Investment opportunities in the real estate sector are many and its development causes great expectations. For this reason, the Círculo Ecuestre hosted this Friday, March 17, a breakfast-discussion on alternative accommodation and the investment opportunities that arise in the Barcelona market.

After the presentation of Antonio Delgado, president of the Círculo Ecuestre, and the moderation of Eduardo Navarrete, founding member of Konta Partners and member of the club, the event began.

Carlos Pierre Trias de Bes, CEO and founder of BADI; Laia Comas Ponsá, CEO of Inèdit Barcelona; Enrique Mas-Schmidt, Sweet Inn Manager in Spain, and Manuel Vidal-Quadras, co-founder of Caterina House and 1840 Apartments, were the speakers chosen for it.

Navarrete kicked off the act by alluding to the fact that the possibilities of alternative accommodation are of interest to many profiles of society. The founder of Konta Partners wanted to review with the partners the housing needs that exist from a generation Z individual to a senior person. After the assessment, he quoted an ideal phrase in the framework of the event: "settling in the country one wants should be a universal right."

The CEO of Inèdit Barcelona, Laia Comas, wanted to explain to the attendees how her company was born as a result of a great experience sharing a flat with people of many nationalities in Portugal: “we share a flat and experiences with people from all over the world. It was a lifetime experience it was incredible. On my return to Barcelona, I wondered where the people who came to the city stayed, and seeing that there was no coliving model, we decided to professionalize this landing of foreign people in the city, giving them quality accommodation, but with the life experience”.

For his part, Enrique Mas-Schmidt, Manager in Spain of Sweet Inn, revealed that the birth of the company was also born from an experience on the part of the CEO. In this case, the founder had a negative experience and saw that there could be opportunities in this type of apartment: “He began to experiment and saw that there were no companies of this type. In 2015, three or four cities were opened in Europe, including Barcelona. In 2016 a portfolio of 16 floors and few people. Today, only in Spain, we manage 250 tourist apartments with a team of 35 people”.

The CEO and founder of BADI, Carlos Pierre Trias de Bes, also revealed how the platform began: “In 2015, few people could afford to live alone in an apartment and we saw an opportunity to create a platform. We took the idea from Tinder to apply it to a roommate search platform. We started in Barcelona, we have grown outside of Spain, we opened in New York before the pandemic, although we had to close. Today, BADI is a platform with more than five million users, with 12,000 rooms published each month and with a demand of 300,000 people in the same period”.

Pierre also argued that, "in an organic way", they were "detecting the areas of the city that are of most interest" and began to "rent potential flats, to which we added interior design, services, etc.". "We have created a premium service for people over 28 years of age with all the services of a hotel and shared areas."

The last to explain his experience in entering the sector was Manuel Vidal-Quadras, Co-Founder of Caterina House and 1840 Apartments. Like some of his colleagues, Manuel saw an opportunity after spending time in London: "I saw the sector and thought it was a good option to do shared flats", despite this, he found that licenses were limited. apartments.

“The covid arrived and I hit a chestnut in the restaurant and tourist apartments, but not in the corporate apartments. For this reason, once recovered, he believes Caterina House. What we do is operate buildings designed for temporary and professional people”, he explained.

Eduardo Navarrete, as moderator of the event, wanted to know the opinion of the speakers on the type of contract that is agreed with the owner. Given this, the experts assessed that the type of contract depends on each situation and what is expected of it: "It is interesting to classify the sector and detect where each type of contract makes sense", he argued.

On the other hand, the moderator also wanted to ask the experts about how the change in laws in the context of tourist apartments has affected the business model. Laia Comas argued that "it is difficult to restrict medium-stay accommodation", an opinion endorsed by her colleagues, who added that "they are the accommodations that will grow the most in the coming years" and that "they are a solution to attract talent in the face of the shortage problem of affordable housing that exists in the city”. “The change in user profile is something that has changed as a result of the pandemic”, they concluded.

The meeting also gave rise to assessing the Airbnb business model and the restrictions and challenges that they will encounter in the coming years. This last question aroused great interest on the part of the attendees, and was answered by the speakers, who assured that "the great challenge is to be able to adapt the properties to the new trends, recognizing who the client will be and what they will need in the next years".

The event, which was attended by more than a hundred partners and people interested in the sector, served as an x-ray of the real estate demand in Barcelona and of the new high-quality models that are needed to put it on the front line and to attract talent.