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From Russia but not with love?

Letting agents need to be aware that landlords in limbo may be courted by a new property disruptor with a Russian twist. The GuestReady property platform wants to attract residential landlords away from the PRS with the lure of lucrative short-term holiday lets. Its management and dissemination service is already rounding up properties and knocking them in to shape with posh toiletries and hotel-quality bed linen, before listing them across multiple short-let sites, including Airbnb, Booking and HomeAway.

GuestReady’s latest round of fundraising reached almost £5 million – with a substantial cash injection from Chelsea Football Club owner, Roman Abramovich, along with donations from a number of other proptech investment funds. Some of the money is already earmarked to help GuestReady expand further into London, where it has a growing foothold.

Our advice to letting agents is to watch the yields of short term and holiday lets in their area to establish whether the temptation for landlords is too great to ignore, whether the threat is from GuestReady or another source. The phrase ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ is one ARPM has used before when it comes to this type of short-let risk, and we would be happy to talk to agents about extending their lettings business to include the full property management of short lets.

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