For many years, the understanding about real estate in Japan was that, as soon as you purchased it, its value began to decline. But times have changed in part thanks to the effects of Abenomics, which have helped real estate investments increase in value. And, thanks to the strength of other currencies relative to the yen, buyers from around the world are recognizing that Japanese real estate can be an excellent investment.
However, between the language barrier, a wide array of formalities and the difficulties of knowing exactly where to buy properties, entering the market can be challenging, even for long-term residents of Japan. And then if you’ve invested in a property that you’re renting to tenants, there are a host of concerns that you need to address, ranging from searching for new tenants to keeping the property maintained.
And this is exactly where Axios Management can help, explains the company’s managing director, Tsuyoshi Hikichi. Axios provides full-service property management for its clients, who are not only based in Japan, but around Asia, the United States, and in European countries. The company is dedicated to improving property owners’ return on investment (ROI).
But this wasn’t how the company started, Hikichi explained. He joined it in 2012, when it was known as Morris Japan and was focused on the brokerage business. However, thanks to his previous experience working with a company that invested in and managed hotels, and a timely request from a client, his perspective on the company’s potential changed: “One day, I had an inquiry from an American who owned buildings in Mito and Kyoto. He purchased the buildings through a famous Japanese brokerage company. But the properties weren’t doing well, so he was looking for good property management.
“The Kyoto property was far from Tokyo. But at my previous company, we managed hotels across Japan, so I thought this could be a possibility for me. And this was the beginning of the property management component of our business. The client was really satisfied with our services. And he introduced another client and that new client introduced one of his colleagues, and that’s how we have been growing this business over the last four or five years.”
Hikichi bought the company and changed its name to Axios in 2016, and they have been generating strong business thanks to their reputation for providing excellent service. This goes beyond just making sure that the properties are well run—they’re also focused on how they can help their clients build value over the long term: “In addition to daily operations, we want to provide property investment—thinking five, 10, or even 20 years down the line,” Hikichi said. “This requires forecasting and planning to figure out how we can maximize profits, and it’s much more like asset management,” he said.
The company has a portfolio of more than 3,000 units across Japan, including about 100 in the central Tokyo area. This gives potential investors a wide range of options to choose from. But in addition to their many properties, their ability to provide impeccable service in English makes Axios stand out. And what continues to bolster their reputation within the industry is their transparency, which distinguishes them from their competitors, Hikichi explains: “For example, if you’ve got a unit with a broken air conditioner, most property owners wouldn’t know how much it would be to fix it. And some property managers might put some margin on top of the repairs and then pocket the money. And that’s exactly what we don’t do. Our job is to maximize ROI, which means trying to increase revenue and reduce expenses, so that owners can generate more profit. That’s our business, and it’s very different from other companies.”
This is an ideal time to be investing in Japanese real estate, and with a strong track record of helping global clients generate impressive ROI, reputation for honesty, and dedication to attentive service, Axios Management is an excellent partner to help you navigate the market.