Listen to Interview with Pat Kenny
Hi, my name is Shane and I’m the founder of Mr. Sleeping Capsule. The purpose of this post is to explain to you how I started to make money from Sleeping Pods.
Like many people, I was adversely affected by the recent property crash. Mortgage repayments were out of reach, and I needed to find a way to cover the monthly shortfall.
I became an accidental landlord. I lived in a big old house, bought when times were good and before the property market crashed. I was faced with the stark reality that if I didn’t find a way to meet the shortfall on my repayments, I was going to lose my house.And I started renting out the spare bedrooms – short or long term, on flexible leases. Due to the shortage of accommodation, a lot of the people who stayed had other friends who were also looking for somewhere to stay, and they requested bunk beds so their friends could share the rooms.
This was fine and worked out very well. However some tenants worked different hours, and came in at different times, turning on the lights and waking their roommate. So they hung towels from the top bunk to the bottom, in an attempt to block out the light and sound. Not ideal!
So I had the idea of getting Sleeping Pods, with wifi, USB ports, mood lighting, optional drop-down flat screens, etc. I showed them pictures of the pods and they jumped at it! They would pay extra rent for the luxury of a pod instead of a bunk.
I realised instead of having a few single beds or bunks in the spare rooms, I could fit twice as many pods, thereby doubling the rental income and far exceeding the mortgage shortfall. This crisis was becoming an opportunity!
These pods would pay for themselves fully in 3 months, and they were also tax-deductible! It seemed like a no-brainer. Other local landlords expressed an interest in getting pods, and I decided to investigate further.
On researching the pods, I discovered they could be bought in China, but there were Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ’s) – you could only order a minimum of 20 or 40 pods. The quality of the pods was far from ideal – they used the cheapest of materials, and had no fire or safety standards whatsoever. I was not happy with the quality of the product.
I did not want to buy these cheap pods and then find that they didn’t meet any EU or CE standards, and that I then couldn’t use them, and had wasted my time and money.
So I flew to China for 2 weeks to visit factories and source and manufacture my own pods, which would meet all EU and CE fire and safety standards. This process took 5 months longer than expected due to the exhaustive independent testing to meet all the European standards, and also language, transport and currency problems.
Finally the pods passed all the CE and EU tests, and I could go ahead with production. I ordered my first container load and it was shipped! From start to finish this took 16 months, a long time but worth it to get a premium product I could stand over.