Short Q and A: Jeremy Sebbagh, NYC Short Lease

Piers Brown By Piers Brown
Uploaded 28 February 2016

• What's your background and how did you start?
"I was a real estate broker finding myself being increasingly drawn into dealing with my tenants' landlord issues and problems, which included maintenance, management and 'control' of apartment blocks in New York. I thought there was a much simpler way for clients to lease on a short term basis. I hooked up with Dan Azeroual, who was previously CMO for Peerform, the peer-to-peer lending platform. He too felt the NYC furnished housing market was badly served, and so we came together."
• How did you start gaining inventory?
"We started in 2012, creating our own quality inventory in premium locations with funds from friends and family. We managed a total of eight apartments from A to Z when we started. We now manage 80 apartments, all in premium NYC locations."

• It's clearly early days, but what do you think are your reasons for success so far?
"Our USP is excellent relationships with agents, brokers and relocators. We  have some A1 clients like Google, Deloitte, Rock Nation, Mail Online and Gucci. Around 80 per cent of potential client viewings result in successful corporate stays. Accommodation is always offered for 30 days or more and we can turn around client requests to offering keys to the apartment within 48 hours. We couldn't achieve this by offering second rate service or inferior corporate accommodation."

• How do you decide which apartments you add to your inventory?
"We have a 'quality minimum' benchmark to all our apartment inventory. If they do not reach our standards, we simply don't offer the inventory on NYC Short Lease."

• How do you furnish and design the interiors of your apartments?
"We take the apartments empty and furnish them ourselves with the guidance of my sister, French designer Gaelle Sebbagh. Our focus is on design and efficiency with a European taste and French style."

• How are you looking to grow in the future?
"Quality New York apartments are notoriously difficult to find, based on our high standards, so realistically we are looking to have 150 under management by winter 2017. We are also looking to become established in other gateway cities around the world."

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