The concept of short-lets or short-letting is likely a product of either of two possibilities: The first is that developers, property investors, and property owners probably foresaw the need for individuals or companies to have to rent their properties or apartment on a short-term basis. The second reason could be that increasing demand for such a setting or arrangement necessitated building such facilities or converting previously built properties to short let. For a country like Nigeria, part of the appeal could be the popularity of short lets in other countries.
What is a Short-Let?
A short-let is a property or apartment available to be let-out for only a few weeks or months. Short-lets are available in different varieties, including self-contained apartments, units with separate rooms, or even multi-floor properties. Short-lets are for all categories of users, including a single user, a family, or a company.
It is poor economics to have little demand for a good or service and an excessively abundant supply. Nigeria has delayed in catching up with the short let culture. With Abuja and Lagos at the forefront of property rental in Nigeria, the narrative could be different. These two cities and a few other bustling cities could be considered exceptions for short-lets in Nigeria’s hospitality industry. The country’s elite commercial and administrative capitals have something in them that makes them conveniently accommodate any laudable business idea.
The inevitable shift
Nigerians often measure wealth and social class by land and properties. Such a focus on affluence creates a negative perception of short-lets and has instead enriched service-focused hotels and guest houses over the years.
International property service rentals such as Airbnb and Trovit are gradually creeping into the Nigerian market, and several Nigerian startups are also competing within the space. They include companies like Shortlet Homes, Agoda, and Short lets Nigeria, among others. Muster, a Lagos-based rental service that operates across Africa, also works like Airbnb or Badi. It allows customers to either let out rooms or find a space for rent on their website. Properties on their website shows available rooms in Lagos mainland and highland area, as well as Abuja. The range of rental per month varies from around 50,000 to 500,000 monthly, depending on the location, size, and nature of preferred facilities.
The majority of them use online technology to match would-be tenants with available apartments, suites, buildings, or facilities of their choice. The technological-based rental service has three arms; The central part is the platform owner, an end for the property owners, and one for the customers.
Platform owners face a rigorous process to get such companies running. They need to ensure a secure payment platform, improve quality control, and run targeted advertising to build a clientele, among other efforts. The platform owners are also responsible for running checks before publishing each property and again after each tenant leaves.
They also ensure the buildings are fit for living, cross-check the available furniture, and confirm all amenities such as the internet, waste disposal, and electricity are available as described.
Pros & Cons of Short-Lets
There are many advantages and gains derivable for every stakeholder in the short-let business.
● It’s a win-win situation for owners and tenants – Abuja and Lagos contain many empty buildings. Some house owners split their time within Nigeria and other countries, sometimes leaving their fully furnished homes in estates uninhabited for months. Shorts offer homeowners an alternative to earning an extra dime during the downtimes. On the other hand, the tenants would enjoy the luxury and convenience of living in a house as against the option of a more expensive hotel room.
● Property owners and tenants are guaranteed peace and ambience, respectively – the owner of a home relies on the company to ensure tenants use the house responsibly and safely. The tenants, however, get into a cleaned home with everything needed already provided, from the most miniature toiletries to the sophisticated appliances. There is no reason to worry about packing and unpacking for the tenant as they most likely meet everything they need for their stay.● Business travellers, tourists, and short-term visitors need the flexibility of a fully furnished and catered apartment. The tourist, business traveller, or the new family who still have to stay back in the country for a few weeks would likely choose the comfort of a home while they countdown their rest days away from home.