US: Airbnb has announced its hiring of Jesse Stein, former senior VP at KHP Capital Partners, to serve as its global head of real estate.
The move shows continued interest by Airbnb in direct real estate investment, eyeing up more traditional hotel and housing style properties.
KHP Capital is a real estate private equity firm focused on investments in boutique and independent hotels, and has deep expertise in sourcing and executing development projects including hotel, timeshare, residential and fractional assets,
Stein will be tasked with forging partnerships with property managers, including real estate companies, boutique hotels, and condominium developments, in a bid to create new supply and growth opportunities. The company last year entered into a partnership with New York developer RXR Realty, seeking to develop portions of commercial properties for designer Airbnb purposes.
In his role as global head of real estate, Stein will report to co-founder and chief strategy officer, Nathan Blecharczyk.
This follows news of the European Court of Justice branding the platform a technology service rather than a real-estate broker, allowing it to subvert certain regulations going forward.
The Airbnb business has been diversifying in light of a potential public offering this year, seeking to promote a variety of potential business avenues. The company was valued at $31 billion in 2017 and hopes to maintain that while going public.
The company has invested in startups like Lyric, a company which remodels full floors of buildings for vacation purposes, and Hotel Tonight, a last minute hotel booking service. This may demonstrate a shift away from its signature focus on short-term rentals and towards a more traditional hospitality-focused model.
In addition to the more hotel centric offerings, Airbnb has also created a separate tier of listings for its luxury rental offerings known as Luxe, attempting to compete with brands like Marriott, who have opened their own luxury vacation rental service.
It has also attempted to outline a unique approach to valuation, claiming a commitment to stakeholders rather than simply to shareholders.
For more information, visit the Airbnb website here.