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Traditional short-term rentals often don't work well for the digital nomad who also wants to socialize. Outsite is trying to fill that gap.

The company Outsite plans to purchase as many as 100 boutique hotels in Europe over the next five years to expand its cohousing community for digital nomads. 

Three real estate investors — Extendam, Keys REIM, and Stone Capital — have committed a total of €300 million ($325.6 million) toward purchasing the properties, according to Outsite founder Emmanuel Guisset in an interview with Skift. 

The real estate companies will own the properties, while Outsite handles bookings and property management, he said. 

Outsite has about 50 properties now in the U.S, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Guisset said investors are interested in helping Outsite expand its footprint because the model is meant to fill the gap of housing designed for travelers who are working but also want to socialize.

“We have that big pool of money [from firms] willing to buy hotels for us in Europe,” he said. 

Outsite: We Have Demand. We Need Supply.

Outsite properties are meant for remote workers who want to book stays between one week and three months. Each property has private rooms and a property manager who plans activities, and most have a coworking space. 

The company’s $150 annual membership unlocks access to most of the portfolio. About 30% of the company’s inventory can be booked by non-members. The members-only listings are available through the company’s website. The rest of the inventory is bookable through the website and other booking platforms. 

Because the business has so much demand, the company hasn’t needed to build out a sales team for its primary lodging product, Guisset said. 

“To be honest, we don’t really need it at this stage,” Guisset said. “We need more inventory. Right now we don’t really have a demand problem. We have more supply issues, so we need to get more properties.”

The company is focused on purchasing in France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. The team recently purchased properties in Barcelona and Portugal, and they are about to purchase another in Paris, he said. 

The company started in 2016 buy focusing on purchasing large houses. Now, the team is focused on purchasing hotels between 20 and 50 rooms. 

Bookings doubled last year, and the company expects 60% growth this year, Guisset said. There are now 5,000 members. 

Three months ago, the company also started a corporate membership program that allows companies to provide an Outsite membership and more as an employee benefit. More than 100 companies have already signed up, he said. 

“The corporate component, we see a lot of potential,” Guisset said.

Outsite uses the cloud-based property management system by Cloudbeds.

Correction: This article has been updated to say that Outsite plans to purchase up to 100 hotels (not 150) in the next five years.

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Tags: digital nomads, europe, real estate

Photo credit: Pictured: The common space of an Outsite property for digital nomads in Costa Rica. Outsite / Outsite

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