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Everything you need to know about Colonies, the start-up that solves the housing problem of young working people

Founded by François Roth, Amaury Courbon and Alexandre Martin, Colonies responds to two verticals of the real estate market in Europe: the structural supply deficit of the rental market, and the constant increase in prices.

Those who claim to be “housing designers and operators” have above all found an innovative solution to make access to quality living spaces finally affordable.

How did you come up with the idea for Colonies?

Amaury Courbon: With François and Amaury, we have been friends since the benches of Essec, where we were roommates then roommates. We experienced the headache of finding accommodation, and the inadequacy of the apartments offered to our needs as young workers. When we left school, we decided to offer a flatshare that would erase all the problems we had experienced on our side: a turnkey apartment, which exactly meets the needs of tenants in an all-inclusive package, with the home insurance, furniture and even the internet box. After a study trip to the United States to take stock of innovations in the sector, we decided to create large co-living buildings, which met with immediate success. We were convinced that the real estate offer did not correspond to the majority of tenants, which is why we decided to create houses for everyone, offered in co-living first, then in shared accommodation and in individual accommodation.

Colonies turnkey apartments

What are the 3 advantages of Colonies?

The three assets of Colonies actually correspond to the main needs of a tenant that we have identified to create a better experience. It starts with a simple and 100% dematerialized rental search process. Our system is flexible and everything is done online, including the visit and the signing of the lease. The shortest time between requesting a Colonies accommodation and booking is two hours. The objective is to avoid at all costs physical visits where there are 20 people waiting to visit the apartment and the administrative complexities. Then, we offer our tenants all-inclusive, 100% functional living spaces, thought out and designed for living together, including private spaces but also spacious common living spaces, with an equipped living room and kitchen, and even a projection room, a garden, even a swimming pool for our colivings. Even with such services, we remain within market prices, because the rental price includes a set of services that are essential for the tenant (such as water, heating, electricity, internet, maintenance, and even the cleaning of the common areas as well as a residence manager in our colivings), which is not the case in a traditional rental. Living in Colonies accommodation is also an opportunity to have a rich social life. For example, during covid, 100% of our residences remained open, which allowed our tenants to not feel isolated and to continue to have social interactions. Today, we have Colonies tenants who are friends, and vacation together, when others team up and start businesses.

How many apartments and houses do you have in France and abroad? And how many tenants have they found accommodation thanks to Colonies?

Today, we offer over 180 residences and house 1,100 tenants across Europe. We have more than 75 projects underway, which are part of our desire to facilitate access to housing by building and rehabilitating living spaces in the heart of the city.

@Colonies

You have just announced a funding commitment from Ares Management to deploy the colocation offer in several major Western European cities. What is the purpose of this agreement?

Yes, Ares Management has entrusted us with 1 billion euros which are intended for rental investment in shared accommodation. In concrete terms, we take care of finding, acquiring, building and fitting out 2,000 homes, then managing their rental. The long-term objective is to house 10,000 people in shared accommodation in cities in France, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. These flatshares will be faithful to the Colonies spirit with fully equipped and comfortable, simple, affordable and flexible spaces.

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