THE prospect of flat hunting or house hunting in a new country can be daunting, especially for those who don't have a reliable person or agency to help them navigate a different environment.
Finding a place where reality meets expectations can be difficult, so to have the right agent is a big help.
Yopark, a serviced apartments provider with 10 years' experience helping expatriates, is the country's largest provider of serviced residences leased exclusively from individual landlords. Listings cover more than 1,100 apartments in 20 developments across the city's major upscale residential communities under management.
"To make our customers' life in Shanghai even better than it was back home remains our mission since we established the company in 2002," says co-founder Frank Quan, who also is deputy managing director of Shanghai Yopark Investment Management Co Ltd.
"For the last decade, we've built a track record among the local expat community with our hotel-quality properties and unique tenant services at the most affordable prices."
Yopark has served more than 30,000 customers, 90 percent of them from Europe, the United States and Japan. However, what has made Yopark exceptional is not its size but its exceptional tenant services.
"Going with Yopark means you are guaranteed the best in service, including housekeeping, engineering and maintenance support, shuttle bus service and a 24/7 bilingual hotline (currently English and Japanese), which are acclaimed by customers," Quan says.
"We provide our tenants with 24-hour service in multi languages. Tenants' health is always our first concern and we could help them find the suitable medical service facilities. In addition, we could offer the contact of pet care service," says Quan. "Tenant's non-standard requests are taken seriously by our professional service team who would try their best to make it happen."
To ensure efficient problem-solving, three service stations have been established in the city's most prestigious areas - Lujiazui, Jing'an District, and Hongqiao area. The fourth is to open in Biyun, Jingqiao, Pudong, in mid-2013 since local demand is robust.
Average occupancy at Yopark apartments is around 99 percent and most customers, around nine out of 10 are long-term and lease for more than six months, Quan says.
Long-term leases are expected to continue as the main source of revenue, but Yopark expects the city's short- and short-to-medium-stay market to triple over the next 18 months because of short-term academic exchanges and business activities.
Monthly rents range from 10,000 yuan (US$1,605) and 20,000 yuan in the heart of prime commercial and residential districts. Apartments range from 70 to 300 square meters. Target customers are medium- and senior-level executives at multinational corporations.
Yopark emphasizes comfort, style, luxury and a relaxed lifestyle.