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.

How Do Residents Feel About Airbnb?

You’ve likely heard a lot about how apartment managers feel about Airbnb, but how do residents actually feel? One company asked its residents and the results were interesting. From NAA’s Industry Insider:

An ongoing topic among apartment industry professionals ever since, Cortland Partners decided to ask its residents about how they feel about allowing short term rentals at their communities. In January, Vice President, Resident Experience, Brian Ericson, sent a six-question online survey to more than 14,000 Cortland Partners residents and received 1,153 responses…

The company, which operates nearly 35,000 units in 95 communities, primarily in the Southeast, Texas, and Ohio, learned that 43 percent of residents surveyed are “strongly” opposed to allowing Airbnb rentals, compared to only 12 percent who “strongly” support Airbnb rentals.

In total, 52 percent are opposed to Airbnb rentals, compared to only 18 percent who are in favor; 30 percent of respondents were measured as neutral. The survey also showed that by allowing its residents to become Airbnb “hosts” it could negatively affect retention rates.

The full article is definitely worth a read.