Apartment rentals and sharing startup Flat Club has launched a radically new function which we think is pretty cool. It’s created a sort of ‘Priceline for peer to peer rentals’ called LiveDemand. Instead of hosts posting listings, guests post requests for accommodation and hosts then can pick and choose which guests to make offers to. Peer to peer marketplaces like AirBnB typically run in the reverse direction.
Flat Club started in the university space and landed $1.5M investment last year, but is gradually expanding its model into others area.
Prior to launching LiveDemand, FlatClub says it trialled the feature with 400 selected hosts, found that inside the first four weeks more than 1000 requests were posted by guests looking for accommodation for an average of 61 nights. Cities with the highest demand were London, New York and Munich.
It also says that hosts who used the LiveDemand feature received 30% more bookings than average. First time hosts are twice as active in making offers rather than having to wait for guests to come to them.
FlatClub says it now has has 75,000 members, 50 university partnerships, 15,000 listings, and an average stay of 30 nights (comparing to 4 nights on Airbnb)
Watch this business model get copied by others. We think it’s very interesting, especially if it was transferred to a mobile, location-based environment, which could put it into the HotelTonight space.