Airbnb Trying to Woo Apartment Managers

Airbnb is making a push to work directly with apartment management companies. From the Wall Street Journal:

Home-rental giant Airbnb Inc. is trying to charm apartment landlords with a program that gives them some extra revenue if they allow tenants to rent their units out on the site.

Airbnb last month announced an offering that allows apartment owners to take a cut of the revenue from Airbnb guests in their buildings. The program has the potential to add millions of apartment units to Airbnb’s inventory of short-term rental properties.

So far, though, the program has few takers, as landlords remain wary of lawsuits, regulatory hassles and ticked-off neighbors…

Under Airbnb’s new plan, called the Friendly Buildings Program, if landlords allow tenants to lease units on Airbnb, they have an opportunity to take a cut of the nightly revenue at a suggested rate of 5% to 15%.

But for a one-night, $200 stay that means the landlord would make $30 or less, an amount that many landlords say doesn’t justify the hassle.

The article mentions many of the largest companies in the industry – Camden, AvalonBay, Essex, Equity – and at most they expressed curiosity, but in general there seemed to be a healthy dose of skepticism towards the idea. Of course that could change as regulatory hurdles are removed and the pool of business grows, but for now this seems like an idea whose time has yet to come.