Leading estate agency figure Robert Paterson has stepped in to help a rental platform hoping to make hay from Airbnb difficulties in London.
Paterson, who helped develop many of today’s best-known brands including Barnard Marcus, Sotheby’s Realty and Hamptons International, is currently both leading a campaign to highlight the shortcomings of Countrywide’s management.
But he is now backing Stayo, an upmarket serviced apartment platform formerly known as London Central Stay.
Stayo, which used to operate 80 apartments in central London before Covid, was forced to hand back the keys to over half its stock to landlords as lockdown battered the corporate and holiday short-stay rental market in the capital.
The company has now retrenched, rebranded to Stayo and with fresh funding from Paterson is now on a major expansion push which MD Oliviero Ursino hopes will see it expand to 300 units as Covid recedes.
“We’re aiming to take advantage of Airbnb’s difficulties – it’s been bleeding landlords since Covid struck, many of whom have returned to the long-term renting market,” he says.
“We’re like Airbnb in many ways but obviously we only source properties from larger, institutional landlords, rather than leasing properties from lots of single ones.
“So we we’re planning to build market share in this sector really quickly and we’re looking for larger blocks of 20 to 60 apartments.”
Stayo is also launching an ‘experiences’ package very similar to Airbnb’s to enhance visitor’s stays as it believes that, post-Covid, the self-catering market will come back strongly as people shy away from hotels.