Qingke Facilities Leasing: Strategic Decision-Making to Capture the Apartment Leasing Market
In April 2012, Qingke Facilities Leasing Ltd. (Qingke), a technology-based real estate management company, was founded to provide a long-term apartment rental service to young professionals in Shanghai and some other cities. The goal was to rent constructed but vacant apartments on the Shanghai market by leveraging information technology resources for all operations and by employing a model of standard apartment renovation. A decentralized long-term apartment rental model was introduced to China's market in 2014 by leading Internet-based companies and was booming by 2017. At the end of 2018, Qingke was one of the top ten brands in the long-term apartment rental market, running 100,000 renting units in coastal cities in China with revenue of 1.2 billion that year. However, to sustain rapid market growth and create a large-scale Internet economic model, Qingke would have to overcome many uncertainties and challenges, including capital acquisition; strong competition; constraints to its financial resources, team building efforts, work force development, and sustainability; and extension of the business model. By the beginning of 2019, Qingke had come a long way; the US$100 million in funding he received in 2018 signified a major accomplishment in Qingke's progress since its establishment in 2012. However, competitors were targeting Qingke with the aim of overtaking its market share. How could the recent funding strengthen Qingke's position in the housing rental market and gain sufficient market share? Should Qingke increase investment in information technology to upgrade its data processing abilities and capacity, or should it build its brand to promote market exposure and awareness? William Wei is affiliated with MacEwan University. Vicky Nie is affiliated with MacEwan University. S. Bruce Thomson is affiliated with MacEwan University. Christy-Ke Tu is affiliated with NEOMA Business School.