For decades, Japan’s real estate and construction industries have applied a scrap-and-build approach to housing. Old buildings have been demolished and replaced with new apartments. Consumers have shown a strong preference for new-build homes.
I first started to become uncomfortable with this approach in my 20s, when I was working for a major general contractor. I used to believe the status quo (scrap and build, replace with brand-new apartments) was the perfect way to make consumers happy. I have since come to realize that often this is a supplier-driven logic that leaves consumers unhappy.
For my career, I set the goal of generating happiness in society. To decide how to proceed, I took action: I left my job, visited friends abroad, and spent a long time traveling.
During my travels, I found that around 80% of home purchases in North America and Europe were for existing homes, which new buyers often renovated to better suit their own preferences and lifestyles. I also learned that in many countries, existing apartments are considered a store of assets, and values do not drop significantly after purchase. The situation is different in Japan, where few people buy used homes. Instead, around 90% of home buyers take out huge mortgages to buy new houses. This burden makes it a struggle for them to truly enjoy life afterwards.
Viewed from the macroeconomic level, in Japan the asset value of new houses tends to drop quickly. As a result, over the past 42 years the total national loss of asset value (calculated as housing investment minus accumulated housing assets) has exceeded USD5 trillion*. Meanwhile, Japan is facing a related social issue—the number of vacant old homes is increasing. I believe the time is ripe to address these problems. By rethinking the situation and building value in existing houses, we can create a sustainable housing market and make consumers happy. This conviction led me to establish a renovation business.
Since its start in 2010, Renoveru focused mainly on providing an eponymous renovation service. With the Renoveru service, we tailor solutions to individual customers’ needs. Our aim is to help people take a smart approach to creating an enjoyable home life.
Renovation means reusing what we already have.
I believe renovation is an essential social role the real estate and construction industries must play. To fulfill this role, we have created a platform that matches the large number of people who want to renovate newly purchased homes with nationwide networks of business partners (covering real estate agents, designers, building contractors, and mortgage banks). We leverage technology to continuously enhance this platform.
By making effective use of our knowledge, experience, and the assets accumulated through our platform, now we offer both a renovation service for consumers and a corporate real estate (CRE) service that makes effective use of assets. In the future, we plan to open our renovation platform for further growth. Through these efforts, we will accelerate the shift toward a more recycling-oriented society.
Under our mission of “Helping people take a smart approach to creating an enjoyable home life,” we believe we can simultaneously resolve issues being faced by consumers, by the housing, real estate, and construction industries, and by society at large. Through tireless efforts in this regard, we aim to create a world where everyone can enjoy their home life to the fullest.
Founder & CEO
*at the rate of 100 yen to the U.S. dollar