Making money out of the empty shed or driveway
Christchurch-based Leo Adriano has launched a new web-based venture he describes as the Airbnb of storage.
His ShareLet site allows people to lease space as small as a cupboard or room, garage, shed, backyard, or even a commercial chiller or farm barn.
He has a 30-year background in construction, design and project management, more recently working for a company involved in earthquake recovery work.
Adriano recently launched his new venture, ShareLet, at the EPIC Innovation Campus in central Christchurch with support of the Ministry of Awesome, a facilitation group funded by the city council and grants.
Adriano said as far as he can tell from his research the idea is new to New Zealand.
"It's a way of allowing people to connect and share storage. People with space can advertise it and people wanting space can as well.
"Many homeowners have a lot of empty space and the may be keen to make some extra income but they don't want flatmates."
Adriano has done the hard yards over six months of market research and setting up the site.
He sought advice from Ministry of Awesome staff who helped him refine his ideas and shared marketing tips.
He used freelance web designers from around the world via a site called Fiverr to create a friendly-to-use and professional site.
It includes guidelines, setting up tips, and extra help is needed he is there is a support option as well.
Once people have been connected they can make their own rental arrangements with help from a guideline available on the web site about current commercial rates.
"The self-storage industry is booming on a global basis but building or adapting premises come with high costs that are passed on."
"I thought there would be many people or businesses and organisations New Zealand wide, that could benefit from ShareLet to optimise any available space and earn some money, or alternatively to reduce costs.
For example, students leaving their flats at the end of the study year often borrow space in old garages or spare rooms until they return from summer holidays.
But the array of users or lessors Adriano has identified could include parents, casual workers, retired people, plus businesses with seasonal storage requirements. Others could be events organisers.
With his web site up and running, the big challenge now is to build critical mass.
For the meantime the service is free and at some point when it has achieved sufficient profile Adriano will introduce a modest fee.
He is exploring various ways of partnering with other organisations to lift the venture to the next level.