Stay at home while in Kosova
Two young female entrepreneurs after a trip to Zagreb were inspired to start an interesting business of short term rentals. They started with a few apartments and now they are planning to enlarge their business.
An interesting experience happened to Edona Nahi while visiting Zagreb a couple of years ago. Her trip to the concert of U2 – Irish rock band had a positive effect on her career as a female entrepreneur. While looking for spare hotel rooms – that were hard to find – Edona with her friends decided to rent an apartment for just a few days while staying in the capital of Croatia. This turned to be a great solution.
From a nice experience – short term rental of an apartment was transformed into a business idea by Edona Nahi and her friend Pranvera Firza. In March 2011 – Edona and Pranvera established their www.HomeinKosova.com a company that offers short term rentals of apartments in the region of Pristina.
“We thought that a similar offer should be available also in Pristina”, says Edona Nahi that graduated in creative and holds an MA in international business. Their website www.HomeinKosova.com was financed by a grant from the US State Department while a second grant was given to them by Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP USAID) that will be used mostly for ads of this interesting business. Currently Edona and Pranvera are looking to produce an ad oriented towards the international clients. “It is important to have an ad in Google since we have clients from Nordic states, Canada, Japan”, says Nahi adding that for now they are seeking to have an ad at the Pristina international Airport. Nahi adds that they are thinking to expand this business also in Albania.
Nahi admits that in the beginning of this innovative business she and her partner had a challenge to overcome. A hard obstacle to pass was to convince property-owners to leas their apartments for a short period of time. “Owners of apartments in Pristina prefer to rent their apartments for a period of one or two years or as long as possible”, said Edona adding that the prices are 40 euros per night as specified in the website.
Despite this Edona and Pranvera started with an offer of just 3 apartments and now they rent 11 apartments while they are negotiating a 12th apartment to be included in the offer.
“In the beginning people were enthusiastic for the website and the idea it was welcomed even though there were some sceptics that complained for the high price or that people will not give for rent apartments for a short period of time”, mentions Edona Nahi adding that now people are calling to include their apartments at the www.HomeinKosova.com webpage. For each signed contract Edona and Pranvera get a 10 per cent comission from the landlords of apartments.
Most of the clients, according to Edona Nahi are international advisers, university lecturers and and other short term residents in Pristina. “Our target are mostly internationals and a part of the diaspora”, says Nahi emphasizing that the minimum of stay at their apartments is three nights. Howewer she adds that recently www.HomeinKosova.com has an offer for just two nights for those who prefere to spend a weekend in the capital of Kosova. Currently international consultants of IPKO, members of the Kosovo diaspora and families of people working in the foreign embassies are most of their clients. Currently says Edona one of the apartment owner offers also food for the residents – while all of the apartments are ready for the guests- they are clean, have constantly warm water and the heating is on during the winter months.
Edona Nahi’s 3 advices to young entrepreneurs
1) Believe in your idea
2) Ask for advice
3) Find financing for your business