14 September 2017 – Expansión
Kike Sarasola (pictured below), owner of the Room Mate hotel chain, has taken a new leap forward in his activity as a tourism entrepreneur by taking over the management of a premium building in the centre of Madrid comprising tourist rental apartments. The operation is being undertaken through Be Mate and is the pre-cursor to a new line of business that involves the exclusive management of apartments for third parties, which is expected to grow to include 600 units. As part of its strategy, Be Mate is already considering taking over the reins at two other tourist buildings in Madrid, as well as at another two in Barcelona.
“They might be the best 36 tourist apartments in Madrid”, said Sarasola after announcing the deal, which sees him get ahead of the competition. The building is located on Calle Cadarso, opposite El Tempo de Debod, a premium area in the capital.
The property has a surface area of 3,500 m2 spread over eight floors, two of which, the sixth and seventh, are going to house the most exclusive apartments. The decoration has been entrusted to the architecture and interior design firm ‘Cat in a square’.
The property has already been restored and is owned by a real estate company, which has transferred the management to Be Mate. “Several large funds are interested in this formula”, which generates returns, explains Sarasola. His company will provide the personnel, technological know-how, revenue management and other tools that are synonymous with Be Mate.
Sarasola distinguishes his business from the Airbnb model and says that his facilities have not been included in any of the administrative actions filed against tourist apartments. “We are in favour of smart regulation where good solutions can be found for everyone”.
As it celebrates its third anniversary, Be Mate is getting ready to tackle an “ambitious expansion plan”, which includes opening new properties in London, Rome and San Sebastián, where the hotel chain Room Mate, also founded by Sarasola, plans to also open a new hotel in 2018.
In 2017, Be Mate expects to multiply its turnover nine-fold, to €6 million, by selling more than 80,000 room nights. Its portfolio of apartments has grown to 10,000, and has hosted more than 30,000 guests. 30% of its revenues come from international markets (…).
Original story: Expansión (by Iñaki de las Heras)
Translation: Carmel Drake