Kevin Sneddon joins Airbnb rival Onefinestay

Startup lists short-term luxury pads
By E.B. Solomont | August 14, 2015 08:00AM

Hospitality startup Onefinestay, which raised $40 million from investors in June, tapped industry veteran Kevin Sneddon to lead an expansion in New York City.

Sneddon, who started his career at American Express, previously helped launch Trump International Realty in 2012. Later, he started his own boutique brokerage, Private Client Services, which sells real estate in New York City, the Hamptons and Greenwich, Conn. At Onefinestay, he assumes the new title of head of real estate.

“The story for us is all about expansion,” said Michael Klein, head of U.S. sales and marketing for Onefinestay – which lists luxury short-term rentals in New York, Los Angeles, London and Paris. “The really big bet we’re making in New York is around the real estate industry,” including working with agents and brokerages.

The London-based company, launched in 2009 by Greg Marsh, Evan Frank and Demetrios Zoppos, expanded into New York three years ago. It now employs 40 people in its Soho office and has a warehouse at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

With a total of $80 million raised to date from investors including Hyatt Hotels, Onefinestay began partnering with New York brokers this spring, hoping to tap into their clients who are looking to rent – or rent out – their New York City apartments and townhomes. The firm rivals $25.5 billion behemoth Airbnb.

Sneddon was among the top 250 real estate agents nationwide last year, according to research firm Real Trends’ annual ranking. Clocking in at No. 31 among New York City brokers, Sneddon sold $71 million worth of real estate in 2014. His notable deals last year included a $38 million apartment at The Plaza Hotel as well as a $17 million estate in Greenwich, Conn.

Despite that success, Sneddon told The Real Deal that he felt ready for a new challenge. “I felt like I climbed the mountain,” he said, of residential brokerage.

Sneddon’s primary objective at Onefinestay is to grow the company’s listings in New York.

Currently, Onefinestay has about 500 listings, ranging from properties that rent for $7,000 to $8,000 per month to a property that rents for $100,000 per month.

“There’s no ceiling with what we can do in New York,” Sneddon said.