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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

What would you do with $1500?

Last week, we worked out that on average Flat-Club hosts make $1500 from renting out their flat to people they trust while they’re away. It’s a sizeable figure so we decided to ask all of you what you did with the money you got renting out your flat on Flat-Club. We’ve had some great responses – and would love to hear even more!

Jon, London Business School
I went with my wife for a week in Northern Italy. We posted our flat first and then booked the holiday the second someone had booked their dates. It paid for our flights, accommodation and car rental!”

Corban, Columbia Business School
“Didn’t buy anything special but it probably ends up paying for my daily sandwich and coffee habit in Uris Deli. How much do 300 sandwiches cost?”

Jorge, INSEAD
“Me and my fiancée are getting married next year so we are saving most of the money for it.”

Alice, HEC Paris
“I visited my family in London at the weekend. The money paid for travel and a splurge in the Apple store in Covent Garden."

So what would you do with $1500?
Post your flat to find out!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

How much money is your flat making for you?

So, after last week’s post you’ve decided it’s time you joined all the other Flat-Clubbers and became a rentrepreneur too. After all, the news might think it’s all doom and gloom, but us rentrepreneurs see the current financial situation as an opportunity to make the most out of what we’ve got. And we’ve got a flat sitting empty when we go on holiday in a few months’ time.
So… how much can you realistically earn renting out your flat or spare room through Flat-Club?
Well, we’ve done the maths. Drum roll please...


$1500 per holiday!

Yes, that’s right. Every time you go on holiday and rent out your flat while you’re away, you could potentially earn $1500. But now that we know that, it means that if we don’t post our flat on Flat-Club, we are actually losing $1500 every time we leave our place empty. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can think of a lot of things I could do with that money.

So where did we get this sizeable figure of $1500?
Well, according to our data that’s how much, on average, you can make each time you rent out your flat whilst you’re away based on the average price paid per night and the average length of booking.
It’s the easiest $1500 you’ll ever make. $1500 made from travelling to exotic places and not leaving your flat at home sitting empty. Travelling the Flat-Club way makes it so much easier to justify having that extra cocktail on the beach…

So what are you waiting for? Post your flat for Spring Break online now!

Next week we’ll be looking at some of the more inventive ways hosts have spent their extra income. What would you do with an extra $1500? Share it with us or contact us and you could have your own starring role!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A Guide to Posting your Flat

A ‘rentrepreneur’ is defined as someone who rents out their extra resources to increase their income. So that means, if you’ve rented out your flat through Flat-Club before then you are a rentrepreneur as well. Congrats!
We all know that renting out our flat while we’re away to someone we trust makes a lot of sense. It’s a great way to make some extra income for day-to-day life or just to subsidise your own trip. But when is the best time to post your flat online? And how can you increase your chances of a guest booking it? Because we want you to get the most out of your new-found status as a rentrepreneur, we’ve analysed all the searches and bookings made through Flat-Club to increase your chances of renting out your place and finding your perfect guest. And because, well, we just like playing with Excel…

1) Post your flat as soon as you can - 2 months before is ideal

According to our data, posting your flat 90 days in advance ensures that 90% of guests will see your place. This reduces down to just 15% of guests when your flat is only posted a week in advance.

So think about bank holidays, peak seasons and term dates which can all increase demand and consider whether you can make your place available during these key dates. Guests tend to search for places to rent at least two months beforehand so once your travel plans are finalised post your flat online as soon as possible. Or you could follow in the savvy steps of 27% of our hosts by posting your flat before you book your holiday. Once you know what dates your flat has been booked, you’ll know exactly when to travel yourself. Genius.

2) Keep your calendar up-to-date

Making it obvious when your flat is and isn’t available saves a lot of time for you and your guests. You won’t receive booking requests for dates that your flat isn’t available and guests won’t feel frustrated after failing to book. A well - organised calendar makes your listing look more professional and guarantees more interest for when it actually is available. And regularly updating your calendar also ranks your flat higher in the search results – just a little insider tip from us!

3) Take great photos of your place

Tidy up, open the curtains and snap away during the day to ensure the best possible photos. And use a photo of the living space as the main flat photo; it’s more inviting than an exterior shot. We’ve found that listings with photos get so much more interest than listings without.

But if the photos of your flat aren’t doing it justice, never fear! We have several professional photographers working for us across the globe that guarantee to make your flat look its best. And best of all, this photography service is completely 100% free for you to use. Just contact us to arrange it!

4) Talk, talk, talk

Use the Flat-Club messaging system to respond to guest queries and booking requests as quickly as you can. Guests tend to make multiple enquiries, so being efficient and helpful will immediately make your flat their number one choice.
So if you’re feeling particularly rentrepreneurial today, join all the other Flat-Clubbers and post your flat online now.

Happy posting!

If you need more information on posting your flat, visit flat-club.com/hosts.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The TechCrunch One-Sentence-Pitch Challenge


So… Just how did FlatClub win the TechCrunch One-Sentence-Pitch Challenge?

Meet Nitzan Yudan. He’s our CEO & the Co-Founder of FlatClub.

In January, we won the TechCrunch One-Sentence Pitching Competition – ranked 1 out of 650 start-ups globally. Here, Nitzan explains how he did it…

Since winning the challenge, I've been asked several times about the secrets behind our success. So here are my four FlatClub rules that helped us win:

Don’t Sleep…

"While the rest of us were sleeping, he worked… With insomnia, nothing is real. Everything is far away. Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy.” I know that they say sleep is good for your health and it makes you think clearer but I prefer the insomnia approach. When you don’t sleep you have more time to do. When nothing is real, then everything is possible. You can dream. You can achieve. In this case, I saw the post about the competition when it was launched - UK night-time. It gave me enough time to think, write, and post - and still be one of the first to join. Always be the first.

Make Mistakes…

“Without pain, without sacrifice, we would have nothing.” (Tyler Durden). The only way to learn is to try and fail. Then try again, and fail again, and keep improving by making small mistakes. Only because I had pitched FlatClub badly so many times in the last year, was I able to improve and sharpen it to one good sentence. If you don’t make mistakes, it means that you’re not really trying and you’ll never be able to change the rules of the game.

Prioritize…

“You have to know the answer to this question! If you died right now, how would you feel about your life?” As entrepreneurs, we always have more good ideas than resources. The challenge is to find the best ideas, prioritize, and stay focused. I prioritize my to-do list every week and every day. If TechCrunch wasn’t high on the to-do list, I would have never made it to the competition in the first place.

Share Your Secrets…

“I look around, I look around, I see a lot of new faces. (Crowd laughing) Shut up. Which means a lot of you have been breaking the first two rules of Fight Club.” (Tyler Durden) Life is not 'The Social Network'. No one will steal your idea. Even if they copy it, there is a huge gap between a great idea and a successful company - this gap is execution. Competitors will come and you must create a good enough value proposition to ensure you can win against the competitors. It can be IP, business processes, team, or know-how. Ideally - all of them. While developing the idea for FlatClub, I shared the “secret” with as many people as I could. I got extremely valuable feedback which helped me better understand the customers “pain”, develop the better solution, and most importantly – learn who my target market is and how to talk to them. These were also the steps I followed in the One-Sentence-Pitch. If it works for Fight Club, it can work for you as well.

And always remember “This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time”.

How to see the Olympics on a budget

Hi everyone and welcome to the Flat-Club blog!

Today there are only 171 days to go until the official start of the London 2012 Olympics and we're all getting pretty excited. But never fear - it's not because we're smug and somehow managed to get tickets to the events. No, we're excited because as Londoners, we know the best places to go and the best things to do to see the Olympics and this amazing city on a budget this summer.

1) Start saving your receipts now

Sounds crazy, we know, but a lot of companies are running competitions and ticket giveaways for the Olympics. Cadbury's, Visa, BP and P&G to name just a few. Have a look at their websites to see how to enter.

2) Go to the London Prepares events

The Olympic Games officially start on 27 July, but there are a lot of events happening before this point in the actual Olympic stadiums. There’s Diving in February, Synchronised Swimming in the Aquatics Centre in April, or you can watch some Athletics events in the Olympic Park in May. Tickets start at £5 and go on sale soon here

3) Grab a road-side seat at the Olympics' free events

The women’s marathon is on Saturday 5 August from 11am, and the men’s marathon is the following week on Saturday 12 August. The marathon route takes in London’s famous landmarks: St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. You need tickets for the start and finish line at The Mall, but otherwise the rest of the route is free! Same rules apply for the 20k race walks and cycling road races during the Games.

Image copyright www.army.mil

4) Picnic at London's free Olympic big screens

Head over to some of London’s most famous locations and watch the Games on state-of-the-art big screens in Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square There’ll also be live music and the chance to try out Olympic sports there too. And again, it’s completely free.

Image copyright www.wolfandbadger.com

5) Set up camp in London's pubs and bars

To celebrate the Olympics in true London-style, you’ll need a pint in one hand and a pie in the other. We can guarantee that most of us will be watching in our local pub, and there’s sure to be some great promotions and discounts to lure you in too.

6) Make some cash out of the Olympics instead

Accommodation will be in great demand over the two weeks of the Games. So if you've got a place in London, it’ll be the ideal time to rent it out to someone you trust and escape the city for a fortnight. After all, you can always just watch the replays on TV from an exotic island somewhere…

Image copyright www.wallpaperhere.com

So there you have it – the Flat-Club guide to seeing the Olympics on a budget. What are your plans for the Games? Have you got tickets or will you be jetting out of town as soon as possible?