Lodgeur is a Houston, TX company that helps apartment building owners boost their cash flow and property value. We do this by converting empty apartments and managing them to attract a new type of renter that’s looking for the convenience of furnished accommodation on flexible terms.
Our furnished living on-demand product gives traveling professionals and digital nomads the service and consistency of a hotel with the spaciousness and function of a stylish home. It’s also perfect for people who hate moving and assembling furniture!
Our long-term vision is to build the operating system that powers apartment buildings anywhere in the world to increase and diversify their NOI by incorporating hospitality into their revenue management mix.
Lodgeur founders Sébastien Long and Brooke Bornick.
When Lodgeur launched in 2019, our initial focus was on solving the problem of trust of booking alternative accommodation on sites such as Airbnb and VRBO. These lodging websites aggregate properties typically from amateur hosts. But they do not manage or control the underlying accommodation or customer experience, leading to varying levels of quality, comfort, and service. This hindered mass adoption and the migration away from traditional hotels. Historically hotels faced a similar problem until industrialization by Conrad Hilton and Bill Marriott delivered consistent quality standards and created the modern hotel. So we set out to apply the same playbook and become a trusted operator brand in the alternative accommodation sector (aka operating ‘airbnbs’)…
I moved to Texas three years ago from London, UK. One thing that’s different in the US, is if you need a place to live, just about every property is rented unfurnished on a 12-month contract. Back in Central London, 82% of all rented accommodation is fully furnished and typically leased on shorter terms. As I toured apartment communities, leasing agents kept telling me how often prospective tenants asked if they could rent the fully furnished show home (particularly on shorter lease terms).
And then it clicked… WHY NOT? Why does moving need to be so hard? Why do you need to own your own furniture? We’d created stylish and comfortable homes, available on-demand and with regularly scheduled housekeeping for extended stays. It really didn’t matter how long someone stayed – in fact, the longer the better.
The pandemic has accelerated changes in how we live, work, and travel:
And so flexibility and convenience are valued like never before. We can work from anywhere. We can explore. Lodgeur can meet this demand.
During our first year, we heavily focused on solving the problem of travelers booking alternative accommodation. But as we spoke to apartment building owners and operators, we realized they had an even larger headache: vacant apartments they struggled to rent on 12-month leases.
That’s why we decided to make their needs our core focus. By being their partner, instead of merely their tenant.
Sébastien Long, Founder & CEO
Sébastien is an Anglo-French founder who emigrated to Houston from London in 2018. He grew up immersed in his parents’ hospitality business and interacted with 30,000 travelers before earning an international management degree at the University of Bath (UK).
He spent the first decade of his career traveling the world digitizing banks and their operating models across five continents. Looking for a new challenge, he started an Executive MBA at the University of Cambridge and helped two Silicon Valley unicorns come to Europe.
He launched the UK market for Sonder and advised a food-tech company on European market entry.
Although hospitality is in his DNA, he’s a banker by training.
Sébastien’s experience comes from modernizing banks like HSBC: developing more customer-centric operations, improving risk management, and fighting financial crime. This background is surprisingly useful in Lodgeur’s mission to provide an operating system that combines hospitality operations and multifamily apartment assets.
One of his hobbies is other people’s startups: Sébastien mentors early-stage founders with MassChallenge, Founder Institute, and Capital Factory.
Brooke advises Lodgeur on strategy, legal and finance.
Brooke’s experience spans the business lifecycle, from cradle to grave, to include the financial activities of businesses at every stage of growth, including startups, middle market, and public companies, and those in bankruptcy. She’s been the lawyer, the co-founder and the investor.
Brooke is a recovering AmLaw 100 lawyer who spent a decade representing banks, Fortune 100 companies and SMEs as a commercial bankruptcy lawyer. She spent her legal career conducting post-mortems on failed companies, harvesting the organs with remaining value, and resuscitating the companies that can be saved.
After earning her Executive MBA at the University of Cambridge, she focuses on buying, growing and selling early stage and middle market companies in the startup and private equity ecosystems.
Brooke loves dogs, tacos and supporting Cambridge Judge Business School.