Vlad, aged 586, was unable to maintain the upkeep of his 14th Century Castle in his home town in Transylvania. After moving to a modern apartment in San Francisco, Vlad was looking for a place to store his undead relatives, blood bag reserves, sunglasses and wide-brimmed sunhats.
Over the past centuries, increasing population and urban consolidation has impacted the value of land causing house prices to soar. Residents are being forced to downsize and as a consequence, the need for affordable storage spaces is growing. Spacer, a start-up in the sharing economy, seeks to solve this problem, uniting individuals who need space with those who have it. We spoke with Vlad, a vampire from Transylvania, about how Spacer has helped him regain his lifestyle.
Vlad’s home in Transylvania, has transformed into a popular tourism attraction, renowned as the last medieval landscape in Europe. More than 800,000 visitors flock to Vlad’s castle each year, interrupting his sleeping patterns and making it difficult for him to hunt during the night. In addition to the noise, maintenance costs for the castle were soaring with the centuries taking its toll on his family home. At the beginning of this year, Vlad was forced to move away to a more affordable apartment in the inner city of San Francisco. This downsize has presented a huge challenge for Vlad, particularly with Winter approaching.
“It’s been really difficult to maintain my social life with such a crowded apartment. All my relatives are in their coffins all the time. Even at night they don’t like to get out – probably because my cousin was completely fried 200 years ago. But now they’re all stacked around my apartment. Not to mention my blood bag reserves, my sunglasses and sunhats because for some reason, there is so much sunshine in San Fran. I just really needed a way to clear out all the stuff. That’s when I found out about Spacer.” Says Vlad.
San Francisco locals, Elizabeth and Pete live just a block away from Vlad. With all their children now in college, the retired couple have more space then they need. In March, they began renting out their large garage to Vlad.
“We’ve been using Spacer for a little while now, Vlad is our second renter. He’s been really great. At first, we weren’t sure about storing all the coffins, but Vlad’s been very respectful despite his lifestyle preferences. You occasionally hear some flapping around at odd hours but it’s never too bothersome and Vlad always cleans up the bat droppings.” Says Elizabeth.
The arrangement works perfectly for Vlad and the couple, providing Elizabeth and Pete with some extra income and Vlad an inexpensive solution. It has also allowed Vlad to enjoy his time in San Francisco more.
“A lot of my friends are really struggling to find affordable solutions; the old family gold only goes so far and murder just isn’t how it’s done anymore. Spacer has been very understanding of my needs. I could pick from a vast range of spaces so convenient and close to me. I don’t have to worry about the safe keeping of Uncle Ambrose or Grandpa Igor or Great Grandma Valdis and I am able to visit them any time during the week. Spacer has really been a lifesaver and I enjoy being part of such a diverse and growing community.” Says Vlad.
To join Spacer’s community of hosts and renters like Vlad, Elizabeth and Pete, click here.