National

Firms target share houses to boost business

More companies turning to property in bid to promote products, offer job-hunting services

by Asako Takaguchi

Kyodo

Many companies are turning to shared housing as a place to promote products or offer services like job-hunting support.

Come on UP Co., a company operating share houses, and Disco Inc., a human resource consultant, both in Tokyo, jointly launched a service for Japanese students who studied abroad and are searching for jobs in Japan.

Disco, when it holds a job recruitment event targeting Japanese students who have just returned from overseas and need somewhere to live, gives them information about Come on UP housing.

Come on UP takes the students to properties whose residents work in a specific industry that the students are interested in, giving them an opportunity to learn more details about the work they hope to do.

“I received valuable advice from the residents and it definitely helped widen my perspective,” one student told Come on UP.

“They can exchange information with other students too, while saving on accommodation expenses,” said Come on UP President Yasuko Nagase.

Some firms use share houses to promote their products.

In an effort to raise publicity and boost sales, major cosmetics maker Shiseido Co. invites working women in their 20s to 30s to such houses and lets them try some of its products.

Under the project dubbed “Beauty Share House” that started in 2012, participants stay at share houses in Tokyo for three days to a week.

Shiseido official Sachiko Watanabe said, “We are aware that there are limits in having customers understand our products through online and over-the-counter marketing.

“We felt that a project using share houses would enable them to touch and feel our products.”

Inui Warehouse Co., a Tokyo-based company dealing with logistics and properties, built a corporate residential complex on a 6,600-sq.-meter site in Chuo Ward in January.

The complex includes three eight-story buildings. People in their 20s to 50s working for 26 companies live in the complex, which has a total of 644 units.

Their career fields vary from banking and restaurant management to the airline industry. Common areas include kitchens, dining rooms, study rooms and gyms, and residents can interact with each other through hobbies, sports and workshops.

“Many client companies seem to expect that their workers living at the complex will learn to exercise their abilities through exchanges with people from different industries,” an Inui official said.

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