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Exclusive: Airbnb’s welcome mat widens alongside new services as Expo 2020 nears

Frank Porter have developed from a team of two to over 60 in a mere 24 months, have scaled from one small office to four and have hosted over 35,000 happy customers. More on the way

2019 was the year that Frank Porter massively improved operations in their in-house TECH department We do expect many business travelers coming for longer terms – up to 6 months, and we already see interest In 2019, Airbnb finally launched Arabic as a user language, increasing their reach into this market

The team at Airbnb Management services company Frank Porter celebrate their second year in business and close the books on what has been an overwhelmingly successful second year in the company’s Dubai journey. The reputable property management organisation has not only matched their 2019 targets, but also smashed them, exceeding their own expectations in terms of (long-term) tenants, profits and growth. 

Frank Porter have developed from a team of two to over 60 in a mere 24 months, have scaled from one small office to four and have hosted over 35,000 happy customers. 2019 was also the year that Frank Porter massively improved operations in their in-house TECH department, becoming more transparent for owners with information for owners plus introducing a stronger algorithm for pricing management.

The following is an interview with Anna Skigin, founder of Frank Porter

1- What are the new regulations and how will they impact AirBnb’s business?

The updated DTCM regulations make the rules clearer, when it comes to the short-term rental market. DTCM has made it official that this business is fully legal in Dubai and no building manager or developer can stop owners from renting out their properties via short-term. Other regulations have further defined the rules of operators and cleared things up. These long awaited new regulations are most welcome and will definitely increase the market for short-term rentals. Airbnb in turn will continue to prosper in the region. 

Read: GuestReady forecasts 39% increase in vacation rental income in 2020

2- What are your expectations in terms of holiday rentals, business travelers, as Expo 2020 nears? Are we talking longer term rentals since this event stretches over 6 months or more? 

The EXPO2020 will see a huge influx of tourists coming to Dubai. We do expect many business travelers coming for longer terms – up to 6 months, and we already see interest. The areas surrounding the EXPO are opening up as well and we are taking more and more properties on in those areas. 

Read: Sharjah, Ajman strong contenders for affordable family living: Bayut

3- What are the holiday home industry threats in 2020, whether from competition, technology, regional instability, economic growth, real estate prices, etc.., and how is the company preparing to deal with this? 

The only threats to the industry go hand in hand with issues related to tourism. So, any regional instability can potentially disrupt tourism and in turn, the business. However, these are unpredictable elements so we can’t control them. Regarding economics, this market continues to develop and is still years before maturity. Our goal is to continue to grow nationally and regionally and bring value to our clients.

Read: Major government initiatives set to drive demand in the UAE’s property market

4- What service improvements have been made to Airbnb based on 2019 client and user reviews?

Airbnb has improved massively since our launch in 2017. They have improved their support for companies who manage individual listings. Also, in 2019 they finally launched Arabic as a user language, increasing their reach into this market.