Commercial, International - 10. March 2021
Continues positive development with record year
Foreign relations are becoming increasingly important. Foreign investors accounted for about 60% of total property investment activities in Denmark in 2020. This can also be felt in our international department, which is exceeding expectations and continues to benefit from being a dedicated independent entity that has completed assignments from clients and partners in 86 countries.
Due to a large increase in the number of international clients, Denmark’s largest chain of estate agents, EDC Poul Erik Bech, set up an independent department just under two years ago that services international investors and businesses as well as Danish enterprises that have established or want to establish themselves abroad. Helle Nielsen Ziersen from EDC International Poul Erik Bech, says:
“The first year surpassed all our expectations, and 2020 was even better. We had prepared an ambitious budget for the year, so we’re satisfied with a result that was better than budgeted, despite the coronavirus pandemic. Denmark is the only Nordic market to have recorded a positive development in investments relative to the previous year. This is mainly due to Denmark still being seen as a safe haven by many foreign investors. We are thus experiencing a high activity level, and our clients have become aware that we have a dedicated department that exclusively services international investors and companies. We will also be expanding the staff in our international department in 2021.”
Sale & lease back and security of tenure
The foreign parent companies have a different approach and advance knowledge than their Danish departments. Helle Nielsen Ziersen says:
“The legislation in Denmark is different from that abroad, and we spend a lot of time mapping differences and balancing expectations. We also note from a number of professional landlords that they are happy with our assistance on the tenant’s behalf, as this is a time-consuming process. The Danish legislation and building regulations, work culture and traditions are different. So we help create transparency and meet foreign investors’ needs. This may, for example, be in relation to security of tenure for rental premises. Abroad, there are typically fixed-term leases, be renegotiated, whereas, in Denmark, we typically have security of tenure, where the lease continues until it is terminated by the tenant. Here we help create clarity. Added to this are the decision-making basis and the financial calculations, which include much more than just rent.
“We’re generally involved in many cases about whether companies are to extend their current leases or find new premises. Or whether sale & lease back is a good solution. We perform many search assignments regarding new premises for companies – in office, retail and logistics. In many cases, it ends up with the companies remaining in their premises, where we’ve helped them negotiate new and better terms with the landlord. In the vast majority of cases, it’s in the interest of both the landlord and the tenant that the tenant remains in the property. We’re also seeing that more and more Danish companies and investors want to buy or rent properties abroad, negotiate a new lease or get out of an existing lease, and we also provide assistance with this. In this context, we help Danish companies navigate in a country where they don’t know the legislation and trends.”
Important player across borders
One of the things that EDC International Poul Erik Bech has succeeded with is performing many assignments together with one of the world’s largest provider of real estate services Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).
“For almost two years, we’ve had a close and fine collaboration with JLL on a number of international assignments where we also pass on assignments and Danish clients to JLL. Local knowledge is important, and we can see from the assignments with JLL that we can benefit greatly from being the only nationwide chain of estate agents in Denmark. Approximately a third of our international assignments are outside the Greater Copenhagen area. We also have excellent collaboration with JLL on research and analysis for joint publications on developments in the property market, so we expect that our international assignments will continue to increase in the future,” says Helle Nielsen Ziersen.