Airbnb to start building made-for-sharing apartments
Built for tenants, and the tenants' tenants.
Airbnb is collaborating with the Newgard Development Group, and the newly created Niido brand, to build the world's first sharing-made apartment complex. It will take the form of a 324 unit apartment building in Kissimmee, Florida. The project is designed to let residents more easily share apartments and provide a higher quality stay.
The Niido tenants will sign annual leases which permit them to rent out individual rooms or entire units for up to 180 nights a year, and access a new Niido app which will be fully integrated with Airbnb's platform. This app will let them remotely activate services provided by the property's "MasterHost," like cleaning, linen services and help with guest check-ins.
The apartment complexes will also be specially designed for sharing, with features like keyless entry and a balance of common spaces and individual rooms for rent within apartments.
Rental profits will be shared between the Niido tenants (the Airbnb hosts) and the landlords (the Niido tenants' landlords) through Airbnb's "Friendly Buildings Program."
"The Niido model will provide additional income to landlords and tenants while enhancing the experience for Airbnb guests. Niido eliminates barriers by encouraging home sharing and creating solutions that work for everyone." said Harvey Hernandez, CEO of Newgard.
"Together, we’re making it easier for more hosts to share their space, and giving guests access to more affordable options when they travel." said Jaja Jackson from Airbnb.
Will Niido live up to its promise?
The new development is being lauded by the parties involved as the perfect answer to some of the shortfalls associated with Airbnb rentals. One of the main sticking points for people thinking of renting their home on Airbnb is the amount of work involved. Niido residents will be able to take a backseat and leave it in the hands of the MasterHost, and essentially be a good host remotely via the app.
Meanwhile, guests might be able to get a more consistently high quality stay in Niido than other rental properties.
Airbnb says the arrangement might also be a financial boon for tenants who spend most of their income on rent. In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area, where the development is planned, tenants are spending more than half of their income on rent according to Lincoln Property Company's 2017 US Rent forecast, cited by Airbnb.
"Together with Airbnb, Niido's unique multifamily home-sharing model provides a powerful solution to this ongoing problem by delivering extra income for tenants," said Hernandez.
But solving housing affordability is a taller order than providing a nice place to stay on vacation.
In Sydney it's been claimed that properties are being bought purely for use as Airbnb rentals, and in New York and other cities Airbnb has been accused of driving up rental prices and contributing to housing affordability problems.
Niido apartments will only be rentable for up to 180 days a year so they might not be used purely as rental investments, but prices might still put them well beyond the reach of most. Rental profits will also need to be split with the building owners themselves rather than going entirely to the hosts, so the landlords rather than the tenants might be the main beneficiaries of this arrangement.
Niido might not live up to its big claims of being a "powerful solution" to housing affordability, but it's almost certainly going to be a great place to stay in Miami. And with more tourists than ever opting for Airbnb instead of a hotel, the development has a lot of potential.
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