On Nov 8th, Frog Valley was hosting a guest talk by Keyvan Nilforoushan, Deputy CEO at Onefinestay. He did a fantastic presentation of the company’s story
In 2009, Onefinestay was created in the UK with the idea that a lot of astonishing properties are left empty as people are travelling or possess multiple properties. Onefinestay came up with the idea of offering a hotel service alike using this available “rental” market.
- On the host side, by using Onefinestay, you have nothing to do other than leaving your keys to Onefinestay’ staff who manage the entire process on your behalf.
- On the guest side, you are able to stay in a beautiful property, feeling like home and receiving the quality of services that you would find in a hotel.
Onefinestay guarantee that they have visited every single property on offer.
Onefinestay has been successful in expanding in 6 cities: London, New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Miami, Rome. They have 600 members of staff globally.
Totally, they count over 2.600 homes and altogether 90% of their customers would recommend them. The secret of their success lie in having been able to localise their offering to each market’s’ specifications and requirements.
Keyvan related more specifically his experience of opening in Paris. Paris was the third city on the book after London and New York. He emphasized on the necessity of localising their offering to the French market and culture. French hospitality reputation suffers from the “garcon de café” image, the rude waiter who through your coffee on the table. They had to fight against this image and to develop a PR strategy that goes above and beyond the French hospitality reputation. They used media such as Le Monde and Le Figaro Magazine. Today in Paris, they have 600 homes and 50 members of staff and they have actually grown at a faster pace than London and New York.
Keyvan added that the success would not have happened without the people who are making Onefinestay. Onefinestay is a people company. When Keyvan started to hire in Paris, he related the story of meeting a bright individual who got so excited about Keyvan’s presentation that he/she said “I would like to be what you are looking for!”
For the second hire, Keyvan met with someone and explained that he needed a magician for this role. Now this individual has the word magician in his job title.
All along the process, Keyvan has kept an entire transparency to realise that “transparency is naturally leading to integrity who are both interconnected” and are Onefinestay key values.
In April 2016, Onefinestay got acquired by AccorHotels Group for $168m, with the view to boost their growth. Prior to being acquired by AccorHotels, they were opening one city at a time and it was a long process. Now, with AccorHotels resources and support, they are planning to open 40 more cities over the next 5 years.
“Transparency is naturally leading to integrity who are both interconnected”
Keyvan presentation was then followed by a Q&A:
Q: What make Onefinestay being successful?
K: Prior to joining Onefinestay, I was working in a Private Equity firm, and my peers had very diverse background. All of these various experience combined were extremely beneficial to anticipate on some key decisions and avoid certain path.
In addition, our strong emphasis on the entire customer experience has been key to our success. New customer acquisition happens mainly through word of mouth.
Q: How do you go about the various tax and regulations across the various countries?
K: We simply follow the law and regulations for each city we are in. Onefinestay is not trying to transform properties into hotel, however the aim is to offer a marketplace of luxurious properties with the added service of a hotel.
Thank you very much to Keyvan for sharing his experience working at Onefinestay
Finally, we would like to say a big thank you to our host, Capco a management consultant firm who deliver business consulting, digital, technology and transformational services.
Update: Thanks to Workshopr, we are adding the video of the event. You can now watch the video if you missed the event or even if you attended 🙂
Frog Valley is proud to partner with Capco for the organisation of our events.
Capco is a great support for our events by providing a fantastic venue with
the iconic Bold Rocket and « almost » unlimited drinks.
Capco is a leading global business and technology consultancy.
They specialise in the financial services industry, with 21 offices worldwide.
They are advising some of the largest financial companies on strategy, digital
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