Posts filed under ‘short lets’

The new kids on the short-term holiday-letting block

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

It’s not often that FindaProperty gets blog post ideas on the top deck of the number 38 bus, but as we cruised past Angel tube station in north London and looked down on the teeming throng of morning commuters, a young man holding a placard caught our eye.

Alistair Wilson of Staywimi gets to grips with his placard advertising short-term holiday lets during the London Olympics

Unlike most London placard holders he wasn’t advertising waxing, tanning or a cheap lunch. His placard read: “Want to rent rooms out for the Olympics? Ask me how. Staywimi.”

And he wasn’t alone. During the time it took the 38 bus to cross the lights and head into Clerkenwell, Mr Staywimi spoke to a handful of young, interested-looking passersby – clearly home owners who wanted to find out more about renting out a room in their homes during next year’s Olympic Games.

Turns out Mr Staywimi was no other than Alistair Wilson, the 27-year old founder of Staywimi a new online holiday lettings service that allows homeowners to rent a room in their home to tourists.

Wilson says it’s early days for Staywimi, which is a kind of hybrid holiday accommodation and social networking business and they’re currently focused on building up their pool of hosts.

He describes the service as a social marketplace with a friendly community of hosts and guests. The idea is that hosts (those offering a room) sign up for free and create a property profile offering a spare room or a sofa bed, which can then be linked to a specific event or area (in the case of the Olympics it will be specific venues). The prospective guest can then search for suitable accommodation, find a room, check the host’s profile information and read reviews of the accommodation before booking with a credit card. Presumably Staywimi makes its money by taking a cut of the charge.

Wilson says Staywimi is founded on the ideals of sharing and helping others and aims to change the way people see the world by putting travellers in touch with home owners. Sounds like a nice idea. Plus it’s always a bonus to see a company owner out there on the street getting to grips with his customers (and his placard) in such a hands-on way.

June 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM Leave a comment

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