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17 September 2020

Julien RAFFIN (TBS 2007) - Real Estate Entrepreneur

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"Real estate is my passion. I bought my first apartment while I was still as student in Toulouse, with the help of student loans. I was only 22 years old."


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Julien RAFFIN and I come from a village near Nîmes called Bouillargues.

I passed by school certificate in Economics and Sociology, followed by a University Technology Degree in Business and Administration Management from Nîmes, and then a Licence in Technical and Business Management at IAE de Montpellier. In September, 2005, I started at ESC Toulouse as a work/study student with Bouygues. In my last year I chose an entrepreneurial major with the aim to start my own business. I received my degree in 2007. That same year, I passed the Strategy and Economics Master 2 at the Pierre Mendes France University in Grenoble.

I spent two superb years in Toulouse where I really took advantage of living there and I learned a great deal at the same time. 

Why did you choose TBS for your studies? Tell us about your time as a student at TBS!

After I passed my ESC entrance exam via Tremplin, Passerelle, and Profil, I was accepted in several schools. I chose ESC Toulouse because of the different types of programs it offered (in particular, work/study placements and entrepreneurship), its reputation and its student associations. My choice of Toulouse itself was obvious as it is an exceptional city when you are a student.

As mentioned above, I started at ESC Toulouse in September 2005, in a work/study program with Bouygues. In my last year, I did an entrepreneurial major with the aim to create one or several companies.  I was never particularly interested in the idea of becoming an employee. Nothing appealed to me more than the freedom of becoming my own boss.

Have you any stories about your year to share with us?

There are really too many anecdotes. Honestly, I think I have two years’ worth of stories from my time at the School.

  • Having arrived in AP2, it wasn’t possible to create an association so we all joined HotSoft, the school’s digital association, and honestly not one of us understood what digital meant.
  • For the entire hour in a marketing class, I kept a 3kg carp in a tote bag (that I had fished from the lake in the Japanese gardens).
  • During my first year, I formally applied for the position as the School’s new Director after the departure of the former Director, Mr Gasiglia. I wrote a magnificent letter that I sent to the entire school.
  • 6 of us piled into my car (a 206 CC) to go to the School’s football match.
  • Everyone at the school called me Bouillargues, after the town I came from because they liked the name. 
  • In my last year and in term time, I went to Bulgaria for a week to buy land and to make some real estate investments. The students couldn't believe it but it was nothing out of the ordinary for me. 

What are you doing today and how did you get to this point in your professional career?

I’m 35 years old and father of 5-year old Leo and 3-year-old Nina. Six months after my graduation, I returned to the village where I was born and opened my first real estate agency in 2008 in Nîmes.

It was my decision to run my own business as soon as I left the School, having only had 3 and 1/2 days total work experience as an employee with Xerox.   

I have been an Estate Agent and Training Consultant for over 12 years now. I own eight real estate agencies in towns near Nîmes and in the Bouches du Rhône area. I launched the first hybrid concept to include both traditional real estate agencies and independent real estate consultant networks. With strict selection criteria, it is a human-scale concept. Today, with over a 100 partners, we develop trademark licences for agencies and professional, independent real estate consultants all over France.

In 2019, we won the South-Est Region Real Estate Agency award. On 12th June in Nîmes, we created a sensation with the presence of Yannick Agnel and over 100 participants at Event'immo, the event of the year for real estate consultants.

While we are aware that we are in a highly competitive market, we want to attract professionals with more than 10 years' experience in the network and in agencies valued at several million euros and who count with several thousand consultants.

Our positioning is completely original. We offer more than 500 hours of training, unique tools and methodology, coaching, listeningmentoring, no pack to pay for my consultants, an exceptional remuneration of 70 – 90% of the profits generated. We want to bring in all the entrepreneurs and professionals who are passionate about our wonderful field, to work for us to either collaborate with us, or to open Groupe C2i Real estate agencies in the Gard, the Herault, and of course, in the rest of France after that.

Groupe C2i is becoming a leader on the field of real estate consulting with professional employees who are competent, honest and kind, and who want to develop their skills, progress and perform.

Real estate is my passion. I bought my first apartment while I was still as student in Toulouse with the help of student loans. I was only 22 years old.

I bought land in Bulgaria and created my real estate investment business in the same year while I was still a student. So I naturally focused on real estate and entrepreneurship by creating my first real estate agency. My vision to be a pioneer in the sector is intact. Since 2019, I have been developing my brand and replicating my business model, my methodology, my processes on the basis of 11 years of experience and legitimate know-how.

The sharing of knowledge and therefore, training, is a niche that I am also passionate about. 

What advice would you give to TBS students and/or Alumni who are looking to follow your career path?

I would say to students to do a job you love, a job that must be a passion.
I wish graduates to be successful and that the alumni network is a good support for you.
It would be a great pleasure to discuss our respective viewpoints between graduates in real estate. Why not work together on projects of a national scale ?

My studies provided me a global view of business so I have a different vision from most of my peers who come from specific real estate training, for whom their career involves "selling houses". My natural attraction towards entrepreneurship pushes me systematically towards new projects. I need this challenge to feel happy, to develop, to share and pass on my knowledge. 

I am a passionate company director who deals with strategy, communication, marketing, management and training for a 100-strong team of employees. 


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