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Coming soon: Airbnb-branded apartments

10/17/2017

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After years of butting heads with local zoning officials, landlords and rental property owners, Airbnb may have found a solution to its short-term rental woes: opening up an Airbnb-branded apartment where tenants will be allowed to sublet their spaces up to 180 days per year.

Airbnb has partnered with Miami-based Newgard Development Group to build the 324-unit building in Kissimmee, Florida, located right outside of Orlando.

The complex, known as Niido Powered by Airbnb, will feature luxury amenities such as keyless entry, on-demand concierge services and shared common spaces, features that Airbnb says will make Niido “optimal for home sharing.”

“This partnership shows how landlords, developers and Airbnb can work together to create value for everyone and better serve tenants,” said Director of Global Multifamily Housing Partnerships Jaja Jackson, in a press release.

Airbnb says they’ll assist the Niido project in the design process, but Niido will foot the building costs and retain 100 percent ownership of the complex.

Tenants will sign one-year leases, and if they decide to sublet their spaces, they will be integrated into Airbnb’s Friendly Buildings Program that enables hosts and landlords to share revenue from hosting. The landlord will receive up to 15 percent of earnings from each booking in their building.

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The model makes sense for Airbnb—entice more people to become hosts for its platform, opening up more rental space for its users, while at the same time, recouping way more than the typical 3-5 percent “hosting fee” Airbnb charges for hosts renting their dwellings on the platform.

Lastly, tenants will be given access to a new Airbnb app, which is only referenced as “The App,” that will enable tenants to remotely manage guest stays by triggering services provided by a “MasterHost.” The MasterHost will assist with items like guest check-in, cleaning and linen service.

The news of the Niido Powered by Airbnb comes on the heels of a report in subscription tech website The Information that Airbnb will begin offering a new service to hosts, Airbnb Select, that could include loans for home improvements and design/decorating advice.

Some observers have criticized the idea of Airbnb-oriented residences as dystopian, a kind of future where no individuals own their own property and instead are constantly shuttling between various, increasingly homogenized rental spaces owned by corporations.

Still, it seems as though more control over residences will a bigger part of Airbnb’s future, and thus, the renting public’s future: Newgard and Airbnb plan to expand the branded apartments throughout the southeastern U.S., with a Miami Niido location already in the works.

Email Marian McPherson.

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