How was the idea of Missafir created? People who grow up in Turkish culture are well known for their hospitality. It lies at the root of this culture, so it is no surprise that people are eager to open their homes to others. Missafir builds up on this natural hospitality and elevates the idea of warm welcomes to a home-based business opportunity that allows homeowners to make profit.
Mehmet Yüksel, Missafir’s CEO, has a long history of international travel and sharing a home environment with other people. It all started back in 2010, during the Erasmus programme in Poland. Upon his return to Istanbul, Mehmet wanted to continue with experience of meeting and living with people from different counties, so he opened his home in Istanbul to guests from Europe. He went on with his higher education in the United Kingdom, where he was also successfully working, and where he carried on with occasionally welcoming guests to his home. Having managed this through Airbnb platform, he became an expert in the field, having earned a Superhost award 11 times in a row.
Thanks to the personal hands-on experience and the necessity to tackle difficulties related to hosting himself, Mehmet has an in-depth understanding of what is means, and what it takes, to be a successful host. Things like delivery of keys, check-in times, cleaning and changing bed linen may be challenging at times, not to mention the effort and time required to monitor and adjust online prices and remain in constant communication with guests. These activities are particularly demanding when one is working full-time or travelling. Those valuable learnings prompted Yüksel to seek new ideas and solutions to make hosting experience easier. He wanted to make the entire process less burdensome and more manageable for himself, but also for other homeowners who wanted to open their homes to guests.
Combining his educational background in business and technology management with proven track record of successful operations management, Mehmet set on a startup journey with Cem, who brought in his experience from tourism and hospitality sectors. Missafir was established in Istanbul in late 2018 as the first short-term rental management platform in Turkey.