We don't sell land here
"The best measure of innovation is change in human behaviour."
When I sometimes register Flyway in various services, I have to select our company's industry from a drop-down list. I usually look for "Proptech," but this is something I rarely find as an option since it's a new market. Usually, our best fit is "Real Estate" - which I find annoying for many reasons.
Real estate means buying and selling land, either in the form of land plots or houses. They can be good or bad investments, but ultimately, it's all about buying and selling land. But Flyway is doing something much more significant than just offering an excellent property investment.
Proptech v. 2
Flyway is part of a new breed of companies that use traditional real estate services as an opportunity to offer a new way for people to live their lives with the help of technology and innovative business models. In a way, we're offering a new lifestyle.
Consider just a few examples of new companies that recently launched or announced: Adam Neumann's (of the WeWork fame) Flow company promises to transform apartment rentals into a community-like experience, "connecting people through transforming their physical spaces and building communities where people spend the most time: their homes". And for that vision, he was handed a generous $350m pre-seed investment from Andreesen Horowitz.
Or consider Wander, a vacation rental company that targets digital nomads and knowledge workers who can work remotely from idyllic locations in spaces equipped with fancy desks and Teslas to move around. Similar targeting has AnyPlace but for city residential rentals.
But these services are offered as rentals, which makes for a terrible approach from a financial point of view. Consider this: a rental can cost as much as 50% of a tech worker's income. So essentially, you spend half of your life working to pay the rent so the property owner can generate a healthy, steady income and, on top of that, benefit from property's appreciation as time goes by.
What Flyway offers is a sound financial offering by enabling anyone to afford a fraction of a fabulous second home's cost, keeping ownership of it, selling it in the open market as it appreciates, and still enjoying the lifestyle it offers. Flyway customers own/use property that would normally be out of their price range. And we're offering prime properties, which usually are less impacted by the market downturn fluctuations because of their high demand.
On top of this, there's the peace of mind that comes with not having to deal with any of the ownership hassles. Owning a remote property that you don't have to take care of; can someone think of anything better than that? The Flyway owners travel and stay in the second homes they own as if they're staying in a rental.
A new way to experience life
Our customers are global citizens, people whose identity transcends geography or political borders. And while they don't denounce or waive their nationality or other, more local identities, they want to connect with the global progress and contribute to it. Flyway's offering is designed to serve these people.
When you unlock a £2 million home in downtown London for just £200k (for example), an ocean of opportunities opens up. A new lifestyle, previously afforded only by the uber-rich, is within reach of many more people.
You can enjoy an upgraded lifestyle living in different metropolises with a relatively small investment in property that appreciates over time. You become a part-time resident in the city you love - not a tourist. In the era of remote work, you will use your available days to stay in (for example) London and work from your fantastic apartment while exploring this incredible city in your free time.
You'll use all the opportunities to connect with the local community around your home, expand your business horizons, be part of a thriving ecosystem, and enjoy life with your partner or family. But it's not only about the city experience.
The Flyway customer appreciates the value of all the things that help us be healthier, happier, and more productive. When you live inside your Flyway second home, you value devices like EightSleep that help you get your sleep and health under control. You enjoy your Sonos wireless sound system playing music across your home or as a home theater with your latest technology smart TV. While you watch your favorite TV series, you combine it with a great light scene using the Philips Hue lighting system (more about our smart facilities here).
Our homes always come with a desk to be used as a sleek workstation and superfast WiFi (Gigabit Internet) because our owners use their second home to be productive in a remote environment. You control your home with smart thermostats and super modern electric appliances. But even products that improve small parts of our daily life, like an Ember mug (that keeps your coffee warm as long as you drink it), or a Toto washlet for maximum hygiene, are highly appreciated. In a Flyway home, dozens of unique products and devices provide a great living experience for the modern knowledge worker.
When you approach your new Flyway home for the first time, you will get a notification in the Flyway app that the lock has detected you nearby and ask if you want it unlocked, so you get in. From that moment, you start getting a sense of the Flyway experience which continues inside. Then you combine this experience with exploring the city you always wanted to return to. You start building relationships with the locals and expand your network and level of knowledge.
In the end, you are a part-time citizen in the city you love, and you may want to expand your horizons even further by buying Flyway shares in a new metropolis.
Free Trial Stay
I understand that many people don't immediately feel they need what Flyway offers.
How could they? They've never heard of something like this, and no one else offers it. And only a vanishingly small number will have imagined of something similar. Everyone wants more of what they are used to, more of the same.
That's why we offer a Free Trial Stay in every apartment we have ready to sell. The way it works is this:
You make a small £2k downpayment, fully refundable.
You make a reservation to stay in the Flyway that you like for one night.
You experience Flyway inside out.
The next day you either decide to buy a share (and we keep your £2k downpayment as a reservation fee), or you ask for your money back
Note that we are talking about apartments that would easily come at a £600 - £1,000/night rental price.
The best measure of innovation is change in human behavior.
I believe that a new way of how many people experience life will emerge from Flyway's innovation. More people will increase their travelling because it transforms them from tourists to semi-citizens of other places. They will expand their experiences and network, and increase their personal growth and happiness options. Because that's what innovation is in the end: a change in human behavior which affects lives for the better.
The Flyway experience can be addictive and financially profitable. The best of both worlds.
PS: This post's title (and some ideas) was inspired by Stewart Butterfield's classic "We don't sell saddles here", which he wrote when he founded Slack.
A £200 cleaning fee applies
Downpayment refunded after inspection for damages