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A new era of tenancy – the uTenant journey

uTenant

In celebration of its fourth birthday, MHD conducted a Q&A with uTenant’s co-founder Kyle Rogers about the journey – the surprises, the innovations, and the culture – that the warehousing and supply chain disruptor has made so far.

Kyle – with uTenant having recently celebrated its fourth birthday – what have the last four years looked like from your vantage point?

The business was set up four years ago by Matt Sampson, who left a position as a major senior industrial agent in the market. He was determined to reinvent traditional industrial property operations and knew there to be a better way for businesses to source industrial property – a far more transparent process.

Then in early 2019, I joined the team with my background in logistics and the 3PL side. That’s when I introduced a new concept to further assist tenants – the on-demand warehousing platform!

Since then, we’ve seen huge growth and have been able to launch a Solutions service to assist tenants and landlords streamline their warehousing and supply chain operations, as well as expand the team to introduce a tech department, a marketing department and a customer experience team.

But despite our fast growth and additional supply chain services, our core values and goals have always stayed the same – to create more transparency and simplicity for the industry.

That’s where our name came from too, and why we capitalise the ‘T’ – that transparent focus for the tenant. Matt has always emphasised the importance of transparency. We have what we call uTenant’s ‘T’s and C’s’ – transparency, confidentiality, time, and cost efficiencies.

So, no matter what the next four, ten, twenty years looks like for us, these values will always be at the heart of uTenant.

What’s been most surprising about the journey so far?

There’s been a lot of surprises, as I’m sure you can imagine! But nothing that we weren’t prepared for. Our ability to have a bit of gumption in realising why and how we needed to add value to tenants and the industry has been important to us … And perhaps a surprise for the industry!

We’ve also have been adding on services and personnel with great speed, offering new solutions to answer the needs of our customers – first launching our on-demand warehousing platform followed by our digital supply chain solutions division which is backed by our partnership with Logivations for Digital Twins.

Fundamentally, these additional services were created to complement our property service and to assist uTenant to disrupt and provide an integrated service offering, built on value and serving our customers as best as we can.

The speed with which we’ve developed from an innovator in one field to really spreading our wings across several others has been the most pleasing thing for me, I’d say.

Not only that, but with JLL having come on board in the last six months as a minority shareholder means we can offer the most independent supply chain solutions and industrial property services across Australia. With JLL’s support and global project management services – as well as their credibility as a big brand – they can look after the landlords, and free us up to be more tenant-focused. That is the key with this partnership that we hope to convey clearly to the industry – there is a clear delineation between who represents the tenant and who represents the landlord – and you simply won’t find that anywhere else.

What about the culture of uTenant – how did that evolve? 

I remember the first few meetings Matt and I had – it was obvious that he wanted to change industrial property as we know it, and I wanted to do the same for logistics.

I think our approach has just been to network hard – but trust our gut feeling, too.

And as for the team, we hire for culture first – that’s why we’ve got so many people of diverse backgrounds, professional histories, and experiences. We work hard to foster a culture where everyone’s voice is heard and all ideas are considered. With so many experiences within uTenant, this means we truly have the most creative and exciting discussions about our future.

To us, culture is everything. As the saying goes, culture is a bit like concrete, once it sets, it’s impossible to change. We like to think of ourselves like a 120-tonne rate hard stand. The better the culture, the more you can withstand when the tough times come!

Over the last four years, we’ve been really careful to handpick our team – choosing each individual with a holistic framework in mind. As a company, we are really diverse in our industry backgrounds, skillsets, gender and nationality – but we all have the same mindset when it comes to customer service. The customer and their needs always come first. Our motto internally is to always look how we can best service the customer, rather than benefit ourselves. This has really enabled us to solidify some long-standing relationships with a diverse range of customers – from small entrepreneurial operators to some of the largest companies on the planet.

The industry has been needing this kind of solution for a long time. The fact that four years in, we’re continuing to bring together two of the largest industries in the world to provide a better service, we couldn’t be happier with where things are at and where things are going!

What are the next four years going to look like?

Recently we expanded our offering into New Zealand, and Asia will be next in 2022. After we get a foothold there, we can look further afield. The industry has been crying out for this alternative – so we’re not going to stop here.

We’re also excited to continue to onboard more people and keep building on our current capabilities. We look forward to working with our shareholders like JLL, and our partners like Logivations, to offer better integrated supply chain and warehousing solutions across the country and beyond.

For more information on uTenant, click here

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