Q1: What is your business and why did you set it up?
Pass the Keys is a tech-enabled property management company, specialising in short-let management, listing and managing properties on platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com, and HomeAway. While attending London Business School, a friend was trying to rent his flat out from abroad. Although it was earning quite a bit of money, the hassle of managing it from afar made the experience painful. After doing some research, we found many other people shared similar issues. We started Pass the Keys to provide a solution to anyone facing challenges while managing their property, short letting specifically.
Q2: What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
My father has been a constant inspiration in my life. When I was 10, my father started his own business. He taught me that the value of a company is not how much profit it gains, but how it contributes to the community, whether it be through employment or providing a unique service. My father’s entrepreneurial spirit planted the seed of entrepreneurship in my mind, pushing me strive to add value to my community through business.
Q3: What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
My favourite part of being an entrepreneur is that I am constantly learning. Many skills required to be a successful entrepreneur -public speaking, people management, talent retention – must be honed. Everyday is another opportunity to learn from my peers and employees. I am constantly developing as an entrepreneur, as an employer, and as a person.
Q4: Why did you locate your business in this area? What do you like about it?
Although we are headquartered in London, we are operational in nine other cities across the UK, including Bath, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Oxford, and York. We chose to be located in all ten cities because we found each city was eager to accept new concepts like Airbnb, but did not have the infrastructure to support busy property owners. Our local teams in each city take care of our clients and answer any possible questions. We like being located in a diverse pool of cities because everyday we get to connect with new and interesting people from many different walks of life.
Q5: Who inspires you most? Why?
Although I have many inspirations, again, my father has had the most direct impact in my personal and professional life. His adaptability, courage, and drive continue to inspire me. When he was young, the Vietnam War began. Instead of following his academic pursuits, he became a soldier. Later, he went back to university and graduated at 30 years old. Even though he did not have any formal business education, he followed his passions and opened his own business.
Q6: What memory do you have of your own school days?
I was a very shy student. I was the kind of person who only had a few very close friends, rather than a large number of acquaintances. Although at the time, I wished that I were more popular, as I have grown, I feel so lucky that I able to have such cherished friends that continue to be a part of my life.
Q7: What do you like about supporting your local school community?
I believe locals schools are the heart of the community. They are such important gathering places, teaching students lessons beyond basic academics. Young people learn how to interact with each other, they learn how to appreciate their peers and teachers, and they learn the value of education. Local school communities foster the minds of future leaders. We want to be more involved in the local school community through our partnership with Classlist, engaging and bringing our property management service to busy parents so that they have more free time with their family and friends.