Earn money by renting your home and put it up for sale at the same time... this is the Homefidence formula, launched by The Best Rent. CEO Cristiano Berti explained to idealista/news how it works.
How did the idea of Homefidence come about?
The Best Rent has been running short-term rentals for over six years in Milan and Homefidence is an offshoot of this. The Best Rent model consists of managing apartments of owners who often live abroad or elsewhere, so they rely on us to provide all kinds of services related to the rental. The idea of Homefidence was born from the fact that after a few years of managing an apartment so far from the place where they lived, these owners wanted to sell. Our first thought was to simply sell the properties we had under management. But since the market is so uncertain and the owners were often unsure what they wanted to do – while on the contrary we found a large number of investors eager to buy profitable real estate – we thought of the "earn while you sell" formula.
What is the "earn while you sell" formula?
It consists of the fact that Homefidence does both: it puts the property up for sale and in the meantime keeps offering it for short-term leases. In this way everything is organised internally, from the sale activity (including arranged visits etc.) to managing the rented property. Our services range from the preliminary real estate valuation with a quote on how much owners can earn from the sale to the maintenance of the apartment, including air conditioners, washing machines, heating, cleaning, furniture and all other issues related to short-term rental management. This is an advantage at an operational level for the customer, too, who has one single point of contact for everything. From a commercial point of view, then, we eliminate any conflict of interest on our part, because, treating both the rent and the sale in the same way, we provide in both cases an accurate service. This formula is unprecedented in Italy, but it is quite common in other countries.
What are the advantages of this formula?
Homefidence provides a system to revive a property that would otherwise remain vacant, but through a non-binding formula such as the classic 4+4 contract but instead making it available for short rent. In this way, the property becomes immediately available when a buyer comes along. Not only that, but by giving owners the possibility to obtain some income even while they wait for a buyer, we eliminate the "rush to sell" that sometimes makes you take a lower price for your property than you hoped.
Which cities does Homefidence operate in?
At the moment only in Milan, but we plan to export this formula to other cities. The target are the major Italian cities such as Rome, Florence, Bologna and Turin. At the same time we would like to build a franchising model in medium-sized cities such as Como, Verona and Pisa.
What about seaside towns?
We believe that our model works better for large cities. Seaside resorts have two problems: the seasonality (which is less of a problem in mountain resorts, for example, since they are liveable in all seasons) and the fact that the market is already very guarded. Moreover, since our management is demanding, our convenience lies in having the greatest possible concentration of ownership, which allows us better economies of scale.
How can you evaluate your social service?
A social evaluation system provides the possibility to leave reviews on our ‘The Best Rent’ pages on Facebook and Google. We also leave reviews on Booking and Airbnb, platforms on which our apartments are present, especially those for short-term rents. As for stays from one to six months, mostly intended for historical customers such as multinationals, companies, hospitals, professional orders and anything else, we can also be contacted directly.