The best part about launching our new brand has been revisiting all the moments that have led us to where we are. For all our amazing guests that knew us as London Central Stay or even Relocabroad before that, we wanted to share the journey with you.
The story of Stayo began in July 2012. A tenant in a six-bedroom house in London Bridge handed in their notice, but instead of looking for a replacement, we decided to advertise the spare bedroom on Airbnb. A German tourist called Albert was our first guest, he stayed for one week and left Stayo’s first review!
This was when we identified a gap in the market for short-term rental in prime city-centre locations. Two of our founders (Giovanni Gravina and Angelo Zito) are based in London, while the other two two (Andrea Gorini and Stefano Greco) work from Cagliari, Sardinia.
After seeing the potential of the idea, the four of us met in a small coffee shop near Victoria Station and signed the official Companies House documents to launch the business. We felt a combination of excitement and nervousness, yet we were confident that our backgrounds and different skill sets would work well together.
We started small and identified three single units on a tight budget of £10,000. It began with Ikea furniture, and Giovanni and Angelo looked after every aspect of day-to-day management, including the cleaning!
We worked hard, and it started to pay off. As revenue began to grow, we were in the position to start employing staff. We hired two cleaners who multi-tasked and helped with check-ins as well as walking around with screwdrivers to do the odd bit of maintenance work.
As the portfolio grew, it became clear that a company restructure, which would enabled the business to function independently was necessary. Over time, we expanded our network of landlord and agent partners. Now, we’re incredibly pleased to be working with the likes of CBRE, Foxtons, Royal London Asset Management and Fuller’s, together with partners such as the Royal Opera House and Sotheby’s Realty.
We’re proud that the company has been profitable from day one, and that turnover has grown year on year. We’ve adapted with the changing times of the industry to meet the needs of our customers and will continue to do so.
Over the years, we realised that while our mission has stayed the same, our ambitions have changed. It therefore became apparent that we needed to update our brand and messaging to better reflect who we are and all we have to offer. Whilst we started as Relocabroad, Stayo conveys the ambition behind our team to improve every aspect of urban travel. We’re here so that you can experience unforgettable urban travel, all while living and exploring like a local from one of our hand-picked apartments.
Today, Stayo is a multicultural team of more than 25 employees, made up of different ages and representing 10 different nationalities. The team is close-knit and incredibly passionate about what they do. Everyone has amazing insider knowledge of London which they love to pass on to our guests. We have also partnered with key specialists and industry experts, such as Curate, to deliver even greater levels of the guest experience. Industry veteran Robin Paterson has also recently joined our team to bring an incredible wealth of expertise as we continue to grow. While we will always remember our first property fondly, we’re delighted to now have more than 40 remarkable homes in our collection.
Our vision at Stayo is to build a successful global business that provides exceptional serviced accommodation, offering high-quality property rental with a unique and bespoke guest experience.
We look forward to welcoming you to a Stayo home soon!