Ever wondered what entrepreneurs did before they started their business? Where do they find inspiration for their ideas? Or how they view Brexit? We sat down for a coffee and a chat with City Relay Solutions man-in-charge, Maxime Leufroy-Murat to find out.
1. So Maxime, how did you get started in business?
I studied International Business and Finance, and after completing my BA, I started my working life as a trader at Morgan Stanley. I learnt a lot, but my ambition was always to start my own business here in London. My first venture was a personal dating service for busy London professionals that launched before the likes of Tinder came on to the market. It was a steep learning curve and taught me some important lessons about running a business.
2. Where did you get the idea for City Relay Solutions?
I was helping friends in London with their Airbnb guests while they were out of town. It quickly became apparent that having someone there to greet guests and assist them throughout their stay was a valuable service and alleviated many of the concerns and risks my friends had about hosting and short letting their home.
The idea really took hold from there. I got to work figuring out the best, most effective and efficient ways to clean and prepare the home for each guests arrival ensuring it was spotless. I thought about how the check-in process could be improved. How could I best handle guest enquiries before, during and after their stay? What was the best way to deal with maintenance issues?
Having built a service based on trust and quality, City Relay Solutions, our B2B operation, was born in 2019. City Relay Solutions mission is to provide property management companies with the highest level of operational support to facilitate their day-to-day activities. We aim to deliver a comprehensive and quality white-label service, which aligns with their business objectives and creates a strong foundation for growth.
3. What has been the response and reaction to City Relay Solutions?
We’ve received great feedback from hosts, guests, investors and industry commentators and our business is growing thanks to their continued support and trust in us. Our Trustpilot score has hit 4.8 out of 5, giving us the highest rating of any short let property management company in London.
In 2019, we received five industry awards and accolades including the Best Short Term Letting Agent at the National Landlord Investment Show Awards and the Short Let Property Management Specialists of the Year at the Greater London Enterprise Awards.
City Relay Solutions has received a positive response to the launch, and we are having conversations with lots of potential clients on ways we can support them with their day-to-day operations.
The feedback is testament to the hard work of the great team we’ve built. I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve achieved and excited about what the future holds for us.
5. What is City Relay Solutions doing in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility?
Becoming a fully sustainable business is something that’s important to me. We’ve put several initiatives in place to reduce the company’s carbon footprint with more to implement in the coming months.
As part of our mission to become a fully sustainable business, we have carefully selected ethical and eco-friendly supply chain partners that provide exceptional products and services for our clients. We’ve moved to a fleet of electric vehicles, are recycling everything we can and have replaced bottled water for guests with cartons of One Water.
We have also donated time and money to local community initiatives and are currently in conversations with charities working to fight homelessness in London about partnership opportunities. Most recently we took part in a street clean-up effort in Earl’s Court helping local residents pick-up litter.
6. What are your views on Brexit in relation to the short let industry?
I think all industries – and the UK economy as a whole – have had to weather the Brexit storm over the last couple of years. Continued economic uncertainty has led to fewer properties coming on to the market. This has made renting, at least in the short-to-mid-term, a more attractive proposition for those riding the storm and waiting to see what happens to property prices in London. We have received more enquiries from residents interested in understanding the short-stay rental market in London in recent months.
Like many, I hope things stabilise and normalise as we move into the transition period of Brexit.
Are you interested in a career at City Relay Solutions?
Our business is growing and we need more talented people to join our team across a number of functions. Check out our vacant roles on our Careers page.