Airbnb
Airbnb has added Starwood Capital Group to its roster of landlord partners [Credit: Airbnb]

Airbnb adds Starwood and other landlords for new listing service

US: Airbnb has announced that it is adding real estate investment firm Starwood Capital Group, alongside GoldOller Real Estate Investments, Milhaus and Space Craft, as new landlord partners for its ‘Airbnb-friendly’ apartments programme, which offers rental buildings and properties eligible for short-term stays to attract tenants who can become hosts themselves.

Airbnb debuted the listing service in November and the company currently partners with 250 buildings that enable renters to lease out their apartments on a part-time basis through the platform. Since the launch, Airbnb has reported a 43 per cent increase in the number of participating buildings, meaning that renters in 38 US cities can peruse a list of ‘Airbnb-friendly’ apartments on the site and use a calculator to realise how much income they could potentially generate by hosting on a part-time basis.

Renters will also be able to make use of Airbnb Setup, a recently-launched programme that simplifies the hosting process for new hosts by matching them with Superhosts.

The listing service, which is exclusively for assets that allow short-term rentals in the United States, is part of Airbnb’s bid to make hosting more “accessible” to more people, whereby renters can find a place to live and sublet it on Airbnb part time when staying away from home. Renters are able to host a spare room or an entire apartment in cities.

The programme currently has a footprint in cities such as Houston, Phoenix, Jacksonville and New York City. The latter has enforced strict regulations for short-term rentals and partnering with landlords to rent out units for a designated period over the course of a year could be a more satisfactory solution for all sides.

Airbnb had already partnered with the likes of Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC, Equity Residential and UDR Inc for the programme.

Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Airbnb, told Bloomberg: “Landlord partners can effectively reduce their marketing costs rather than having to go spend a lot of money on marketing just by being featured on our website. The hope is that other landlords, including smaller landlords, will learn from the success of the bigger landlords and this will create a industry-wide trend towards allowing home sharing again.”

There were suggestions in November that Airbnb was planning to offer property managers a share of up to 20 per cent of the total booking revenue from the sublets, in a bid to attract more big landlords to partner with the listing service.

Amid a cost of living crisis, Airbnb wants to help more people tap into the benefits of hosting and access new revenue streams, while the service is also designed to drive ancillary income for owners at the same time. Over a three-month period, renters who hosted in ‘Airbnb-friendly’ apartment buildings hosted on average nine nights per month and earned an average of $900 per month, according to the platform.

Last November, Airbnb said that it had observed a 31 per cent rise in the number of single-room listings on its platform in Q3 – something that it labelled as “disproportionate” as more people considered hosting for the first time to gain income.

To support sustainable and responsible tourism, each building in the programme will have its own community rules for hosting, including a limit on the number of nights renters can host each year. Renters will also be expected to follow local short-term rental regulations, building rules and Airbnb’s own community standards.

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