[caption id="attachment_447233" align="alignleft" width="172"] Jesse DePinto[/caption]
Milwaukee-based Frontdesk, a short-term apartment rental company, is continuing to show it is one of the top competitors in the industry with the acquisition of several properties from one of its now shuttered competitors.
Jesse DePinto, co-founder and chief product officer at Frontdesk, announced this week that the company has acquired 33 units in three different west coast markets that had been managed by WanderJaunt, a short-term rental agency that was based out of San Francisco. The company’s website says the business closed as of June 30.
“It’s another area of growth for us and the beginning of what we think we can achieve, which is an industry roll-up of some of these smaller operators to continue growing our brand and our mission in a non-organic sort of way,” DePinto.
This isn’t the first time FrontDesk has scooped up properties from its competitors. In 2020, Frontdesk also acquired 77 properties from three separate competitors that went out of business. This “non-organic” growth has helped the company’s continued rapid expansion across the country. Frontdesk has been named to the Inc. 5000 list for the second year in a row and is now in over 30 cities. The company has also been named short-term rental platform of the year by the PropTech Breakthrough Awards, which recognizes companies in the property technology industry.
Frontdesk’s ability to weather challenges while so many competitors go out of business has been a recurring theme for the company. DePinto said so far, 2022 shows some resemblance to 2020 in that several of their competitors are continuing to go out of business. Despite more people traveling this year, DePinto said many travel companies are facing issues due to inflation and early-stage investors shifting where they place their value. He believes Frontdesk’s Midwest mindset provides the company with an advantage to competitors.
“They’re (investors are) starting to shift resources from companies that are growth-minded without a focus on profitability to those that are profitable. The mindset of Midwest-based, high-growth companies is the bottom line still matters, but you can’t grow at all costs. You have to ensure there’s a balance of growth and profitability,” DePinto said.
Looking ahead to long-term goals for the company, the Frontdesk team continues to work on breaking into the long-term rental market. DePinto believes the future of urban real estate will become more fluid and the line between a person staying or living somewhere will become more blurred. Frontdesk can offer their suites for any stay length, from a single day to several years.
“Renters are demanding more flexibility. They got hooked on an Airbnb type of experience and they demand the same from their long-term rentals. Whether they sign 12-month leases, or more or less, they want to do that through a mobile-first, instant experience and we think we think we can add a lot of value by adding hospitality to the renter experience,” DePinto said.
The Frontdesk product development and research teams are continually working on perfecting the renter experience, he said. In the future, DePinto sees Frontdesk as being known as a residential hospitality brand.