New Partnership Streamlines Apartment Home-Sharing Process
Airbnb and Pillow have partnered to provide additional tools for multifamily building owners and residents wishing to rent out apartment units. Veritas Investments, one of San Francisco’s largest apartment building and urban retail owners, launched a pilot program for five buildings in San Francisco to participate in the Airbnb program and use Pillow Residential’s tools.
Over half of residents aged 25 to 34 and over 60% of those under 25 years old are interested or very interested in sharing their units, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council.
“What we see is there are 39 million renters in the U.S. and 100 million around the world,” Pillow CEO Sean Conway said. “There is so much opportunity there. … People are becoming more and more mobile and want to be nomadic.”
Landlords and multifamily building operators who join the Airbnb Friendly Buildings Program can use Pillow’s various tools to better monitor home-sharing operations. Over 13,000 units have been registered through the Airbnb Friendly Buildings program since it started in 2016.
Pillow’s platform, which launched earlier this year, provides tools to help bring tenants into the program and educate them on home-sharing, create and execute lease addendums that support home-sharing and offer ways for building management to incorporate building rules into listings.
Tenants can use Pillow to create Airbnb listings that include information about their building’s shared amenities and a mobile guide for guests with building access codes to emergency contact information. After guests check out, tenants can use Pillow to hire cleaners.
Conway said many owners are often hesitant about having home-sharing operations because of liability issues. He said what often happens is home-sharing ends up going on behind their backs. After researching a 300-unit building, Conway found 15% of units were on Airbnb without the owner's knowledge, which meant lost revenue for the landlord.
Landlords are often put in a situation of policing residents, which can be a tiresome process. Education about home-sharing and how it can benefit landlord and resident has helped assuage fears over allowing these operations in a building, he said.
“What we’re seeing is millennials want [home-sharing] in their building,” Conway said.
Home-sharing is becoming a popular amenity in addition to internet, fitness centers and dog parks, he said. Millennials like home-sharing as a second source of income, especially since 30% to 40% of their income is going toward rent.
Owners are not obligated to go through the Airbnb Friendly Buildings Program and can still use Pillow’s tools, according to Conway. Pillow currently has 4,000 units registered on its platform, and Conway anticipates 10,000 more in the coming months. Pillow also is in negotiations with three of the top 10 largest owners and operators in the country.