Carry on Spirit of the Craftsman to Build the Stanford Brand -- An interview with Leo Lee, Associate Director of K. Wah (China) Investment Limited.
Wed Sep 28 2016 00:00:00 GMT+0800 (CST)
Stanford Residences--A Balance between Home and Hotel
“In 2008, to build high-end serviced apartment Stanford Residences Jing An, I came to work in Shanghai and had to stay at a hotel for 8 months. But slowly I had no longing to return to my hotel at the end of each day, as there is a lack of homey feeling,” said Mr. Leo Lee, Associate Director of K. Wah (China) Investment Limited, when he was asked to illustrate the business philosophy of their serviced apartment brand Stanford Residences in the interview by the famous real estate magazine under MyLiving on September 9.
K. Wah Group is a multinational conglomerate principally engaged in properties development and investment, mega entertainment and leisure resort, hospitality, and construction materials, with market presence spanning Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Southeast Asia and major cities in the US. The business of K. Wah (China) Investment Limited in Mainland China has carried forward this development concept, and diverse products have been explored and developed around the real estate industry.
In the course of development, the company begun to wonder except for residences, office buildings and hotels, what fields in Mainland China are worth the investment? That was in the 1990s when the world was in the early stage of globalization. Shanghai then had shown a tendency to be the economic center in Mainland China. “At that time, we predicted that Shanghai would develop into a place where foreign and domestic business elites would prefer to work and live,” said Mr. Leo Lee.
“In 2008, I came to Shanghai only to research the market. So there’s no need for me to buy a house, or to sign a 2-year lease with the hotel,” continued Mr. Leo Lee. If in the same situation as Mr. Leo Lee, what would foreign and domestic business elites in Shanghai do to solve their housing problems?
“In this context, a balance should be achieved between home and hotel, which can not only meet customers’ short term rental needs, but boast a family atmosphere. This is right the business philosophy of Stanford Residences,” explained Mr. Leo Lee. With this philosophy, the Stanford brand’s first project Stanford Residences Jing An has been well received in the market for its great achievements.
Stanford Residences Jing An--High Occupancy Rate of 80%
At Stanford Residences Jing An, there are 2 blocks and all together 113 sets of luxury apartments. It offers a wide variety of spacious apartment layouts including 3 bedrooms, 3 bedrooms and 1 study room, duplex and penthouse units, ranging from 200-500 square meters to meet the different needs of tenants.
The first block of Stanford Residences Jing An (T1) was put on the market in March 2015 and within a year, its occupancy rate has exceeded 90%. The rents range from ¥56,000 to ¥58,000, and the successful leasing of its one 473㎡ penthouse with the monthly rent as high as ¥100,000 indicates that Stanford Residences Jing An has taken the lead in the high-end serviced apartment leasing market of Shanghai.
The second block of Stanford Residences Jing An (T3) was launched in May 2016. By then, Stanford Residences Jing An was put into full operation. The whole occupancy rate now has exceeded 80%, and the 526㎡penthouse of the second block has also been successfully rented out in the first half of 2016.
Superior Craftsmanship, Ultimate Ideal Living
Facilities and services have also contributed to the success of Stanford Residences Jing An. From the decoration to furniture, Stanford Residences Jing An has combined a modern style with functionality and taken into account the living habits of different generations as well. The four landscapes along with 60 different varieties of trees from internationally renowned landscaping specialist Aoya Design have been meticulously designed to provide a perfect spot to relax and unwind.
The service at Stanford Residences Jing An is worth high praise. “Service at Stanford Residences Jing An is unique and different from other places. The relationship between staff and tenants at Stanford Residences Jing An is more like friends. Often they may have some small talk when running into each other, and the contents, of course, are not confined to the work. There are at once distance and emotional bonding between them, which is the source from which tenants get the feeling of home,” Mr. Leo Lee said.
Security arrangements at Stanford Residences Jing An like security staff’s unceasing patrol and intelligent locks with recording function, have inspired security in tenants and protected their privacy.
When it comes to the service, Mr. Leo Lee became very serious. “Nowadays there are an abundance of serviced apartment brands in the market, but some begin to muddle along after a period of operation. Whereas, high quality services should be maintained and changes be made to strive for better services,” he said.
“Truly, there’re ups and downs in business; but high quality and all-round services can embody a brand’s vitality and value, and help tide over the sluggish market. There are many ways to achieve a balance between the cost and service quality, and we must not damage customers’ interests by cutting down on the cost. To avoid such unfavorable situations, measures should be taken at the very beginning,” Mr. Leo Lee continued.
Since its operation, Stanford Residences Jing An has achieved great success. Even so, it still seeks constant self-improvement to meet the demands of its customers. “Our company has invested much time and money from the start, but there’re always unexpected new demands cropping up in the operation and management process. Coming from different parts of the world, customers are well-informed and of wide experience, and often they may bring to us many fresh and innovative ideas. In this sense, customers’ needs ought to be taken good care of,” said Mr. Leo Lee.
Take the rearrangement of routers at Stanford Residences Jing An for instance. Recently, some tenants complained about the poor performance of routers in their apartments, upon which, our staff made a thorough examination and found that signals in some parts of the apartment were weak, and heat dissipation of some routers was no so good. To solve these problems, IT personnel were sent immediately to exclude uncontrollable factors and proper improvements were made in time.
“To establish a brand, we should strive to ‘pull mark’ rather than ‘push mark’. Only when a brand is able to attract talents, can it realize sustainable growth,” Mr. Leo Lee commented. In June this year, “Father & Kids” Photography Campaign launched by Stanford Residences Jing An has attracted over 300 families, including tenants of Stanford Residences Jing An, residents from The Palace and Grand Summit and other communities. The many participants and 400 entries have testified to the extraordinary charm and attraction of Stanford Residences Jing An.
Stanford Residences Xu Hui
2016 is drawing to an end, and when talking of plans of Stanford Residences for the future, Mr. Leo Lee introduced: “Stanford Residences Xu Hui, the other project under the Stanford brand shall be officially launched in the second quarter of 2017. Located in the center of Xu Hui District, it sits on the prestigious location of the French Concession, along with the company’s another luxury residential project The Palace II. Unlike Stanford Residences Jing An, Stanford Residences Xu Hui mainly focuses on the building of elegant and romantic atmosphere of the apartment, a mixture of French romance and the charm of old-day Shanghai.
At Stanford Residences Xu Hui, there are 4 blocks and 119 sets of apartments in total. It offers six apartment layouts, namely 2 bedrooms, 3 bedrooms, 3 bedrooms and 1 study room, 4 bedrooms and 1 study room, penthouse and special units of the first floor ranging from 150-500 square meters. Compared with Stanford Residences Jing An, Stanford Residences Xu Hui mainly faces young fashion people, like young couples, (2+1) nuclear families and single people with high budget for housing. So we have reason to believe that Stanford Residences Xu Hui will bring us great surprises and expectations.
At the end of the interview, when asked if there was any possibility for them to cooperate with other companies, Mr. Leo Lee said: “Maybe in the long run, but not in the next few years. A brand cannot be built overnight, and serviced apartment Stanford Residences still needs time to develop and prove itself. Only when customers and market shift their focus to the connotation of Stanford Residences, and only when Stanford Residences becomes customers’ first choice, can it be counted as a time-honored and lasting brand.”