Quick Q&A: Natalia Schrey, Noli Studios

Natalia Schrey, chief commercial officer at Finnish operator Noli Studios, talks to SAN about customer-centricity and becoming a regional thought leader.

• What is your background in the hotel/hospitality space?
“I am not your typical suspect as my background is in business, strategy consulting and marketing. However, I have always been interested in living and the built environment and even did my finance master’s thesis on apartment pricing. Five years ago, we bought a boutique hotel close to Helsinki with my family and turned it completely around. I got interested in the hospitality industry and started working as a management team member for a leading Nordic serviced apartment provider. I also started studies in hospitality and — most importantly — then moved to NREP where I have been launching and developing our Noli Studios concept.”

• How did the Noli Studios brand come about and what makes it different from its competitors?
“The ways we work and travel have gone through several disruptions, but living has stayed more or less the same. We want to change the way people live for good. We believe personal space, shared experiences and actions towards better living are more important than ever. What makes us especially strong compared to competition is our customer-centricity. We also control the value chain from site development to running the site and hosting the community. We can adapt the concept and our services in an agile manner. This is demonstrated in our customer feedback — the NPS of Noli Studios is a staggering 76.”

• You currently have two locations in Helsinki — what are your roll out plans for the brand?
“We are expanding further in Helsinki and are aiming to have altogether ten sites up and running in the next five years. NREP is a Nordic real estate investor and we aim to grow in the Nordics. We have a great, flexible product in our hands, so we search for new opportunities and partners in major European cities going forward.”

• How do you anticipate the pandemic will affect your future projects’ design and operations?
“Half a year after the opening of the first site, we got a true chance to stress test our product in the form of Covid-19. Operations have gone surprisingly smoothly so far thanks to our talented and fast-paced team that was able to handle all communication and changes on site successfully. For example, our team increased the frequency of cleaning, added hand sanitisers, closed the common kitchen, and helped the customers in risk groups with their groceries.”

“In the Noli Studios concept, customers always have private, fully equipped home with additional services and shared spaces. No one was forced to meet anyone. During the crisis, we also saw that our common spaces were used more than ever before as people were working remotely. Our movie and game rooms were constantly used for conference calls. We learned that multi-functionality is a key factor in our space design. There is also a clear need for more enclosed small spaces in our common space design.”

  • Where do you see the brand in five and 10 years’ time?
    “We want to give more people room to live, making their everyday life easier, more flexible and offer them opportunities to build meaningful relations. The biggest levers for achieving our purpose are raising the standards for living and increasing our footprint. We see lots of room for growth. In the next five years, we aim to be the thought-leader in coliving in the Nordics and Northern Europe.”

This story was originally posted a year ago on ServicedApartmentNews.com

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