Tripalink plans to offer more traditional apartments like this one on 800 S. Harvard Blvd. in Koreatown. Photo by Joakim Blomdahl
Coliving and property management company Tripalink Inc. has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2016.
The South Los Angeles-based company now has 4,200 beds in Los Angeles. Irvine; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Seattle; and Tucson, Arizona, with more beds and cities on the way.
“We’re growing fast from Los Angeles,” said Sophia Ye, Marketing Manager at Tripalink. “We’re very dispersed in different parts of the city in Southern California. That’s where we started. “
The company has a mix of basic development projects and partnerships with developers.
By the end of the year, Ye expects the company to own 20% of its real estate and manage or lease the other 80%.
The development projects the company is working on are all coliving properties near universities like USC. Tripalink also has locations near UCLA and universities in other states.
“In every city we are in, we are close to the major universities, but we also want to expand closer to the city center,” said Ye.
She added that in LA, Tripalink is also looking to Koreatown, “where many young professionals congregate. Students who have just graduated from college will be moving away from school, but to Koreatown or downtown. “
Tripalink not only builds real estate, but also works with developers and landlords. This relationship can be done in two ways: Tripalink can enter into a management agreement, operate units for a landlord, or sign a master lease on a property.
The company has worked with landlords like Koreatown’s Jamison and Greystar Real Estate Partners.
Ye said that for Tripalink, management contracts mean less risk but also less profit. A master lease on a building can be riskier, she said, but it can also result in higher profits for the company.
Although in some cases Tripalink can only manage a few units in a building, Ye said the company typically manages entire buildings.
“It’s more central and easier to manage,” she said.
According to Ye, the company seeks future growth on both the development and management side.
“For the development, we are currently concentrating mainly on coliving near the universities. If we have a good business near the university we will choose it, but it will also grow, ”she said. “Property management and master leasing – that makes scaling easier. It’s definitely faster than the development projects. “
Although Tripalink is a coliving company, it also manages some traditional apartments. About 70% of the portfolio is flourishing, but that could change.
“Traditional apartments are growing right now. 70 percent of our populations are undergraduate or recent graduate students who live near campus. They are used to the colonial lifestyle, but when we target young professionals, sometimes they prefer more traditional housing, ”Ye said. “We are currently trying to gain more traction on traditional apartments.”
By the end of 2021, Ye expects the company to have 10,000 beds nationwide. LA will be the # 1 growth market for the company, she said, but she added that markets like Seattle and Philadelphia would be big for the company too. This growth will likely consist of 50% coliving units and 50% traditional housing.
“It really depends on the developers and the projects. We want to grow for both sectors, ”she said.
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