M.J.G.SERRANILLOS MADRID | EL MUNDO
The socimi (REIT) managed by Antonio Mochón buys flats, refurbishes them, equips them with good quality materials and rents them to national and foreign students willing to share. The business model is simple, but has required time to identify what kind of accommodation students and young professionals who have to move to another city are looking for. That analysis of the residential needs of this group helped identify the lack of professionalism in this realm and in rentals in general. “That is exactly the hallmark of Excem since its foundation in 2016: managing and offering rooms in shared apartments to students around quality parameters and prices ranging from 400-600 euros”, explains. “Good location in city centers and traditional student areas, such as Chamberí or Moncloa in Madrid means great value to our clients”, explains. To become known, the company uses the brand Homiii that, through social networks and word of mouth in universities, offers accommodation “with an occupancy rate of almost 100%”, claims Mochón.
Question.– What makes Excem stand out in the rental market?
ANSWER.– Professionalization. Both for students, a market formed by 400,000 young Spanish and foreign people who move to another city, and for investors from the moment the socimi (REIT) was listed on the Alternative Stock Market (MAB) last July. This market is becoming more and more professional and demands control and transparency of the activity.
Q.– How much of that student demand prefers to share a flat to a dorm?
A.– According to data from the searches of accommodation on the internet by young people, over 80% goes for a shared apartment. We offer that accommodation, which we have refurbished according to their needs, with companies that we hire directly, and we equip with services such as Wi-Fi and Netflix. Owning the flats gives us control to adapt them to the requirements of our clients. We offer a good image to many students who arrive in Spain to go to university or a business school. The first impression is good and positive, specially taking into account that the families of these young people have spent an important amount of money to pay for studies and accommodation. We provide more than the mere rental of a room.
Q.– Have any of your clients finished their studies?
A.– Yes, some people continue living in Spain after finishing college or studying a master’s and start to work in 2 or 3 years to gain experience before going back to their country. They keep choosing the same kind of accommodation with flat mates of their same age, interests or that have similar studies.
Q.– Homiii’s default rate is 0. What does this imply?
A.– The cost of rent is normally paid by parents who usually want their kids to live and study in good conditions. Not having default means more guarantee to our investors in the stock market.
Q.– What do you offer them?
A.– From July, when we went public, the share of Excem has appreciated by 40%. We also give them a 6% annual profitability obtained through rents. We have been able to attract 40 investors and, considering it’s only been 20 months since its creation, we think it’s a good figure because we know they trust our business and our growth potential.
Q.– Excem has increased its capital by 6 million euros a few days ago. What is the reason?
A.– The share capital of the company is 12 million euros, to which we have added another 6. They will be invested in growing in other cities that will join Madrid, where the business has focused so far. We are considering offering flats in Seville, Valencia, Barcelona and Málaga.
Q.– How many flats do you manage at the moment?
A.– We own 7.300 square meters distributed in 262 rooms. The goal is reaching 5,000 in 2 years.
Q.– From some years ago up to now, have student preferences changed when choosing flat or dorm?
A.– Before, dorms were more popular due to having meals, services and control of students regarding schedules. Now, new models have prevailed based on collaborative economy. You can either share a car or a workspace (co-working), or share a room. In addition to the variety of products available online.
Q – What do you think about the current ‘boom’ of socimis (REITs) in the Spanish stock market?
A.– They provide professionalization to rental through investments that attract capital. It is also true that they enjoy tax benefits, but we shouldn’t just focus on that because there are many other companies that do so. In our case, we provide quality to student rentals and we avoid abuses of landlords because we control and manage all the process.