33-year old tech entrepreneur Alexander Limpert has built a business that is fast becoming one of the biggest names in the short lets sector.
His company, GuestReady, enables landlords to manage short lets via sites such as Airbnb, Booking.com and Expedia and is growing fast; it already has 2,500 properties under management including in Edinburgh, Manchester and London but also within France, Portugal, Dubai, Singapore and Malaysia.
“Residential property hasn’t been disrupted that much by technology and there is so much more potential to add value, which is where investors see the potential,” he says. The company has received financial backing from investors, so far, totalling £7 million.
Armed with this cash, Limpert expects to increase his property count to 20,000 units by expanding into approximately a dozen UK cities within three years, partly by enabling larger landlords and letting agents to licence his firms’ technology to fill void periods with short lets.
“We have been testing it for a year now with 15 partners and we’re now looking to roll this out, although a public announcement isn’t expected until later in the New Year,” he says.
The average length of stay for each guest is between five and six days and Limpert says most of the London landlords who use his platform are second home owners who want to generate extra income when they’re not staying in their property.
“The landlord profile is different in Portugal and Dubai where we are used more by professional landlords,” he says.
GuestReady is really an app that’s used by the firm’s local representatives, guests and services providers to interact together and run a booking.
Like Purplebricks, GuestReady has local representatives on the ground who work with both landlords and cleaning or linen and other service providers.
Unlike other proptech entrepreneurs, Limpert admits that technology for the time being will never replace humans within the property market.
“We will always need people because we’re partly a hospitality company and I think until we have cleaning robots, smart doors and chatbots running everything, it will remain that way,” he says.
Short lets furore
Despite its upbeat websites, the market that GuestReady operates within is a political hot potato both in London and Edinburgh, which have seen recent furores over short-lets and, in the case of London, regulations introduced to limit short let bookings to 90 days a year per property.
“I’m against a short lets ban and would prefer to copy Dubai and Lisbon where landlords must pay for a permit and adhere to local rules in order to limit the number of short-let properties in a given area.
“There needs to be a win-win for everybody then that is the best way forward.”
Read more about GuestReady.