New start-up targets the short-term rental market

It’s not a traditional lettings agency and it’s not an aggregator site. With its community platform that “strives to match those with available properties with visitors that wish to pay to stay in beautiful, homely accommodation in London,” new online start-up Kippsy is looking to fill a gap in the accommodation market.

The San Francisco-based Airbnb has already done something similar on a more global platform but by concentrating on the UK capital where it is based, Kippsy is aiming to woo landlords looking for secure and convenient short-term lets.

What is it?

The concept is pretty simple. Property owners, or hosts, make a listing including information such as photos, rates, any deposit required and the minimum time a property can be rented for.

Potential guests browse the listings and initial communication is done through the site. The property owners are kept informed of any offers, allowing them to make the decision about whether to accept a booking or not.

Landlords and other property owners are given the ideal platform on which to showcase the properties while guests can expect to find properties at around 30% less than comparable hotel accommodation.

With Kippsy handling the financial transactions and essentially acting as a conduit between the two parties, everyone involved can go into the deal with an added level of protection and confidence.

Is it working?

It’s early days but so far the formula appears to be working. Just two weeks after the site’s September launch, the platform already had more than 300 listings. Even the Chairman and Founder of the firm, Phil Cooper, admitted surprise by revealing the initial sign up far exceeded their expectations.

Evidence that there is a definitely a demand for the service they offer, Kippsy are already performing well and there’s certainly huge scope for further growth.

According to official promotional body London & Partners, 12.2 million domestic tourists and 15.5 million overseas tourists made overnight trips to the city in 2012. With the city a popular destination year after year, this means Kippsy could take a considerable slice of the accommodation pie where tourists are concerned.

That’s a lot of people looking for somewhere to stay and many are likely to find the idea of a home away from home more appealing than the offerings of a standard chain hotel. Add into that the fact that Kippsy claim to be as much as 30% cheaper than an equivalent hotel and you have a recipe for success like no other.

Hotels will of course continue to take a major share of the accommodation market but Kippsy offer those looking for something a little different an attractive and innovative alternative.