A company that manages short-term property lets via the likes of Airbnb is mulling the expansion of its network across Scotland after helping Edinburgh homeowners generate a collective seven-figure sum.
Airsorted’s hosting platform amalgamates and services guest bookings from travel websites including Expedia, Booking.com and HomeAway as well as Airbnb, taking a percentage of income.
It manages the letting process from start to finish, including taking photographs of and writing descriptions of properties, and ensuring that they are professionally cleaned both before and after tenants’ stays.
The firm moved into Edinburgh in 2016, based on Castle Terrace, and currently works with 550 properties in the city where it has helped homeowners earn nearly £5 million to date. That compares to more than £32m worldwide from in excess of 3,000 properties.
UK and Ireland director Nick Hodgson told The Scotsman that the Scottish capital is a “very significant” market for Airsorted, where it still sees “massive” growth potential. It now has 15 full-time employees in the Edinburgh team, and about 200 cleaners. These numbers will “definitely” head upwards, he adds. “We’re only growing.”
He also said total enquiries have tripled over the last year, with Edinburgh representative of that.
Hodgson joined Airsorted to launch its first city outside its London headquarters, having moved back to Edinburgh where he was born to join Deliveroo in 2015 as commercial manager.
In March, Airsorted announced the completion of a Series A funding round worth £5m to support its growth with investors including Pi Labs and Atami Capital. It then raised a further £2.1m through a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, as it looks to expand into 38 new cities globally by the end of 2019.
Its UK and Ireland network also includes Brighton, Oxford, Manchester, and Dublin. While there are no other Airsorted sites in Scotland currently, Hodgson states. “I’m Scottish – I’m well aware of the huge opportunities that other large cities such as Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness could offer us. We are very, very ambitious with our growth plans and [those locations] are definitely on our radar.”
There has been controversy over the use of Airbnb in Edinburgh, not least noise complaints.
But Hodgson said: “We are huge advocates of being responsible hosts. If anything we’re making the most of what Edinburgh has to offer – we’re enabling more people to come and stay. We are supporting the ability for Edinburgh to continue to be super-attractive to tourists and guests.”