“Don’t accept the residential market as it is. Ask for better and demand flexibility.” Inside JLL and Lavanda‘s rival to Airbnb


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JLL's launch of JLL Short Stays in partnership with Lavanda last month is set to plug a gap in the market with a platform "to rival Airbnb".

JLL director Sam Winnard and Lavanda's chief executive Frederik Lerche-Lerchenborg joined EG's Emily Wright on the latest episode of Tech Talk Radio to reveal the thinking behind the launch and why they believe the residential sector needs to be better when it comes to embracing flexibility.

The new booking platform has been launched to offer business and leisure travellers professionally managed and fully flexible short-term rental accommodation in the UK.

"We realised there is a huge amount of demand for medium term, quality inventory," said Lerche-Lerchenborg. "People are relocating. People are in between long-term tenancies and the relationship with the office is changing. People are increasingly looking to book 3-month or 6-month stays, especially around the UK. But finding that high quality inventory is very difficult.

"We have a whole load of different partners including JLL clients but also other big asset managers like Greystar and Blackstone which means we have a lot of inventory."

JLL's Winnard adds: "With the short and long let markets, it has become more confusing as to what sits where. Applicants are coming to us with demand for 4 or 5-month tenancies. Ultimately we are seeing a closing in of two markets that aren’t as polarised as they once were."

The duo added that while Airbnb has dominated the short stay space for a number of years, they are hoping to access a more specific area of the market as people hunt for corporate relocations.

"Logging on and booking via an app like the Airbnb experience is what people want," said Lerche-Lerchenborg. "It is the perfect moment in time for this as the real estate market is maturing and we can deliver this technology to create a platform people want.

"I'd say to anyone looking for this sort of flexibility 'don’t accept the residential market as it is. Ask for more, ask for better and demand flexibility'."

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