Raiyaan Nayeem and Basil P A, the founders of Hubloft, are all ready to set a new trend in Kerala’s tourism industry. Through offering a platform to homeowners who wish to let out their second or vacation homes for short-term stays, they have created a system that benefits both tourists and home owners alike. Based out of Cochin, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southern India, Hubloft has placed itself at the centre of all activities. Read about Hubloft’s vision and future plans, and how it has prepared itself to meet the challenges of this niche service industry.
How would you introduce Hubloft to our readers?
Hubloft is a home-sharing company that offers discerning travellers with beautiful live-work-play spaces. Our spaces strike a perfect balance in terms of short-stay rentals, providing the warmth and comfort of a home while offering the conveniences expected of a good hotel. In doing so, Hubloft helps homeowners earn an income out of an asset that is otherwise dormant, while ensuring that their home is readily available for their use as and when they need them.
What problem does it solve for travellers?
Despite the explosive growth of home-sharing market in Kerala and the support that home-stays receive from the government, consumers still choose hotels over homes for their short-term stay. Given the better price, larger space and the privacy factor, why aren’t such vacation rentals the preferred choice of accommodation for travellers? The answer is simple: these home-stays cannot match the consistency of services and conveniences provided by hotels. This is where Hubloft steps in. We ensure that travellers receive consistent and high standards of services along with an authentic travel experience.
How does it benefit home-owners?
There is an unimaginable number of homes lying vacant all over Kerala and elsewhere – either because they are second homes, or because the owners live outside the city/country, and use these homes only when they come on vacation. These homes are usually either locked up or given out on long-term rentals, both of which pose their own problems. By converting them into short-term rentals, Hubloft ensures that such homes not only earn an income, but are also available for use by the home-owner whenever and for as long as they need.
Tell us about yourselves and your experience in the field of hospitality and real estate. What made you venture in this direction?
Basil and I used to work with Airbnb earlier, helping them establish themselves in Kerala. Basil has always been a homesharing enthusiast, and he started a homestay by converting the unused rooms in his home. I come from a real estate background, selling residential apartments. So it was only natural that we both shared ideas and decided to set up Hubloft.
Where is Hubloft based? What makes the location ideal for your startup?
We are currently based out of Kochi, which we feel is the best place to operate from. Kerala, especially Kochi, is a great market for us as it is one of South India’s most popular tourist destinations, with an estimated 1.5M inbound tourists every year. There is also a huge inventory of unoccupied homes across the state, and a large number of homeowners who are looking to monetise their unused property.
What are the challenges you face in the industry?
The biggest challenge as of now is the lack of awareness among homeowners about short-term rentals and how it can be an extremely practical and flexible way to earn an income out of their homes.
We also have to make sure that the homes we accept are of good quality, and work alongside homeowners to bring it on par with industry standards.
Being a customer-centric industry, how do you expect to manage or satisfy your “King”?
At Hubloft, our aim is to ensure that booking a home is as easy and reliable as booking a hotel room. We adhere to a rigorous set of quality standards when evaluating a potential home. This ensures an authentic travel experience for our guest. Our goal is to become India’s favourite travel brand offering a seamless travel experience to our customers.
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