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The CXO Time

Asim Erturk


With its dynamic nature and ever-evolving trends, the real estate industry is characterized by constant innovation, technological advancements, and shifting consumer preferences. From luxury hotels to student accommodations, the real estate and hospitality sector offers diverse opportunities for investment, development, and service provision, contributing significantly to economic growth and societal well-being. Asim Erturk, the founder of Londonist & Uninist, works in the real estate and hospitality industries, particularly focusing on student accommodation solutions and related services. His best quality is his visionary mindset, as he consistently emphasizes the importance of determination, adaptability, resilience, and the ability to take calculated risks in the entrepreneurial journey. These qualities showcase that he possesses a forward-thinking perspective and a keen ability to anticipate and navigate challenges effectively.

Empowering Student Living: The Londonist Story

Founded in 2013 by Asim Erturk, Londonist began as a modest venture with just 30 rooms aimed at student accommodation. Today, it has experienced remarkable growth, catering to over 2000 students and continuing to expand its reach. He identified a gap in the student housing market and strategically crafted a business model to enhance the residential experience for both international and domestic students.

Londonist specializes in offering flexible accommodation options, catering to short- and long-term stays. Asim Erturk brought groundbreaking solutions to the student accommodation industry, such as the Student Portal – an innovative one-stop shop for all reservations for international students, API connections with agents, and VR reality. Recognizing the apprehension some students face when booking rooms online without prior viewing, Asim aims to foster greater social connectivity among students in London through membership programs and affiliate partnerships. Londonist has cultivated strategic alliances with educational institutions, agencies, and booking platforms, strengthening its visibility and attracting potential tenants. With a proven track record of delivering exceptional services, Londonist has earned the trust and loyalty of students and educational institutions alike.

Operating from offices in London, Istanbul, and Beijing, the global Londonist team provides students with access to over 2000 rooms across 50 prime locations spanning Zones 1, 2, and 3 in London. Through its commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction, Londonist continues to redefine the student accommodation experience, making it more convenient and enriching for students from diverse backgrounds.

Catering to Student Needs: The Uninist Initiative

In a bid to address the evolving needs of students across Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and Sheffield, Asim recently unveiled Uninist, a collaborative platform offering tailored solutions. Uninist presents a selection of contemporary, well-maintained properties strategically located near local universities, colleges, and key transportation hubs. The platform’s aim is to provide students with diverse room configurations and flexible payment plans, catering to both short-term and long-term accommodation needs.

In recent years, student accommodation preferences have undergone notable transformations, influenced by technological advancements, societal shifts, economic dynamics, the pandemic, and evolving cultural norms. Today, students prioritize accommodations that prioritize their well-being and offer ample social spaces. Recognizing this shift, Uninist has expanded its portfolio to include residences designed to promote resident well-being. These residences boast an array of social spaces and amenities, including lounges, courtyards, gyms, gaming rooms, group study areas, cinemas, karaoke rooms, sky terraces, and more.

Uninist’s initiative reflects a response to the changing landscape of student living, acknowledging the importance of providing environments conducive to both academic success and personal growth. By offering a diverse range of housing options and amenities, Uninist seeks to enhance the overall student living experience, fostering a sense of community and well-being among its residents. As the platform continues to evolve, it remains committed to meeting the evolving needs and expectations of today’s students across multiple cities in the UK. It emerged with the vision to redefine the student experience through a comprehensive and student-focused approach to accommodation. Through a collaboration between Londonist and Uninist, the brand was established, aiming to provide standard accommodation services with the added touch of creating a welcoming “home away from home” atmosphere. Catering to a diverse student population, including both local and international students, Uninist prioritizes quality, convenience, and hassle-free accommodation solutions. Its services cater to students engaged in higher education, internships, short-term courses, and cultural exchanges, aiming to facilitate their transitions and enrich their overall experiences.

With flexible tenancy options, Uninist empowers students to select lease terms that align with their preferences, offering a range from short-term to long-term arrangements. The platform ensures an all-inclusive, safe, and secure residential experience, encompassing services such as airport transfers, laundry facilities, attraction tickets, discounted train fares, and more. These offerings are designed to optimize students’ time while studying in the UK, enhancing their overall academic and personal journeys.

Uninist’s commitment to providing a supportive and enriching living environment reflects its dedication to student well-being and success. By prioritizing convenience, security, and inclusivity, Uninist seeks to foster a sense of belonging and comfort among its residents, regardless of their academic or professional pursuits. As Uninist continues to evolve, it remains steadfast in its mission to elevate the student living experience, empowering students to thrive in their educational endeavors and beyond.

Navigating the Future: Trends in Student Accommodation

Asim envisions that the future of student accommodation will be shaped by technological advancements, evolving student preferences, and growing concerns about sustainability. He anticipates that the industry will continue to prioritize the health and well-being of students, prompting PBSA providers, booking platforms, and agencies to launch campaigns and initiatives aimed at promoting student wellness.

In 2022, the Londonist team introduced the ‘Move with Londonist’ well-being campaign, inspired by research from New York University and the University of Miami. The campaign, rooted in the notion that new experiences can enhance positive emotions and overall well-being, offered four distinct experiences tailored to students with varying interests. These activities cater to individuals who enjoy heights, panoramic views, adrenaline rushes, and historical exploration.

Recognizing the importance of convenience and connectivity, Londonist is developing a student portal application designed to streamline various aspects of student life. This innovative platform serves as a one-stop solution, allowing students to engage with the Londonist team, manage rental payments, explore local events, access retail offers, and avail additional services. Additionally, the company is creating a Partner’s Portal to simplify accommodation inventory viewing and booking processes for agents, enhancing overall efficiency.

Londonist’s decision to transition to a 2,935-square-foot industrial warehouse with a modern end-of-terrace and single-story layout reflects its commitment to meeting the evolving needs and expectations of students. This strategic move underscores Londonist’s proactive approach to catering to the increasing demands of students, improving accessibility to hospitality services, and enhancing the overall student living experience. As the industry continues to evolve, Londonist remains dedicated to embracing innovation and fostering environments that support student well-being and success.

Fostering Diversity: Londonists’ Commitment to Equity and Inclusion

Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) form the cornerstone of Londonist’s core strategies. The company has instituted policies aimed at ensuring that the team comprehends and upholds EDI principles. These policies are seamlessly woven into the company’s objectives and values, providing employees with a clear understanding of the concept and its advantages. The Londonist has embraced a hiring process that champions diversity, inclusivity, and international perspectives, welcoming applicants from all walks of life. The workforce embodies a multicultural tapestry, hailing from diverse regions such as the UK, Africa, Asia, Europe, the CIS, and the Middle East, collectively speaking over 20 languages. To nurture a content and motivated team, the company extends inclusive benefits, including family support, flexible work arrangements, and paid parental leave.

As an award-winning organization, under the leadership of Asim, Londonist is dedicated to spotlighting female employees for industry accolades from esteemed organizations like Lead 5050 and Inspiring Women in Property. This commitment has led to multiple nominations and a notable victory in the departmental manager of the year category. Joining the Londonist means becoming part of a team that champions diversity, inclusivity, and equity. Experience a vibrant work culture that celebrates differences and fosters personal growth. Benefit from inclusive perks that prioritize your family and promote work-life balance. Receive recognition for your contributions and be a part of an esteemed organization committed to excellence.

Asim Erturk’s Vision: Revolutionizing Student Accommodation

As a dedicated entrepreneur driven by a desire to tackle challenges and empower individuals, Asim is leading transformative initiatives within the student accommodation industry. While Londonist continues to offer exceptional services and memorable experiences in London, its horizons are expanding with the introduction of Uninist, aimed at reaching other cities across the UK.

The overarching objective is to revolutionize the global student accommodation landscape, with these endeavors playing a pivotal role in realizing this ambitious vision. Londonist DMC stands as an integral component of the Londonist Global brand, which encompasses Londonist Investments. This arm specializes in real estate investments spanning the UK, Turkey, Greece, Dubai, and Cyprus, further cementing Londonist’s presence and impact across diverse markets. Additionally, Londonist Technologies emerges as a key player, offering a diverse array of services to clients. From graphic design to UI and UX design, social media management, web design, and IT support, Londonist Technologies is poised to emerge as a leader in delivering innovative solutions to meet evolving market demands.

Asim Erturk’s ventures continue to evolve and expand, they underscore a commitment to driving meaningful change and fostering excellence within the student accommodation sector and beyond. With a steadfast focus on problem-solving and empowerment, Asim’s future endeavors hold the promise of reshaping industries and enriching lives on a global scale.