No question what’s the hottest space in the accommodation right now. Oh, hang on, maybe there are two. Apart from last minute bookings through mobile via apps such as ‘Hotel Tonight‘, I mean.
And that is – the rapidly emerging online ‘private space’ marketplace, where the market leader (creator?) Airbnb goes from strength the strength, its expansion fuelled by US$120m in venture capital.
CEO James Edwards says the company was founded earlier this year and now features 1200 listings – rooms, apartments and houses in every Australian capital city.
“Greatspace was launched in as a result of three separate bu related factors: the ‘space rich’ nature of Australians; our high mortgages/rents and cost of living; and, most importantly – the growing demand by travellers for private spaces.”
At present the primary focus is signing up more properties.
The pitch runs: “A ‘great space’ could be your spare room while you are there, or your whole house or apartment while you are off travelling.
“By ‘greatspacing’ you can cover the burn cost of your mortgage or rent, and suddenly you can afford to travel more.”
In terms of the mechanics:
- The “host” sets the price and the house-rules, and can require a security deposit.
- Payment is securely collected upfront, and Greatspace intermediates in the event of occasional quibbles.
- Hosts and travellers ‘e-meet’ and get comfortable with each other before they transact.
- Listings are free.