The 25-year-old Alex Matthews, from Belo Horizonte (Brazil), is tracing a promising path as a real estate entrepreneur in the United States. By transforming his idea into a million-dollar company, Matthews has inspired new entrepreneurs all around the U.S.
His company Empire Residence Vacation Homes made $ 1.5 million last year, achievement that resulted in his nomination for the Forbes 30 under 30, in Brazil. The award aims at young people with less than 30 years who are standing out in entrepreneurial initiatives.
The lawyer decided to go around the world
Graduated in Law at PUC-MG (Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais), he worked for a little more than four years at the renowned Brazilian Law Firm André Mansur Advogados Associados. In 2015, after attending an paintings exhibition in London, the young man was inspired to open his own business. Seeing so many places portrayed in those paintings triggered Matthews to get to know them all, and then he started traveling the world, observing how the hosting service worked in each location. Now, he wants to bring this same priviledge of travelling around the world affordably to many more people through his company.
Alex Matthews ended up in New York City
Empire Residence was born in 2016, offering unforgettable accommodations for those who want to go on holidays paying what fits their budget – whilst also offering some refinement and quality. His daily rates of go from $30 for a single room in a shared apartment to $7,000 in an upscale penthouse in facing the Central Park, or a 14-bedroom villa in Orlando, FL.
Today, Empire Residence's website attracts 30 thousand daily visitors, and customers can explore and choose between properties, lofts, rooms, studios and houses. The company offers about 300 locations in the United States, and in 2019, they expanded their portfolio offering accommodation in Europe, in cities like Paris and London, after signing partnerships with local companies.
Empire is growing and brings technological innovations which facilitate the welcoming and checking in of guests and also bring more security to owners. For instance, one can enter their booked property through an individual 9-digit-code made available the morning of their check-in and with a set expiration to the afternoon of their checkout. To owners, this system also brings more comfort and security, as they are able to fully control their properties, locking doors, adjusting the temperature of the air conditioning and also the swimming pool via app. All this level of control reassures property owners that guests won’t improperly use their properties. Finally, Matthews is himself there if anything goes wrong. “Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with a guest calling my personal number because the code is not working”, he added. The system works perfectly, and in 99% of cases the guest was simply forgetting to press “unlock”. “I don’t mind, it’s part of the business.. I’m happy to be there to each one of my guests*, he concludes.