Launching our student business – We Are Kin

By Neil Young, written November 2020

I am delighted to announce the launch of our student accommodation business We Are Kin.

Young has joined forces with two dynamic student accommodation experts – Thomas Elliott and Richard Crawshay Jones – who have been investing and operating in the student accommodation sector for many years. We jointly share the view:

Why should the majority of students have to experience sub-standard service and poor quality homes?

It is terrible that so many students equate their first experience of the real estate sector with horror stories. We believe that students deserve a better deal from landlords to enable them to get on with the business of being a student.  Not just so they can have more fun, but so that they can go on and achieve good things for business, society and the planet.

Our mission is to provide proper homes for proper students. 

David wrote an article in July about starting a student accommodation business. It’s well worth a read.

We love disrupting sectors and We Are Kin is a disruptor. The student accommodation offering falls into three broad categories:

  1. University halls of residence
  2. Purpose built student accommodation (PBSA)
  3. Student ‘digs’

Many will have memories of student digs, from The Young Ones (you must click on this link!), to their own experiences or those of family or friends. Why should students settle for such poor experiences? Today’s students are the future of our society, they should be able to focus on their university life in homes they enjoy rather than endure.

The following table compiled by CBRE shows the growth in the student aged population over the next decade. They deserve better.

Young will be using the experience we have gained over the last 25 years from the private rented sector (PRS) to grow We Are Kin. The PRS has seen the advent of Build to Rent over the last decade. Young has been at the forefront of BtR from being a pioneer, speaking publicly about the benefits of the sector (including in the Houses of Parliament) to setting up and running the market leader, Get Living.

We believe this rare set of experience will, along with the management team headed by our Co-CEOs Thomas and Richard, turn We Are Kin into a market leader. We aim to disrupt the student digs offer into one that students are not embarrassed about and see We Are Kin as a brand they are keen to rent through. They will feel proud to show their parents round their home!

We have acquired our first homes in Lincoln with more on the way.   Our holding website is live whilst the features are under development. Our tech is being put in place, including a resident portal. As expected, our design guidelines are well thought through.

The five of us are loving setting up We Are Kin. It’s a fabulous team with such a great purpose, simply put, providing proper homes for proper students. We are loving learning from the students themselves. We are asking our customers what is important to them. High up on the list is respect. They are fed up with their experience being ignored, that because they are students they don’t deserve to be treated properly. This is wrong. We need today’s students to deal with today’s big world issues – let’s set them off on that journey with respect and a proper home.