Steiger & Cie

Real estate from A (for Alps) to Z (for Zermatt)

Text Claude Hervé-Bazin / Photo Yves Garneau
Date of publication Winter 2018-2019

It all began with a passion for the Swiss Alps, and for Verbier in particular. In the early 2000s Florian Steiger left the music industry, just as record sales began to plummet, and headed to the mountains to recharge his batteries. In the process, he became a father and mapped out a new future for himself.

An entrepreneur at heart, and an occasional hedonist, Florian Steiger is also a committed hiker, mountaineer and a skilled skier. The Swiss Alps are his opium, his nirvana. And what he has seen in Verbier has only proven to him that his hunch was right: that there is a lack of services in the luxury property market in Swiss ski resorts. In response, he approached VHS, Verbier Hospitality Services, creating a shape-shifting company that is one of a kind.

The ecosystem
His philosophy? To offer real estate clients a comprehensive ‘ecosystem’ that encompasses every aspect of selling and managing properties, making the whole process entirely hassle-free, both before, during and after the deal. “It’s an approach that’s different from the outset, more inclusive,” he explains.
The ecosystem comprises a complete portfolio of high-end services designed to cover every angle of real estate projects, both directly and through partnerships that have been carefully nurtured over time. From legal and tax information to property management, rental management, the provision of hotel-type services and the monitoring or construction sites and renovation projects, Steiger & Cie offers a range of services that encompass  all the things that, in one way or another, make up the life cycle of real estate. It is a veritable one-stop shop.
The company has formed some key partnerships over the years. Architectural projects are entrusted to the architectural group Comina, which has been active in Verbier since 1967. Hotel-type services are overseen by Haute Montagne, seasoned specialists in the field, while sales and acquisitions are handled thanks to an exclusive and select partnership with Cardis|Sotheby’s International Realty, which ensures global visibility both in Verbier and the two other ski resorts where Steiger & Cie operates: Zermatt (since 2012, in partnership with Mario Julen) and Crans-Montana (since 2016). Brokerage services cover every segment of the market in these three resorts. To complete the ‘ecosystem’ is luxury travel agency  Leo Trippi, which in 2018 won the World’s Best Ski Travel Agent award for the fifth year running.
Bespoke projectsWith its network and 15 years of experience behind it, Steiger & Cie is now a powerful player in the high-end luxury property market, which makes it an essential port of call for wealthy clients looking for refuge in the sanctuary that is Verbier and in Valais’ most beautiful resorts. The team also manages highly complex development projects on behalf of its clients, such as “Les Hauts du Sonalon”, the three ultra-luxury “Sagarmatha Chalets”, and the chalet “Bora Bora” in Verbier.
Like the rest of the company, the Verbier team, headed up by the Swiss-American Nicolas Koch — a partner in the firm — is made up of talented professionals with largely international backgrounds. French and English is spoken, as you might expect, as well as German, Swedish and Portuguese. The property management team oversees  some 35 properties on a daily basis. Verbier’s large luxury chalets are substantial both in terms of their size — floor areas range most typically from 400 to 1,000 m2 — and price tags, which often vary between CHF 10m and upwards of CHF 30m. Hailing mainly from Europe (the UK, Sweden, Belgium, France...), Steiger & Cie’s clients are industry leaders, brokers and the odd celebrity, attracted first and foremost by the wonderful lifestyle and the joys of skiing in Verbier.