Can an Airbnb type of solution work in Nigeria


#1

Hello my name is Ijezie Alex. I and a colleague are trying to build a website/app that enables people to lease or rent short-term lodging including vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, or rooms. Registration and account creation is free.

Users can search for lodging using a variety of filters including lodging type, dates, location, and price. Before booking, users must provide a valid name, email address, telephone number, photo, payment information, and, if required by the host, a scan of a government-issued ID.

Users can create a listing by selecting the “Host” menu after logging in. A listing will not go live until the host is ready to publish. Pricing is determined by the host, with recommendations from us. Hosts can charge different prices for nightly, weekly, and monthly stays and can make adjustments for seasonal pricing. Hosts add descriptions of the residence, amenities, available dates, cancellation policies, and any house rules and hosts are advised to upload photos of the lodging that is offered. For eligible hosts, we offer free professional photography if required. Potential guests are required to message the host directly through our app or website to ask questions regarding the property. Unless the host has enabled “instant book”, in which case requests for stays are accepted automatically, a host has 24 hours to accept or decline a booking. After the reservation, hosts coordinate meeting times and contact information with guests. For every booking we take commissions.

Enough of the explanation. We want to work on this but before we do we really want to get your sincere opinions about this. We believe that with the rate at which Nigerians are beginning to join the sharing economy sharing things like rides (thanks to Uber, Taxify, OgaTaxi, GoMyWay and the others), as well as sharing television/screen space (thanks to the young Jangilova team), that having our airbnb replica isn’t really a bad idea.

I’ve made us of airbnb many times in the US but haven’t really seen such service in Nigeria or heard of any in Africa (I stand to be corrected if I am wrong). Your opinions would be greatly accepted.

P.S: I don’t mind the approach in which your pour out your opinion. I need you to be real and critical. Thanks Radarians.


#2

JUST…DO…IT

You’ll never know if it’s worth it unless you try. Just make sure you research and execute well


#3

i think jiji.ng,olx.com.ng has similar stuff but since its going to be your main focus,i think you will make it with determination and patience.

its a nice idea and can make real cash once people get to know more about your company.

Culture,personal freedom,safety and trust plays a role in its success in Nigeria.

I personally will prefer an hotel than staying with a host because of personal freedom and safety but i think hosts will give out their house which they dont live in rather than their personal house where they live with family members but i hope those houses that your host will list online are furnished,comfortable,have electricity etc because that is why people use hotels.

Problems will be hosts trying to over price his/her services.it will be painful to pay more for low quality when i can get cheap hotels also fraud and not getting the exact services or the exact pictures of the apartment which you viewed on the site in reality nevertheless if you can find ways to beat that,then the common traveler will be able to afford it and these can be a real competitors to hotels in Nigeria.


#4

What is wrong with Nigerian. My brother we are not God to tell you your business will succeed or not. If people know they are going to succeed in business, everbody will be a multi-billionaire.

Just start and improve with time.


#5

Please do it.


#6

Hey @alexgj ,

I recently stayed in a private room at two different Airbnb homes in Accra, Ghana. They were perfect and I was pleasantly surprised it worked really well there. In fact, two listings I was looking at got filled up before I could book the rooms. However, it seemed like it was popular among the expats and the Ghanians that had lived abroad for a long time and moved back.

I spoke to about 6 of my Ghanian friends and they were surprised it worked in Ghana and mentioned they were most likely not going to try it.

Not-so-great news

  • You are probably going to get the same reaction from Nigerians.

  • Tenants might not want to get into any issue with their landlords or have neighbors feeling uncomfortable.

  • Nigeria and Light issues. You’ll need to consider this as it may affect the price of the listings. (P.S: I had light 24/7 in Accra although the hosts did mention they had back up generators just incase)

What You can Do

  • There are a number of flats/apartments that are being let out by private individuals on a daily basis so you can look into that being your first pool.

  • You can reach out to the expats you know, see if they are open to it.

  • Consider getting a variety of listings in the main cities first - VI, Ikoyi and Lekki.

  • Security will be an issue (you already know) so user reviews, quality listings, online + government ID Verifications and 24/7 Support are super important in building a trusted platform

By the way, Airbnb has a function were a user can request for a recommendation from friends on Facebook. This might work for you as your first set of users won’t have reviews.

Yeap! That’s about it from me but do more research and if you go ahead with it, all the best.


#7

The guy should bring you on board. Nice input (y)


#8

Vacationhosting Nigeria at http://vacationhosting.com.ng does that. Currently in private beta. Coming out of beta and launching to the public in November 2017.


#9

I say go for it!

I’m visiting Nigeria in December & I checked out some of the Nigerian apartments (Lekki area)on there. They had some amazing apartments - a mix of private rooms, hotels and access to entire house. I opted for an Apartment hotel.

Initially, I was hesitant about getting a Nigerian apartment via Airbnb; in fact everyone advised me not to do it, however there are some amazing places with decent prices. With that said, there were some dodgy accounts/hosts on there. As long as you can make it secure for users, you should go for it!


#10

If you do it right, then cool

else you’ll be creating a platform for perverts to prey on ladies for rape and assault

Or a platform to network homes for rituals or setup

Nigeria will always be Nigeria till this entire generation dies off maybe


#11

You again?


#12

It will work in Nigeria. but my advice is that you should not dive into this project if you dont have enough advertising power. Take for instance when olx can into the Nigerian market, though they advertised their website via different platform. but the mistake they made was to relax thinking they have captured the market. jiji showed up and beat them to their game. and guess what, after jiji took the lion share of the market they have never relaxed and they are still advertising their platform via adsense, radio stations and even on tv. So what am trying to say is that if you start and its getting tractions, be ready to face competitions


#13

Honest opinion:

Except you are developing it yourself (personally doing the coding in which case not investing your savings) while you keep a day job unaffected by this project, don’t carry out this experiment. It is more likely to fail than succeed in Nigeria. The reasons are quite obvious, but I expect that excitement is clouding your mind, so I will spell out a few below:

  1. Kidnappings.
  2. Rituals.
  3. Rape.
  4. Generally bad news about domestic Nigerian insecurity in international media.
  5. Fraud.
  6. Yahoo++
  7. Badoo.
  8. Armed robbery.
  9. Explosion in sexual assault cases.
    10.General prevalence of greed and culture of “Make Money Anyhow”.
  10. High monetary value of foreigners in Nigerian body part market.
  11. IPOB.

I could go on and on, but I will stop here and just say, Nigeria isn’t in the right place for Uberizing accommodation.

I hope you will take my advice over those strewn in sentiments screaming “Do it! Do it!”. Please don’t. Don’t listen to ice cream talk.

Best wishes, whichever way you go.

Cheers!


#14

@alexgj This is a good plan. And I tell you honestly, it will work. I think some similar offerings exist already though (definitely not vacationhosting; as its not launched yet): likes of shortlet on Jumia House.

I just want to advice that you should put a lot of checking in place to mitigate anticipated risks raised here: secure the app as much as possible, make sure all listings are authentic (verify, verify… and lastly, verify).

Of all, I wish you all the best.


#15

@Adedayo
Jumia House does not do Vacation Rentals or Homesharing. Vacationhosting at http://Vacationhosting.com.ng launches in November 2017.


#16

My guess is IT WONT WORK because of maybe the ENVIRONMENT?
but YOU NEVER KNOW you probably should JUST TRY IT
if you are too scared? then TRY IT ON A SMALL SCALE
maybe organize it for your co-workers and see if they PAY


#17

Forget about the nay sayers and just do it… the worst that will happen is that you tried and it didn’t work…

FYI, I was in Naija for 4 weeks in Aug/Sept… during my entire stay, I stayed in an apartment that I found on Airbnb. I had initially paid for 4 nights, but i eventually stayed for 3 weeks !.

I also have friends that have stayed at Airbnb locations… so do not be deceived that it won’t work…If you execute properly, it will work.


#18