Souken Holdings, Inc


Kensuke Otomo

kensuke otomo
We would like to do business in a generation where “you” are playing the lead part.

It is the leader’s role to create a “culture”. When unfair transactions, shoddy workmanship, and arrogant customers become normal in a certain industry, it is neither an individual problem nor an organizational or regulation problem. There is a culture that is fit for every industry. To lead the company and industry as a manager, I would like our company to become one that is built from a good culture.

Year of Birth
Souken Holdings, Inc
3-10-1 Midoricho, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo
Type of business
Home renovation, real estate internet media
Our company, Souken Holdings, is proud to have provided an aggressive and innovative solution to go through the core of the problem in the field of exterior wall painting and exterior renovation through Protimes Souken, and real estate properties through Ultimate Souken.
As a result, we have improved our performance at an exceptional speed in the Japanese renovation industry, ranked 5th in Japan as an exterior renovation company and was listed far and away the first place in terms of growth rate. Among the affiliated FC organizations, we are the one who held the first place for eight consecutive years. (Reform Shimbun)
The first thing I worked on as a manager was to provide solutions to problems concerning the industries of exterior wall painting and exterior renovation.
In exterior reform, it is difficult to distinguish qualities such as strength from ordinary ones if the outside is painted beautifully. That is why, shoddy workmanship occurs occur commonly in this industry, and it can be said that there was no one who could do construction work to how it is expected to. As theorized by the Nobel prize-winning economist George Arthur Akerlof et al., the industry is in a state wherein a business with poor service dominates the market due to information asymmetry, leaving the consumers suffering from its disadvantages.

In addition, since major house manufacturers and real estate companies do not have an in-house expert in this field, the margin was eliminated through numerous subcontract structure, therefore failing to secure technical skills.
Meanwhile, we were able to generate a CAD image before construction, enabling us to come up with an exact calculation in tasks including undercoating, middle coating, and top coating, as well as the required volume of paint that are not shown in the table. We also include drying time in our client presentations, and developed building diagnostics, long-term warranty after construction, and other services that changed the industry's norm.
Of course, we employed in-house experts and trained them to become more knowledgeable in their craft. Perceptions related to how a construction is evaluated as correct or shoddy cannot be completely documented in a manual as it involves the wisdom and concept of an expert. Therefore, in a culture that is formed by people working together, it is important for me and for each one to consider how an expert in the field works to create an environment that allows them to grow.

Founded in 2012, Ultimate Souken provided solutions in real estate buying, selling, and rental.
Before I started the business, I was a top salesman at a major apartment company. I became aware of the problems in the industry when I probed deeply at its actual condition.

One of these is the mechanism of broker fees. Although Japanese law stipulates the ceiling of broker's fee though rental and the like, in reality, real estate companies deduct fees from the landlords which includes advertising costs (AD). This increased financial burden on the residents.

In addition, the entities in the industry were composed of existing companies and of those who are regarded as experts in the industry, so they look away from the reality wherein rules will only be in name and not in practice. They made unnecessary arguments and developed superficial solutions.
As someone who knows the reality of the real estate industry and someone who can speak freely without taking part in it, I was enlightened with the realities of real estate transactions in various medium including lectures, books, magazines, and televisions. In addition, we launched the website Uchikomi! as a concrete solution to the problem.
It is a website that allows landlords to directly communicate with people searching for properties and to accept them without having to pay for processing. As agents, real estate companies conduct activities that involve contracts, and owners only pay them a broker’s fee that is worth a month of rent. With this, tenants can rent without the broker's fee.

It may seem like a very simple mechanism, but the industry's culture hindered these inherent solutions. Nevertheless, users immediately noticed the value of the service. We became well-known after starting the website without putting up advertisements, and we continue enjoying a steady growth of users.
Just as I was thinking about starting a business in the real estate field in 2006, "You" was chosen as Time's Person of the Year instead of other businessmen and politicians. This meant the beginning of the generation where information asymmetry was reduced because of the development of internet media, and where each consumer plays a lead role. I strived hard because I think our services should be made compatible with the present era.
Regarding the value of being able to complain, if one feels that our general perception is advancing, they may also feel far away from the solution because of the arrival of completely different services. However, I am not totally pessimistic about it. I believe that sooner or later, it is the consumers who will choose the service that best fits them.

kensuke otomo
kensuke otomo

*Information accurate as of time of publication.

Souken Holdings, Inc

Kensuke Otomo