Home.Global, a startup that helps students

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• 17 April 2015

Finding accommodation : a student’s nightmare

Studying in Switzerland is rather cool! There are campus full of activities, associations and clubs by the dozen, bars and special events just for students, etc… However finding accommodation suited to your needs and wallet, when studying, is a lot less fun…

With over 230’000 students in 2014, the accommodations today offered by real estate agencies for the student population disappear as quickly as the sesame seeds of Paleo! The universities and HES are even struggling to offer decent accommodation to exchange students and often cannot propose anything better than an 8 square meter studio for over 1’000 CHF per month.

Faced with this shortage of affordable accommodation – even if a vast majority of students work while studying – many students find less costly, but not very practical options. Some find a room with an elderly person who is renting out a corner of their apartment in return for domestic services. Some opt for camping, even in a tent, caravan or car! Others squat outright at the Learning Center of the EPFL at night, hidden between two beanbags to avoid the super’s brooms.

In short, the student property market – especially in the Lake Geneva region which welcomes a significant proportion of Swiss students– isn’t the best !

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Home.Global to the rescue of students

With its EHL diploma in poket, Alex Just is well aware of this problem. A prolific traveller, this « Swiwi » – a contraction of « Swiss » and « Kiwi», a nickname for a New-Zealander, who gave up his double nationality – could see the impact of the environment on student life. Even if it is far from being an absolute rule, to live with another student room mate, rather than camping, improves the chances to succeed in one’s studies.

This is why, after his gymnase in New Zealand, his bachelor at EHL, and three internships in Germany, Davos and London, Alex finally came back to Switzerland to put together a powerful team with the idea of finding solutions to the student accommodation crisis. It was with 5 pairs of arms, an innovative and ambitious concept, coffee, talent and motivation, that « Home.Global » was born : the website which offers to build a « learning community ».

The concept? To make students a significant population for real estate owners. Instead of proposing mini studios at 100 CHF per square metre or old classic apartments, « heritage sites », they wondered why property managers and agents do not invest 100 % in student accommodation, aimed at this particular « clientèle » . This is the wager that Home.Global started !

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The « learning communities » : an entire eco-system to analyze

This promising start-up is directly intended to improve the availability of student accommodation. The idea, first of all, is to encourage investors to create specific environments in which to offer the best possible conditions for their guest. Thanks to their new software, Home.Global offers property owners and estate agents a evaluation of needs for students in order to offer them the essential services responding to their way of life and to guarantee an optimal living experience.

To do this, the Home.Global team, which has a vast experience in the fields of management and accommodation, offers a complete and personalized study for each potential project. Everything begins with a proposition of a general concept, which is then developed in relation to the regional market (number and type of accommodation, students, etc), specific characteristics of the area (access, infrastructure and nearby shops, etc), feasibility, and an in-depth supporting financial analysis.

As you can see, Home.Global applies firstly to those who have the means to invest in brick and mortar, betting on certain types of tenants. By managing the design of a project adapted to student life (room mates with common rooms, common work space for the whole building, etc), financial study, recruitment of qualified personnel to manage these living spaces, as well as a property marketing strategy over 3 years, the young entrepreneurs have reviewed every single detail.

With its complex software and consulting service, Home.Global enables property owners to optimize the efficiency and the quality of their accommodation while guaranteeing the students a living experience that perfectly corresponds to their lifestyle. WIN-WIN !

Favourite photo of CH (Lausanne)

Consultation for agents as well as students

If you are interested in this concept, you want to invest in student accommodation or give a touch of youth to your properties, do not hesitate to request a consultation with the Home.Global team who will gladly suggest some useful ideas and some supporting studies. Because who be better to do this, aside from former students who understand the needs of current students ?

And Home.Global applies equally to a tenant-student since the start-up offers a network allowing not only to meet future roommates, but also contact property owners directly to exchange, ask questions, suggest changes, etc.

Communication : the secret of « learning communities »

The objective is to create a dialogue – much too often non-existant – the link between tenants and landlords,  absolutely necessary in order to offer a better quality of life for the tenants, while enabling the landloards to have a collaborative on the activities and performance of their property.

Indeed, when one says that communication is the basis of everything… it is certainly not incorrect! If tenants are invited to suggest improvements or mention recurrent problems that they encounter, this goes a long way in improving the comfort of the general life of the community, pending all this information is transmitted to the landlords. They then only have the keys to act positively in the lives of students and to offer actually attractive accommodation.

Which goes to show, living in a community is great !

The rosti team

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