Founded in 1995, Utleiemegleren addressed a niche in Oslo’s rental marketplace by introducing a platform through which landlords and potential renters could more easily interact. “We have built up a lot of experience,” says Haakon Brandsæter, CFO at Utleiemegleren. “We learned so much because we had to originate everything. The product we imagined didn’t yet exist so we got to build it.”
This initial experience meant that Utleiemegleren learned what works, what their clients need, and how to best help them. This can be translated into two major services. A broker service helps landlords find tenants and vice versa, and helps tenants and companies find buildings in line with what they need and are searching for. Such a broker service ensures that expectations are met on the side of both parties. The broker service compliments an administrative platform.
Utleiemegleren administration helps tenants and landlords begin and maintain a good relationship. A team of lawyers breaks down rules and laws so they are understandable to all parties involved. Keeping key contact on the administrative front helps to establish fairness in the renting process, while at the same time giving tenants and landlords the peace of mind that simple matters such as on-time payments will be handled. “We have a very good company culture, full of energy and a great sense of humour, which helps immensely in daily business,” says Mr. Brandsæter.
Seemingly minor details become important in a rental market such as Oslo’s where, similar to other major rental spaces such as Paris and Munich, housing can be scarce. This scarcity of quality living options raises prices and further incites unnecessary frustrations from renters and landlords alike. And despite the fact that Norway has traditionally been a market where home seekers do everything for themselves, this trend is slowly changing.
Digitalization in particular is largely disrupting the market and allowing companies such as Utleiemegleren to more effectively market their platform. This rising reliance on all things online and digital is powerful for many things, including outreach, but cannot replace the tacit knowledge and interactions provided to customers when escalations do happen.
We are in the business of building meaningful relationships. Ones that last long after move-in day. Haakon BrandsæterChief Financial Officer
“Human beings like other human beings,” says Mr. Brandsæter, “The digital shift makes much of what we do easier, but it cannot replace the human to human interaction we give our customers.” This understanding of human nature is an asset for Utleiemegleren though it does not mean a lack of appreciation for technology.
Investments are made continuously to improve customer experience and interface. Utleiemegleren employees are the drive behind the success of the company. In order to effectively match home seekers and home providers, it is necessary to understand the challenges – the ups and downs of the searching and renting process.
While the company is capturing an ever-increasing percentage of the market in Oslo and Norway, it is truly due to the empathetic nature and understanding of their customers’ needs that the customer base is steadily growing. “Energy means a lot to me,” says Mr. Brandsæter. “I don’t like to be around companies and people that have bad energy. We want to grow, and we have lots of interesting and small projects which help us do just that. It’s easy to take action and all of these things combine to make this a great place to work that motivates me everyday.”
Looking forward, Utleiemegleren wants to increase operational efficiency through continuous improvement in both working methods and technology. The technological aspect will come through further development of better digital services for clients. In short, it is about the establishment and maintenance of a healthy environment, both internally and externally. As it is with searching for and finding a suitable residence, so Utleiemegleren sees itself as the mediator of good faith between parties who can help one another. Beyond establishing good faith, it provides the transparency and understanding absolutely necessary to facilitate a meaningful relationship between tenant and landlord which can exist far beyond the initial move-in day.