Stay One Degree: A Social Network for Luxury Home Rentals

By Paul Joseph

Tapping into the sharing economy trend, Stay One Degree has created a unique online platform that connects home owners and guests with their friends, mutual connections and trusted members all over the world.

The brainchild of Thomas Bennett and Jorge Munoz, the website allows discerning global travellers looking for authentic home-from-home experiences, to rent directly from their network of connections within a members’ community.

The idea came from the founders’ own rental experiences, which frequently left them frustrated and disappointed with uninspiring homes, at overinflated prices. Meanwhile, beautiful homes within their social network lay empty and underutilised.

Stay One Degree offers its members access to some of the world’s most exclusive and beautiful villas, townhouses, apartments and ski chalets in more than 40 countries around the globe, with prices starting from £100 per night and rising to well over £10,000 per night.

Every property is hand-picked by the team, based on their architecture, interiors, outstanding locations and unique elements, from cliff-top infinity pools in Bali to mountain hot tubs in Val Thorens and villas with vineyards in Tuscany.

Co-founder, Jorge Munoz, adds, “As a result of the unique platform we offer property owners, we are finding that owners who never would have considered renting out their holiday homes are now choosing to do so, as they can be confident that their home is in safe hands. Members, therefore, have access to special homes that are impossible to find anywhere else.”

Signing up to Stay One Degree is free and immediate, providing entry into a community with extraordinary homes to rent, without the risks often associated with renting from a stranger. The social network model allows members to grow their connections, creating a large pool of members they are comfortable renting to and from.

Members can communicate through a private messenger system, without restriction, building relationships and providing an insider concierge service of the very best local experiences, as well as sharing exclusive member benefits.

The level of trust works both ways, with home owners having control over whether they would prefer to rent to immediate “one degree” connections or a wider pool of trusted members. Home owners also benefit from access to this worldwide customer base at a commission rate of just eight per cent.

With its roots in the couch-surfing phenomenon of the 1990s popularized by budget travellers, in recent times a number of companies have emerged that offer luxury home rentals for people seeking authentic and ‘local’ experiences combined with all the services of a high-end hotel.

By Paul Joseph