The recent merger of UnderTheDoormat and Veeve, two of the UK’s leading luxury short-term rental businesses, has propelled the former to a new level of dominance in the UK’s high-end rental market. This union not only solidifies its standing as one of the UK’s premier luxury short-term rental companies, but it also paves the way for strategic expansion in a sector primed for it.
However, this merger is not just about scale; it’s about strategic positioning in a market ripe for disruption. In an exclusive interview with Rental Scale-Up, Merilee Karr, Founder & CEO of UnderTheDoormat, sheds light on how this merger is part of a larger strategy to consolidate market position, explore new markets and customer segments, and anticipate future, all the while making a case for a forward-thinking approach that sets the stage for scalable growth.
Position of UnderTheDoormat in the UK
The UK market, boasting a projected value of £52 billion, unfolds as a vast playground for growth, a canvas upon which UnderTheDoormat paints its ambitions. The merger positions the company well to explore this potential. The group has now likely become the largest high-end operator in London, according to Karr.
The company’s strategy extends beyond conventional property management. They also aim to leverage their technology platforms, Hospiria and TrustedStays, to broaden their market reach. These platforms could potentially enhance their service delivery and contribute to their expansion in the burgeoning short-term rental market.
UnderTheDoormat’s Presence in Paris
The merger of UnderTheDoormat and Veeve has positioned them as a strong player in Paris’s luxury rental market. Veeve, which lists 392 properties in Paris on their website, brings a significant presence in the city to the partnership.
This expansion marks a deliberate foray beyond the confines of their established UK market, strategically tapping into the pulse of one of Europe’s foremost tourist destinations.
The timing is impeccable, especially considering the looming spectacle of the 2024 Olympics, where their presence in Paris positions UnderTheDoormat to seize substantial opportunities for both growth and heightened visibility.
Opportunities Opened by the Merger with Veeve
The merger between UnderTheDoormat and Veeve offers new opportunities and opens avenues for both companies; not just a meeting of minds but a catalyst for growth, both in scale and sophistication. By combining their strengths, they enhance their abilities in managing an extensive array of properties – from individual homes to large portfolios.
The move also allows the companies to expand their technological edge in property management and customer service. With the combined resources, they can further develop their platforms, streamline operations, and provide superior customer experience.
Moreover, the merger potentially paves the way for an increased market share and customer base in both existing and new markets. It sets the stage for the companies to explore untapped markets and cater to a broader demographic.
Group Structure Preparation for Merger: Planning Ahead for Scale
The pre-existing group structure of UnderTheDoormat, characterized by separate Profit and Loss (P&L) accounts for its different branches, facilitated a smoother integration with Veeve. This structure likely eased the transition, enabling a swift alignment of objectives and strategies post-merger.
Such a structure not only enables efficient financial management but also supports the strategic division of responsibilities and resources. It underscores the company’s commitment to providing high-quality service across its various offerings while maintaining financial health and operational efficiency.
The thoughtful architecture of their business model demonstrates a proactive approach to challenges, setting the stage for a cohesive and dynamic post-merger operation. This setup has now paid dividends, allowing UnderTheDoormat to seamlessly integrate Veeve into its operations.
2024 Perspectives for UnderTheDoormat
The company will focus on maintaining strong occupancy rates and adapting to market shifts. With economic factors like the cost of living crisis potentially impacting the travel industry, UnderTheDoormat is prepared to make necessary adjustments to ensure continued growth and profitability.
As the curtains rise on 2024, UnderTheDoormat stands ready to harness the momentum of events like the Paris Olympics. As millions of visitors descend on the city, there will be a surge in demand for high-quality accommodations, presenting a golden opportunity for UnderTheDoormat to boost bookings and enhance visibility by utilizing its shiny new Paris inventory courtesy of Veeve.
Tapping into the Re-emergence of Business Travel
In anticipation of a possible leveling off in the business-to-consumer (B2C) market for short-term rentals, Karr has revealed plans to tap into the business travel sector.
This shift in focus represents a bid to diversify their customer base and capitalize on the consistent demand in business travel. By targeting business travelers, UnderTheDoormat aims to open a new revenue stream that complements their existing luxury rental offerings.
This strategy not only broadens their market reach but also strengthens their position in the industry. As more companies embrace flexible work arrangements and support employee travel, the market for business travel accommodations is set to grow, and UnderTheDoormat is poised to seize this opportunity.
2024 Perspectives for Hospiria
One of the key strategies Hospiria could adopt in 2024 is the development of more advanced features. With AI becoming increasingly prevalent in the travel sector, Hospiria might leverage this trend to improve property management. This could include AI-driven analytics to provide real-time insights and automation to free up hosts from time-consuming tasks.
Partnerships with other tech platforms are also likely to be on the horizon. By integrating with various platforms, Hospiria could enhance the user experience and operational efficiency. Such integrations could simplify various aspects of property management, from booking management to guest communication, thereby providing a comprehensive solution for short-term rental hosts.
Overall, 2024 promises to be an exciting year for Hospiria as it continues to innovate and adapt to the evolving needs of the short-term rental industry.
2024 Perspectives for TrustedStays
TrustedStays, at the heart of UnderTheDoormat’s distribution strategy, is poised to shape the company’s trajectory in 2024 by expanding its influence and catering to the evolving needs of travelers.
Central Role in Distribution Network
TrustedStays takes on a pivotal role in 2024, serving as the linchpin for expanding UnderTheDoormat’s distribution network. The platform aims to establish connections with global booking platforms, amplifying the visibility of the group’s diverse property portfolio on a worldwide scale.
Partnerships in the Business Travel Sector
With an eye on the burgeoning business travel sector, TrustedStays is gearing up for potential efforts to secure more partnerships with corporate clients. This strategic move aligns with the broader shift in focus towards business travel, presenting a compelling alternative to traditional hotel stays for corporate travelers.
Enhancements in User Experience:
A key focal point for TrustedStays in 2024 is the continual enhancement of the user interface and booking experience. Recognizing the importance of seamless and user-friendly interactions, the platform seeks to elevate its offerings, ensuring an intuitive and enjoyable experience for both property owners and guests. Simultaneously, there’s an inclination towards expanding the property portfolio, providing an even more diverse range of accommodation options.
Integration of TrustedStays with Amadeus:
A significant milestone in TrustedStays’ journey is its integration with Amadeus, a global distribution system (GDS). This strategic move transcends traditional boundaries, allowing UnderTheDoormat to offer its properties to corporate travel operators—an arena traditionally dominated by hotels.
By aligning with Amadeus, TrustedStays gains entry into a global network of travel agencies and corporate travel departments. This integration positions TrustedStays as a formidable contender in the corporate travel market, presenting an array of accommodations that appeal to business travelers seeking alternatives to conventional hotel stays.
The merger of UnderTheDoormat with Veeve is part of a larger vision to consolidate their market position and explore new markets and customer segments. The company appears to be well-positioned to adapt to changing market trends, including shifts in traveler preferences and regulatory landscapes.
As they continue to grow, there might be a greater emphasis on sustainable practices and community engagement—factors that are particularly important in the luxury and high-end market segments. These initiatives not only align with contemporary consumer values but also contribute to long-term business resilience and success.
Undoubtedly, challenges such as market competition and regulatory hurdles will arise. However, these also present opportunities for the company to innovate, differentiate itself, and solidify its market position.