Willemen Group and Telenet join forces to develop a smart housing rental market


A joint venture between Telenet and the Willemen Group will see daylight to develop a comprehensive housing solution for tenants designed to relieve them of a number of tasks. In concrete terms, new tenants will receive the keys to their rental apartment with many utilities already arranged (water, electricity, telecom...). They will have also have the possibility of subscribing to more specific additional services such as assistance with cleaning and ironing, shared cars, scooters or bicycles. etc. This total concept initially aimes at target groups that are specifically looking for convenient living, fast notice periods and fewer chores, such as expats or young professionals.

Over the coming months, the joint venture will test its business model against the existing Belgian rental market. The intention is to make the rental formula as flexible as possible with, for example, short notice periods and a choice of different packages for basic and additional services. In this way, they wish to develop a broad ecosystem with various partners, each with their own expertise in offering specific services, subscriptions or real estate.

The joint venture will be an independent company with an independent board of directors, a name and a CEO will be sought in the coming months. The launch is still subject to approval from the European Competition Authorities.

Tom Willemen, CEO of Willemen Group, comments on the founding of this joint venture: “The housing market is changing rapidly. There is a high level of professionalization in the rental market in particular, whereby rent is increasingly combined with a package of different services. We want to respond to this trend with this joint venture. In doing so, we are not only focusing on our own real estate developments, but also taking an explicit look at collaborations with other real estate providers. Telenet is the ideal partner to help us shape this innovative housing concept. This collaboration also fits in with our own ambition to be a provider of comprehensive housing solutions in addition to being a construction partner.

For Telenet, this joint venture is a business move outside of their traditional core business. John Porter, CEO of Telenet, explains it: “For some time now, it has been part of Telenet's strategy to focus on partnerships, whereby we are looking for collaborations in order to offer innovative services that do not necessarily belong to our core business, but through which we also want to enter other markets. Through connectivity and television, Telenet has experience in offering services at the customer's home. We see that comprehensive solutions can be interesting for certain target groups, and we want to further investigate and expand the potential of this trend, working together with Willemen Group.”