Bespoke Co-founder says …

Asian Property Review interviews Ernee Ong, Co-founder of Bespoke Habitat, one of Singapore’s top 3 co-living spaces.

  1. What are the challenges co-living spaces face in the near future in Singapore?
    How to address them?

When tenants are more familiar with the co-living environment, they would expect more services from the operator, for example, they would like to arrange for a meet
and greet service when they arrive in Singapore.

  1. “It has been estimated that between 2023 and 2025, about 40,400 residential units will be completed, more than double the number completed in the previous
    years. This is part of a larger plan to complete about 100,000 public and private housing units between 2023 and 2025, ensuring there are enough homes for the
    population.” How would this impact the demand for co-living spaces?

In the co-living space, we are mainly serving foreign working professionals who are coming to Singapore. I would say that the supply of rooms for rental remains strong as
the incoming talents into Singapore increase over the years.

  1. Tell us more about your planned expansion to Johor Bahru. Does the upcoming Johor Bahru–Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS Link) that’s expected to be completed by end-2026, have a big influence on your decision? Do you see more coliving operators in Singapore doing the same – expanding to JB?

The expansion into Johor Bahru gives us increased flexibility to serve as a human capital solution provider for Singapore. We are encountering situations where Singaporean
companies need to hire professionals in Johor Bahru and require manpower hiring from there. Therefore, we have identified a sweet spot in offering accommodation
and employment opportunities for both parties.The upcoming RTS Link will definitely be of great help for our plan in the longer term as transportation gets much
easier for the working professionals who need to travel in both directions.

  1. Other than Malaysia, do you have plans to expand to other countries as well?

Yes, we are planning for Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia for our next expansion plan.

  1. Within Singapore, any upcoming expansion plans?

Yes, we are considering how to incorporate a co-work living ecosystem in Singapore. This is still in the pipeline and the plan is expected to roll out in 2024 or 2025.

  1. What are some of the opportunities which have arisen that operators can take advantage of?

The increase in the number of foreign students presents a significant opportunity for co-living operators to expand their business at this time.

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