From Cancer Diagnoses to New Property Amenity
When the mothers of Ryan Freed, Francesca Loftus and Corey Loftus received cancer diagnoses, the women embarked on a drastic lifestyle change. The trio saw how exercise and meditation, in particular, improved their mothers’ quality of life, and they made it their mission to make these practices more accessible and convenient—thus creating a new way for owners and property managers to harness underutilized space.
Sixteen months ago, Ryan, Francesca and Corey (above, from top) launched hOM, a company that partners with building owners and property managers to bring boutique fitness studios to underutilized spaces in luxury residential, commercial and hospitality properties. hOM provides group and one-on-one classes to these buildings, including yoga, personal training, bootcamp, Pilates, HIIT and meditation. So far, it’s worked with Stonehenge Partners, Rose Associates, Kushner Real Estate Group, Douglas Elliman and Edison Properties in New York and New Jersey.
Ryan tells us that his mother, Hope, had Stage 4 ovarian cancer and was given two years to live—but healthy living and wellness practices extended that prediction to eight more years. Francesca’s mother, Andrea, was diagnosed with and survived non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “Both were busy professionals not taking the time to take care of themselves,” Francesca explains. “So we created a model that brings wellness services and classes right to people.”
What’s unique about the model is that it works in almost every space, Francesca adds, and all equipment must fit in a rolling trunk so classes can be portable and can switch spaces on a dime. hOM has used spaces like lounges, empty apartments, conference rooms and even leasing offices to hold classes, which range from 40 people on a rooftop (above, a class at Kushner's 18 Park in Liberty Harbor North, NJ) to four people in a private NYC studio. hOM is soon launching at its first office property, the Hippodrome at 1120 Avenue of the Americas, and it’s in talks with another landlord to hold classes in a vacant storefront space currently being marketed. “It creates an amenity for both tenants and non-tenants and shows care for the greater community,” Ryan adds.
Using underutilized space or creating an amenity where there’s little common space aren’t the only benefits landlords and property managers might get from a service like hOM. Francesca says that it also becomes a marketing engine. “You can bet that if you’re holding a group exercise on a building’s rooftop, 50% of the class is taking panorama shots and posting it on Instagram,” making people aware of the property. (We'd be more likely to Instagram Francesca and Corey's amazing flexibility, above.) For each class held, one is donated to someone with cancer through partnerships with Gilda’s Club and Mount Sinai Hospital’s Gilda Comes to You program.
They’ve found that owners and property managers are looking for repeatable and hands-off experience, so on that end, hOM has a hired staff, and Corey trains each teacher for brand consistency. The company also developed a technology system (above) that allows the buildings to easily manage classes, tenants to RSVP, and landlords and property managers to track overall class utilization and where they’re being held. Next stop: Toronto (Francesca’s a native), then Washington, DC.