Customer Creation in an Era of Population Decline: The Case of Nouka Real Estate
Nouka Real Estate – President and CEO: Michihiko Naeka
Based in Kanazawa City, Nouka Real Estate is one of the companies in Japan that has successfully created customers through unique strategies amidst the nation’s declining population. Especially noteworthy are the diligent services provided for students, developed with a philosophy of putting ethics before profit, which have received significant acclaim.
Specialized Services for the Student Market
Nouka Real Estate, popular among students in Kanazawa City – home to educational institutions like Kanazawa University, Hokuriku University, and Kanazawa College of Art – has focused on the student rental market since its establishment in 1977, with about 70% of its revenue coming from this segment. Since Michihiko Naeka became president in 2008, the company has further strengthened its focus on the student market.
Innovative Initiatives and Student Support
To differentiate itself from major real estate chains in a competitive market, Nouka Real Estate offers student-specific stores and property information magazines. Additionally, they provide unique services catering to student needs, such as free bus services, exclusive cafes for residents, and complimentary salons for student groups and clubs.
Resident-Exclusive Cafe and Meal-Free Promotion through Referral System
Nouka Real Estate runs special promotions in its resident-exclusive cafes, providing significant benefits to the inhabitants.
Overview of the Meal-Free Promotion via Referral System
- Purpose: To expand the community and increase interest in properties by encouraging current residents to refer new tenants.
- Details: When existing residents refer new tenants, both the referrer and the referred new tenant receive free meals at the resident-exclusive cafe for a certain period. This promotion is contingent upon the successful contract completion of the new tenant.
- Effect: This promotion motivates existing residents to actively refer friends and acquaintances, allowing new tenants to start their life comfortably. It also increases cafe usage, enhancing communication and the sense of community among residents.
Encouraging Cafe Usage and Community Formation
- The cafe offers healthy and varied breakfasts and snacks, functioning as a place for students to interact and exchange information regularly.
- The increased use of the cafe through the referral system deepens bonds among residents, creating a more comfortable and vibrant living environment.
Such meal-free promotions, made possible through the referral system, are one of the many innovative services provided by Nouka Real Estate. These unique initiatives, catering specifically to student needs, are highly valued for increasing customer satisfaction and building long-term relationships.
Notable Results and Management Philosophy
Through this strategy, Nouka Real Estate has doubled its property count from 5,712 in 2009 to 10,900 in 2022, with an occupancy rate reaching 95.5%. The number of employees has also tripled to 90. The company’s philosophy is deeply engaging with customers and adopting an extremely thorough approach, emphasizing the importance of a sustainable management strategy.
Approach to Maximizing LTV (Lifetime Customer Value)
Nouka Real Estate’s case provides a unique approach to maximizing LTV by focusing on the period of a student’s life (usually four years). This specialized market strategy can be applied to international business models and is noteworthy as a new example of customer creation in an era of population decline.