US: Domio CEO Jay Roberts has said his company is making strides in the corporate and group travel market, something that he says is the future of home-sharing.
Speaking to Business Travel News, Roberts said: “Customers and business travellers are looking for consistency, especially business travellers. They need a clean bed, a room, fast Wi-Fi, a gym to work out in, so Domio is signing and opening apartment hotels.
“It’s similar to the WeWork model. We sign leases on condos and apartments,” he added.
Domio recently recruited its COO, Nicole Mozeliak, from WeWork.
The company signs up properties in prime locations in close proximity to transport, office buildings, conference centres and restaurants, which are places that corporate travellers go to when visiting other cities.
Roberts said: “We’re also partnering with different conference centres in our local markets to drive group bookings.”
In each location, Roberts will recruit a sales manager who will arrange corporate and group bookings.
Domio is now active in eight cities, including New Orleans and Chicago, and it expects to add seven more over the summer.
The firm aims to expand rapidly into 25 markets by the end of the year, before venturing abroad with property openings in London, Paris and Hong Kong scheduled for 2020. He also plans to launch a hotel-like loyalty program at the same time.
The company focuses on larger two, three and four bedroom units which cater more to group travellers.
However, traditional home-shares also pose challenges when it comes to offering the amenities that business travellers typically require, such as having sufficient space, strong Wi-Fi, convenient location and appropriate contact details.
In response, Domio has launched a 24/7 check-in on its platform to fulfil the booking needs of its traveller demographics.
Bookings through Domio by business travellers have doubled from 10 per cent to 20 per cent since opening and Roberts envisages that figure doubling again in the next 18 months. He attributes this to partnering with large corporations such as American Express, Bank of America and JP Morgan to drive more bookings from corporate groups and business travellers.
Domio will be competing with other high-end home-stay firms, Airbnb for Work and Sonder, who are bringing hotel-quality amenities and services to the home-sharing sector. It has raised over $70 million to date and it is now preparing for a Series B funding round.
Roberts said: “Brands in the home-sharing industry are the future. It’s where the world is going.”
For more information, visit the Domio website here.