Roomorama is the spot on the web for the money-conscious traveler looking for an affordable room. Make a detour around the expensive hotels and get a spot in a spare room right in the heart of the city.
Interviewer: Welcome back. Time now for business strategy. We’re speaking tonight with Roomorama, an online provider of short term rental services for travelers. Since it was founded three years ago it has expanded successful across the US, Europe and Asia. How did this small start up beat the odds to get where it is today and where is it headed for? Let’s find out. And my guest tonight is Federico Folcia, CEO and co-founder of Roomorama.com. Now, Federico, finding the right people to join the company, this must be one of the challenges facing a start up like yours. What were some of the challenges that you faced?
Federico: Well we have do be very patient because we realized since the beginning that finding the right people wold take a long time and we didn’t really have the resources to hire them from the get go. So we decided not to limit ourselves to geographical boundaries. And look for people with the right set of skills all around the world. So we started working with a few people from different nationalities, we gave them more responsibilities over time and only when we had the opportunity we hired them. Now we have 45 people, they work from four locations and they represent fifteen nationalities. And I would say Roomorama is a very international working environment and it’s great to see them involved in the decision process because they come up with solutions from different standpoints.
Interviewer: So going through those teething problems, what’s your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Federico: I guess that you want to stay flexible. You start with an idea and that idea will change over time. A lot of things will change in the process. The economy, the environment, the competition, and of course what customers expect from you. So it’s important that you listen to each one of these voices, that you adapt your product or your service to what your customers expect from your today and what you think they will expect from you tomorrow.
Interviewer: And you’ve recently moved your base of operations to Singapore to focus here in Asia, but do you think it’s a bit risky to expand your operations in this climate of uncertain economic environment?
Federico: I don’t think it’s risky. Actually what other people saw as risk we saw as opportunity. For that reason we decided to move to Singapore to expand our business in Asia because we realized a lot of countries in the midst of a huge economic development in Asia. And for that reason there is more and more travelers looking for an affordable place to stay during vacation.
Interviewer: Is the market for the short term rental space big enough for more than just one player?
Federico: I think it is. We’re talking about a very old industry, very saturated, but even so there was like four, five or six major players still fighting in that space. Now, if you look at the short term rental space, we’re talking about a probably over a hundred billion dollar space. We definitely had the very inception of that process. And I think we are very far from seeing a consolidated market, so yes, there is definitely more space for more players.
Interviewer: Thank you.
Roomorama continues to expand and adapt in the sharing environment. Check back for more reviews and interviews.
Roomorama‘s business model is familiar to many in today’s sharing economy. The company connects travelers looking for rooms with property owners with vacant apartments. It’s a simple, affordable way to get a place and avoid the high cost of hotels. Swing on over to the Roomarama website and take a look.
Today we have a review of one such accommodation in Budapest, brought to us courtesy of Amanda at A Dangerous Business, a delightful travel blog. If you’re considering hitting the road, you’ll want to make sure you follow up this feature by hitting up her website, where she has all kinds of wonderful tips and useful travel advice and reviews. Don’t skip it!
Here’s her review, transcribed for the hearing impaired and for quick browsing.
The apartment is just kind of a small little one bedroom deal up on the fifth floor of an apartment building in Budapest. But it’s definitively big enough for everything you would need. The thing here to note is that I’m only actually renting a room in the apartment and not the whole apartment itself, so I do have a roomie here in Budapest. This is the bedroom. And the owner Maria has it all fitted out quite nicely from all of her travels. And there’s a nice big window where the breeze comes in at night, which is important because the apartment also does not have air conditioning. Head over to the bathroom next. Just a small little European deal, but you’ve a shower and bath and pretty much anything else you would need. Heading into the kitchen… also a washing machine if you need to do laundry. And Maria graciously invited me to use the kitchen if I wanted to cook anything. That’s great. A little dining area, living room, television. The apartment also comes with free wi-fi, which is fantastic. And it also comes with some furry friends. Maria has two cats which also worth noting especially if you are allergic. Maria also has a nice patio where she is growing vegetables and herbs and things.
So get out there on the road! Book yourself a room at Roomorama to save some bucks and see the world and meet some new people. What price tag can you put on the experience of traveling? It’s priceless, but Roomarama can help you at least save on the room.