Canada: Turnkey interior designer and furniture rental service, Fülhaus, has announced the launch of a direct-to-consumer rental scheme in Montreal.
The company plans to expand the pilot service to the rest of Canada and the United States in 2021.
Fülhaus launched in 2015, providing high quality, photo-ready furnishings for short-term rental businesses, expanding to provide design services. It has designed properties for Niido, Vacasa and Zeus.
By renting directly to consumers, Fülhaus hopes to capture a growing market of cash-strapped, design-centred millennials.
Fülhaus CEO Andria Santos said: “More and more consumers are looking for furnished rental apartments, especially in urban centres and high-mobility destinations, especially in these more uncertain times. While landlords get used to the idea of furnishing their units, there are a lot of people that are more willing to rent furniture rather than fork over the expensive price tag of owning it.”
Research done by Statistics Canada shows that and 49.8 per cent of Canadian millennials do not own homes, and that the price of a pre-furnished condo has increased 52 per cent over the past year.
To cut costs, the direct-to-consumer service eliminates many of the options used on their business properties including installation, staging and marketing photography. Packages start at C$350 per month, includes designs from over 300 quality brands, and offers curation services for dorm rooms, home offices, studio apartments, and one to four-bedroom homes.
The furniture rental space has become increasingly competitive in 2020 with the rise of the gig economy among the millennial and Gen Z demographics, where renters do not necessarily want to buy goods but hold onto them for specified leases. In July, German entrepreneur Pauline Wetzer launched furniture rental startup Føerni in Hong Kong, British high-end department company John Lewis set up its own scheme in August, and new company Conjure announced its launch and a $9 million raise in seed funding this week.
Such companies are keen to target the short- and mid-term rental sector with leases lasting between a month and 12 months, to attract renters planning to move from place to place on a relatively frequent basis.
In recent weeks, Fülhaus has launched a work from home package, as it aims to provide affordable, high-quality rental workstations for those without the means to create a long-term setup, and gone live in downtown Montreal with its own interactive storefront.