A Chat With Johan Hajji, Co-Founder at Property Management Platform: UpperKey

Johan Hajji

UpperKey was built to deliver stability in a fast-changing property market. Our aim is simple: to provide property owners with the solutions and support they need to maximise profitability. When a landlord has a building to rent, we can become the corporate tenant of this building within 24 hours. Ensuring the landlord gets guaranteed rent.

We then take a technology-led approach to make rentals as easy as possible for the tenants. Homes can be booked in just a few short clicks.

We have now worked with over 350 owners in London, Paris, Dublin, Brussels, Geneva, Zurich and Rome, who have entrusted their apartments, buildings and developments to us.
UpperKey - Temporary Accommodation in Paris | MumAbroad

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

My co-founder and I have been in business together for many years. We knew the real estate market had been slow to leverage technology, so we saw an opportunity to lead innovation in the industry.

We started small, but as soon as started to experiment with different tools and processes to help property owners maximise income, we knew we were onto a winner.


What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

My first piece of advice would be to stay on the pulse of technology. As soon as you deliver a great solution, it seems there’s already a better one ready to take its place. To be successful, we have to predict the technology faster than the developers, at a macro level, so we can act fast enough to stay in front.

Also, try to enjoy the journey! We have grown a successful business – from a €2,000 investment to a €15 million revenue company – because we enjoy what we do and don’t forget to have fun along the way.

What can we hope to see from UpperKey in the future?

As the world recovers, we will be focused on international expansion. We have a proven growth plan to share with country managers around the world to help them succeed. This includes, for example, at what stage to hire additional city managers, business developers, logistics managers, operational managers and reservations managers – plus onsite teams including cleaners, receptionists and maintenance.

We also set clear parameters for selecting flats and furniture, including things like work from home packages, welcome packs and decore. This ensures consistent high quality and fast decision-making.

We have created a highly efficient back office which means we are set up to scale. Our back office is the engine room to manage all operations – from customer service enquiries to property booking requests. Everything is handled centrally so country managers can get back to running and growing the business.

By having the same core processes, underpinned by the same technology, we can open up in new cities very easily. There is a lot to look forward to as the property market picks back up.