Latest on the blog

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

A Relocation Guide to Munich


FlatClub is back again with a relocation guide to a very special city - Munich!

Munich is in Germany, the birthplace of advent calendars and is atop contender for the best place to spend Christmas.

There's tons of places to go and interesting things to see in Munich, so if you're relocating there for any length time you will be spoiled by the city's sights. Our relocation guide also covers things such as opening a bank account, healthcare in Munich, and other daily things that you'll need to know for your Munich relocation.

We'd recommend taking in one of Munich's many festivals during your stay there: for instance Starkbierfest, where some famous Munich dark beers are served throughout Lent - a custom started by Bavarian monks back in the olden days.

There's also much to see & do for the more erudite visiting the city - some of the top museums are the three Pinakotheks (dedicated to modern art, contemporary art, and classic masters) and the world's largest museum dedicated to science & technology, the Deutsche Museum.

Even if you're not going to stay long in Munich, you're certain to make great memories there.

We have many relocation guides on FlatClub, so wherever you're going you can have some good background knowledge and a chance to get to know the city before you move - use FlatClub to find yourself accomodation in Munich (and dozens of other cities across the world!) before you make the leap.

Read on to see how easy it is to become a FlatClub guest - and see what our other guests have had to say! If you're interested in staying in Munich let our Expert Search team help find your perfect accommodation.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Tips for Guests

Being a guest is an exciting experience.

At FlatClub, we want you to feel as if you’re in the home of a trusted friend.

We gathered some of the feedback we received from hosts and guests to make a list of a few simple tips that could help you have peace of mind that you’re the very best guest you can be. Think of this as a companion piece to our advice to hosts.

Be flexible and adaptive. The flat designed to accommodate you on a short-term, temporary basis is the home of your host. Make a conscious effort to adapt to their preferences and patterns. To be clear, ask about their expectations of you during your stay. (For example, if you are expected to share meals with them, what time they prefer you to turn out the lights, etc.) It is especially important to arise when your hosts do, and accept that others have to live in the house, too.

Clean up after yourself. You should leave the kitchen cleaner than you found it, and hopefully it goes without saying that you clean your dishes as soon as you're done with them.

Don't make assumptions. Unless you are specifically told to "help yourself to anything" in the refrigerator or pantry, always ask before taking something, or using the host services such as phone. If you want to bring a pet - make sure the host is fully aware of it and agrees.

Be aware of cultural/personal/family differences. For example, you may be an omnivore staying with a vegan family, but it is always polite to try what they offer to serve you. Be respectful, and do not criticize your hosts' preferences.

Invite other people to the residence only after first clearing it with your hosts. This is just common courtesy, as you are a guest in their home.

Always replace anything you damage. Even if it was an accident, you are responsible, and should make it right for your host by fixing the item, replacing the item or leaving a monetary settlement.

Leave a review of the host and flat on Flat-Club. This is the best way to say thank you to the host. Flats with reviews are much more likely to be booked by other guests, and hosts are more likely to leave you a review in turn.

We hope you have a valuable experience and a great stay. If you're still looking for your perfect short-term accommodation, please take advantage of our free Expert Search program - we will match you with a host and flat that makes sense for your trip.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

10,000 Flats in 30+ Countries!



In other exciting news, we’ve reached a remarkable milestone: 10,000 flats posted on FlatClub!

From our humble beginnings with 5 flats in London, we’ve grown by leaps and bounds. Now we’ve got 1000x that number of flats in the UK with 5194 flats as of today!

Not only that, but we’ve expanded into over 40 countries all together, with over 30 flats in 27 of those countries. We’ve got 1000s of flats in the USA, Spain, and Italy - and 38 in Thailand.

Yes, it’s interesting to know that we have flats in places as diverse as Hungary, Switzerland, the Caribbean, and Nigeria!

While we haven’t written relocation guides for all of our locations yet, we do have quite a few: most recently we’ve added Copenhagen & Munich, and we have guides for many other European and American cities.

Wherever our hosts are, we offer personalized support and lots of tips that come from experience. Wherever our guests want to go, we can help them get there and stay somewhere where they feel comfortable.

We’re sure that our latest round of funding will help us to expand even further, and take us further away from home - so to speak.

If you're looking to go further afield yourself, we can help with our Expert Search! Our Expert Search team will help you find your perfect accommodation -- for free.

Our 2nd Round of Investment



We’re excited to announce that we’ve secured another round of funding - $1.5 million from 3 leading venture capitalists & angel investors including: MLC50, Professor Eli Talmor, InterCapital, and David Wolfe, a London Business School alum who has been an investor and entrepreneur for over 25 years.

This is our second round of investment, with this funding we will expand into markets further afield, and increase the number of rooms and apartments available for short-term rental on our site. Most importantly, we will keep working to improve our platform which we re-launched just a few months back with new technology, new design, and new branding - FlatClub 2.0

Nitzan Yudan, founder of FlatClub located in TechHub, “This investment, coupled with the wealth of experience and guidance from our new investors, will help us extend this successful ‘model of trust’ into other cities around the world and more trusted networks and take FlatClub to new levels.”

We’re all so grateful for the support of our members, and all of your feedback. As a startup it is vital that we receive reactions from our hosts and guests.

We've also got another milestone to be proud of: 10,000 flats have been posted on our site, and we're going to use this funding to increase that even further!

We look forward to improving our service for you and sharing more good news in the coming year.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Tips for Hosts, New and Old


We want to give you peace of mind whether you’re hosting for the 1st time, or the 100th time.
Why should you post your place on FlatClub? Not only will you meet interesting people and expand your network, you'll also make quite a lot of extra money out of your unused space!
See here as well for additional tips on making the most out of your flat, before your first booking.
So, after you've confirmed your first booking, you may be wondering what to do before your guest's arrival.That is why we have compiling a list, based on thousands of successful bookings, and other hosts’ top tips on how to prepare your flat for guests:
  • Arrange your flat. It is suggested that you empty some drawers and cupboards so that your guest may use them, and leave some surfaces bare. This will allow your guest to put away some of their own things, making them feel more comfortable in your flat as well as ensuring that their items don’t get in your way. If you have personal belongings that you don’t want your guests to touch, let them know in advance and consider keeping those belongings outside of the flat or guest's room. Also make sure that your flat is looking tidy very clean, as this will encourage guests to leave it just the same.

  • Leave instructions It’s a good idea to provide your guest with information on how to use certain amenities in your flat. This will not only improve your guests' experience in your flat but it will also give you peace of mind that all will go smoothly even when you're not there. For example, you might want to leave instructions for wifi access, the TV/DVD player, the telephone and the washer/dryer - these are the amenities most likely to be used by your guest. Also, remind guests to turn off any electrical goods before leaving the flat for the safety of your home and electricity bill.

  • Provide a comfortable bed and clean, crisp linens. Making sure that your guest is given clean bed linens a decent quality mattress will not only make them feel welcome in your flat but will also allow them to gain a peaceful night’s sleep, undoubtedly improving their overall holiday experience. Although it isn't expected that you launder the linens while your guest stays in your flat, it is recommended that you launder them prior to their arrival.

  • Leave some books, DVDs or magazines. Regardless of the time of year or the location of your flat, we’re sure that your guest will really appreciate being able to enjoy these items. A book is the perfect accompaniment to a drink in the sun, whilst films are a great way to spend a cosy evening in.

  • Provide details of local attractions. Leaving your guest a few tips on your favourite local cafĂ©, restaurant or pub, the best shopping area or popular nearby attractions will be a great way of introducing your guest to your area, helping them to make the most out of their holiday and your neighbourhood. Practical information such as the location of the grocery store or local transport links would also be useful.

  • Fill the fridge. Providing your guest with a few necessities would be a lovely welcome to your guest on the first night. A few of the basics such as milk, bread, and fruit and maybe some exclusive local foods would allow your guest to settle quickly into your flat.
  • Finishing touches. Finally, if you want to branch out and make your flat exceptionally attractive to your guest, you could always buy some fresh flowers to decorate your kitchen or living room. A box of chocolates or a bottle of wine would also be a welcoming gesture to your guest, ensuring that they enjoy their stay in your flat from day one.

As you can see becoming a host is fairly simple & rewarding,  and let's not forget that you can make lots of extra money. For more information on becoming a host email hosts@flat-club.com, or visit flat-club.com/hosts.

Friday, 8 November 2013

3 Great Reviews from this Month

Our members have been receiving some great reviews lately, and we thought we’d share a few with you. If you’d like to get top reviews like these, read back through our blog & learn how to make the most of your place.

Alessia from Bocconi Club & University of Illinois Club as guest, Zone 1 Spacious 1 bed room flat with fantastic view as flat:
Warm and comfortable, it was so nice to spend our nights cooking and watching DVDs after a whole day of tours. We absolutely recommend it for short stays! Jessica was really kind and always managed to meet us halfway to satisfy all our needs. Discreet and attentive she was always ready to get in contact with us as soon as needed.

Danae as guest, Kavi from LBS Club as host:

Danae is a lovely soft spoken and creative person. She was very neat and kept my home well during her stay. I'm really happy to have met her and wish her all the best for the future! Kavi



Lisa from LBS Club as guest, Golden Triangle Chic as flat:

The flat is in a fantastic location - one block from the Champs Elysees and about 10 minutes from the Seine. Wonderful shopping and restaurants nearby. The flat is beautiful. The furnishings are modern and the huge windows let it lots of wonderful light. We spent a lot of time on the terrace enjoying the sights and sounds of Paris. Overall, we had a great time. I would rent this flat again and again...


If you want to be like one of these happy hosts & guests, you can post your place on FlatClub, or find a place to stay! Use our free Expert Search to find the perfect accommodation for you.

Friday, 1 November 2013

5 New Features this Friday

We’re back with some more awesome updates to the site, the biggest one being the launch of our new Expert Search!

We’ll keep you updated on new flats as they go live, and match you based on exactly what you’re searching for.

So, If you’re looking for a place to stay and you want a little personal help all you have to do is fill out our short & sweet form, and we’ll get back to you ASAP with some great options.

That’s not all though, we have touched up a few more things around the site:

Map Zoom - On the search page, our maps now zoom in and out, making it even easier for you to stay exactly where you want and see your options in relation to the city.
Verification in Message Thread - When you’re writing messages back & forth, you can see the user’s verifications right there in the thread.
Multiple Picture Uploads - Now when you’re uploading photos of your flat, you’re able to upload multiple at one time!
Mobile Optimization - We’ve optimized for mobile, so it is now much easier to search for a flat on the go. Take a look at our site on your phone, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised

We’re constantly adding new features and optimizing things for our guests and for our hosts, and we have got quite a few in the pipeline but we’d love some suggestions on Twitter or through Facebook!

Friday, 25 October 2013

FlatClub doubles our place in 2013’s Startups100

It seems like only yesterday we were announcing that we were chosen as finalists by the AMBA for the Entrepreneurial Venture Awards - and now we are honored to share more good news:



We placed nearly double where we did last year in the recently announced Startups100, which is a list of the most promising startups in the UK.

Quite the jump, and we could not be more pleased…

We’re in good company too, because 2 of our fellow TechHubbers were listed - CrowdCube & Eyetease - in addition to 2 from the LBS Incubator, including Sales Gossip & MenuSpring. It’s quite amazing that out of 7 companies who joined our batch of the 2011 LBS Incubator, 3 made it to the list. Well done, everyone.

This is a perfect opportunity to check which other startup competitions are coming next on the biggest database of UK and EU startup competitions.

We're excited to have another reason to celebrate like we did earlier this month!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Our Event Round-Up: Thanks For Coming!




A huge thank you to everyone who came out to our event at Google Campus - and thanks to those of you who sent your regards even though you were unable to make it! We had over 100 guests, and miraculously enough food & drinks to go around - we hadn’t had a party this big since we announced funding ages ago.

We were celebrating FlatClub 2.0, which saw new branding and a new platform launch for us. We’ve now further modernized our brand with this (drumroll please) announcement: No more hyphen! That’s right, from now on we’re FlatClub - that goes for our name, our web address...everything! There might still be a few instances here and there where we’re Flat-Club, but we’re working on a complete changeover. Looks much nicer, don’t you think?


What a nice evening that was. Wish we could throw a launch party every week, but then again it is a launch party - by nature a special event. However, on the same topic, we did receive some great suggestions - including a couple requests to organize the occasional host meet-up - is that something that would interest you?

We managed to capture some great pictures, and some silly moments with our team, so give our Facebook album a browse and see if you can spot yourself or your friends...maybe even your next host on FlatClub?



Nitzan gave a great speech about where FlatClub is going, and where we came from - and we gave away £350 to spend on our site for a great weekend away. Congrats to our winner,
Sabiha!


Where would you go for a weekend away?

All in all, it was a superb time and a great public celebration of our relaunch - thanks for coming, everyone. We hope to see you again at the next event!


We loved hosting everyone at this event & if you're thinking about becoming a host at your flat, email us at hosts@flat-club.com.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Flat Club are finalists for the AMBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award!


We’re incredibly proud to have been selected by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) as one of four finalists for this year’s Entrepreneurial Venture Award.

The Association of MBAs is the international impartial authority on postgraduate business education. The Association currently accredits programmes at over 200 of the world’s best business schools in 70 countries worldwide.

“The submissions reinforce yet again the invaluable entrepreneurial skills that are taught in an MBA,” said Andrew Main Wilson, CEO of AMBA, "and that business schools with AMBA-accredited MBA programmes are truly forward thinking and best equipped to create the global leaders of tomorrow."

We are honored to be selected by the AMBA alongside three other exciting nominees - especially as so much of our company has been touched by the MBA experience.


“Flat Club was born in a business school, our initial customers were all business school students and alumni, and we now partner with more than 30 business schools. Being nominated as finalists by the AMBA -a key ally for MBAs the world over- makes it all the more special for us.” said Flat Club CEO and founder Nitzan Yudan.

The AMBA will be hosting a gala dinner & announcing the winners on November 6th - and all of us here at Flat Club will have our fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Missing Your Club?


Here at Flat-Club, we love our clubs - it’s right there in our name, after all. Club members on our site enjoy flats exclusive to them, the very best price on our flats & rooms, and enhanced trust amongst our members - and we're always improving upon our members' experience.

So any opportunity we have to help you love clubs as much as us, we take!


Our latest innovation in spreading the benefits of club membership around is an-easy-to-use form hosted on our site that makes it easier for you to request we add your club onto our platform.

Just give us a few details about your university, company, or professional organisation, and we'll do the rest - and let you know once we're done! After that, you can start enjoying all the same club benefits that our existing club members love.

Friday, 27 September 2013

A Relocation Guide to Chicago


This week we have another featured Flat-Club relocation guide, this time it’s my (and Frank Sinatra’s) kind of town: Chicago!

Chicago is the most well known city in the midwest of the United States, a place in between the two coasts that offers as much vibrancy, culture, and activity as either New York or Los Angeles.

Chicago is a hub of business, and therefore sees many relocations throughout the year. If you’ll soon be living in the Windy City, check out our relocation guide for tips on how to adjust.

Chicago has so many museums, including the Field Museum which I can personally vouch for as being a great place for young and old alike. There also tons of shopping to be done in Chicago - start at Michigan Avenue and wind your way across town. Be sure to stop by Portillo’s for some Italian sausage once you’ve finished out the day’s activities!

Looking for a place in Chicago? Our free Expert Search can help you out! Give us a few details of when and where exactly you'd like to stay, and we'll match you with a great place.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Connect Facebook with Flat-Club

Have you connected your Facebook account to your Flat-Club account yet?

When you do, you'll be automatically added to all clubs on our site that you belong to! When you're a club member, you receive special prices, get access to exclusive flats, and come up higher in our search results.

We use our special algorithm in order to place you in the right clubs.

You just have to do a couple things, and then you're sorted (literally).



Nice and easy, now you're done!

Check out our free Expert Search if you're interested in finding a flat, and give us a shout at hosts@flat-club.com if you want to make some extra money out of your flat.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

A Relocation Guide to Rome

One of our major goals at Flat-Club is to create a solid database of Relocation Guides for major cities all over the world. We explain how to go about setting up a bank account, how to get around the city, and other daily-life necessities.

We also highlight some of the more fun things to do that are unique to that city: museums, galleries, restaurants, parks & so on.

In our Rome guide you'll find out about everyday life in Italy's capital.


We’ve also got some ideas on where to eat the finest Italian food (including an amazing ‘transforming’ restaurant space), and some unexpected stops to make as you travel through this beautiful, ancient city - spots like an entire museum dedicated exclusively to Italian horror movies!

If you’ve got more time in the city, for instance if you are there for business or an internship, our guides always include a little bit about where to go outside of the city on a weekend trip. In Rome, you can visit a former port city that is now 3 km further away from the sea than it used to be, evidence of silt shifting locations. Interesting stuff, huh?

If you've had the pleasure of visiting Rome already, let us know if we're missing out on anything in our guide - Tweet @flatclubcom and share your secret spots.

If you need a place to stay in Rome, drop our free Expert Search team a line - they can help you find the best accommodation, tailored to your needs.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Further Updates to Post a Flat

We're constantly working on innovating & improving for Flat-Club, and we've covered a few of those initial improvements on the blog: posting a flat, finding a flat, and of course our club members' experience.

We've recently upgraded our flat posting process even further.

Now you can automatically see what your price will be after our fees are added - keep in mind, of course, that the host will never pay a fee on our site - this is simply so you're better aware of what your guest will pay, before your flat even goes live. That way, you're able to make a more informed decision on your pricing compared to the prices of other hosts in your area.

Also you can now charge extra for additional guests - a great option for hosts who provide clean linens & towels for guests, who may need to go out of there way to provide them for extra guests. This was a highly requested feature from our hosts, and we're glad to be able to give you what you wanted!

Another handy feature, now when something is missing from your post, you'll be notified exactly what is absent. So you can fix it before your flat goes live.

We've mentioned before that we're always working on new bits and pieces that will make our site even better to use - is there anything we could do that would improve the site for you? Tweet us @flatclubcom, and let us know. We want you to be able to safely host to our network of trusted tenants, so any way we can help you, we will!

If you'd like to become a host, drop us a line at host@flatclub.com, or visit flat-club.com/hosts.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Spotlight On...Berlin!


Sure, we may be based in London, but we love having our members spread across the world, posting flats and visiting new cities. At Flat-Club, we want travel and relocation to a be a new, and exciting venture for everyone - but with the comforts & safety of home.

Everyone on our team loves travelling - who doesn’t? As a company we have probably trekked thousands of miles across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Many of us have had the chance to spend time in the beautiful capital city of Germany: Berlin.

“I really enjoyed walking around Museum Island, which is in a central part of Berlin & houses 5 different museums in one area. My favorite was the Neues Museum, which is the home of the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti. It was amazing to see it in person!” -Rotem, Customer Relations Coordinator

“For me, the architecture was very interesting. I had never before been to a country that had such massive Gothic buildings. It was all so striking and different than what I’d seen before. I was also a big fan, as I am in every new country I visit, of going around grocery stores and just checking out the food. There were some great food halls in Berlin, including a particularly huge one in KaDaWe.” -Chelsea, Content Manager

Berlin made for such a lovely visit for many of us, it wouldn’t be crazy to think about moving there - if we had the chance. If you’re thinking about moving to Berlin, we’ve got a Relocation Guide specifically for Berlin that will help you make that move!

If you’ve been inspired to book your own trip to Berlin, check out all our accommodation options on Flat-Club! Or send our free Expert Search team your details and they'll match you with a great place.

Friday, 23 August 2013

User Experiences, Part 1: Host Experiences



Here at Flat-Club we really pride ourselves on our user's experiences. After all, without our guests and our hosts, what would we do all day?

We've taken note of some great ones on our Testimonials page, but we thought we'd go a bit more in-depth for a series on the blog - this entry is specifically on host experiences. We were able to have a little chat with a few of our hosts, and here's what they had to say about Flat-Club.

First, we asked hosts what their experience on Flat-Club so far has been like:

“Whenever I went on holiday abroad, I put my flat on Flat-Club, [...] it turned out great!” - Assaf, London, member of LBS Club

“I’m surprised at the mix of people who rent - from young people, college students coming here on vacation, and the oldest guest I had was 62. She was visiting grandchildren here in New York who were studying.” - Emmanuel, New York, member of Columbia Club

"I’ve been able to take vacation just from subletting the apartment, it gave me money to pay for the vacation.” -  Emmanuel

“The location of my flat is near LBS and Regent’s College, and I think the whole concept of using an interface like a social platform was something that is easy to use, and quite efficient. I think the whole process from start to finish and the design allowed me to use the site quite easily and therefore get in touch with tenants as and when they’d contact me. It’s an easy tool to use, and it’s something not quite out there in the market.” - Jagjit, London, member of University of Warwick Club

Interested in renting out your place? We've recently made it even more simple to post a flat, so there is no better time than now.

We then asked a few of our hosts how they felt about clubs - specifically, did they feel that joining a club was a benefit for them as hosts, and for their potential guests:

“I joined the Columbia Club not only to find people from Columbia, but also to show people where I came from. I figured out that posting that on my page would make things if not more attractive than at least less suspicious I would say - so people would be more willing to rent if they saw that I was belonging to a club - it gives some confidence of who I am. [...]It increases the confidence for potential guests.” - Emmanuel

“I do check when I get a response, and if they’re members of any clubs that I know of, it brings more credibility & I’ll be more inclined to rent to them.” - Assaf

So, as you can see our hosts agree that joining a club is a worthwhile venture - both for themselves, and for their guests. Search for and find your club, and start enjoying the benefits immediately!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Make International Moves Easier with these 5 Businesses!





There was a time where moving overseas was quite the perilous journey: fraught with tension, heartache, and the potential for seasickness - and that was just the 90s. Nowadays, there are hundreds of services on the market that can make your relocation easier, here are just a few that we found particularly interesting. What do you think?

In no particular order:

1) Lycamobile - Lycamobile is a cell service provider that offers extremely competitive (read: cheap) rates to many international destinations, and allows you to maintain a local number for various countries on one sim card. That way, your costs are lower when getting in touch with friends and family back home, wherever you are - and you can give people a local number to dial to get in touch with you!

2) Lovespace - Lovespace is a new service on the scene, but they’ve filled a huge gap in the market that you may not have even been aware of. Basically, you call Lovespace and request some free boxes, pack your stuff up, call Lovespace again and they come collect your boxes (for free!) and store them in their London warehouse. Then, when you’re ready, they’ll deliver your boxes back to any address for under £10 a box. Perfect for when you’re moving house and you’d like a few bits and pieces off the moving van. Or, when you’ve let your place out over the summer and you want your fragile items away from potential falls, spills, and heartache!

3) UK Work/Study Pack - The UK, specifically London, is a major hub of international relocations, being that it is one of the major cities of the world. This means a lot of businesses cater specifically to those who must relocate to the UK whether it be for work or education opportunities. Some do stand out from the rest: enter UK Work and Study Packs, a great and affordable resource that documents everything you need for Work or Study Visas, and sends you a well-organized packet to make every aspect of the transition easier. In addition to this, you’ll also have access to over-the-phone assistance from experts, about topics ranging from tax law (always a bit of a headache, otherwise), to obtaining medical cover for you and your family. Full disclosure - we’re in the pack.

4) Transferwise - Even if you plan to permanently relocate to another country, there are often loose-ends back home that will involve the transfer of money from one account to another. The traditional way of doing this is bank transfers, but these can take upwards of one week, use the lowest exchange rate possible, and often include added costs from the bank for the privilege of moving your money around. Transferwise’s fees are much more reasonable, they work just as quickly as a bank, and best of all, they use real mid-market exchange rates - it works in such a cool way, if you’re in the UK and need to send some US dollars to a person, you’ll be matched to someone who needs to send pounds to someone in the UK. Exciting, huh?

5) Pet Relocation - If you’re relocating internationally for business or for educational purposes, you may not have taken into account travelling with your pet. The unfortunate reality of the international movement of animals is that it is surprisingly expensive, and if travelling in cargo, they’re not guaranteed to be permitted on the same flight as their owners, which causes a lot of stress as you may find it difficult to ‘meet’ them after you’ve landed. Pet Relocation is a service that provides not only tons of advice and assistance to get through the necessary requirements for customs clearance (they vary from country-to-country), but also people along who will be able to meet your pet and transport them via car to wherever they need to go to meet you.

Bonus... Flat-Club - Sure, maybe we’re a little bit biased, but check out our latest Relocation Guides- including London, Chicago, Barcelona and more. Our free Expert Search makes relocation a breeze, too. Just tell us where you're going, how many of you there will be, and your budget & our team will find you great accommodation.

We believe that these services really do make moving across the world much easier, and we’re looking forward to bringing more cool new businesses to your attention. Let us know what made your move easier and help spread the word!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Finding a flat is easier than ever!

The Flat-Club blog is back once more to highlight another one of our brand-new features!

We have already covered our clubs, and the post a flat process, and now we’re on to another vital part of our site: searching for a flat as a guest.

The technology behind our search has been improved - so when you are looking for a flat, you will see the most relevant results for you as a guest first. For example, if you’re booking a particularly long stay, our search will show you flats that have better prices for longer bookings - and you’ll see the monthly price rather than the nightly. We tailor the results for you.



There is more information at the results screen when you search. You see the host’s clubs right underneath their picture, the number of reviews for that particular flat, and the neighborhood of the property. These little details will bring you more peace of mind, right from the start of your search.



Filter your search results to see the best flats for you. You can filter your results by type of flat, the price, or any necessary amenities that are available. For instance, if you need a 1 bedroom flat within a certain price range that can accommodate pets, you can find exactly that on the search results page.

Also new on the results page is our map, with clickable pins. This makes it significantly easier to find the property you want in the right area. Just click on a pin and go straight to that flat.

Search with flexible dates if you’re...flexible on your dates! If you’re taking a long trip, an extra one or two days on either side is likely not to be a problem, so why not search with flexible dates? You’ll be able to see more flats, and you might find something perfect for you that is just that one day off.

Search has been massively improved, and we’re so happy about how it has turned out. Search now, and see what’s new!


Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Our New Post a Flat Process

The Flat-Club blog is back again for another of our new feature spotlights!

Last week we covered the big improvements made to our clubs, and this week we’re going to tell you how we’ve changed up one of the most important aspects of our site: posting your flat.

Discounts for longer stays
. We’ve made it easier and more rewarding to discount for longer stays. You can set a discount for guests who stay 60+ days, and a higher discount for guests who stay 90+ days. Best of all, when you offer discounts for longer stays, you will be improving your rank! When you’ve improved your rank, that means you’ll show up higher in the search results - which means more bookings, with trusted Flat-Club guests who on average book at least one month!


Limit visibility to only trusted guests. Our hosts now have even more ways to make sure their flat is seen by only people they want to rent to: we have updated our visibility options for hosts. Now you can choose to make your flat visible to everyone, only to club members, or only members of specific clubs.

Providing hosts with even more one-on-one account management. Every single host on our site will have an account manager that they can contact with any questions or requests they may have. Our account management team is dedicated to helping hosts get bookings & make the most out of their listing.

Tips & advice while posting your flat. Renting out your property takes time and thought, so you might want some guidance. That’s why we’ve added handy tips to help you along the way. In addition to the tips you’ll receive during the actual process, we have a few past blogs that will help you make the most of your flat. If this is your first time hosting start off with our overall guide to hosting, and how to best utilize your flat posting.





That isn’t all we’ve added, either - also new to Flat-Club are cleaning fees, key delivery specifications, and house rules. When you include how you prefer to exchange keys with your guest, they will be sent your answer along with your contact information once the booking has been confirmed. We’ve also increased the amount of information you can share about your flat in your description, including number of bathrooms, number of beds, maximum stay preferences, and flat size. Hopefully that means less questions about your flat, and more speedy bookings that work best for you & your guests! We’ve also recruited more photographers to take free photos of your flat; as you know, photos are the key to an excellent flat posting so get in touch with us to take advantage of our free photography service, now servicing even more hosts!

Making it easy & pleasant for you to post your flat is incredibly important to us at Flat-Club, and we hope that you’re pleased with the improvements that we’ve made. Let us know what you think!

If you want more info on hosting, check out flat-club.com/hosts, or email us at hosts@flat-club.com.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Our New Club Member Experience

We’re so excited to highlight the launch of our new club pages, and the many more improvements we’ve made to our clubs. Are you still not a club member? Search through over 400+ clubs on our site, and join yours now! Once you’ve joined, come back here and read all about the awesome new benefits you receive.

Enhanced trust. Joining a club makes your reputable networks work for you; you build trust as a host and as a guest when you become a verified member of one of our clubs. We verify every club member’s status through our sophisticated algorithm, so if someone is a member of a university club on Flat-Club, you can be sure that they truly attended. This works to give peace of mind to both hosts and guests alike. Being a club member is completely free, and has so many benefits - there is no reason not to join up.

Access to member’s only rentals. You’ll notice there are two maps on your club page. One of them shows you all of the flats within your club - across the world. So wherever you’re going, you can stay with a member of your network. Similarly, as a host, you can choose who can see your posting. When editing your flat, you can change the visibility to be available to everyone, only available to club members, or exclusively available to members of certain clubs. That way, you’ll know that when you get a booking request it is coming from someone you’d be happy to host.

Member savings. While joining a club on our site is completely free, by doing so you’ll save money. When you’re a club member, you can expect better prices on our service fee, with every booking you make. We’ll be implementing more discounts related to club membership in the near future, but in the meantime, it might benefit you to grow your club...hint, hint.

Locations right where you need them. Remember the two maps on the club page? The other one one shows you flats that are nearest your university’s campus. So, whenever you want to come back to campus, you can stay nearby. We’ve got you covered whether you need to plan for accommodation during a reunion, studying abroad, or if you’re visiting family and friends and want to stay with someone in your circle.

A tailored Flat-Club experience. Each and every one of our clubs has their own page now. This provides you with the ultimate in tailored experiences on Flat-Club; and it’s only going to get better as we add more! Find flats within your network, find flats near your campus, and more. We’ve also came up with a cool algorithm that sorts you into the right clubs, based off of the information in your Facebook profile. For instance, if you share your university information on Facebook, when you link the two accounts together, Flat-Club will automatically add you to your university’s club!

We’re particularly happy with how all the new features within our clubs turned out, as clubs are the cornerstone of our service. It’s our clubs that make us different, so any change to them is a change to our foundation - we’re very pleased with these changes, what do you think?


The New & Improved Flat-Club



We’re excited to announce that we have completely re-launched our site - as you probably have noticed already.

New logos, fresh design, new features that you’ve asked for - all built on brand new technology!
We’re looking forward to your feedback, and a big thank you to those of you who have been with us since the beginning. We’re so proud of what we have accomplished, and thankful for our members who have stuck it out with us.

We have relaunched the site with many improvements (nice color palette, huh?) and added features that you have asked for. We’ll be highlighting some of these features on the blog in the coming weeks, & the first blog is already up! Read more about our clubs here.

We’ve given the most attention to our clubs, including new club pages where you can find club-specific information, the ability to search for a club, and the chance to integrate your Facebook profile with Flat-Club (even if you've signed up via email) so you can automatically join the networks you’re connected to on Facebook.

We’ve also made posting a flat easier than ever. The process is more intuitive, more user-friendly, and we have added a few tips that can help you make the most of your place. Now, if you can’t finish posting your flat in one go, you can save your progress whenever you like & return to your posting later.

Also, we've improved the technology behind our search engine, and added some important information to our search results page, so you’ll have more information on a flat you’re interested in before you even click on it!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some specific new features on the blog. Even more is improving in the coming months, and we’ll keep you updated on every new feature here, on Twitter, and on Facebook. We're very happy with these improvements, and excited for the future where we will continue to better our service with your feedback & support.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Terms & Conditions Updated

We've recently updated our Terms & Conditions to include further information on cookies, your rights as a user of our site, and other topics involving your continued use of Flat-Club.

Every time we update these Terms we will keep you informed. It is important to us that you understand your rights as a user of our site, and what services we will provide.

Your continued use of Flat-Club indicates that you accept these updated Terms & Conditions.

 If you have any issues or do not accept these revised terms as of June 26th, 2013, please feel free to contact us.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Another great day (or rather, night) for Flat-Club & UCL students to take home an award!

It seems like it was only yesterday that we were celebrating our win at the JC Young Entrepreneur's Challenge, and now a group of students that we worked with have been honored at the UCL Awards for Enterprise last Tuesday night. It was a fantastic ceremony worthy of the Oscars, and just a little bit unexpected, but a very welcome change from the usual Tuesday night.


The received award was for Best Impact for a Student Consultancy Project, for the project that we undertook with students from University College London.

The project in question was a consultancy concept that answered some key questions for Flat-Club...for example, will people host on our site who wouldn’t host elsewhere? The answer was a resounding yes. Twice the amount of private people would host on Flat-Club, where academic & company connections are utilized, than on similar sites who place less emphasis on networks where trust exists.

For more information on the project, our involvement, and the award-winning students who worked on it, UCL has graciously posted a video.

Nitzan Yudan was a standout candidate for this award because of both the impact our students from UCL had on Flat-Club, as well as the enthusiastic welcome he gave them and the experience he provided them.” said Director of UCL Advances Timothy Barnes.

Thank you to Charlotte Arlt, Nicklas Carler, Johannes Kunath, Edward Ling, and Matej Orlicky for working alongside Nitzan and the rest of the Flat-Club team on this now award-winning project. Congratulations!

It was a pleasure to work with the students at UCL, and we’re so proud that the effort that was put into the project was recognized by UCL.

University College London students, and everyone else for that matter, don't forget to join your club here on FlatClub! Doing so will net you some discounts & exclusive flats -- best of all, it's completely free. 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Announcing Our Student Beans Winner!

A few weeks ago we ran a competition alongside our friends at Student Beans for a prize of £300 worth of travel money, and now we have a winner.

Unfortunately none of us had worn a hat that day, so we used the next best thing to draw a name from; the digital hat that is random.org.



Look at all those names! We have blurred them for privacy, but we can tell you that's just the first part of the alphabet. What a great response. Thank you all so much for your entries, we're glad so many people are interested in Flat-Club. 

So, we were faced with choosing a name from many worthy entries. How do we do it?


 Randomize!



...And finally, a big congratulations to Natasha!

We wanted to have a bit of fun and see what Natasha was going to do with her £300 prize, so we had a quick Q&A with her.

Q: If you were going to use your Flat-Club travel money to book a fun city break where would you go?

A: Italy or New York, they’re my favourite places.

Q: What type of flat would be you be most excited about booking on Flat-Club?

A: An amazing one, which would wow me loads!

Q: When do you think you'll go somewhere?

A: Either at my birthday, or next year.

Nice picks, Natasha! We’ve got quite a few flats in New York and Italy for you to choose from, and we think each one is pretty amazing. Let us know when you have made your booking, we’d love to do a follow-up.

We’ll keep you posted for our next competition, so you can get your entries in early and win a tidy bit of extra travel money, just like Natasha.

If you're jetting off somewhere - prize money or no prize money - take advantage of our free expert search! Our team of FlatClub experts will pair you up with a great place to stay based off of your needs & desires. Drop us a line & see what we can do!

Friday, 12 April 2013

The UK & Europe Startup Competition Guide - 2nd Edition


With a bit of spring cleaning, we've freshened up our start-up competitions database for 2013, with returning players alongside some new and exciting opportunities. Take a look at our 2012 archive for more info on the older contests. Also, the winner of TechCrunch’s One Sentence Pitch Challenge, JC Young Entrepreneur's Challenge, and a featured start-up at Pitch80 and Startups100, our CEO Nitzan Yudan has some excellent tips to get you started on competitive pitching! If you want to have a chat with us about how to best prepare for any of these competitions, please drop by during our office hours. Best of luck!

Some of the highlights of this year are: PopUp Britain, which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to sell products on the high street, the James Dyson Design Award for engineering students who have designed a problem solving widget, the NYSE Corporate Connection which matches start-ups with established companies, and the Million Pound StartUp competition, where one worthy start-up will win £1,000,000 of equity investment.

The rest of the collected grants, competitions, pitching opportunities, and awards are collected here!


UK:


1. Business Plan Competitions

Competition Name: Innotech Summit
Target: Seeking Seed/Venture Investment
Deadline: Beginning of April
Prize: Investment opportunities
Application: Enter a Business Plan then finalists Pitch.

Competition Name: RBS Enterprising U
Criteria: Any Student or Grad from the last 5 years
Deadline: 19th July
Prize: 1st Prize is £25K, 2nd - £10K, 3rd - £5K

2. Social Enterprise

Competition Name: Richmond Den
Criteria: Richmond’s residents that come up with idea benefiting the borough
Application: Describe your idea in 500 words, then finalists pitch
Prize: £10K Package
Deadline: 7th May

Competition Name: Santander Enterprise and SocialDevelopment Awards
Criteria: Local businesses that can improve community
Prize: Up to £50K
Deadline: TBC (opens in June)

Competition Name: UM13 Social Enterprise Competition
Criteria: Students/recent graduates of Manchester University
Prize: 'Try it' awards of up to £500, 'Do it' awards of up to £5K
Deadline: 24th May

3. Pitching Competitions

Competition Name: DublinWeb Summit
Criteria: More info coming soon (check website)
Deadline: 30th May

Competition Name: Social Innovation Camp NI
Criteria: Northern Ireland's software developers with ideas that use tech to solve social problems
Prize: Help with developing a product, exposure to potential investors
Application: Pitch ideas via website, finalists implement them in under 48 hours 
Deadline: 10th May

Competition Name: Pitch Up with Chillingo 
Criteria: Start-ups developing games or gaming applications
Prize: Opportunity to pitch the idea to premium game publisher Chillingo
Deadline: 27th May

Competition Name: PopUp Britain 
Criteria: Retail entrepreneurs 
Prize: Opportunity to showcase products in high-street retail spaces 
Deadline: Ongoing

Startup Awards
Competition Name: Market E-Test
Criteria: New Business Idea
Prize: Up to £1000 Market Research
Deadline: 12th May

Competition Name: House to Home
Application: Download and fill in an entry form
Criteria: Business ideas related to interior design
Prize: Various forms of advice (bootcamp, advice session, books)
Deadline: 30th April

Competition Name: Cisco British Innovation Gateway
Application: Enter your idea online
Criteria: UK registered organisations, companies and UK residents aged 18 years or older
Prize: Over $250K in prizes
Deadline: 21st June

Competition Name: Million Pound Startup
Criteria: Less than 10 years old, less than £1M Turnover, willing to relocate to London
Prize: £1M in equity investment
Deadline: 25th April

Competition Name: Startup Awards 2013
Criteria: Less than 3 years old
Application:  Register to indicate interest for 2013 and receive information 
Deadline:  Entries not open yet

Competition Name: Shell LiveWire Grand Ideas Award
Criteria: Aged 16-30, based in the UK and have been running a business for less than 12 months
Prize: £1000x4 – Awarded Monthly
Deadline: Last day of each month

Competition Name: Shell LiveWire Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Criteria: Same as the competition above
Application: Cumulative result of the above competition
Prize: £10K

Competition Name: PEA Awards
Criteria: Demonstrating Sustainability
Application: 500 words
Prize: Prestige
Deadline: 24th September 

Competition Name: Young Foundation Accelerator
Criteria: Social entrepreneurs with successful track-record 
Prize: £50K Training and Support Package
Deadline:  Early autumn

Competition Name: LeWeb London’13 Start-up Competition
Criteria: Eligible start-ups should have less than €1.5M (US$2M) of investment and have a major announcement at LeWeb 
Application: Online application, selected start-ups participate in competition, winners pitch on Plenary Stage
Prize: Opportunity to present products at LeWeb Start-up Lounge
Deadline: 15th April

Competition Name: Catalyst Centre
Criteria: Individuals or early stage science and/or technology based companies.
Application: Online application, email for more information.
Prize: 6 months free office space, support from a business coach, up to £1,000 for business expenses.
Deadline: 31st May


Competition Name: Nectar Small Business of the Year

Criteria: Small businesses that have been trading for over 12 months, employ under 250 people, and have a turn-over of less than £9 million a year.
Application: Downloadable entry form with online application, or by post.
Prize: £2,000 cash, 50,000 Nectar points, and an invitation to the Nectar Business Roundtable with Karren Brady!
Deadline: 19th May


5. Non-Entry Top 100's


Competition Name: Telegraph Startup 100

Competition Name: Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies 

Competition Name: Wired’s Hottest European Start-ups

6.  Government Grants

Name:
 R&DTax Relief

Criteria: Fewer than 500 employees, less than €100M annual turnover, balance sheet no exceeding €43M
Application: Visit the website for more
Grant: For SME's 200% of R&D Tax Relief (Corporation Tax)

For a full list of all the Government Grants available visit:
http://www.improve.businesslink.gov.uk/resources

European:

1. Business Plan Competitions

Competition Name: BBVA Open Talent
Application: Submit video pitch online
Criteria: Technology based innovative projects 
Country: Spain
Prize: Up to € 100K + 1 week training for finalists
Deadline: 8th May

Competition Name: European Business Plan of the Year
Application: Submit executive summary (max 3 pages) and a full business plan (max 30 pages) in PDF format
Criteria: Student created, managed, and owned ventures
Prize: TBC
Deadline: 10th May

2. Pitching Competitions

Competition Name: Le Web Paris’13
Criteria: Tech start-ups
Prize: Opportunity to showcase products
Deadline: TBC

Competition Name: Tech All Stars
Criteria: Tech start-ups 
Prize: Tickets to LeWeb Conference, workshops, opportunity to pitch for top entrepreneurs
Deadline: 15th May

Competition Name: SWITCH
Hosted by: Startup Pirates
City: Lisbon
Deadline:  TBC (register to indicate interest and receive info)

Competition Name: Webit StartUp Challenge
Criteria: EMEA Startup, established less than 4 years ago
Application: Apply Online
Prize: Free stand for Trade Expo area, opprtunity to pitch idea to VCs, cash prizes
Deadline: 30th April

Competition Name: Midem Lab 2014
Criteria: Entertainment startups 
Application: Sign up online to be notified when more details appear
Prize: Investment opportunities
Deadline: TBC (event takes place in January 2014)

Competition Name:  Europe Venture Summit 
Criteria:  European Startups (more details online)
Prize: €25K Grand Prize, opportunities to present in front of VC panel
Deadline: 31st May

Competition Name: Balkan Venture Forum
Criteria: Must be registered in Southeastern Europe, provide innovative products/services and be privately owned 
Prize: Mentoring, networking entry to European Venture Forum 
Deadline: 22nd April

3. Startup Awards
Competition Name: Lovie Awards
Criteria: Web Based, Created by a European Company
Application: Online Form
Prize: Media Coverage and Prestige
Deadline: 19th April

Competition Name: ICT Spring Europe
Criteria: Less than 5-year-old innovative company
Application: Online Form
Prize: ICT Award – European Startup of the Year
Deadline: Not Given – Held in Mid-June

Competition Name: The Europas
Criteria: Early stage EMEA start-ups
Awards: 18
Deadline: TBC

For further EU startup events please visit:
http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/17/a-list-of-the-best-annual-tech-startup-events-in-europe-in-2013/

Global:

1. Business Plan Competitions

Competition Name: Startup Open
Criteria: Open to start-ups that started from November 18th 2012 to November 24th 2013
Prize: Conference Tickets, Mentoring
Deadline: September 15th 

2. Social Enterprise

Competition Name: Global Social Venture Competition
Application: Enter a Business Plan
Prize: $50K in prizes
Deadline: Join Mailing list for Notifications

Competition Name: Hult Prize
Application: Submit idea online
Criteria: Students, alumni and staff of Hult Business School, the topic of this year is the Global Food Crisis
Prize: $1M in start-up capital
Deadline: 19th April

3. Pitching Competitions

Competition Name: Microsoft BizSpark India Startup Challenge 
Criteria: Start-ups created by residents of India
Prize: $70K cash and $2M worth non-cash prizes
Deadline: 5th May

Competition Name: Amazon Web Services Startup Challenge
Criteria: Implemented AWS in your business – Hold an account
Application: Online followed by Pitch
Deadline: Not open yet but you can register for updates

Competition Name: Seedstarsworld Worldwide Startup Competition 2013
Criteria: Only invited start-ups in emerging countries, established less than 2 years ago Application: Participate in regional pitch to be able to enter global contest
Prizes: Various
Deadline: Various

Competition Name: Socialize13 Startup Competition
Application:  Email application, 3 finalists pitch to judges panel
Criteria: Start-ups developing business with social-added values
Country: Israel
Prize: Finalists present their demo products to investors
Deadline: 1st May

Competition Name: The Startup Conference
Application: Apply online, then elevator pitch
Criteria: Less than 3 years old, received less than $500K funding
Prize: Investment opportunities 
Deadline: Not specified

4. Startup Awards

Competition Name: TheCrunchies Awards
Application: Nomination
Deadline: Takes place in the end of the year, more info to appear soon

Competition Name: Telstra Business Awards
Criteria: Entry is by Nomination
Country: Australia
Prize: $500K in prizes
Deadline: TBC

Competition Name: James Dyson Design Award
Criteria: Product design or engineering students, design that solves a problem
Countries: All
Prize: £30K for you and £10K for your University
Deadline: 1st August

United States:

Competition Name: MIT100K – Consists of 4 contests
Deadline: Register to receive further info

1. Business Plan Competitions

Competition Name: VentureLabs Investment Competition
Criteria: Entrance by Invitation Only or by winning one of several smaller local competitions
Prize: $78K in cash, $24K hosting and cloud services, $25K launch package
Deadline: 15th April

2. Pitching Competitions:

Competition Name: Funding Post
Prize: As much Investment as you can get
Deadline: Check site regularly for possibilities to meet VCs and Angel Investors

Competition Name: Startup World
Criteria: Launched in the last 2 years, no more than $900K External Funding
Application: 10 Online Questions, winners pitch in front of judges panel
Prize: Package worth $332K
Deadline: Unspecified

Competition Name: MDCMillion Dollar Challenge
Application: Email Pitch
Criteria: Technology driven business idea that will affect communications, marketing and brand building
Prize: Partnership with MDC Partners to build a business
Deadline: Not Given

3. Other opportunities

Competition: NYSE Corporate Connection 
Application: Matches start-ups with established companies
Prize: Whatever you agree on with the company
Deadine: Ongoing

For a list of competitions in the US please visit either:
http://www.bizplancompetitions.com/calendar/

or for a list of predominately University based competitions:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/11315943/List-of-Business-Plan-Other-Venture-Competitions