Business / Companies

uNests chooses a road less traveled

By Li Fusheng ( Updated: 2015-08-24 15:18

There are always people who choose roads less traveled and in China's youth apartment industry, that road is taken by uNests.

It is no secret that the industry will grow faster in China than in the US due to such reasons as poor customer experience and rising housing demand, but what decides success is a company's strategy, said uNests founder Ding Ye.

As many businesses in the apartment industry are busy arguing whether they should lease whole buildings or only separate houses, Ding believes what really matters is how to own more apartments to better serve customers.

"Some are drawing a circle on the ground and imprison themselves in it. Why can't we do both if both are good?" said Ding.

Ding said he would take care of even those vacant buildings in "ghost towns" if they are really good. His company will set up service centers within two miles to offer customers timely service.

uNests is working with tenants who are busy managing their leased apartments.

In China, those so-called principal tenants are reaping much profit from leasing out apartments they have rented. But due to their relatively low management level, they usually cannot manage more than 30 apartments.

And the business makes them unable to enjoy their days, because they have to be prepared to solve problems for their tenants, especially during holidays when they tend to have the most complaints.

Ding said his company is helping the principal tenants for free with its service of housing trust.

uNests has a sound management system, Ding said. It charges some costs and shares interest with the principal tenants, saving them from working day and night.

In addition, uNests has established a partnership mechanism that offers those principal tenants stock, resulting in a win-win solution.

Ding doesn't believe all his profits will come from rent. Rent will only be used to balance corporate running costs in the future, while the major source of profits will be a variety of additional services, he said.

However, he believes that the trust between customers and service providers won't be built overnight.

Alipay, for example, won user trust after years of cultivation, and then it launched Yu'e Bao, said Ding.

Likewise, Ding plans to cultivate the business from "apartment" to "apartment plus" by cultivating users' adhesiveness to uNests.

Ding said he likes how Airbnb does social networking, so he uses social networking for marketing. He organizes off-line activities for tenants; builds up public spaces at the uNests community and offers incentives to encourage tenants to bring friends to the uNests community.

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