studies focused on the COVID pandemic’s impact on various issues, from the global hotel sector to decisions by European investors. We also conducted joint research with Big 4 professional services firm EY on the financial habits of wealthy Russians. During the course of 2020, we received 268 mentions in the media.
Celebrating the company's 10th anniversary:
We have a wealth of plans for the year ahead related to development projects and the hotel market. We will continue to develop our expertise in the operational hotel business and look for projects in which to invest our own capital. As we look back at our journey over the past decade, during which we transcended from a property listing site to a large-scale developer, we are filled with optimism when we picture what lies ahead.