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Following on from my hit series of interviews in association with PiLabsearlier this year, I’m really pleased to be working with MetaProp, the world’s leading Real Estate nexus. MetaProp helps innovative new PropTech startups through their prestigious accelerator programme.
We’ve got together to profile some of the companies currently coming through MetaProp’s accelerator programme, who are set to be names to watch out for in the near future.
Today, we start with New York-based boutique Amenity Manager, hOM, who amenitise unused spaces for wellness classes. For each class taught, another is gifted to someone on their journey with cancer, providing accessible wellness which can be so beneficial to those with the disease.
1. WHAT MADE YOU APPLY FOR THE METAPROP IN THE FIRST PLACE AND WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE AMBITION DURING THE TIME YOU HAVE THERE?The team behind MetaProp is what drove us to join. We knew, due to Aaron, Zach, Phil, and Clelia’s varied backgrounds in the cross section of real estate and technology, that they would add unique value to our team.
After the team, we looked at the mentors and advisors, who were all valuable pieces of the real estate world, helping to bring innovation to the companies. Given this info, our ultimate ambition is to obtain open access to innovative decision makers within the real estate industry and refine our positioning, with the help of MetaProp, to communicate our value to these decision makers.
2. WHAT IS HOM ALL ABOUT AND WHAT PROBLEM ARE YOU TRYING TO SOLVE?hOM is the first startup Amenity Manager that works in 99% of the properties that don’t require a large physically staffed amenity space. We automate management tasks through our tech platform, while delivering physical programming like fitness classes to the property through our mobile workforce. Due to our technology we’re ⅕ the price of a traditional amenity manager and reach two times the number of tenants.
To hOM, amenities aren’t about having more space; it’s about experiences that connect neighbors. Knowing your neighbor well enough to split a bottle of wine with them keeps you in a building longer than an empty gym. And those two neighbors renewing their leases saved that building $14,000. hOM contributes to a tenant lease renewal rate 5% higher than the national average – which is $400K in turnover savings across 3 (just a sampling) of our clients properties.We have zero client churn across the lifetime of our company – working with Avalon Bay, Stonehenge, Rose Associates, Bozzuto, Kushner Real Estate, Bentall Kennedy and more in NYC and TO.
3. HOW ARE YOU SOURCING SPACE TO HOST YOUR SESSIONS AND WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?We are adding value to properties by helping them increase the usage of the amenity spaces they built out, by delivering physical programming to their spaces on top of our automated management solution.
This can be a lounge, lobby, gym, rooftop, children’s playroom, vacant apartment unit, basketball court, and even elevators.
Since our workforce is mobile and the supplies to run classes and events are mobile, we can work in any space and in any type of property. We work with luxury multifamily properties, pre-war buildings, walk-ups, low-income and more.
4. THERE IS A LARGE SOCIAL ELEMENT TO YOUR STARTUP – FOR EACH CLASS SOLD, ONE IS DONATED TO SOMEONE ON THEIR JOURNEY WITH CANCER. HOW IS THIS ALL ORGANISED AND ADMINISTERED?Through our Palm to Palm programme, we’ve partnered with Gilda’s Club NYC and stoked.org to give back classes to those who need them most.
Our teachers volunteer their time to lead Moving Meditation classes at Gilda’s Club, and Yoga + Meditation classes at the Stoked headquarters. All of these donated classes are available to members of those communities.
The cool thing is, our teachers end every class they teach with the same hand position (the Palm to Palm mudra), and let students know about the donation; it’s a way of having a tangible connection to the program for everyone involved.
5. WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE AS A BUSINESS IN THIS SPACE TO ACHIEVE YOUR AMBITIONS?Education. What if it was appropriate to have any event, any activity in every space in the property?
Essentially opening the property up to the possibility of offering a kickboxing class in a vacant unit in the building, so that they can offer amenities similar to the new development down the street. That may get residents thinking about the possibility of upgrading for that extra bedroom in the same building, or they may think of a friend who is moving to the city and hasn’t found that perfect place to live yet.
This allows property managers to expand their offerings to their tenants, increasing value, building a sense of community in their building, and retaining tenants – even those that don’t have “the optimal space”.
I’m really excited to see how hOM’s work develops with the assistance of the MetaProp programme. It’s clear they have so much to offer, not just to the Real Estate industry itself, but in terms of social benefits to the whole community.
It’s always great to see companies combining their entrepreneurial skills with grassroots social action. And with hOM’s charitable work for cancer patients, the spirit of philanthropy merged with innovation gives them a great deal of promise for the future.
To read the article in its original hOMe, click here