Peter-Jan, the dynamic face of Albert.

Created on 25/04/2024

Real Estate Group Albert: a story of two like-minded real estate agents, Jan Vlieghe and Peter-Jan Matthijs, with a clear vision.

We look back at 2016, the founding of Albert, and let Peter-Jan, co-founder and office director of Albert Smetlede & Wetteren, have his say.

Peter-Jan and Albert's story.

The passion for real estate was never far away, which is why Peter-Jan decided to join forces with Jan Vlieghe in 2016 and real estate group Albert was born. Peter-Jan: "After a 10-year 'real estate break', I noticed that a lot had changed in the market: a tightening of legislation and legal obligations, evolution of marketing and social media, the search for quality real estate agents... Based on the philosophy of 'being good at what you love to do', it was important to put together a diverse team. From the group, we have a dedicated team that supports and relieves our offices in administrative, legal and marketing matters. This allows our brokers to focus on their clients, be on the job, build their network."

Peter-Jan or still Albert?

Peter-Jan equals Albert, not only as the face of the group but also the philosophy of Albert's creation. "We chose the name Albert as a tribute to our grandfathers, Jan's and mine, but also the presence of an 'Albert'. Albert has a presence in every city: a square, an avenue, a commercial shop..." And so is Peter-Jan, always and everywhere represented locally.

"In the region of my offices, people know me as Albert, not necessarily as Peter-Jan. For me, the best part of the job is being among people and always focusing on what really matters. As a person and an entrepreneur, I always act with common sense. Keep it simple and to the point, a close and transparent collaboration without detours."

Peter-Jan and the Belgian real estate market.

Peter-Jan: "My grandfather always said that our population will only increase, a trend that is more current than ever. Belgium is one of the few markets that is still a buyer's market and gives the perception that you are less successful if you don't buy something (immediately). Lifestyles are becoming more flexible: people change environments, jobs, travel more, have more hobbies, are less sedentary... Everything is much more accessible. We already see this in foreign real estate markets: rentals are more the rule than the exception for all profiles. I therefore believe that a shift to a tenant market and its positive connotation for our real estate market is a nice objective."

Peter-Jan and his message for future estate agents.

"At Albert, we put the right people in the right places. Each (future) team member gets the chance to do what he or she likes to do and what they are good at. The other tasks there, we as a group take care of the cares in terms of marketing, administration, automation, training... Our offices are the go-to broker in their region for all real estate questions, it goes beyond pure buying and selling. Our sector is often underestimated and hard work makes for great results, but the social aspect where you are always among people makes it just as great a story."