19 founders from 11 companies are joining this year’s edition of Dare to Scale. Today we are presenting Flat Manager, a property management company for short-term leases, with innovative monitoring software, allowing owners to profit more easily from their properties in Bulgaria and Romania.
What problem does your business solve (how did you start, what was the initial motivation)?
In 2017, Flat Manager was launched with the ambition to help homeowners earn more from their homes without putting in the extra effort. Today, we are one of Southeastern Europe’s largest Airbnb property management companies. Our new mission is to help smaller companies like ours and developers in other countries scale this type of business sustainably at a lesser cost. For this purpose, we provide them with a full suite of software solutions, operational procedures, training, branding, and other benefits in the form of franchises. The first Flat Manager franchise outside Bulgaria was set up in Romania just before the pandemic and is operating successfully, and the second will be launched in Dubai in the autumn of 2022.
Share with us the thing you are most proud of (what is the company’s most significant success up to date).
Flat Manager’s most valuable asset is our team, and our most tremendous success is the way we worked throughout the pandemic which almost completely shut down our business. During the periods of complete lockdown, we held Zoom meetings every day and brainstormed about alternative ways of generating revenue – we started the Temporary Home initiative, through which we rented out apartments for a 14-day isolation period. We made profiles on Upwork and started working on freelance projects that had nothing to do with our business, and we even started creating a board game. In the summer of 2020, most of the team and I moved to the beach and found a great hotel that wouldn’t open for the season. We convinced the owners to rent it out to us, opened in record time, and achieved higher profits than the ones that the hotel generated the previous year. Despite the uncertainty, the vicissitudes, and the problematic financial situation, we did not part with a single team member.
What are your expectations from Endeavor, with your participation in the program (briefly share what would be helpful and what would you like to achieve with your participation)?
So far, we have proven that our business model is sustainable, and we are solving real problems for homeowners and developers who want to grow a business like ours. We have two challenges ahead of us – scaling through franchise and financing that kind of growth. Building a successful franchise is a task that requires hands-on experience and specific expertise, no matter how good the bundle of products and services provided by that franchise is. There are entrepreneurs in the Endeavor network who have already been down this road and we hope to learn from their experiences. We believe that the program can also help us raise successfully the necessary funds for our expansion, which we have been unable to do to this point, as growth through franchising is not that appealing to potential investors.