Niseko Alpine Developments

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Jonathan Martin, Chairman, Niseko Alpine Developments

Famous for its powdered snow, Niseko has catapulted itself to becoming a renowned ski town in Hokkaido, Japan, luring skiers and investors around the world. With the massive availability of liquidity and real estate investments with good potential, Niseko has attracted international business groups as well as wealthy individuals in Asia to invest in the area. However, when it comes to real estate, Japan is a little different from other markets in that the domestic investors generally have different specifications and location preferences than foreign investors. It is important to understand these differences. Also, in Japan, the language barriers are high and while investing in places like Niseko, where nature can be harsh, you need proactive property management to ensure your asset holds its value. To address these challenges and help people make intelligent and hassle-free property investment decisions, Niseko Alpine Developments (NISADE), an award-winning fully property specialist in Japan came to the forefront.

The fascinating story of NISADE began 15 years ago when an industry veteran, Jonathan Martin, and his team arrived into Niseko as developers to bring something different to the market. They decided to bring a new dimension to development and property sales in Niseko by actively targeting the key Asian markets of Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand as opposed to the Australian market. Inspired by the powdery wealth of Hirafu’s ski fields, they launched several alpine properties offering the ultimate in alpine comfort. These exceptional developments paved the way for NISADE to become the largest fully integrated property specialist in Hokkaido.

Making Property Investment Simple and Transparent

NISADE offers an integrated network of services including real estate, development, project management, property management, and holiday accommodation. It delivers a complete continuum of essential management components that powers a project from concept to completion. Nisade Real Estate offers the full spectrum, high-end homes, condominiums, commercial property, townhouses, land, and large-scale development sites. Completing over a 500million USD in sales in the last three years, the Nisade team understands the market for both buyers and sellers. Thus, holding to its experience, it helps its clients make a sound economical investment. Partnering with international firms, such as Sotheby’s Tokyo, Property 4 East, and numerous agencies based in Singapore and Hong Kong, the company is making property investment transparent, straightforward, and ultimately satisfying for its clients.

Rising above the Odds

Today, NISADE stands tall as a leading property management company, award-winning property developer, and project manager and established a licensed real estate division in Japan. However, like every successful company, its journey to prominence was not without its challenges. NISADE started operating during the first international boom period of Niseko (2005-2007) and laid a solid foundation. But, soon after, it was confronted by the 2008 GFC during construction of its first flagship property- The Vale Niseko, which saw many initial investors backing off, leaving the company behind to balance budgets in the short term and seek new partners. “We were only able to overcome this challenge by working with and alongside all of our suppliers and trusting each other deeply; trust and respect underwrote the success of NISADE. Whilst not everything has been smooth sailing, we have made the most of every situation, equipping us with the knowledge and experience to develop into where we are today,” asserts Jonathan.

Soon after overcoming this challenge, NISADE had to deal with the aftershocks of the 2011 Japan Earthquake, subsequent Tsunami, and Fukushima crisis, leading to a significant downturn in visitation. But, it bounced back in 2013 with guests flocking to Niseko in unprecedented numbers, paving the way for further expansion of its team, services, integration, and property portfolio. More recently, the pandemic has also resulted in re-inventing parts of its business to better adapt and navigate through this period. NISADE views these challenges as an opportunity and strives to incorporate a new way of thinking, team togetherness, and new activities while ushering in the New Era of travel, property development, and real estate. “Our experience has taught us that whilst we need to focus mostly on getting through the challenges directly in front of us, we also need to ensure that we remain attentive to the long term and be prepared for the post-pandemic time,” adds Jonathan.

Weaving a Value-Driven Culture

Driven by its guiding principle—“live the dream of Niseko,” the company actively encourages its employees to make the most of the physical environment and through flexible workplace practices, the dedicated team maximizes their hours on the snow, golf courses, and the mountain trails. “This builds the strongest of teams with staff learning the core value of teamwork and reliance upon one another in difficult times. Our driving principle is to develop a culture that creates the experience of a lifetime for our employees, so they can in turn make each guest, client, partner, and supplier interaction special, personal and seamless. We are proud to be a community, not a corporation,” opines Jonathan.

The winning work culture at NISADE is driven by 5 core values: personalized and genuine customer service, teamwork, constant improvement, commitment to deliver on its promise, and the right thinking. NISADE strives to build products that are functional and appealing for customers. It offers personalized and genuine service as they care about what they’re doing. And, when it comes to employees, the company believes that it’s important to have fun with workmates while contributing to the team. Thus, it encourages its employees to walk into their work-space each day, and do at least one thing to raise the energy in the team. It also truly believes in the saying— “Be the Change you seek.” Thus, it motivates its team to create positive change and constantly looks for ways to improve its products, services, and environment. Keeping passion and honesty at its core, NISADE works relentlessly to deliver on its promise with the right thinking, experience, and connections. Staying true to these core values, the company guides its business decision and aligns its activities to continually and consistently deliver against its purpose and promise.

Expanding Footprint While Ensuring Service Excellence

When it comes to the future, NISADE has several key strategic initiatives in its pipeline. It aspires to embrace innovative technologies across all areas of its operations to ultimately deliver the best experience for everyone who partners or deals with NISADE. Recently, it has expanded its operations beyond Niseko with new luxury hotels in emerging world-class resorts of Rusutsu & Furano. The company is also managing a large-scale luxury estate development near Hanazono called Kaba Niseko and developing a slope-side luxury apartment complex right on the Family Run in Niseko Grand Hirafu. Forging ahead, it looks forward to the completion and opening of its new managed property Fenix FuranoWest- a sister hotel to the award-winning Fenix Furano. In the coming years, it plans to further expand its reach while staying true to its vision of reshaping the future of real estate in Hokkaido. “We aim to create a future which is economically viable, whilst putting people first in a quest to bring the world back together again. We will continue to evolve in all areas of operation and are committed to being a positive contributor to everyone’s life or business that interacts with NISADE,” concludes Jonathan.

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