In 2018, Strasbourg had 4,700 accommodations rented in AirBnB, according to the AirBnB Observatory – an independent body collecting data to “understand the AirBnBsation of French cities”. That is 12 dwellings per thousand inhabitants on average. While more and more individuals are putting apartments on short-term rental platforms, they are also often faced with logistics that are not always easy to manage. Based on this observation, Julien Lehmann and Eric Alamercery created Straslodge, a concierge company offering a whole range of services to facilitate their activity.
It is 10 a.m. in the Les Halles district. The metal curtain of the agency rhinestonesIodge has just gotten up, but Julien is already at his post behind the reception desk, his eyes riveted on his two telephones. For the young CEO of this concierge service and short-term rental management, the day always begins with checking arrivals and departures. Assessment of this Friday: five entries, four exits. ” It’s averagedetails the co-founder of the company. During the Christmas market, bridges or the summer season, you can go up to fifteen arrivals per day.”
Around 10.30 a.m., it’s time to clean up the accommodations vacated the same day. Once this census has been carried out, Julien sends a message to all arrivals, to specify the schedule for handing over the keys. And it’s a whole logistics that engages. Emmanuella, one of the two salaried cleaners, drops by the agency to pick up the bags of linens, washed and prepared in the laundry room in the basement, then gets on the company’s electric cargo bike to do the round of housing to be cleaned – mostly located in the city center.
Management formulas adapted to needs
Founded five years ago, Straslodge now manages the short-term rental of 22 properties in Strasbourg, via AirBnB and Booking: “Before the Covid, we had about fortyexplains Julian. The pandemic has done a lot of damage to tourist activity in Strasbourg“. ” We offer formulas with or without commitment continues the manager. The first includes the personalized welcome of the tenants, the cleaning of the accommodation and its management.
” We take care of the creation of the ad and the implementation of the Channel managercontinues the CEO. It is an IT tool that allows us to manage rentals simultaneously on both platforms. An individual must juggle between the two, reconnecting each time on one to report that dates have been blocked on the other. The risk, often, is double booking. And it is then necessary to justify the cancellation of the stay with the platform, the tenants… » The Channel manager avoids this kind of disappointment, and makes things easier when the owner wishes to set dates to occupy his accommodation.
Simultaneous management on the platforms also avoids “erroneous pricing”. That is to say prices that are too low in relation to the market, over a given period – as during the Christmas market for example. ” An individual who wishes to rent his property because he has a loan will want it to be reserved very quickly and will tend to offer lower prices than the average. This is not necessarily a good strategy“, details Julien.
The formula with commitment amounts to 18% of the price of each night, to which cleaning costs must be added. That without offers offers for the service, according to the needs of the owners. It may just be cleaning or handing over the keys. ” But we remain available for advice on the management of the property if necessary.“, Ponders Julien. His sentence barely finished, the phone rings. This is precisely an owner who chose to call on Straslodge for various services without entrusting the management. ” He needed help with his ad“, explains the CEO, a few minutes later.
Straslodge has a laundry room in the basement for the preparation of household linen. Once cleaned, the sheets are divided into bags. One per accommodation, which will then be transported by electric cargo bike. The agency also takes care of the restocking of a certain number of products for housing, if the owners request it. Dishwashing liquid, detergent, tea or coffee charged at cost.
“It’s a job with a lot of human contact”
However, the management offered by Straslodge goes well beyond the validation of reservations. The agency has a whole address book of local craftsmen to call on in the event of a problem – water damage, problem with locks, electricity, etc. Julien is also on deck every day of the week to respond to tenants ” on the platforms, or by telephone. If there are problems with the toilet flushing, a blocked door, or a wifi they can’t connect to… ”
Sometimes it moves straight. ” During the curfew, two students rented one of the AirBnBs we managed to organize a huge Project X party. The police came. I came back from vacation to go there and explain to them how problematic what they had done was. It is something that we can do because we work at the local level. There is a real proximity with our customers and our tenants that Parisian companies that develop this kind of service in the region do not have. It’s a job with a lot of human contact.”
3 p.m., at the agency. Beyza closes the door before heading off on her electric scooter towards the docks. Alternating in communication and marketing, she is in charge of welcoming two German tenants for an AirBnB located on the banks of the Ill, near the Pont aux Corbeaux. The young woman climbs the four floors to check that everything is in place before the arrival of visitors. Tea and coffee are available. The cards giving the wifi code and some instructions are clearly visible on the table. As well as a sheet suggesting some places to go out in Strasbourg. Last round of the play. Opening the windows to refresh the living room – which offers a very beautiful view of the spire of the cathedral.
After a short quarter of an hour of waiting – due to a slight difficulty in finding the right building – the tenants finally show up in front of the entrance. The welcome is in English and Beyza once again climbs the floors to present the apartment and all its amenities. They will stay four days and will only have to put the keys on the table before slamming the door on leaving.
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Straslodge: the concierge at the service of the small world of AirBnB rentals