Blog

Inside Interior Design: Airsorted Edinburgh chat to Decorair

emmanuel@airsorted.com

Aug. 15, 2018

 

 

We love getting to see the diverse, unique interiors of our Hosts’ homes here at Airsorted Edinburgh! From Opulent Deco designs to Scandi-Chic, traditionally Scottish to Minimalist Modern, we get to see the individual tastes of a plethora of people.

Recently we had the exciting opportunity to be a part of one of these interior journeys! One of our lovely hosts, Mary, had bought a central, one bedroom property and was looking to completely redo the interior before entrusting it to us to manage on her behalf. She got in touch with the wonderful Xanthe and Rachel from Decorair and together they created a lavish property with unique finishing touches and just the right amount of Scottish reference. 

 

We were lucky enough to see this transformation happen and sat down with Xanthe and Rachel to talk inspiration, favourite trends, insider tips and much more! 

Contrary to popular belief, interior design doesn’t have to be expensive! However, investing a little more upfront can really boost a property, Decorair told us, as “guests have the ability to be more selective with where they want to stay now and like walking into a fresh space”.  Xanthe and Rachel can work with almost any budget - utilising high street and antique finds to add unique touches without a huge price tag. High-street shops, such as H&M and Zara, are really catching up with high end designers and being able to incorporate these finds with pieces you already own is the best way to update an interior. They find that the high-street is a brilliant place for furnishing buy-to-let properties as the items are of good quality, easily replaceable and reasonably priced. 

 

 

As their focus is most often on buy-to-let properties, that may have multiple guests, they have a few things that are always important to consider. Both agreed that, first and foremost, it must feel like a place that they would both want to stay in. As well as this were some more practical points; enough mirrors and a safe place to use straighteners, floors that won't immediately show dirt and robust kitchen units. Research into good sofa beds is also something they both stressed as extremely important, especially for short-term-let properties. Quite often they use the same tried and tested sofa bed from French Connection across a variety of the homes as it is “sturdy and roomy"! 

 

 

We were curious about whether the homeowners Xanthe and Rachel work with have a lot of input in the properties being designed. They agreed that most trust them to do the work and do tend to take a step back, however, theirs is obviously the initial vision and idea. With Mary’s flat - pictured - she wanted a rich, glamorous feel with a Scottish touch, however, she didn’t have a massive budget. I think we can all agree that the stunning property has a luxurious feel to it! Decorair achieved this with jewel coloured, velvet extras, statement light features and a subtle nod to Scotland. They believed that there was no need to overly do the Heritage and a subtle hint is more approachable than full-on tartan! The renovation stayed well within budget as Xanthe and Rachel incorporated a lot of what was there for example, instead of redoing the entire kitchen, they simply replaced the doors. 

 

 

Their own inspirations are key to doing the best that they can with a property. Xanthe and Rachel both travel internationally and draw lots of inspiration from shops, hotels and restaurants around the world. Each has also worked in different fields of design through the years - Rachel on ITV and Xanthe with Paul Smith - and this has tuned their knowledge and eye for details. At the moment Rachel is very into a brown palette, “I’m probably the only interior designer to have shied away from greys recently”. Xanthe is loving Luxe Scandinavian looks, favouring the study and craftsmanship of the furnishings, simplicity juxtaposed with glam and the dark flooring of the trend. 

 

 

Finally, we asked what their tips for our hosts were. A focus on good lighting fixtures was a must for them, as these can dramatically change a room. Find something that works in the space - especially with Edinburgh’s high ceilings - and it can create a different feel to the room. Sourcing affordable, robust pieces of furniture that, in case of damage, are easy to replace is definitely something to consider as a host. And finally that keeping a room's decor fresh and neutral will allow you to add personality in less expensive ways such as pillows, throws and rugs. 

 

 

If you would like any interior design assistance give Decorair a call! You can find them and have a look at some of their other beautiful properties at https://www.decorair.co.uk/

 

5 reasons to add Tel Aviv to your bucket list

emmanuel@airsorted.com

Aug. 14, 2018

 

From under the shadows of it’s older sister Jerusalem, Tel Aviv has become one of the must-visit destinations for any good traveller. But why? If you haven’t had a chance to visit yet, you might not be aware of just how much the city has to offer, but don’t worry - we’ve sorted it for you.

 


 

1. Jaffa

Jaffa, from which Tel Aviv has grown out from, is one of the oldest ports in the world and home to a wide variety of markets, bars and Ottoman-era landmarks. Lose yourself navigating the narrow maze-like streets, pick up a bargain at the Jaffa Flea Market or simply enjoy a romantic evening overlooking the water in one of the many restaurants dotting the seafront.

 

 

2. The beaches

Until very recently, Tel Aviv’s beaches were still an undiscovered gem for many travellers. While recent buzz and word of mouth might be changing that, there are still many spots for you to enjoy a quiet sunbathe across the six-mile stretch. Definitely worth a visit.

 

 

3. The nightlife

Described by Lonely Planet as a ‘Mediterranean 'Manhattan', Tel Aviv’s nightlife is renowned across the world. From cool basement bars to stylish speakeasy’s, whatever your poison you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes. Some of the best bars and clubs are around White City and the City Centre, but there are a few hidden spots scattered about if you know where to look.

 

 

4. The architecture

While Tel Aviv-Yafo as a city may be fairly new, there are multiple areas that predate even Rome. The city boasts stunning architecture that blends historical landmarks with modern design to create a truly unique experience. Take a stroll around White City and immerse yourself in the Bauhaus-style architecture or marvel at the Modernist buildings that line the city centre. The choice is yours.  

 

 

5. The people

Ranked as the Middle East’s best city for young people back in 2015, Tel Aviv has become a cosmopolitan hub for the cool and contemporary and a large part of this is down to its residents. Considered the new ‘it crowd’ of the non-European West, Tel Avivan’s local crowd are some of the friendliest people around, as well as being some of the coolest.  

 

If you're a Tel Aviv homeowner or planning a trip there, let Airsorted take care of your home and earn you some extra cash at the same time! Just enter your details into our clever property calculator below and discover how much your home could earn. 

 

Airsorted Launches in Tel Aviv!

emmanuel@airsorted.com

Aug. 9, 2018

 

Let’s start with a question. Which newly launched Airsorted city did The New York Times once describe as ‘The Mediterranean Capital of Cool’? That’s right - Airsorted has landed in Tel Aviv!

Israel’s second biggest city after Jerusalem, Tel Aviv is a vibrant, modern city with a nightlife so exciting the locals often call it the ‘city that never sleeps’. It’s this reputation that allows the city to attract huge numbers of international visitors, welcoming over 3 million overnight stays in 2016.  

Known for its dynamic energy, diversity and innovation, the city has become a hub for contemporary thought and progressive ideas. Out Magazine once described it as the Gay Capital of the Middle East, with the city playing host to the region's largest Pride Parade in 2017, attracting over 200,000 people from around the world.

The accolades don’t stop there either, with Tel Aviv being named Israel’s greenest city, the 6th best city to run a startup and even making Transworld’s top 10 best cities to skateboard in. It’s this eclectic mix of culture and the contemporary that helps give the city it’s unique charm.

And we’re not the only ones who think so. Tel Aviv has become a hot spot for travellers looking for something a little different and the residents know it, with over 8000 apartments listed on Airbnb in September of last year.

It’s this energy that makes Tel aviv so unique and is the reason we’ve launched it as our next Airsorted city! We’re excited to work with smart and savvy hosts looking for a hassle-free way to earn more from their home.

 

If you're a Tel Aviv host looking for a hassle-free way to earn more from your home, just visit our Tel Aviv homepage and see how much your home could earn.

 

 

Meet the Growing Family: Nick & Laura

emmanuel@airsorted.com

Aug. 8, 2018

 

Starting a family can be expensive, but Edinburgh-based Nick Murray and his wife, Laura, have found a way to make it work for them by renting out their flat with Airsorted.

When the couple decided to upgrade to a family home, they were reluctant to let their city-centre flat go. “The area the flat is in, Fountainbridge, is a very desirable neighbourhood,” explains Nick. “We had put a lot of work into the flat, and it seemed a shame to let it go.”

 

“As a young couple, we found ourselves in the very fortunate position of owning a property and we wanted to make the most of it.”

Nick and Laura first went down the route of being traditional landlords, but after six months found that it wasn’t really suited to their lifestyle. Nick, who works in marketing, and schoolteacher Laura are always busy with work – and are now even busier with a baby on the way.

After seeing a friend successfully let out their flat for short-term holiday lets, the couple decided to give it a try. They’ve been with us since April, and have found Airsorted has been invaluable for making the most of their property. Since taking Airsorted on board, their Fountainbridge flat has been more or less fully booked, including a very busy upcoming period for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

“We met with George from Airsorted who really put our mind at ease. He talked us through the whole process, and we felt confident that our property would be in good hands,” says Nick. “The team are fantastic at communicating with us, and the office being conveniently located in Edinburgh city centre means that we’ve been able to go in and meet the staff.”

The main benefit of using Airsorted for Nick is the time it saves. With busy jobs and a new family to prepare for, the couple wouldn’t be able to effectively manage the property themselves.

“The user platform for hosts is really helpful,” adds Nick. “I can check up things if I need to, but the Airsorted team take care of everything. They’re able to instantly pull up documents for guests, which I’m not able to do on my phone when I’m on the move with work. Recently, they even replied to a guest’s queries in French – which I wouldn’t have been able to do myself!”

Building a sense of trust is really important when you’re letting out your home. Nick felt instantly at ease thanks to the Airsorted team’s communication.

“Any queries I’ve had, Airsorted have got back to me straight away,” he explains. “It’s great to work with a motivated partner, as I know they’re just as motivated as I am to get guests in.”

The couple have found that short-term letting with the help of Airsorted has brought them substantially more income than traditional long-term letting. They’ve been able to put this money towards doing up their family home, in nearby Shandon, to get ready for their new arrival.

 

“Not only is the extra income a big help towards paying off our two mortgages, it’s also great for the little things like stocking up on nappies and redecorating the baby’s room,” says Nick. “No matter how busy my life gets over the next few months, I know everything is taken care of.”

 

Can you earn more letting out your home during Manchester Pride?

emmanuel@airsorted.com

Aug. 8, 2018

 

 

Manchester Pride 2017 was a record-breaking year, with more visitors than ever before, 125 acts performing and over £161,000 raised to help support LGBT+ groups, charities and events in Greater Manchester. This year it’s set to be even bigger!

But what can you do if you’re away during the festivities? The answer is surprisingly simple. Short-let your home.

If you’re not in Manchester during Pride, letting out your home is a great way to give visitors a safe place to stay, while earning you money at the same time. Homes in high demand areas can earn as much as 2x the normal rental rates, letting you earn more from your home without the hassle.

It’s even easier than you think to get started. Airsorted list your home on Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and more to help you get the best price. We’ll create your listing and vet your guests to make sure your home is safe and well looked after. We also take care of cleaning, laundry, guest communications, property maintenance and even provide ongoing account management support to make sure everything is going smoothly.

 

If you’re a Manchester resident looking for a hassle-free way to get the best returns from your home, try our clever property calculator and see how much you could earn.

 

5 reasons not to miss Manchester Pride this year

emmanuel@airsorted.com

Aug. 7, 2018

 

With Manchester Pride coming up at the end of the month, the city is abuzz preparing for it’s biggest festival yet! 2017 broke a lot of records and this year is set to be even bigger. Want the lowdown on what not to miss this year? Well don’t worry, Airsorted is on hand to help get you in the party mood. Sorted. 
 

 

The Big Weekend 
Manchester Pride’s premier music event returns for another blockbuster set. This years Big Weekend plays host to artists like Rita Ora, Alexandra Burke and former Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle. Taking place in the city’s Gay Village, get ready for glitter cannons, dance numbers and truly electrifying performances. 

 

 

The Superbia Weekend 
One of the more recent additions to the festival, The Superbia Weekend provides a family friendly alternative to The Big Weekend - and it’s free! Created to support, fund and celebrate LGBT+ life across Greater Manchester, expect to see lively debates, comedy and theatre performances and family - and community-led projects - all with the aim of encouraging engagement and well-being in the community.

 

 

The Crystal Maze
Okay, this one is cheating a little. The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience is a fantastic year round attraction and this year, they’ve pledged to show their Pride, helping raise money for LGBT+ causes in Greater Manchester. Visit between the 22nd - 27th to see it’s colourful, Pride inspired makeover. 

 

 

The Candlelit Vigil 
The Candlelit Vigil, taking place in Sackville Gardens, is the final event of the festival. Created to remember those lost to HIV, the Vigil is a symbol of unity in the LGBT+ community, with those attending coming together to fight against the epidemic and stigma that is still seen around the world. The spiritual heart of Manchester Pride, it’s definitely not one to miss. 

 

 

The Parade
Of course, no good Pride festival would be complete without a parade. This year's theme is The Circus of Acceptance, with tens of thousands set to march fully dressed in their best circus gear. Setting off from Deansgate, you’ll be treated to jugglers, unicycles, clowns and more in this amazing celebration of love and the LGBT+ community. 
 

 

Airsorted Launches in Madrid!

emmanuel@airsorted.com

Aug. 1, 2018

 

We’re excited to announce that we’ve launched our first city in Spain - that’s right, Airsorted has landed in Madrid! 

Well known for its rich cultural heritage and of course, football, Madrid attracts over 6 million international guests each year. But there’s more to this city than just it’s football teams, with visitors from all over the world choosing it for its sunny weather, grand architecture and vibrant history. 

When it comes to art, Madrid has few rivals, boasting some of the best galleries and museums around. Known collectively as the golden triangle, the Prado Museum, Reina Sofia Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum hold some of the world's most iconic pieces, including paintings and sculptures from the Spanish Royal Collection as well as works from Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. 

But it isn’t just a love of art that attracts vast numbers to the city. Once called ‘the most Spanish of all cities’ by Ernest Hemingway, modern Madrid has evolved with the times, becoming a hub for contemporary design, fantastic food and a nightlife that rivals New York’s. So it’s no surprise then that the Spanish capital is home to over 16,000 Airbnb properties, with over 10,000 being full homes or apartments. 

With its cosmopolitan flair and the friendliness of madrileños making anyone who visits feel right at home, we’re excited to launch here, getting to work with so many savvy hosts who can make the most out of our amazing service.  

 

If you're based in Madrid, or have property there, and are looking for a way to make your hosting hassle-free, visit our Madrid homepage and see how much your home could earn! 

 

What to consider when investing in short-term rentals

emmanuel@airsorted.com

July 26, 2018

 

It’s no shock to anyone that the traditional buy-to-let market is much tougher than it was before. And with recent tax relief changes meaning you can’t deduct all of your mortgage expenses from rental income to reduce your tax bill, it doesn’t seem like things are going to change any time soon. 

In a recent survey, commissioned by Airsorted, asking 1000 landlords about the issues they face in today’s rental market, 68% admitted they find managing their property more stressful than they initially anticipated. Unsurprisingly, the biggest problem landlords face is late payment of rent according to the survey, with almost two thirds of landlords finding themselves out of pocket thanks to late-paying tenants.

 

The top five things landlords reported as causing them the most stress are: 

1. Late payment of rent (62%)
2. Tenants breaking rules e.g. pets, loud parties (54%)
3. Managing third parties e.g. cleaners (47%)
4. Demanding tenants (41%)
5. Complaints from neighbours (39%)

 

So, if you’re a landlord, what can you do? Nowadays, many savvy landlords are using Airbnb and other platforms to increase their returns, combining flexible short stays with more traditional longer lets to generate bigger profits and avoid void periods. Airbnb reported that 5.9m people used its UK site in 2016/17, and its popularity shows no sign of abating. This isn’t necessarily tourism from abroad either, the staycation trend is still growing too, with the number of 4+ night domestic trips increasing by over 20% according to visitbritain.org. 

If you’re a landlord or property investor, it may be time to move away from the traditional buy-to-let market and take advantage of the increasing returns you could earn through platforms such as Airbnb.

We’ve been around a few years now (nearly 4!) so we’ve been lucky enough to see the evolution of the short-term rental market. One of the main questions we get asked is whether or not we have any advice for potential property investors looking to buy an Airbnb property. There are a lot of things to consider and while you want to aim for a high occupancy rate, it isn’t always that easy. So with that in mind, here’s our Airsorted guide on the top things to consider before buying Airbnb investment property.

 

Check local laws and regulations
Before you begin the process of buying a property for Airbnb or other platforms, make sure you know where it’s legal. There are many cities and countries where short-let rentals are illegal, or at the very least tightly regulated. Cities like London and Amsterdam enforce a cap on the number of available days you can short-let your property, so taking this into account when thinking about your returns is always a good step to ensure you’re on the right side of the law. 

 

Location & seasonality
If this is your first time investing in short-lets, one of the key things to be aware of is location. The most profitable areas for long-term lets may not be the same for shorter stays so it’s always a good idea to look into the market and analyse the rental potential of an Airbnb investment property. Consider using specific sites or tools (like our own property calculator) to see how much you could earn in your chosen location. 

The rates you can charge can vary based on the season too, with peak tourist dates creating high demand. Therefore make sure you’re taking note of them so you’re aware of what’s going on in the area and can price your listing accordingly. Luckily, our own in-house pricing algorithm takes dates and expected occupancy into account when setting rates for your listing, allowing for intuitive pricing so you always get the most out of your property. 

 

Hidden costs
One of the things that many short-let real estate investors come face to face with is property expenses. If you think that the only money you are going to spend is the cost of your investment property, then you might be in for a surprise. There are far more expenses than meet the eye. For instance cleaning expenses, landscape expenses, utility expenses, damages, general wear and tear and so on. This is exactly where financial planning comes into play and can help you avoid huge unexpected costs. Therefore, before buying an Airbnb investment property, make sure you learn all about the expenses that are associated with running it.

 

Understanding that it’s not a passive investment
Short-term rentals can’t be effectively managed with a hands-off approach and investing in an Airbnb property means a constant stream of ever changing guests. More than just investing your money, you also have to manage the property, check your guests in, be on hand for any issues and also respond to reviews and feedback. 
Without going into the organisational side of cleaning and laundry, just these factors alone mean that if you’re not able to dedicate enough time to managing your property, you might want to consider a property management service (like Airsorted). 

 

With expert property management from Airsorted, you can maximise your profits in a completely hassle-free way. We can create your listing, provide cleaning and laundry and even provide 24/7 support for your guests. If you’d like to find out more about our services feel free to give our team a call or try our property calculator below and see how much your home could earn. 
 

Meet the Campervan Couple: Georgia Richards and Scott Kelly

emmanuel@airsorted.com

July 25, 2018

 

Taking off on the open road may be a dream for many, but for physiotherapist Georgia Richards, 30, and her partner Scott Kelly, 30, who works in finance, it’s about to become a reality. The couple are letting their two-bedroom flat in Edinburgh’s popular Leith area to help fund their dream of travelling through Europe in a campervan.

 


‘We wanted to do some travelling, so we bought a converted van and thought it would be a good idea to use our home for short-term lets while we’re away,’ Georgia explains.

‘We’ve stayed in a lot of Airbnbs in the past and thought, since we’d enjoyed it, we’d do the same. Living amongst local people just gives you a different experience from being in a hotel in the city centre. It also gives you more of a sense of the place around you when you are in somebody’s home. We’ve always liked having our own kitchen and a bit more space, and it’s just nice when things feel a bit more homely. You also get to see just how people live in that area,’ she adds.

 


The couple had heard about companies handling property management for short-term lets and looked into what they could help with.
‘We investigated a bit and got a good impression from Airsorted. I like the fact that they are based in Edinburgh, they understand the Edinburgh market, it offers peace of mind. It’s nice to know that the company you are dealing with, even though it might be international, has a local base,’ Georgia says. 


‘The main thing for us is that while we’re away, we don’t want to worry about things at home. We have friends who offered to help out if we wanted to manage the property ourselves, but we didn’t want to be constantly on our phones checking up on things while we were travelling or worrying about people getting keys and getting into the property. Even dealing with all the back and forth communication can be really time consuming, so we decided it would be good to have someone look after those things. Using Airsorted takes that stress away,’ she adds. 

‘When we are travelling, we have access to our Airsorted ‘dashboard’, so we can still see our calendar and bookings, and are kept up to date with everything that’s going on. If someone does have an issue, we can see the communication. Airsorted runs everything, but we can step in too so we still feel involved, but without any hassle. ‘For the most part, it is letting Airsorted deal with things and we can sit back, but still be aware of what is going on - you’re kept in the loop and that gives you peace of mind,’ she says.

 


The couple is planning an extended trip to Scandinavia before heading to Eastern Europe.
‘We’re really looking forward to taking off in the van. We’ve done lots of camping in the past but haven’t had the freedom of a van where your transport is also your accommodation. We love getting off the beaten track. We don’t have a big van, so we can kind of access all areas, and it’s fine for getting through city traffic,’ Georgia explains.
‘I love seeing other cultures and immersing yourself in something different. I think travel gives you a different perspective of the world, it opens your eyes to things and I really enjoy that aspect of it. It’s a different experience from a holiday, I definitely prefer to travel rather than to holiday, I like to see places and do things - I’m not very good at sitting still!’    
 

The Airsorted Team’s Edinburgh Fringe Tips

emmanuel@airsorted.com

July 20, 2018

 

In two weeks time, the city will come alive as thousands of performers and spectators flock to the streets of Edinburgh for the Annual Festival Fringe.

There are so many shows to see that planning your entertainment schedule can feel quite overwhelming for newcomers and we wouldn’t want you to miss some real gems.

So we asked our Airsorted Edinburgh Team for some insider suggestions of what they will be watching and doing this year:

Ione recommends the stage adaptation of Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh’s Edinburgh based classic which is staged in a unique tunnel beneath Edinburgh’s streets: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/trainspotting-live

 

Gary loves Luisa Omielan’s sassy style and will be sure to catch her one-woman stand up show, Politics for Bitches as seen on BBC One and Live at the Apollo: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/luisa-omielan-politics-for-bitches

 

Imogene and Helen love The Sunday Night Laugh In at The Stand Comedy club, it’s open mic night all year round on a Sunday and in the run up to the festival you can see some big names testing out their acts before their higher priced solo gigs: http://www.thestand.co.uk/whats-on/Edinburgh

 

 

Steffan and Nick recommend hanging out at George Square Gardens, It really is the hub of the fringe. Steffan especially loves the halloumi fries stall, the slushy pina colada stall and the famous doughnut stand and says you must stay for the late night Massaoke mass karaoke sessions: http://www.massaoke.com/events/2018/8/2/massaoke-mixtape-edinburgh-fringe

 

Katie says you should go see Baby wants Candy - an Improvised musical at the George Square, Assembly. Every show is different and you're guaranteed a great laugh: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/baby-wants-candy-the-completely-improvised-full-band-musical

 

Our newbie, Amber fancies a bit of Hans’s feather-tastic Austrian cabaret which should prove to be some good foot-stomping fun: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/hans-like-a-german

 

 

Although Scott thinks we should all be playing golf instead, he will be trying to catch some poetry action as the Loud Poets stage their fifth Fringe spectacular: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/loud-poets-the-fantastical-game-show-spectacular

 

Max’s suggestion for a show to see during the Fringe is the alarmingly named Death is the New Porn, a gritty vigilante-themed drama set in Edinburgh, by excellent local theatre company Blazing Hyenas. This is the plays debut performance, and judging by some of the accolades the young company (and its members) have already picked up, he really thinks it might turn out to be something quite special: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/death-is-the-new-porn

 

The whole Airsorted team recommends watching the end of Festival fireworks from Calton Hill or if you are not a fan of crowds, you can get a really lovely view from Inverleith Gardens in Stockbridge instead.