An entrepreneurial Dutchman with a flair for people is filling a growing new market niche in the Queenstown, Frankton and Wanaka accommodation sector i.e. rent a room based on managing and renting properties on a room by room basis.
Since starting his business in 2011 with only 10 rooms, Dutchman Henrik de Blij, the business has grown rapidly and he now has more than 125 rooms and appartments on his books spread over 25 locations in Queenstown, Frankton, Wanaka and Albert Town. The properties range from basic, small units to luxury homes and apartments.
Room rates range from $180.- to $ 450.- a week, depending on the standard and location of the property and whether tenants request a single room, double rooms or an appartments. In the next few years he anticipates Rent-A-Room will have grown 30 to 50 %.
Properties are fully-furnished and includes services like Sky TV and wireless internet. Tenants are expected they always hold their room and the shared facilities clean and tidy. Linen, cleaning materials, supplies such as toilet paper and dish washing liquid, waste and recycling management are all provided and Henrik takes care of housekeeping matters such as payment of common costs for instance the power and cleaning supplies bills. He does property inspections every 7- 10 days and prides himself on his personal 24/7 service. “Because of our high level of attention”.
Property owners from across New Zealand and as far away as Argentina, UK, China and Singapore, have been using Henrik and Rent-A-Room’s services since it’s inception and know to expect a personal approach, great service and good returns. Rooms stay occupied, maintained and property owners are getting full returns on their investment. Henrik also ensures their tenants are well-serviced for and abide by the ‘house rules’.
“My tenants are looking for comfortable fully furnished accommodation for a longer term but don’t want to commit to standard lease agreements for at least six months or more period or pay for a whole house with all the bonds and extras.”
“There’s a growing market in Queenstown, Frankton and Wanaka from locals and overseas workers. Demand for well maintained accommodation is high and historical, seasonal gaps are a thing of the past. Tenant recruitment and selection is getting easier every season” says Henrik.”
“I must stress, we don’t overcrowd or pack people into houses. We only offer accommodation to singles or couples sharing a room with facilities that are equipped for the number of people living there.
Henrik who has a bachelor degree in facilities management spent time working in Finland and the United States before emigrating in 2004 to New Zealand from The Netherlands Since then he has worked as a manager in hospitality, marketing and sales, and events and operational supervisor at QLDC Sport & Recreation (formerly Lakes Leisure).