UPDATED, Oct. 29, 4:30 p.m.: Blueground, a “hospitality tech company” that offers fully-furnished units mostly to business travelers, is setting foot in Los Angeles.
Originally founded in Greece, the firm leases apartments from developers, later furnishing the units and subleasing them to individuals or corporations at a markup. The length of the stays average about six months, with a minimum requirement of one month.
For developers, Blueground provides a way to lease unoccupied units, said Alex Chatzieleftheriou, the company’s CEO and co-founder. Some of the firm’s developer partners include national players like Related Rentals and UDR, as well as local landlords such as Decron Properties and Legacy Partners.
The company says it currently has 22 apartments scattered around L.A. that are ready to book. It plans on adding 250 more in the next 12 months, said Christopher Tin, general manager for L.A.
Blueground is the latest technology company disrupting the traditional real estate landscape in L.A. With its online platform, the firm is making it easier to rent units for a flexible amount of time, tapping into a consumer base that traditionally occupied hotels or extended-stay locations.
The firm is looking to attract millennials who are looking to try out a new city without the hassles of committing to a year-long lease and furniture, Chatzieleftheriou said.
The focus reflects changing consumer preferences, in which younger generations are eschewing homeownership and demanding a more seamless experience when renting a unit, Chatzieleftheriou added.
“We see the patterns of renting an apartment changing,” Chatzieleftheriou said. “The whole idea for Blueground is we want people to move seamlessly from apartment to apartment.”
Rates for a one-bedroom unit start from $2,990 per month, and range up to $5,890, depending on location and amenities, according to its website. All bookings are handled completely online.
Blueground currently has more than 1,500 apartments spread across Athens, Greece, Istanbul, Dubai, San Francisco, and New York. In addition to L.A., it is also building portfolios in Washington D.C., Chicago and Boston.