Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky met with hosts in San Francisco on March 7. Airbnb
Skift Take: Airbnb is partnering to develop ersatz hotels replete with front-desk staff and keyless entry. The area outside of Orlando, which is known for periods of intense lodging demand, seems a good enough place to test this new concept.
— Andrew Sheivachman
There has been speculation for some time regarding Airbnb developing concepts that seamlessly operate shared apartments inside traditional residential buildings.
As homesharing has moved into the mainstream, the ability to share rooms or entire units on online marketplaces without hassle has also become a major perk for people looking to invest in property.
Airbnb will partner with Miami-based real estate developer Newguard Development Group on a new apartment building development in Kissimmee, Fla., designed to better facilitate sharing apartments. Newguard is an established boutique hotel and residential developer in Miami which has steadily been expanding its operations across Florida.
The building, which will be branded as a “Niido powered by Airbnb” property, will allow residents to share their apartment for up to 180 days each year. Tenants who share their home will be enrolled in Airbnb’s Friendly Buildings Program, which shares the revenue they earn with their landlord.
While the first building represents a pilot of the concept, the two companies expect to partner on more apartment complexes across the Southeast U.S. Airbnb wouldn’t specify when its hybrid of co-living space and hotel is expected to open.
Kissimmee is close to Orlando, which is actively looking to develop new attractions aside from the theme parks its best known for and has an especially strong hotel market.
“This partnership shows how landlords, developers, and Airbnb can work together to create value for everyone and better serve tenants,” said Jaja Jackson, Airbnb’s director of global multifamily housing partnerships, in a statement. “The team at Newgard is leading the way and we’re thrilled to work with them. Together, we’re making it easier for more hosts to share their space and giving guests access to more affordable options when they travel.”
Hotel or Apartment Building?
Companies like Pillow have been experimenting with ways to provide building owners with more control over homesharing for some time. The Airbnb concept makes a few common-sense concessions to the nature of widespread homesharing in an apartment building.
Hosts will have a dedicated app that allows them to handle guest check-ins and provide other kinds of assistance. A designated ‘MasterHost’ at the property will help check-in guests and provide other traditional concierge services.
So instead of hosts instructing their guests to slink past the front desk, this front-desk staffer will facilitate the check-in process and perform other responsibilities similar to a hotel front desk. Shared common areas will be shared among both residents and guests, like in a traditional hotel, as well.
The apartments and common spaces will be designed collaboratively by the two companies. Cleaning and linen services will also be available in-house, like a hotel.
From a financial standpoint, the new Niido brand will pay for the construction of the building and own it. The Niido brand is targeted for places where tenants may have trouble affording their monthly rent, according to the companies.
“The partnership also has the potential to help tenants who may spend disproportionate amounts of their household incomes on rent,” reads the press release. “For example, in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro, tenants are spending 53.1 percent of their household income on rent, according to Lincoln Property Company’s 2017 U.S. Rent Forecast.”