Our Region Has Much to Offer Be Proud to Say It According to an April study by Deloitte, rental housing represents app. 23.4% of housing capacities in the Czech Republic. The greatest private rental housing provider in the Czech Republic is RESIDOMO. The company owns and operates a portfolio of 43,000 rental flats, most of them in the MoravianSilesian region. RESIDOMO houses about 90,000 people mostly in Ostrava, Havířov, Karviná, Orlová, Frýdek-Místek and Opava. In mid-April the company took over another region, and bought 274 flats in Ostrava, Havířov and Olomouc for over 270 million CZK. We asked Jan Rafaj, CEO RESIDOMO why the company decided to do so. Last year only two more transactions took place in the Czech Republic related to real estate consisting of over 100 rental flats: a sale of 739 rental flats in Písnice u Prahy and one of 106 rental flats in the project Turku Suomi Hloubětín in Prague. We bought the Moravský bytový fond (Moravian Housing Capacity) operating in the Moravian-Silesian Olomouc regions for a few reasons. Firstly, our capacities in Ostrava are sold out and we very often have to refuse applications from new prospective clients. Secondly, we figured out that such an investment will pay off in the long–term prospective. Thirdly, our mother company intends to develop their enterprise in the region with more investments to come. This was declared at the beginning and this transaction clearly supports the intention.
You are Vice-President of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic. You certainly do understand the needs of the region even from the position of potential investors you often meet. What exactly does our region have to offer? We must improve and strengthen the positive relations of local people towards their home region, promote places of interests and sights, events, businesses, projects and personalities. In the past 10–15 years, so many wonderful things have happened, they just need to be actively supported, they need to be reported about on, discussed and reviewed in various media. It is critical to support education, science and research in businesses and schools, especially in the fields which correspond with the local economy. Students need more active collaboration with real enterprise and the best ones should be awarded scholarships, attractive internships and job offers. I believe in the good prospects of the region and I believe its potential to grow is really huge.
What do you offer your clients in comparison to other rental housing providers? We guarantee above-standard service, e.g. Service48 (a range of home repairs within two days), Senior Assistant to help the elderly and physically challenged with task a at home; a benefit programme called RESIDOMO Family; assistance in the enforcement of alimony collection, etc. Moreover, clients may join in and participate in the programme of the RESIDOMO Endowment Fund and more.
Renting flats abroad is standard. Czechs prefer mortgages: why is that? The first 20 years after the revolution the prices of housing were out of proportion. Czech are also very conservative and “living in their own space” is equivalent to the British “my house, my castle”, no matter that this certainty means the certainty of a long-term financial burden. It keeps us limited. Rental flats are a perfect solution to all age groups. It provides anyone good flexibility and the opportunity to quickly react to any challenge or change in life. Moreover, the costs of mortgages are rising again and people are looking for rental homes simply because it is cheaper. In this way the Czech Republic approaches the western European standards where rented homes outnumber owned flats and houses.
It is critical to support education, science and research in businesses and schools.
And investments? In 2017 the company invested over 830 million CZK in repairs of buildings and flats. Over 5,000 flats were repaired, large flats (in low demand) are being rebuilt into smaller ones suitable for seniors or starter homes for the young. Step by step we are minimizing the number of low–quality flats. Our vision goes even further. We will not achieve our plans within a year, however, we have our plans and find it very important that a change for the better related to the entrance of new company owners will be positive, obvious and clearly demonstrated. 32
What is the position of RESIDOMO in comparison to similar companies in other European countries? Our owners have long-term experience in the management of dozens of thousands of rental flats in western European countries; in late March they acquired a portfolio of 60 blocks with 925 residential and commercial units in Frankfurt (in the city and in its district). In Europe they now therefore own and manage over 100,000 rental flats. I am convinced that rental housing will become more and more attractive to many inhabitants of the Czech Republic. Together we are working to improve the image of the housing portfolio of RESIDOMO and our aim is to become the leader and trendsetter in quality standards and level of services in rental housing in the Czech Republic.