Meet the Team Behind YuhuPublished: February 25, 2020
Historically, property managers and residents have often treated the rental process as a one-time transaction. The team at Yuhu has made it its mission to change this. Through ground-breaking technology, they have identified innovative ways to connect property managers with their residents in more personal and tangible ways.
Since 2016, their mighty team of “Yuhulians” have been tirelessly building a transformative property operations platform that is revolutionizing tenant engagement strategies across Canada. With the support of other five-star companies, such as GSuite, Microsoft Outlook, Yardi and Nuera Insurance, Yuhu’s powerful platform is strengthening communities and empowering property management companies and their tenants to better manage their daily residential needs. With Yuhu, everything is at the user’s fingertips.
Today, Yuhu’s leading-edge digital tools and processes have helped streamline and elevate property operations province-wide in Canada. The team is also looking forward to expanding into the EU and US markets in 2020.
We sat down with Hugh Kolias (CEO), John Yoo (Operations) and Damon Richardson (Integrations Lead) to discuss their startup journey and their advice for those on the same path.
Can you tell us a little about your beginnings, specifically what inspired you to create Yuhu?
We found inspiration in our parents (and their parents) through their entrepreneurial spirit. Real
Estate was a natural step through Hugh’s family’s exposure, and there was a clear need globally for a community-centric platform. It has been really rewarding to see the number of live, work and play communities we’ve been able to impact positively. We’ve had a few residents and property managers turn our name into a verb “just Yuhu it!”.
What were some of the initial challenges you faced?
One of the biggest challenges we faced was prioritizing our product roadmap. Yuhu was and continues to be
collaboratively built with the industry, so most of our innovation and features are driven by existing and future platform partners. As a start-up in a risk-averse industry, it was also difficult gaining trust from prospective platform partners.
Our biggest differentiator is our people which we call Yuhulians. We are really fortunate to have a group of diverse individuals who want to shape the communities of tomorrow. Our early platform partners were also a huge help in both building out our platform and helping us gain credibility within the industry.
What’s your favourite thing about Yuhu?
Being able to work with such a diverse and talented group of people, including our Yuhulians and our platform partners. Every day feels like a new challenge!
We pride ourselves on having the best customer support in the industry. With the iterative nature of listening to feedback, we want to ensure that our platform is being designed and developed for operators and residents to use. Combine that with the intuitiveness and innovative nature of challenging the status quo of Real Estate, and we’re continually looking to make the lives of everyone easier.
Did Yuhu set any goals for 2020? If so, what are they?
We’ve adopted the OKR framework, and have a number of exciting initiatives we’re focused on for 2020.
We’re excited to roll out some new features in our leasing and maintenance modules, a new resident experience app, as well as some net new functionality in the revenue management space. As a company, we’ll also be launching in the US and Europe with existing and new platform partners, and hope to continue to grow our team’s diversity.
In your opinion, what are some of the most important factors in running a successful business?
In our view, it comes down to the people. We’re firm believers in the platinum rule, and know that if we treat all of our Yuhulians well, then they, in turn, will create an amazing experience and product for all of our platform partners and their residents. There have been a lot of successful companies that have followed this model, and we’re among them!
Do you have any tips for other entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own company/business?
Just do it! It’s a very daunting challenge at first, but if you put lots of hard work in and listen to your end-user, you’ll absolutely do well. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals and a solid support group, and you have all the tools for success.
We want to thank everyone who has helped us on this journey including all of our Yuhulians, platform partners, family and friends. We couldn’t do this without you!