CEO & Co-founder of Vonder
Curious and ambitious, a leader, a problem solver, and creator of opportunities. Tomer Bercoviz, CEO and co-founder of the global experience living and lifestyle brand Vonder, has always been a self-starter with an entrepreneurial mind – someone who can take independent decisions and use his intuition and natural capabilities to seize opportunities. These qualities have enabled him to bring to life his vision for Vonder. The brand provides young professionals and digital nomads with a new extended stay experience within beautifully designed homes across the globe and a strong sense of belonging to a vibrant community. “We are all about lifestyle and experience. It is not the traditional way of renting four walls with a shower and a kitchen. By living with us, our members, known as Vonderers, can socialize and network in shared communal spaces and amenities, attend community events and use our Vonder App which gives them the opportunity to meet and communicate with like-minded people – all from the comfort of their living rooms,” says Tomer.
Redefining Urban Living
Vonder currently operates in London, Berlin, Warsaw, and Dubai with a portfolio of over 30 locations. They remove all the hassles, struggles, and bureaucracy of moving to a new flat, city, and country and turn the process into an enjoyable experience, with onsite community managers and amenities. This, together with being the only point of contact and offering an all-inclusive bill, allow their members to focus on their careers and what they love doing. “My vision is to offer a seamless living solution for every person, everywhere, within every budget. I believe in providing an equal opportunity to connect, network and experience more within safe spaces and an empowering environment,” says Tomer.
Vonder’s apartments are not like traditional rental apartments. They are spacious, self-contained, and fully independent, furnished with high-quality furniture and amenities which prioritize bringing people together.
“Our goal at Vonder is to reinvent extended stays and improve how people live, work, and socialize – especially these days, when people need flexible spaces where they can work comfortably from home,” says Tomer. Vonder has created an eco-system of self-contained buildings for maximum convenience right on people’s doorsteps. “Our apartment complexes which offer co-working spaces and fitness studios are becoming the most desirable choice. They allow our members to maintain productivity and have a better balance between their personal life and work life with an intimate community feel.” The properties also provide much more, including F&B offerings such as cafés, bars, shared kitchens, private cinema rooms, and lounges for socializing with friends. There are even outdoor spaces like rooftop terraces and courtyards, allowing members to enjoy fresh air and recharge throughout the day.
According to Tomer, another key element for the brands success is their focus on proximity. Vonder’s locations are spread in key areas of the city and allow people more choices with flexibility and different price ranges. They select locations based on proximity to public transportation as well as fast and efficient connections to business centers, universities, and social hubs. Young renters can enjoy localism and not be isolated from other experiences.
Supportive Local Communities
Vonder’s product is crafted around the local community. “Our community is global, however, we put a lot of attention and emphasis on the local community. We are introducing our members to local communities and businesses with exclusively locally tailored offers and content. We also provide locally sourced, recyclable, and eco-friendly materials, as we are social and environmentally aware. Sustainability is our top priority.” Tomer explains that Vonder members are more than just neighbors – they are like-minded individuals with similar lifestyles. “We have built a diverse platform to help them connect, network, and create future opportunities – together. It is about being part of a local community, everywhere.”
Covid-19 has supported and strengthened what Tomer saw years ago – that we all have the desire to be part of a community. According to Tomer, the pandemic has proved that the future can be uncertain and unpredictable, and the key in such blurry circumstances is flexibility, led by conscious leadership and mutual collaboration: “If Covid-19 taught us anything, it’s that people need communities”, he says. “We know people appreciate the social aspect of our rental experience, based on over 10 months average stay and feedback from our members. During the past year we have worked hard to curate online events including fitness, yoga and meditation classes, virtual live concerts, cooking and cocktail making classes for our community. This all helps our members to maintain both their physical and mental health, especially with the long and repeated lockdowns.”
Tomer’s focus on technology and innovation, such as their recently launched Vonder app, has been paid off as well. The app allows Vonderers to connect, socialize and network with other members, report issues, open doors, book amenities and cleaning services, attend events, buy groceries, and much more. “We are a technology-driven company, and we are proud on being able to offer our Vonderers value added products and services. We focus on a mobile first digital experience and constantly work on keep improving and innovating.”
However, Vonder isn’t only giving services to consumers – but to landlords as well. Vonder acquires from landlord’s master leases for buildings to create their unique concept. With Vonder as a sole tenant, landlords have no occupancy issues, voids, or vacancies to manage, all supported by a stable and secure income: “Our margin over lease and growth profit supported revaluation where the property value was rapidly increased, together with the ability of the landlords to refinance their property with the lender while supporting their next acquisition,” says Tomer. “We also forecast a further increase in the property value because of the amenities and the way the building is kept and maintained. Due to the fact that the property is 100% occupied, our landlords are able to achieve refinancing and earn a much higher gross-to-net.” Vonder landlords can also achieve greater profitability as they have no marketing and broker fees, property management, asset management, facility management costs, no bad debts, or arrears to chase, no void costs, no insurance costs, and no day-to-day operational expenses.
Towards the Future
In 2021, Tomer has led Vonder to become the first experience living operator in Dubai, with the launch of two locations in Dubai’s City Walk and Bluewaters. “Our concept has been working brilliantly in Europe and the UK and it was the right time for us to bring it to the Middle East as well,” says Tomer. “Dubai is an attractive destination for expats and digital nomads due to its status as a global financial hub and its proximity to both Europe and Asia. There’s no similar product like Vonder in Dubai. Our concept allows young professionals to live in safe, comfortable, and thoughtfully designed complexes with flexible rental terms and a strong sense of belonging – which was missing in the local housing market.” In parallel, Tomer and the Vonder team are working on launching their third flagship property in Dubai Marina with 300 apartments and great amenities.
Meanwhile, in the UK, Vonder is about to launch their largest UK projects to date – Vonder Wembley. “Wembley is one of the most iconic and desirable areas to live in London. We are very excited to
bring our evolved concept to this area. This is a top-notch experience living product which is unprecedented in London” says Tomer. Due to launch in August 2021, Vonder Wembley is located next to Wembley Park tube station and just a few minutes’ walk to the renowned stadium. The complex spans 15 floors and offers 313 apartments, from studios to one and three beds; all come fully furnished with a stylish contemporary design. Vonder Wembley also provides access to a large state-of-the-art amenities floor, including co-working spaces with conference rooms, a gym, yoga room, private cinema, café, lounge with shared kitchens, and a games room. Taking experience living to a whole new level, the new flagship also includes a private and exclusive members lounge on the 15th floor, hosting events with spectacular panoramic views.
Vonder has also just launched a new branch to the company, presenting two community-driven hotels in London’s Earl’s Court and Paddington. The project is an additional venture to the Vonder residential sites. Both hotels will provide an alternative option for extended stays at affordable prices in the capital. The concept has been created to offer a social hotel experience for guests looking to stay for short and long-term periods while enjoying the benefits of being part of the global Vonder community, whether they travel for business, studying, or leisure. “This is a new kind of Vonder experience. Hotels have evolved in recent years, and we have recognised a gap in the market where people are wanting to book for extended stays but not commit to long-term rental contracts,” says Tomer. “There is an opportunity for our hotels to provide a comfortable and safe temporary home for guests wanting to stay in London for longer periods of time, with access to great amenities and a diverse global community.”
The next big step for the company, however, is entering the US market, with upcoming Vonder locations in Miami, New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Austin, and Atlanta. “We have grown rapidly in Europe with consumers forming an immediate connection with the Vonder brand in every market in which we have launched. This has fired our desire to expand into new markets and we have already launched successfully in the Middle East. The US is the next logical step. The country is home to a significant number of urban-living millennials seeking a better balance between home and work life, along with a desire to feel connected to their local communities. The Vonder model is the perfect fit to the market dynamics in the US,” says Tomer. By the end of 2022 and 2023, Vonder will offer 5,800 and over 10,000 units worldwide, respectively. These impressive plans will continue to strengthen the growth of Vonder’s international portfolio.
Tomer has incorporated his experience and love for traveling, meeting people and exploring different cultures and places into Vonder. He realised that the millennials are eager to learn and want to explore the new aspects of life in comfort and ease. Vonder is giving them this opportunity by offering an urban home-from-home and a platform where they can connect with like-minded people while enhancing their careers and growing their social networks. Vonder, led by Tomer, is fast-growing and thriving. And it’s only the beginning.