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Short-Term Leasing Opportunities With Airbnb

 December 28, 2022 |  Investment, CRE News, Management |  real estate trends, office space, commercial real estate tenants, business tips

For property owners of multi-family real estate, a new option to drive down vacancy might have been introduced by short-term subletting service Airbnb. Referring to the new service as “Airbnb-friendly apartments,” Airbnb is advertising the service as a potential perk for tenants looking to make extra money while anticipating a tough economic season.

This service is only offered at properties partnered with Airbnb, likely with liability and legal hurdles in mind. Still, depending on the negotiated rates, property owners have the potential to receive up to a 20% portion of booking revenue from any tenant activity on Airbnb. For investors and property owners interested in the potential behind this service, here is a brief overview of the publicly released details.

Why Become A Partner Property?
From a property owner’s perspective, there seem to be a few potential benefits in partnering with Airbnb. According to their advertising, a partnership with Airbnb is the best way to maximize value for each unit, believing that the opportunity should be a draw for potential tenants. Additionally, the association with a brand like Airbnb may provide an extra level of recognition and credibility for the property as a whole.

With increased resident satisfaction and the chance to share the additional revenue, which could increase the overall Net Operating Income (NOI), Airbnb offers property owners the option to “demo” with one of their region-specific leads.

At this point, these short-term Airbnb-friendly apartments consist of 175 buildings across 25 markets in the United States, including Houston, Phoenix, and Jacksonville. Some prominent building partners include Greystar and Equity Residential, and participation in the program seems to be growing.

What Are The Concerns?
Concerns related to this sort of investment are as varied as the perceived benefits, however. Aside from some tenants potentially being turned off from needing to share space with a more varied clientele, there has been a negative association with Airbnb and the sometimes destructive parties that their guests have hosted.

Recently, Airbnb has codified a party ban throughout their services to combat this reputation and save on liability costs, but property owners may still be wary of participating in the program due to this association. Airbnb has also received criticism on “hidden” cleaning fees charged to hosts for each visit, which might lead to increased frustrations for unaware tenants.  

Some states actually hold laws that restrict apartment rentals for under 30 days, leading to court disputes among the Brodsky Organization in New York (as reported by real estate news outlet “The Real Deal”).

The program is still new and likely finding its sealegs, but interested parties may want to inquire to see if their properties might be a good fit. In an age where flexibility is a constant priority, cases like these will remain highly monitored in the midst of a continuously shifting commercial real estate market.

For a full understanding of your property’s condition, and to reduce potential liability, remember to schedule your annual commercial property maintenance inspection. National Property Inspections can pair you with an inspection expert through our network which spans the United States and Canada. Schedule your next inspection appointment today!

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National Property Inspections, Inc., founded in 1987, is one of the oldest companies in the inspection industry. Our reputation is built on honesty, integrity and professionalism. National Property Inspections operates as Global Property Inspections in Canada.