Banker turned property developer Wendy Yap:
Why co-living space is so popular with millennials
Text by: Wen HU JINWEI / 19 SEP 2019
Different tenants communicate with each other under the same roof, making the home a shared living space with community benefits.
As early as 2014, several co-living operators had settled in Singapore, but the timing was still immature and they left the market in less than a year. In the past three years, as more and more millennials have entered the society, and the government has reduced the lease period of private homes from at least half a year to three months, the concept of shared apartment has shown signs of recovery in the local area, and many operators have entered the market. Achievements were also made, including CP Residences, which was established two years ago.
Attracting the travelling tenants
In the past, she has provided overseas employees with local housing rental services for many multinational companies. Seeing that the Z generation has gradually become the backbone of the workplace, the expatriates are younger and the lifestyle is very different from the “predecessors”. Therefore, the idea of operating a shared apartment was born again.
“These young people are running around in Asia with laptops. They only live for a few months in each place. Then they move to Malaysia, India, Indonesia and other places to live and work. The cost of staying at the hotel is relatively high. Not cost-effective, coliving is a great arrangement for them.”
Two years ago, she felt that this trend had become a climate, and decided to start CP Residences, buy multiple apartment units, or assist customers to rent apartments, specializing in the shared living market.
Speaking of career transformation, she said:
“I am not a trend-oriented person, but in sync with the trend, the real estate business must have innovative spirit and ideas.”
Excellent location is a selling point
Many of the tenants will live for more than three months. Because young people love freedom, they prefer to update their contracts every three months instead of being tied up.
In addition, people who choose to share an apartment are usually not so isolated. Wendy Yap and her team regularly hold events to let tenants communicate with each other. “The prevalence of social media reflects that modern people can accept open communication, so we will arrange various activities for tenants to participate in.
On the challenges she faces, Wendy shares that it is in human resources. “It’s hard to fully understand the goal of living together. I must teach employees very patiently to appreciate the nuances of co-living. In addition, I have to listen to the customers’ needs and requirements and ensure it is integrated into the company’s service offerings.”
Wendy Yap also did not neglect some seemingly insignificant details of the home. For example, in the kitchen, soy sauce, salt, sugar and other daily seasonings, are provided. “Many disputes are caused by small things, communal items. To mitigate that, the company provides housekeeping, and free replenishes to shared items.”
Plans to enter the European and American markets
She targeted four European and American cities, including New York and London. She has found a partner in London and CP Residences is expected to open locally at the end of the year. She also used the United States as a reference. She felt that the local industry’s practice of sharing life was very successful. Some developers even bought a piece of land to build an apartment, then rented the whole project in a shared way, and then sold the industry at double the price. This brought her great inspiration.
Wendy Yap shared that CP Residences’ biggest advantage is that it can make decisions quickly, as it is privately owned. At present, the company has 18 employees in Singapore and Vietnam, each with its own positions, but each person’s common task is to find tenants for the company and help tenants solve problems.
I asked the business woman who started a new career in her career. Which aspect is her strength? She said modestly: “I am a good coordinator, bringing each member together and letting them play their respective strengths. I like that they share things with me and let me know how to improve the company’s shortcomings.”
If she can return to her youth, she hopes to experience the living style of the shared apartment as a millennial generation, and to be a modern woman who dares to try and dare to experience life.
“I am a good coordinator, bringing each member together and letting them play their respective strengths. I like that they share things with me and let me know how to improve the company’s shortcomings.”
Art Director Chen Jinghua Model
Makeup Rina Sim using Hera
Hairstyle Jimmy Yap @ Kenaris Salon using Kms