The UK’s Top Ten Property Specialists 2019: Merilee Karr of UnderTheDoormat

Merilee is an expert and industry leader in Short-term accommodation. She founded
UnderTheDoormat in July 2014 after a decade-long career at energy giant Shell where she led the Global Maintenance Operations of its 12,000 petrol stations across 42 countries.


She has taken her passion and global experience in property management to an emerging
industry with the vision to set new standards both in her company and for the industry as a


She Chairs the UK Industry Body, the Short-term Accommodation Association which counts
among its members Expedia, Airbnb, HomeAway and onefinestay.


Her vision for UnderTheDoormat is to enable modern travelers to step into the shoes of a local,
enjoying the comfort of a home and the professional service of a hotel across major cities
globally. In the 4 years since inception, UnderTheDoormat has built a strong presence in
London and is growing into new markets partnering with local independent operators on its
distribution model.


She has been profiled in London’s Evening Standard and the BBC and regularly speaks at
events, including IHIF, VRMA, the Tourism Society, the British Property Federation.
Additionally, Merilee has worked extensively with the UK government including BEIS, HMRC
and MCHLG on short term accommodation.


Nominees three achievements


1. Setting up STAA (the Short Term Accommodation Association)
Bringing together a host of likeminded individuals and organisations from the industry, this is a real achievement for Merilee who currently sits as Chair. In a bid to make short-term lettings responsible, the team at STAA are developing policies and best practices which are leading the way globally.


2. Solving the Insurance problem for the lettings Industry
Merilee brought together the insurance and mortgage industry to put in place a bespoke insurance policy, backed by Lloyds of London. This is crucial for homeowners letting out their most valued asset. UnderTheDoormat is able to provide the best insurance on the market and give homeowners peace of mind. A real achievement


3. Supporting charity initiatives
Merilee has signed the founders pledge whereby 5% of whatever is earned during a buy out goes straight to charity. UnderTheDoormat is a company striving to help the homeless with numerous in-house initiatives, including the CEO sleep-out. It is a cause very close to Merilee’s heart.



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About the author: TPI Editor

Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of The Property Investor and publisher of The Sussex Newspaper, My Well-Being Magazine, My Making Money Magazine and My Entrepreneur Magazine. Kizzi Nkwocha made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain. Nkwocha has published a number of books on running your own business and in 2011 his team won the Specialized Information Publishing Association (SIPA) award for best use of social media. In the UK he runs a successful media consultancy called PRHQ which manages PR for businesses and individuals.

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