Apartment rental site BeMate.com is taking its tailored service to the next level with the introduction of a concierge option, but wants to differentiate itself from the Airbnb model.
Described as a “collaborative community”, BeMate.com – founded by Room Mate’s boss Kike Sarasola – was launched a year ago with more than 2,500 apartments in 10 cities, including Madrid, Florence, New York and Miami.
BeMate.com’s proposition is that visitors to a city can rent an apartment but also receive the luxuries of a hotel, such as ordering dinner for their arrival or getting their clothes cleaned. BeMate.com customers can also visit the nearest Room Mate hotel to use their facilities.
A new feature called City Mate launched this month in five cities, offering a personal concierge service for customers.
It gives access to a local resident with knowledge of the city who guests can access via text, phone or Whatsapp, 24 hours a day, to ask for anything from babysitting services to restaurant recommendations.
The customer pays a daily fee to have access to the service – around nine euros.
In addition to offering access to Room Mate hotels, BeMate.com is also poised to negotiate access to other hotel chains.
Sarasola aims to have apartments in more than 100 countries by 2016, including London.
“We realised there was a whole group of people that where not being accommodated for by the likes of Airbnb, for a number of different reasons,” he said.
“Our target group is people who perhaps have never tried an apartment holiday, aged above around 30.
“We cater for families, older people, those with special needs – basically anyone who needs to have control over their accommodation while away. We found nobody else was doing this.
“Unlike some other companies we are very discerning about which apartments we accept. We will not have thousands of apartments in one city – each one is individually inspected.”
Sarasola said BeMate.com is updating its web platform “almost constantly” and that an app is in the pipeline.