Kojamo is growing by investments and digital service development. The company strategy is based on committed investments in support of urbanisation. On top of that, there is a strategic layer that generates new services in an agile way. By this combination, the company has been able to turn around the myths of renting business.
This article is an advertorial published at Nordic Business Report Magazine.
When Kojamo, the largest private housing investment company in Finland, renewed its strategy in 2012, the keywords were easy and effortless. – As a listed company, the premise for our strategy is the long-term generation of value for our owners, but ease and effortlessness are important guidelines for the development of our business.
Kojamo could see that the intrinsic value that Finns attribute to owning an apartment had begun to change. – People don’t feel quite as strongly that their value as citizens depends on owning their home. Middle-aged people are more willing to free their capital and invest into enjoying their lives, being happy to live in a rented apartment close to services. The younger generation wants the freedom to move around according to their various short-term work projects. This development is backgrounded by a strong urbanisation trend that sees people moving into growing urban centres and living in smaller households, CEO Jani Nieminen explains.
The change in people’s values and the urbanisation trend were crystallised in Kojamo’s service idea, according to which renting should be more than just having a floor, four walls and a ceiling. Thus, the new Lumo brand of housing saw the light of day in 2015, and it was the first housing brand in Finland to be created by putting service design first.
The radical about face of the renting business
Next, Kojamo shook the structures of the renting business by taking their rental services online. – We gave the power to the clients by letting them choose us instead of us choosing them. Using the Lumo web store, customers can rent an apartment today and move in tomorrow if they want. This is our way of introducing effortlessness into people’s lives.
The web store has found its place among consumers, as half of Kojamo’s lease agreements are now signed on-line.
Putting innovative services in the pockets of occupants
Servitisation is a strong component in Kojamo’s business. – Housing is being servitised, and the home can be a new platform for services facilitating everyday life.
For this purpose, Kojamo has created a platform for innovations and services.
One part of the services and innovations platform is the My Lumo web service, which Lumo tenants can e.g. use to reserve and buy services and to pay their rent. – In the future, My Lumo can be used for example to buy home deliveries of services. We are happy to invite start-ups with interesting service ideas to take part in the further development of our service.
Crossing over between the slow and fast worlds
Kojamo has indeed succeeded in conjoining the traditional operational model with a business model based on rapid development. – The corporate universe seems to be divided into start-ups that move quickly and traditional companies that are slow to react. But the world isn’t quite as black and white anymore. We are an example of a business that has been able to combine these two worlds, Nieminen states.
Less attention has been paid to the fact that, over the last five years, Kojamo has invested about two billion euros into Finnish housing. – We intend to keep investing into increasing the supply of apartments in the future at a rate of about 1500 apartments annually. Our goal is to build some 3800 new apartments in Finland by the end of 2020.