70 questions with Radim Rezek, CEO of Flatio: From rental housing for digital nomads, remote work visas, and leadership to his active inner child, a must-try Czech dish, and Punkva caves in Brno

By Elham P.Mohammadi

“You’re the coolest boss I’ve ever had,” I said to Flatio‘s co-founder and CEO Radim Rezek as I relaxed in a hot water pool at the Széchenyi Thermal Bath during our team-building event in Budapest.

“Really?” he asked.

I cracked a smile and had a moment where I thought to myself, “Human beings are very funny.”

Just a few months before that conversation, I couldn’t bring myself to refer to Flatio as “our company” when I joined the team as a part-time freelance writer and met them in their office in Brno. To me, they were just another client.

And there I was. In a pool with Radim and other Flatio team members, calling him not only my “boss”, but the “coolest” ever.  

“How did I get from there to here within a few months? How did I become so emotionally invested in this company?” I asked myself.

I know the answer now. It’s the PEOPLE.

The Flatio team having fun in Budapest, Hungary, in 2022 (Photo by Oscar Michel, co-founder of Dancing Donkey Studios)

Much has already been written about Flatio as a Czech-based rental housing platform, which aims to become the first choice for digital nomads in Europe and beyond.

It’s hosted more than 10,000 digital nomads in over 300 destinations to date, with the most attractive feature being the deposit-free accommodations that can be rented on a monthly basis.

Many also know that Flatio is the European accommodation partner of NomadX—a community-focused lifestyle brand that partners with local governments to create communities for digital nomads and remote workers in a growing number of repopulation projects in villages, cities, and island destinations around the world.

In partnership with NomadX, Flatio collaborates as the exclusive international accommodation marketplace partner for the Digital Nomads Madeira Islands project—which successfully shaped “Europe’s first digital nomad village” on the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira in 2021. The initiative generates an estimated economic benefit of over €30 million annually in Madeira. 

All this is public knowledge, but few know about the people behind Flatio, led by Radim.

Not many people know how he calls restaurants himself to find the best place for a company dinner, or have seen him book a plane ticket for a team member or order a cab or buy bus tickets and scan them one by one on the bus for a dozen people in the company with a smile.  

Few have heard his self-deprecating jokes, passionate lectures on how to best serve customers and take the company to the next level, or his speech at a company dinner in an admirable attempt to step outside his comfort zone and improve his public speaking skills.

Radim speaking at a company dinner in Budapest, Hungary, in 2022 (Photo by Michal Hlavka from IT at Flatio)

Also, not many people know how self-disciplined he is, how he does his best to get all the exercises right during a Freeletics session, how he reveals his kid-at-heart spirit after a good tennis or badminton match, how excited he’s about the idea of team members cooking their local dishes on the next trip, how he embraces challenges, and how calm and composed he usually is under pressure.

But I know all this and more.

I know how respectfully Radim talks about their competitors while pointing out what Flatio can do better. I’ve seen how respectfully he disagrees with others during brainstorming sessions, including with his former university professor who’s now the company’s chief marketing officer. I’ve seen how respectfully he treats team members of different nationalities, backgrounds, and generations and asks them for their opinions—not only on work matters, but also on whether we should take a cab or ride a scooter to a place.

Most importantly, I’ve seen how honest and fair he is and how he encourages the same values at Flatio.  

Radim—just like every single one of us, and as he himself says—is not without flaws. Nor is Flatio or any other company. Life, of course, is a journey of growth. But I know I’ll remember Radim as a respectable CEO and a good-hearted person who taught me not only business lessons, but also how to ride an e-scooter for the first time.

Radim and I prepare for a ride in Barcelona, Spain, in 2022 (Photo by Elham P.Mohammadi)

Radim is indeed a “cool boss”, and Flatio is a company that embraces the “human touch” it promises its users.

And because I find them inspiring, when Radim was in Lisbon during Web Summit week, I asked him to answer my 70 questions as part of my independent interview series, and he kindly agreed.

Read on to learn what the CEO of Flatio has to say about his fascination with numbers and data, what “human touch” means to him, how playing tennis helps him in business, how he balances being a husband and father with his career, remote work visas, how digital nomads inspire him, a must-try Czech dish, team building, leadership, how to find the right niche market, and more.

1- Radim, I know you as a very modest person, despite all your accomplishments in your early 30s. What makes you stay so humble?

I know that there are many more people who are much more successful than I am. I don’t think I’ve achieved anything great yet. Even though I’m enjoying the journey, I still feel like it’s just the beginning.

2- I also know you as a person with a very active inner child. You enjoy and are grateful for the simple things in life. How do you manage to keep your inner child so alive?

It’s just the way I am. I like to be very active. Maybe that’s in my DNA. I can’t sit somewhere and do nothing for a long time. I love being active because that’s what makes me really happy. So I just do what I love.

3- How would you describe yourself in three words?

Sports. Laughter. Numbers.

4- What about Flatio? How would you describe it in four words?

Fascination. Fairness. Freedom. Future.

5- What’s the story behind the name “Flatio”?

It’s made up of the words “Flat” and “IO”, which in computer science stands for input/output. To put it simply, IO is how information systems like computers communicate with the outside world. So the name reflects the fact that we’re an online platform for renting flats and other types of property.

6- Flatio describes itself as a platform for rental housing with a “human touch”. What’s “human touch” to you?

To me, it’s caring and trust. We do our best to connect landlords with trustworthy tenants who care about the property they live in. On the other hand, we choose landlords who can be trusted and who care about their tenants.

7- The best way to build trust with your clients?

By doing your best to deliver what you promised.

8- When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I never planned to become an entrepreneur. But my entrepreneur uncle inspired me when I was in high school because he traveled to China on business and I found it very interesting. I started my first business, a rental housing platform for students because I didn’t have a good experience with rentals as a student myself and I wanted to change something and help the future generation of students coming to Brno. That’s how I got into entrepreneurship. Years later, I’m still in the rental housing industry, but running a company focused on digital nomads.

9- What’s your long-term vision for Flatio?

By 2027, we want to be the first choice for digital nomads when it comes to rental housing in top destinations around the world, enabling them to live a liberating life while empowering independent landlords. We want to create a pleasant, efficient rental experience for both parties and remove as many obstacles as possible—budget issues, paperwork, language, etc.

10- Why did you decide to focus on digital nomads?

It was an obvious choice because some of our team members live this lifestyle, which I find very interesting and inspiring. Also, we believe that digital nomadism is the future of work.

11- You co-founded Flatio with one of your university friends, Jakub Škorpík, and your college professor at the time, Ondřej Dufek. How would you describe this experience in one word?


From L to R: Flatio co-founders Jakub Škorpík, Ondřej Dufek, and Radim (Photo source: Flatio)

12- What do tenants like most about Flatio?

That most of the accommodations are deposit-free. They also appreciate the quality of our services.

13- What do landlords like most about Flatio?

That there are no middlemen, the lease agreements are signed directly between the landlord and the tenant, we provide them with quality services.

14- The biggest added value Flatio offers to landlords and tenants?


15- Aside from trustworthiness, what are three reasons digital nomads should use Flatio?

No deposit is required for most rental units. You can book stays on a monthly basis, which is a big advantage for many digital nomads, especially those who value flexibility and want to establish a routine in their chosen location. Plus, the process of signing a lease is very quick and convenient.

16- Three reasons why landlords should use Flatio?

We give them access to a large network of digital nomads worldwide who are professional tenants and can help them make money all year round. We give them the ability to rent out their accommodation on a monthly basis if they want to. And the team at Flatio is great to work with.

17- You love numbers and data. What do you find fascinating about them?

That there’s a huge amount of important information in a simple number.

18- How do you make sure that data is used efficiently to improve your solution?

Honestly, there’s still a lot to do at Flatio when it comes to using data more efficiently. We’ve invested in Power BI and developed a system to create personalized reports for each department. But we also need to invest more in training our team members to understand and use data-driven insights.

19- Flatio allows users to pay with bitcoin. How do you see the future of using cryptocurrencies in the rental housing industry?

I think the cryptocurrency industry will become more important and regulated in the coming years. We believe that it deserves more work and support, so we decided to use its potential and promote it.

20- How have your customers responded to this feature?

Many find it a convenient payment method, and it’s been especially good for those who bought bitcoin at a lower price and later used it to pay their rent on Flatio. For many, it’s proven to be a good investment.

21- The best compliment you received about Flatio that you remember to this day?

I was in Barcelona and read an article online about how to find a good flat to rent. Flatio was mentioned there and someone was quoted in the article that it’s really cool that you don’t need a deposit and can easily find a place at a good price. It’s nice when you search the Internet and come across a mention of your startup, especially when it’s users promoting Flatio and not us.

22- I know that the Flatio team is made up of people from different countries, backgrounds, and generations. How do you handle disagreements or differences of opinion with other team members?

I really believe in diversity and like the fact that each team member can bring a fresh, different perspective to our discussions. I try to listen to their opinions and will consider the well-reasoned opinions before making the final decision. And I try my best to make a decision that everyone agrees with, but, of course, it’s not always possible to make everyone happy.

23- If someone travels to the Czech Republic, which traditional dish should they try?


Svíčková (Photo source: Wikipedia)

24- And what kind of drink?

Pilsner Urquell.

Pilsner Urquell (Photo source: Clube Do Malte)

25- Something not many people know about you?

That I don’t like to speak in front of many people. It makes me nervous for some reason. I feel much more comfortable speaking one-on-one or in front of a small group of people.

26- What do you like most about your job?

The freedom to implement my ideas and realize my vision, and that I can solve challenges, which makes me happy.

27- What do you find most challenging about being an entrepreneur?

It’s not easy to deal with internal challenges and managing the relationship with customers. Then there are financial issues. You have to manage all of that at the same time to make sure everyone’s needs are met and you deliver on your promises. Being an entrepreneur is a big responsibility and a long-term commitment.

28- The most important question to ask yourself before becoming an entrepreneur?

Am I passionate about the business I want to start?

29- Flatio has some partnerships with other platforms and individuals. You’ve also made some acquisitions. What factors do you consider in partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions?

They should be mutually beneficial, meet our current needs, and make sense from a long-term financial perspective. We must also have sufficient financial resources. 

30- Three things you’re most grateful for in life?

I’m thankful for my health, my family—especially my wife—and the other great people I know and work with, like my co-founders and team members. Without their support, I wouldn’t be where I am and couldn’t do what I do.

31- What makes you most proud of yourself?

My determination and perseverance. And that I’m here for the long haul. I’ve been in this industry for many years, but I’m still very active and always challenging myself.

32- The most difficult decision you had to make to get where you’re now?

Leaving my well-paying job as a financial broker to start my own business in the rental housing market.

33- What did you learn from the pandemic, both in your personal life and your professional life?

I learned that our lifestyles and routines can change very quickly and that we can adapt. Professionally, I realized that my team and I can work remotely and still be productive.

34- Three characteristics of a good entrepreneur?

They’re passionate about what they do. They understand what they’re doing. The intention behind their work is to make something better.

35- The most important leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?

That a leader is an authentic, responsible, hard-working person who can motivate others in the company to take steps to achieve set goals and always has good insights and information to share with the team.

36- How has starting a family changed you as a person and also as a businessman?

Before I had kids, I didn’t think I had enough time in the day. But after they came along, I realized I had a lot of time. I just didn’t use it very efficiently. When you have a family, you become more efficient and learn to prioritize. I feel like I have a healthier work-life balance now and am more efficient.

37- How do you balance your personal life with your professional life?

One of the decisions that helped me a lot was to separate my professional and personal life. Before I had children, my wife and I lived in the same building as my office, and that did me more harm than good because I spent too much time at work. Later, I moved out of the office building, which helped me draw clear boundaries between work and home life. Now when I’m at home, I’m surrounded by kids and think more about my family than work. And when I’m at work, I can focus on the business. So, in my experience, setting a “physical” boundary can help you balance your personal life with your professional life.

38- I really like the team-building trips and activities you’ve organized so far. How would you describe your approach to team building?

For me, the main goal in organizing team-building activities should be that everyone feels comfortable and happy with the experiences I’ve planned.

Flatio team members enjoying the Széchenyi Thermal Bath in Budapest, Hungary, in 2022

39- How would you describe the Flatio team in one word?


40- The niche market Flatio has chosen is rental housing for digital nomads. How can entrepreneurs choose the right niche market for them? Did you have a strategy yourself?

I don’t think there was a strategy behind this decision. It just came naturally. If you do what you’re passionate about and learn about it as deeply as you can, the next steps will gradually reveal themselves to you.

41- You deal a lot with digital nomads, who’re your main target audience. How has that affected you and your way of thinking?

I find their lifestyle very inspiring because you have to be very self-disciplined to work while traveling. It sounds easy, but in reality it’s not. It comes with its own challenges. Of course, digital nomadism isn’t for everyone, but there are some things we can learn from them, especially when it comes to being efficient and productive while traveling

42- The biggest misconception about digital nomads?

From a landlord’s perspective, I can say that some landlords still don’t see digital nomads as professional tenants who can meet their financial obligations. But that’s not true.

43- What do you like about getting older?

The experience that comes with age, which gives you a better perspective on life.

44- Part of the Flatio team works remotely. What’s the best way to manage a remote team?

Holding regular meetings, organizing team-building trips and activities, and setting the right goals for them.

45- How do you keep your team motivated in general?

Again, it comes down to setting the right goals. It’s hard to motivate a team if they don’t have tangible, reasonable goals that they can achieve.

46- A new skill you’ve learned in the last six months?

Strategic planning.

47- A new skill you want to learn in the next six months?

I want to improve my English and earn an English certificate.

48- How do you invest in yourself?

By taking time for myself and doing the things I love, like playing tennis.

49- Why is tennis your favorite sport?

It combines many things that help improve your mental and physical strength. Not only do I learn techniques, but I also learn how to deal with stress and improve my physical and mental endurance.

Radim after a “good” tennis match! (Photo by Radim)

50- Flatio has an initiative where it partners with digital nomads who review rental accommodations? What’s the purpose of this initiative? 

Yes. It’s a program where nomad influencers review rental accommodations listed on Flatio to make sure they meet the needs of digital nomads, such as strong Wi-Fi and the right equipment for work (desk, chair, etc.). The landlord can choose to have an individual, couple, or family use and review their accommodation. In my opinion, it’s a great verification method.  

51- In 2020, Flatio acquired NomadX’s real estate assets in Portugal and is its accommodation partner. How would you describe NomadX?

Pioneers in the field of digital nomadism.

52- Flatio and NomadX are official strategic partners of the Digital Nomads Madeira Islands project, which created “Europe’s first digital nomad village” on the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira in 2021. How would you describe the project?

Great concept. Great vision. Great execution. I’d call it a very “bold” move. Madeira and Portugal are among our key markets, along with the Czech Republic, Spain, and Hungary.

Europe’s “first” digital nomad village” was launched on the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira in 2021. (Photo source: Startup Madeira)

53- Happiness?


54- Success?

Long-term fulfillment and satisfaction.

55- Love?

My wife.

56- Entrepreneurship?

Fun. Challenging.

57- Digital nomadism?


58- Traveling?

I love it and wish I could do more of it. I believe that traveling gives you new perspectives. That’s why Flatio wants to make travel affordable and accessible to more people.

59- Virtual tours on Flatio?


60- The Flatio blog?

A great source of information for digital nomads, tenants, and landlords.

61- Digital nomad visas?

A step in the right direction, if executed properly.

62- Your biggest concerns about the digital nomad visa initiatives?

That some of them are only open to foreigners with high salaries, come with high fees, and don’t take into account the impact on local communities, such as higher prices— including in the housing sector.

63- The future of the rental housing market in Europe?

Positive. Affordable.

64- Community?

Crucial to the success of every initiative that involves people.

65- The most important qualities of good landlords and good tenants?

Being honest and responsible. Knowing how to deal with people. Communicating efficiently.  

66- An adventurous experience you’d recommend to people visiting Brno?

A visit to the Punkva Caves near Brno. 

The Punkva Caves near Brno (Photo by Elham P.Mohammadi)

67- Radim in 2023?

Hopefully more relaxed!

68- Flatio in 2023?

Transition, positive changes, and expansion to new destinations.

69- How would you like to be remembered?

As a person who did what he believed in.

70- Any final thoughts, Radim?

I just hope Flatio can continue to make the digital nomad lifestyle affordable and accessible to more people around the world, while creating new revenue streams for independent landlords. And I wish everyone a happy and blessed new year.

Author bio: Elham P.Mohammadi is a journalist and the founder of ElhamX Media.

Disclaimer: The author works part-time as a freelance writer for Flatio. However, this isn’t a sponsored post, and the author doesn’t benefit financially or otherwise from this interview. 

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