News Article CEE consultancy ESG investment iO Partners Romania yields
by Ovidiu Nicolae | Interview

Vlad Stanislav, Managing Director Romania at iO Partners, talked to Property Forum about the company’s expansion in the energy and infrastructure line of services and the higher yield environment in Romania’s property sector compared to other markets in CEE.

What are iO Partners’ plans on the Romanian market in 2024?

In 2024, iO Partners is dedicated to consolidating its position on the market. Our main objective is to strengthen our presence in our established business segments, while also venturing into new territories. Moreover, we are committed to advancing our recently introduced Energy & Infrastructure Advisory service, leveraging a data-driven approach that will instil agility and innovation within our operations. We also aim to extend our corporate social responsibility efforts, which will be directed towards supporting education through strategic collaborations, by promoting local opportunities and building confidence in Romania's prospects.

What are some of iO Partners’ differentiating elements in the real estate consulting sector?

iO Partners sets itself apart in the real estate consulting landscape through its unique blend of corporate expertise and entrepreneurial mindset. Our highly experienced team merges corporate expertise with an agile approach, and that type of environment is where we believe innovation thrives. We are working towards a data-driven strategy and aim to further invest in digitalization, enabling us to work smarter and more efficiently. Innovation and agility are not just buzzwords for us; they are fundamental principles that guide our every step. 

How many consultants does iO Partners have in Romania and what kind of specialists are you looking to recruit going forward?

With a team of approximately 30 consultants, we managed to secure top rankings in industrial leasing, office leasing and capital markets. Building on this success, we plan to extend our traditional business lines and teams, while also scaling up recently launched services like Energy & Infrastructure Advisory. We are looking to further recruit senior specialists with the appropriate experience to support and enhance our team’s performance.

What is your outlook for the local investment market in 2024? 

The 2024 outlook shows renewed optimism for the local investment market in Romania. Despite uncertainties, we expect a stronger economy, as well as the expectations of decreasing cost of borrowing and good performance from the stock markets to drive continued growth and resilience. We anticipate sustained interest from investors across various sectors, with advancements in digitalization creating new opportunities. 

How can Romania attract new players in the real estate industry?

To attract new players in the real estate industry, I believe Romania needs to prioritize creating an investor-friendly environment through regulatory reforms and infrastructure development. Streamlined regulations, coupled with robust infrastructure, will enhance the country's appeal to both domestic and international investors, contributing to economic growth and driving large-scale investment in the sector.

How are you adapting to the growing demand for ESG-based solutions from real estate companies?

We are actively monitoring the rising demand for ESG-based solutions in the real estate sector. We integrate ESG principles into our services, utilise data-driven approaches and invest in innovation. Additionally, we are focusing on educating and training our teams to ensure we provide clients with tailored strategies for sustainable outcomes at the same high standard we apply to all our traditional business lines. We plan to embrace more ESG initiatives, as we continue to support clients and partners in achieving their sustainability goals.

What makes Romania’s property sector stand out in the region?

Romania's property sector distinguishes itself in the region for its strategic location, economic growth and diverse investment opportunities. Its position as a gateway between Western and Eastern Europe makes it very appealing for logistics and manufacturing industries, while its strong economic growth fuels demand across commercial and residential segments. Additionally, Romania's property market offers more attractive yields compared to the core CEE countries, and a more stable and investor-friendly political climate.