Quite by accident, we started renting out apartments on a daily basis. We had a large apartment in Vračar on the 4th floor without an elevator, over 150m2, with 4 bedrooms. We have been trying to sell or rent that apartment for probably a year. We cooperated with more than 10 agencies, people came, looked, were interested, but nothing happened. The fact that the apartment was large and without an elevator was always a stumbling block.
That’s when the idea came up to try to issue it on a daily basis. We tried to call various agencies that were engaged in this activity, but the people from the agencies did not even want to look at it. They said that the apartment is big, that it is in Vračar, that they take apartments with a maximum of one bedroom, that it should be in the very center, etc. They also asked for a commission of 20%, more than booking, just to put the apartment on their website. Of course, we had to welcome and see off the guests, find a cleaning service, do all the communication with the guests, charge the guests, register the guests at the Police Station. Since we were both doing other jobs, we tried to find a company that would do it all for a higher commission, but we did not find such a company.
Just at the time when all this was happening, in 2012, a friend told us “You know, a website has appeared and it’s phenomenal, sign up there and you can easily rent out an apartment to foreigners.” That site was AIRBNB, which had no more than two pages of published apartments for Belgrade. And so we decided to try it. We prepared it for publication on a daily basis, took photos, formed prices, made descriptions… Not a night passed, we got the first big reservation for 5 days. Then, on the same day, a reservation for 2 months from people from Australia at the price of a daily rental. It was a price that was equal to, say, the previous six-month rental price. And so it started with that apartment.
In 2013, we decided to open a company, rent only large apartments, categorize them and do the entire management of renting apartments on a daily basis.
Today we live from that business, we have more large apartments in our offer that we rent, we earn more, we have a team that works with us.