Heimstaden Brings

the Concept of Friendly


The Scandinavian company Heimstaden is the third-largest

provider of rental homes in Europe and the leading rental-home

provider in the Czech Republic. Heimstaden wants to build

from their long-term experience and introduce a new vision,

responsible behaviour and efforts to create friendly homes and


Mr Rafaj, for over a year you have been

the CEO, the leader, of the Scandinavian

company Heimstaden, who owns almost

43,000 rental flats in the Czech Republic.

How did it feel to join an enterprise

with a logo nobody in our country had

previously recognized?

My job transition was absolutely smooth.

The Scandinavian group Heimstaden

provides rental homes in several European

countries, and so has a stability of rules

and operational values. Since 2017, when

I joined the company, representatives of the

previous owner and myself have took steps

to transfer the former company Residomo

to the long-term investor Heimstaden. The

new owner has chosen our company to be

the leader who sets new standards of service

and quality in rental homes in the Czech

Republic, and whose professionalism is

compatible with top European competitors.

I personally had no problem when joining

the new enterprise because I share the

values of Heimstaden. I appreciate the

northern attitude towards the environment,

nature and the open culture which respects

individuals and their demands. I understand

the Scandinavian mentality, with their

sense of system, order, discipline, etc.

Moreover, I came in close contact with

the temperament, nature and habits of

Scandinavians during my studies in Finland.

When the principles of the vision of

Heimstaden Friendly Homes were

introduced in the Czech Republic, was

it a logical demonstration of the new

approach of the company towards its


It definitely was. The companies of Heimstaden

Group offer their clients, who are always in

the company’s spotlight, more than just four

walls in each room; they offer them homes

comfortable to live in and to house important

life moments. In Scandinavian countries, there

is a great emphasis on high-quality customer

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care, good communication, helpfulness and

respect towards a client’s needs. Anybody can

live in our flats; we offer a home to any age

and social group, for any stage of the client’s

life. We offer friendly, stable and comfortable

homes in a safe environment as well as open

communication. Communication has become

even busier and simpler thanks to our recently

opened mobile app, the My Home (Můj

domov) client portal, and a free client call

centre. I am sure there will be an increase in

demand for rental homes as they allow for

greater social mobility and can offer a flexible

response to various changes in life, such as

moving for a new job, etc.

The Friendly Home vision is to be

developed through regular feedback

received from surveys amongst clients.

The first survey was performed at the

end of 2020. What did you learn from its


We regularly evaluate all communication

with our clients; it is vital for us that they be

satisfied with our services, and the opinions

the research reveals definitely help improve

their satisfaction. We were happy to learn

that about eighty per cent of respondents

appreciated the improved communication

thanks to the client call centre, e-mail and

My Home (Můj domov) online platform.

Two-thirds of those who had some service

or maintenance carried out in their homes

were happy with the quality and timing of

the work. It is maintenance and servicing

which we consider crucial and we want

to settle servicing schedules so that the

jobs are always done within ten days. Our

clients appreciate the security in our homes,

which we intend to enhance through the

introduction of monitoring systems at all


As for the environment, we and our

clients see room for development: they

miss outdoor seating and more greenery.

We will do our best to meet these

demands, and many will hopefully enjoy

our community-garden projects. We

understand the significant role we play in

the lives of our clients, and we are doing

everything to make their homes truly

friendly, safe and peaceful places.

Heimstaden puts great emphasis on

social and environmental sustainability.

How helpful is the experience the

company has already gained through the

administration of real estate in northern

countries such as Sweden, Norway and


Environmental and social sustainability

is extremely important in all walks of our

enterprise. We care about the quality of our

clients’ and employees’ lives and we want to

develop good, strong, lasting relationships

with municipalities, financial institutions,

and investors. We get regular feedback

from our employees, maintain intensive

communication with trade unions, decrease

fluctuation and hire new employees. The

key values of Heimstaden include “care –

dare – share”, which has grown even more

important during the COVID crisis. Our new

owner promptly transferred and implemented

these values in our environment and we

were able to immediately take particular

steps and measures both towards our clients

and employees.

Scandinavian countries focus on

sustainable urban development and

climate. What has Heimstaden brought

in this field?

Heimstaden is a traditional promoter of the

so-called green policy. We want everything

we do to contribute to long-term sustainability,

the protection of the environment and

climate, no matter if it happens via massive

investments in replacing windows, better