Home sharing platform Airbnb is showing no signs of slowing down in its effort to reign supreme in the world of accommodation. While previously the site has been most closely associated with letting house-dwellers the world over make money out of renting out a room to travelers, increasing Airbnb has been sinking its teeth more into the temporary accommodation sector, often listing properties on its site that are rented out year-round, something which has caused the brand problems in cities such as Barcelona, which there has been huge backlash against the temporary rental market. Well, now the sharing accommodation giant has set its sights on a new business model – that of partnering with developers who can use their name to lease apartments.
It has been reported that Airbnb plans to set up a shop close to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, with real estate developers who will use the Airbnb name to market a new apartment complex. Newgard Development Group are set to work with Airbnb to create a new development of branded apartments that Airbnb will not own, but will operate, meaning that they will have to meet certain brand standards and requirements set out by the sharing platform. According to reports, the hundred-plus unit building will be located in Kissimmee, Florida, and is intended to appeal to young renters who are based only occasionally in the area, and so would wish to rent their apartment out while they are not there. The project would benefit from its proximity to the Disney resort in Orlando, making it an ideal short-term rental opportunity to holiday-makers coming to visit Disney World. It appears that the developers, Airbnb and the renters themselves would all stand to profit from the venture, with each side taking a cut of the rental profits.
It is unclear whether or not this proposed venture will become problematic for either Airbnb or the developer, as this is the first time that such a partnership will take place. Airbnb has come under fire in other parts of the world, where the sharing economy has become increasingly regulated so its impact on local hoteliers is minimised. However, Florida has until now had a pretty lax attitude towards sites like Airbnb, and the region has been favoured by guests booking holidays and accommodation on more traditional sites like Expedia, so it remains to be seen whether or not this venture will ruffle any feathers in the Florida area.