Gianluca Memmi – The man helping expats get clean away in Belgium!

14 years strong with ABRA

When I catch up with Gianluca, he’s a man on the clock. “High season just started,” he explains, “Many people are leaving, we have a lot of visits.” Though he’s busy, he has a warm, relaxed way about him. This is helped by his melodic Italian accent which instantly makes you feel like you’re talking to an old friend who has all the time in the world.

That accent shows off his heritage, “I have Italian roots, but I was born in Brussels to Italian parents.”  As with so many, Gianluca’s parents moved to Belgium after the second world war and made it their new home.

Though he may sound like he has time, he really doesn’t, because Gianluca Memmi is a man on a mission.

'In 2010, Gianluca founded his business, Gianluca Memmi Facility Consultants (GMFC) to help Expats renting homes with one thing; to get all of their rental deposit back. '

And this time of year, through into the summer, is their busiest time. With 3 to 5 visits per day, his team will often work on weekends to meet the deadlines laid out by the client, rental agent and even moving companies. Coordinating with everyone involved to do the best job he can with the time allowed.

GMFC focuses on deep cleaning for expatriates who are leaving a rental -property. It’s his aim to ensure that, when they hand back their keys, the landlord gives them back all of their deposit.

The deposit problem in Belgium

Renting a property in Belgium is similar, in many ways to other countries, with most landlords requiring a deposit equivalent to two-month’s rental, plus a month’s rent in advance.

So far, so good.

However, at the start of your tenancy the landlord will complete an inspection report. This is usually conducted by a third-party, with the costs involved shared by both the landlord and tenant.

When leaving, the tenant will agree an inspection date with the landlord, who will then have a third-party complete the exit inspection report. Based on this, the landlord may, and frequently does, keep some or all of the deposit based on the condition of the property.

Whilst some allowance for wear and tear may be made, poor maintenance and cleaning will be penalised. Gianluca and his team are finding that the frequency and size of these penalties are only increasing each year. Losing your deposit is not the nicest of ends to your time in Belgium!

So, how did Gianluca come to make it his mission to reverse this trend? That’s a story that starts some time ago…

Opportunity Calling…

In 1996, Gianluca started working for his brother’s industrial cleaning company. For the next 15 years, he learnt the industry. From large scale site cleaning to window cleaning, they dealt with high-end, business clients.

What happened next, they really weren’t equipped for. “Around 2008, we started to receive a lot of requests for end of tenancy cleaning”, but as an industrial cleaning company, the company wasn’t well suited to deal with this type of request. So, seeing an opportunity, in 2010, Gianluca decided to see if he could make a business helping these people out.

Over the following years, the business grew rapidly. Working not just for the tenants themselves, but also for landlords, relocation agents and the multinationals who were employing the expats. It was clear everyone was invested in getting the deposit back. The expats want the money back and the landlord wants the property ready for the next tenant.

Start right, end right.

It became clear, in the early days of GMFC, that simply doing the exit clean was not the way to ensure success. Moves are often delayed or run over time, so it’s frequently the case that the team has less time than needed to deal with the issues they find.

These issues start on the day that the expat moves in. As they settle into their new home, new job and new country, their thoughts aren’t on the exit inspection, and why would it be?

Without care, and regular maintenance, the problems begin to build. So, by the time that Gianluca and his team arrive, often the day before the exit inspection, they need to firefight, and do the best they can. That leaves little time or space to do everything to get 100% of the deposit back.

That’s why Gianluca expanded beyond the pre-exit inspection deep clean.

GMFC now offers a comprehensive suite of maintenance and care services for expats throughout their tenancy. Handyman, painting and renovation services are available, as are gardening services, for those who don’t have time.

By taking care of the issues as they occur, expats can save themselves money, keep their home in a nicer condition and ensure that all of that deposit is coming back to them.

Success built on a spotless reputation.

Under Gianluca, GMFC has grown to a company of around 15 team members, which can double in size in the busy periods. Working smart, Gianluca has a set of hand-picked contractors who come in to help when the work floods in.

And flood, it does.

With 14 years in the industry, GMFC has a client list any business would be proud of. Large corporates including Exxon Mobil, GSK, HSBC, Sony and BP trust his team to get the job done. So do international bodies including NATO and the embassies from Iceland, Latvia, Slovenia and Norway.

But they’re not just about the big guys. GMFC work for many individuals, and they tackle properties of all sizes, from studio apartments to large houses. If you need their help, they’ll be there.

 

ABRA is proud to have Gianluca and the GMFC team as members of our association. In fact, they joined us in the year they were founded, fourteen years ago, so we’ve been with them from the very start.

If you need GMFC’s services, you can contact Gianluca here or find out more about them here.

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