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"Most intelligent house in Germany“ ready for occupancy in December

Interview with Lars Hinrichs, founder and owener of XING, on his new Smart Home “Apartimentum” in Hamburg, his love for the Alster and the future of work

The construction works of the “Apartimentum” are advancing quickly, with first tenantspresumably moving in in December, at least theoretically, as the contracts do not exist yet. “But that’s only a formality”, owner Lars Hinrichs explains calmly. The Hamburg-based investor and founder of the business network Xing is sure to have found a market niche with his “intelligent house”. Even more: According to the 38-year old, “the idea of temporary intelligent living” fits into the new modern working life. “People are becoming more and more mobile. The idea of working and living in one city for your whole life, or working for the same company, is already hardly conceivable for the modern digital nomad.” Hinrichs talked to Hamburg News on his key-free house, his love for the Alster river, and the working life of the future.

House Adapts to the Needs of Inhabitants

The Internet of Things makes it possible: As soon as the resident of the Apartimentum gets out of his bed, the bathroom slowly warms up. The coffee machine heats up to prepare a quick coffee; the smartphone checks the appointments, the traffic and the best route and also, if necessary, adjusts the wake up-time. The elevator always resides on the right floor, and the “most intelligent door of the world” recognises an approaching resident by his smartphone and opens automatically.

The Working Life of the Future

“For me, that’s the fifth category of living”, says Hinrichs. “Nowadays, you have to think in target groups, and not in classic dimensions such as apartments for rent, privately owned homes, hotels, or boarding houses.” The Apartimentum suits the shared economy idea like mytaxi or DriveNow. “With this house, I’m trying to make this thought marketable in real estate. The offer is directed at managers, who temporarily reside in Hamburg, for example when the next step in their career is coming up.”

In particular, Hinrichs has executives aged 35 to 55 in mind. “They save months and a lot of annoying running about, not having to register for water, electricity, and Wifi, but be able to just start living.” Rent for the 65 to 240 square metres sized apartments amounts to 2,000 and 9,700 Euros per month. The “flatrate rent” is supposed to include bills and even more.

Buying is Often More Expensive

This “instant comfort” suits a modern city like Hamburg, which has been a city of trade by tradition, welcoming international business traveller for centuries. Today, more than 27,000 expats are living in Hamburg, says Hinrichs. The Hanseatic city boasts a good infrastructure. “We have a lot to offer, for example when it comes to international schools or economic institutes.” His two children are frequenting an international school in Hamburg as well. “There, I often speak with parents that had to change locations frequently.”

“If you want to make a career, you have to be flexible”, the internet pioneer explains. He himself drives an electric car, but also uses car-sharing offers. “I often use drive sharing. Buying is not always cheaper, especially when thinking about the follow-up costs – or the follow-up problems, for example when building a new house.” This also speaks for his idea. If plans should work out, he considers taking his Apartimentum concept to other cities. Hinrichs himself is passionate about being a true Hamburg local. In his opinion, the Hanseatic city only lacks the weather of southern France – but even that he experienced this summer.
Interview: kk
Translation: pk/him

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About Lars Hinrichs

Lars Hinrichs is the founder and CEO of Cinco Capital, a Private Equity Fund investing in European and American tech companies. In 2003, Hinrichs founded the business network XING, which successfully went public as the first Web 2.0 company three year later. In 2010, he founded HackFwd, a company that invests in the best European software developers. Lars Hinrichs is a Young Global Leader (YGL) at the World Economic Forum and member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). Since 2013, he is also a member of the supervisory board of Deutsche Telekom AG. His current project is the Apartimentum, a house with smart technology currently being built in Hamburg.

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