Moving to a new country can be extremely difficult, especially if it is the first time you are going somewhere “alone”, if you do not know the language and if you do not have any idea of the bureaucratic steps to follow. Whenever you move, wherever you move, it is always a challenge. Despite all the difficulties you might face, most of the times the main source of uncertainty, especially for students, is the accommodation.
“Have I found a place in a nice neighbour? Is it safe? Is it close to interesting places/ university/ libraries/ cinemas/ restaurants? Is it well connected with public transports? Am I paying a fair price?”
These are just some of the doubts people faces in moving to a new, unknown, place. These were also the doubts of two young students, who, in 2011, in the middle of the crisis, moved to Milan, to start their studies in Bocconi University.
Daniel Philipp is the founder of Renting Milan. As he says, “we kind of stumbled into it”. When he arrived in Milan, the idea of a real estate agency that helps both, landlords and international students and workers, offering 360 degrees services was not even in their mind.
It all started when Daniel found himself alone, living in an apartment located in a desert building (“shell building”) in the southern area of the city (close to Bocconi University). Desiring not to live completely alone and knowing that some of his friends were searching for a place ( Dawid Baranowski, now Daniel’s business partner, was one of them), he convinced them to move to that building. They created a Facebook page to attract other people in that building and created a sort of community. They also convinced the owner of the building that he could gain from this “restructuring”.
At the beginning it was an activity they were doing almost for fun. Managing the building for both the owner and for the tenants. Then they understood the potential of the service they were offering and the positive impact it has on students, who were released by a considerable amount of stress and could focus better on their everyday life.
At that point, they had the idea of creating Renting Milan. They were able to convince the owner of that building to pay them a small fee for their services, and that was the start.
Currently, Renting Milan has more than 1000 properties under management (all residential properties), just in the city of Milan. An amazing growth if you consider that they did not receive any capital and are still profitable. They focus on mid-high level properties, where students can find themselves comfortable with. The policy implemented by Daniel and Dawid in deciding which properties to manage is “would I live here?”. If the answer is “Yes”, then they would take that property under management.
Nowadays, they receive more requests from tenants (especially international) than properties they have under management. The secret lies, not only in the 360 degree consulting services they offer, but in the “Human component”. They want to know personally every landlord and tenant they deal with, established partnerships based on trust with several professionals (such as electricians, carpenters and a cleaning start-up) and are available to show the properties even by Skype if needed. Moreover, they help the communication between landlords and tenants, especially in case of language difficulties and sometimes are even able to perform activities such as “repairing a boiler in a conference call” (Daniel and Dawid say “it happens more often than you would think ahah”).
A secondary service they offer, is on the selling side, if a landlord wants to sell its (rented or not rented) property, he can ask them. They perform an investment analysis and propose the investment on their website.
And what’s up for the future?
As Daniel explained: “National and international expansions are our next steps. Starting from Rome, where we are currently seeking for someone with knowledge of the city and with a very good English. We will train the person in Milan to explain completely how we work, services and quality especially. How to build customer loyalty through amazing services – customer satisfaction is the key. We aim at optimise life of people – make the life as easy as possible especially to young people, who faces several challenges for the first time in their life.
Consequently, if you have an idea please let us know! If you want to buy a real estate, let us manage it! But remember our criteria to be listed in our website – it has to be an apartment where we would like to live.”
Dear readers, do not hesitate then! if you are from Rome, if you are interested in the project and can guide them towards the conquest of the Italian Capital, or if you have simply ideas to improve their project, contact them through their website (https://rentingmilan.com/) and join the adventure!
Written by Matteo Condello