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How YourOwnROOM is leveraging Prop-Tech to redefine rental and property management for millennials

Demand for rentals in metros is predicted to continue to be fuelled by Migrant Millennials. There were 4.7 M Migrant Millennials across top 7 cities in India in 2018 and will be 7 M by 2023. In spite of this, they continue to face discrimination and compromise on location, travel, security, safety and comfort. COVID ,without any doubt, has impacted this scenario in unexpected ways. In the short term, it has created insecurity and instability in the minds of millennials which has led many of them to leave cities for their respective home towns. However, in a matter of  months most of them will return to cities enmasse. This pandemic has also made millennials aware of the fact  that  a good home is key to their professional and personal success. This realization has directly led to an  increase in demand for better quality homes.

There is also a surge in demand for family homes. Families have started preferring gated and established societies due to inherent advantages and are willing to pay a premium. They also look for larger homes that are work from home and study from home friendly with social spaces. 

Disruption in residential real estate like never before

India has nearly 11 million urban vacant housing units and residential rental yield is very low at 1-3%. For Individual homeowners, the biggest challenge continues to be continuous cash flow and lower rental yields. For Developers the biggest challenge is the unsold Inventory and poor demand signals for current and future projects. Huge supply of ready and unsold properties 0.46 M valued at $50 B – JLL, 2020 is also a pain point for the developers. As of December 2018, about 0.95 M unit’s worth  $100 B with 41 months of inventory are stuck in various stages of the project cycle across top 8 cities -Liases Foras (2019), RBI. 

“Together we are talking about close to 1.5 Million homes worth $150 B which is almost 5% of India’s GDP. This is causing immense stress to developers and Investors.” Says Prabhat Tiwary, CEO of YourOwnROOM.

There is a fundamental gap in demand and supply. On one hand supply is in the form of traditional cookie cutter 2 BHK, 3 BHK family homes while most of the demand is being fuelled by singles, students, seniors etc. COVID has only compounded the challenges of the Indian residential real estate market already grappling with subdued demand and liquidity crisis. Real estate will do well with right pricing & right unit size and hence student housing, retirement homes, co-living will be new realty growth drivers. Shared Residential Rental Market is $6.4 B with a Co-living penetration of 2.3% and will be $14 B by 2023 with an 8.3% Co-living penetration – JLL, 2019. 

Economic return of Residential Real Estate Projects and Properties cannot be limited to just Capital Appreciation, Rental Yield has to be engineered in” adds Prabhat Tiwary.

YourOwnROOM : Journey So far

By bridging the demand supply gaps through technology and operations, operators like YourOwnROOM hold the key to bring efficiency in the residential real estate landscape. YourOwnROOM is a Residential Prop-Tech rental and property management business that provides strategically located, good quality, managed Co-living and family homes to millennials and families that are safe and comfortable. 

It was founded in Feb 2016 by Prabhat Kumar Tiwary, a Stanford GSB alumnus and senior vice president of Xchanging (now DXC) and his colleague and friend Sachin Joshi who built commercial grade technology platform for some of the largest global commercial real estate companies. 

 

Their proposition to tenants is access to good properties, efficient “work from home” co-living experience and reduced travel time to less than 15 Minutes.

Their proposition to individual home owners is prop-tech enabled hassle-free professional rental and property management. For residential asset owners, the draw is uninterrupted rental cash flow from existing Inventories and unlocking of vacant properties and higher rental yield of 3-5% for apartments/ houses.

Their proposition to developers and real estate fund is prop-tech enabled operating partner (OpCo) for large assets and higher rental yield of 6-10% for large assets and BTRs.

YourOwnROOM currently manages 1.5K beds across Bangalore and Pune. Asset under management is 0.3 M Sqft valued at $30 M. Their annualised Rentals is $1 M, annualised Revenue is $ 0.5 M and they have a healthy Order book of $6 M. YourOwnROOM raised $1.3 M till their seed round from US based Lotus Capital and other high profile Angels across US and Bangalore like Ravi Chaturvedi, Narasimha Murthy and others.

YourOwnROOM considers Nestaway, Zolo and Colive as their principal competitors. “Unlike many of their competitors who reported much less occupancies during COVID, YourOwnROOM was able to hold their rentals and occupancies because of the choice of our asset, long term rental contracts with our tenants and meticulous tech based operations”, says Sachin Joshi. YourOwnROOM is among those very few prop-tech companies with very strong focus on unit economics. They are operationally profitable in both Bangalore and Pune and will be EBITDA positive in the current financial year.

“Low Occupancy and high supply is usually expected during economic downturn. Such mismatch between demand and supply has to be balanced. Relative rigidity of price adjustment of asset prices in short term while reconfiguration of supply in middle term is where our Technology Platform solves” says Sachin Joshi CRO & CPO Of YourOwnROOM.

YourOwnROOM – Growth Plans and future ahead

YourOwnROOM’s focus over the next 3-5 years will be to drive profitable growth. They plan to Scale to 10 K beds in 3 years and 50K beds in 5 years. 

First lever of growth is geographical expansion. They plan to Increase their penetration in chosen 25 micro-markets in Bangalore and Pune. They also plan to expand to Hyderabad and other cities in a phased manner. Second lever of growth is product expansion. They plan to expand their presence in Executive Coliving Housing. Third lever of growth is to offer digital platform services. They have a full matured technology platform that can be offered to owners and tenants. They now have an opportunity to offer either their regular full stack offering or individual property and rental services like agreement creation, KYC, property management etc. They also have a digital solution for societies to manage their CAM and service operations and owners/ tenants. 

“YourOwnROOM’s biggest differentiator is their Prop-Tech enabled Golden Execution Model that helps us scale our business profitably across multiple cities and asset formats – large and retail. All our learnings has been encapsulated into our Prop-Tech Platform and now being offered directly to owners, developers and REIT to manage their real estate investments. “ says Sachin Joshi

Prabhat and Sachin see a huge opportunity to partner with large Indian and Global asset management funds, developers and REITs. YourOwnROOM can become their trusted operating partner and help them get higher returns for the residential real estate portfolio. The market is ripe and next 3-5 years will see exponential growth of coliving and shared living which is an attractive space, by 2023 it will be a 14 B market with 8.3% penetration with demand being fuelled by migrant millennials moving to cities. 

“YourOwnROOM has built a very strong brand over the last 4 years to profitably scale. We are now raising our Pre-Series-A to launch executive housing, expand our services in hyderabad, boost marketing & sales and enhance technology” concludes Prabhat Tiwary.

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