Asim Erturk

Revolutionizing Student Accommodation with Innovative Strategies : To Deliver A Stellar Experience is our passion

The pandemic has significantly affected the hospitality industry, leading to rapid adjustments in health and safety protocols, social distancing measures, and increased emphasis on hygiene to ensure guest well-being. The industry also experienced revenue losses and workforce reductions. Navigating the changing customer demands and the evolving landscape poses further challenges.

Despite these obstacles, there has been an unprecedented demand for Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) rooms. The pandemic has reshaped the student accommodation landscape, with students now seeking more secure and dependable options. Cost of PBSA rooms is inclusive of all bills, making them an attractive choice for students, especially due to rising energy costs.

Londonist DMC’s dedication to offering students a smooth and secure experience has gained even greater significance in this context. The agency’s innovative strategies, like dynamic pricing, student portal, and comprehensive services, have contributed to its resilience in these trying times. Moreover, its thoughtful gestures, such as providing a welcome pack with essential items, have played a crucial role in creating a homely atmosphere for the students while they are away from home.

As the industry continues to recover and adapt to the changing landscape, Londonist DMC’s focus on customer well-being and innovative strategies positions it to thrive in the evolving hospitality sector. The agency’s dedication to providing flexible booking options, comprehensive student support services, and a wide range of experiences through partnerships demonstrates its commitment to meeting the market’s changing demands and delivering exceptional service to its student community,” says Asim Erturk, Managing Director, Owner & Founder of Londonist DMC.

Asim Erturk is an accomplished entrepreneur and the visionary founder behind the Success of Londonist DMC, Londonist Investments, and Uninist. His journey to success began when he arrived in London as an international student on the final day of Wimbledon in 2006, with just £200 in his pocket. He believes that genuine happiness and purpose are found by venturing beyond one’s comfort zone, gaining self-awareness, and fearlessly embracing challenges and risks.

His unwavering determination and creative mindset have led him to become an innovator and a risk-taker, qualities that have played a crucial role in his entrepreneurial pursuits. As a result, Asim’s entrepreneurial journey began with a Pedicab transportation business before finding success at the Financial Times. He is inspired by the words of Winston Churchill, which goes thus: “Success is the ability to move from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm.”

His brainchild, Londonist DMC, is a highly successful student accommodation agency. It offers flexible stay options for students ranging from 2 weeks to 51 weeks. With a global team operating from offices in London, Istanbul, and China, Londonist DMC provides over 2000 rooms in 50 prime locations across Zones 1, 2, and 3 in London.

Asim founded Londonist DMC based on his experiences as an international student in the UK. He noticed a lack of specialized accommodation agencies for students and decided to create a comprehensive solution. His vision was to provide seamless support to students, starting from airport transfers to essential services, making the process of settling into accommodation hassle-free. The student accommodation agency also identified opportunities in the language schools and short-term flexible rentals market. Through customer-oriented service and engaging content, Londonist DMC became a preferred choice for international students looking for accommodation in London.

Today, Londonist DMC, under Asim’s guidance, has garnered widespread recognition and awards for its outstanding service and valuable contributions to the education and travel sectors. His leadership and dedication to the industry have been consistently acknowledged with nominations and awards since the agency’s establishment in 2013.

As the Managing Director, Asim has led Londonist DMC to phenomenal growth, achieving a 150% increase in total capacity in a short time. The agency’s success is attributed to its dedication to making students feel at home away from home, offering exceptional facilities such as gyms, cinemas, computer labs, and various social and study spaces.

Primal Challenges And Roadblocks

During the initial phase of establishing Londonist DMC, Asim encountered several primal challenges and roadblocks. Establishing a strong presence in the fiercely competitive student accommodation market was one of the major obstacles. London has a wide range of accommodation options, so standing out and offering students something special was essential. Next was establishing a trustworthy network of landlords, PBSA suppliers, and property owners’ eager to engage with Londonist DMC. It took substantial work and negotiation skills to build mutually beneficial connections, allowing the agency to provide high-quality accommodation options to student clients.

Develop a solid business plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and financial projections. Be prepared to face challenges and setbacks along the way. Learning from experiences, whether successes or failures, will help you make informed decisions. Remember to stay humble and grounded. Surround yourself with a diverse team and seek feedback from others.

Asim faced various challenges, but his motivation was fueled by his determination to address market gaps and difficulties experienced by international students. He saw an opportunity in the short-term rental sector, particularly the demand for safe, secure, and all-inclusive accommodation with on-site facilities. With a strong vision to prioritize students’ well-being, build beneficial partnerships, and drive growth, the visionary leader developed innovative and forward-thinking strategies to achieve his goals.

As a result, Asim introduced multiple marketing initiatives centered on students’ well- being. He is one of the industry’s pioneers in adopting VR experiences for room viewing. This made it possible for students to tour residences from the comfort of their own homes, which resulted in an astonishing 1200 bookings. The agency’s dedication to catering to students’ wants and interests was made clear by the VR option, which gave customers more control over their booking experience.

Standing Out from Crowds

Londonist DMC stands out in the student accommodation market due to its focus on flexible booking options for short-term stays as short as two weeks, catering to students’ evolving needs. The agency goes beyond accommodation provision by offering comprehensive services such as airport pickup, cleaning, insurance, and more. Its platform serves as a hub for students to access local events, shopping discounts, and sightseeing vouchers, enhancing their London experience.

Londonist DMC aims to make the process of finding student accommodation easier by removing the requirement for a guarantor and providing adaptable payment choices. The agency recognizes the difficulties students face in managing accommodation expenses, so it offers the option to pay rent in installments or select a payment plan that suits their financial circumstances.

Asim and the Londonist team have introduced several innovations to the market. They introduced dynamic pricing to optimize pricing through automated strategies. This data-driven strategy determines the appropriate accommodation price points, improving efficiency and convenience for partners and students.

The agent portal is an innovative platform that contains a wide range of agents, making communication and collaboration with partners more efficient. On the other hand, the student portal integrates with event discovery programs, enabling students to discover local events and experiences easily. It also provides convenient access to check-in, check-out times, and invoices all in one centralized location.

As a result, Londonist DMC establishes itself as a market leader in the student accommodation market by providing distinctive and all-encompassing services, developing a sense of community, and delivering exceptional experiences for students in London.

Meet Changing Customer Demands

Staying ahead of industry trends and meeting changing customer demands are crucial in the dynamic student accommodation market. Londonist DMC prioritizes continuous learning, monitoring global and local student housing markets, and attending conferences and networking events. The agency also engages with industry experts and stakeholders to identify emerging trends to incorporate into its offerings.

Asim says ‘prioritising customer feedback and invests in advanced property management systems and data analytics to improve operations and customer experiences. It implemented dynamic pricing, and its student portal integrates with event discovery, offering students a range of experiences and discounts.

Crucial Factors for a Successful Hospitality Agency

Asim believes that the success of a hospitality agency relies on exceptional customer service, maintaining quality accommodations, efficient operations, and effective marketing strategies. Providing positive experiences, anticipating guest needs, and addressing issues build customer loyalty. Clean, comfortable accommodations leave a lasting impression. Streamlined operations and communication are essential for efficiency. Utilizing diverse, effective marketing channels attracts and retains guests, ensuring competitiveness.

Anticipated Industry-Shaping Trends and Innovations On the Horizon

According to Asim, technology will shape the industry in the near future. Contactless check-ins and touchless tech will be popular for safety and convenience. AI will personalize guest experiences, providing tailored recommendations and amenities for greater satisfaction. Sustainability will be crucial as eco-conscious travelers seek environmentally friendly practices, such as energy efficiency and waste reduction. Moreover, the integration of smart technology will extend beyond guest experiences. Implementing smart systems for energy management, room automation, and data analytics will help optimize operations, reduce costs, and enhance overall efficiency.

Key Milestones

Londonist DMC strives to maintain its reputation for excellence in the student accommodation sector.

  • Excelling and Providing the Best Student Experience: Its main objective revolves around providing an exceptional experience for its students. The agency constantly enhances its services, introduces distinctive amenities, and fosters a strong sense of community within its residences to surpass their expectations.
  • Creating More Ventures with Partners: It is proactively searching for possibilities to establish new ventures in collaboration with potential partners within the education and travel industries, aiming to enrich its range of services.
  • Evolving into Londonist Hospitality and Londonist Technologies: As a part of its growth strategy, Londonist DMC has set its sights on becoming a comprehensive hospitality brand, including Londonist Hospitality and Londonist Technologies. By expanding in this manner, it aims to broaden its service offerings and integrate state-of-the-art technologies to elevate the overall guest experience.
  • Expanding the Business Model Across the United Kingdom: Having achieved success in London, the agency is now driven by ambitious plans to extend its business model throughout the entire United Kingdom. Its brand name, Uninist, will serve as the umbrella for this expansion, providing students across the UK with the same high-quality student accommodation and exceptional services.
  • Strengthening the Global Presence: Londonist DMC’s goal is to enhance its global In the imminent future, it aims to build its brand on a worldwide scale, providing services to students from diverse regions around the globe. By broadening its global influence, the agency’s reputation as a premier provider of student housing on an international level will be further cemented.

In a nutshell, its key milestones for 2023 revolve around excellence, innovation, and expansion.

Significant Accomplishments and Agency Milestones

Under Asim’s leadership, significant achievements have been accomplished on both personal and business levels. His major accomplishments include establishing three successful companies with over 100 employees across offices in China, the UK, and Turkey. Notably, he expanded Londonist DMC globally and increased its room capacity from 800 to 2000, largely through the acquisition of 444 rooms from the North Lodge residence.

Asim’s visionary leadership led to numerous accolades and awards for Londonist DMC in the past 18 months. These include esteemed honors such as the ST Star, Pioneer, and Business Reporter awards and a highly commended recognition from RESI Property Week in the sales and letting agency category.

The dynamic entrepreneur has shown remarkable dedication to supporting British associations that promote travel to the UK. Londonist DMC holds memberships in several prestigious organizations such as the British Youth Travel Association, UKInbound, Brazilian Association of Education Agents, ALTO, EnglishUK, Bossa & Cossa, StudyTravel, and ICEF. These partnerships and affiliations have significantly contributed to Londonist DMC’s reputation as a top student accommodation provider in London within the industry.

Key Qualities and Skills Necessary For a Successful Entrepreneur

Successful entrepreneurs possess a range of qualities and skills essential for their journey. According to Asim, these are determination, vision, strong communication, adaptability, resilience, and the ability to take calculated risks. Combining these qualities and skills provides a solid foundation for a successful entrepreneurial journey. Also, embracing these qualities empowers entrepreneurs to navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and create thriving ventures in an ever-evolving business landscape.

Words of Wisdom

As a seasoned professional and entrepreneur, Asim advised, “Entering the student accommodation space right now can be rewarding but requires careful planning and dedication. Embrace innovation as a driving force behind your venture. Stay adaptable to changing circumstances and be open to exploring new ideas and technologies.

Building strong relationships and networks within the industry can provide valuable support and opportunities for growth. Collaborating with educational institutions, student unions, and key stakeholders will offer insights into student demands and industry trends.

He further states, “Develop a solid business plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and financial projections. Be prepared to face challenges and setbacks along the way. Learning from experiences, whether successes or failures, will help you make informed decisions. Remember to stay humble and grounded. Surround yourself with a diverse team and seek feedback from others.

Lastly, keep in mind the greater purpose of your venture. Work for a common dream of positively impacting your target audience and the world. Focus on providing solutions to bring positive change and add value to your customers’ lives.

In conclusion, entering the student accommodation space or any entrepreneurial venture requires careful planning, adaptability, continuous learning, and a commitment to positive impact. Embrace innovation and build strong relationships to thrive in a competitive landscape. You can overcome challenges and succeed in your endeavors by staying focused on your vision and staying true to your values,” says Asim.


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