It has been eight years since the concept of Airbnb was launched in the Bay Area, and it continues to grow each year. In Portland alone, visitors can choose from over 300 lodging options from beds in shared rooms to private suites and full residences ranging in price $35 to $750 per night. But homeowners are not the only ones benefitting from the concept. Airbnb has created its own sub-economy filled with young start ups hoping to grab a piece of this fast growing market. It is not uncommon for homebuyers in today’s market to look specifically for properties that offer good layouts for vacation rentals that can augment their mortgage payments. Note, banks do require the purchasers to qualify for the mortgage without the income.
Many owners of Airbnb’s have found it difficult to manage all of the aspects of the rental process, so many are trying to fill the void. Companies like Guesty, Airspruce, and Portland-based White Spider Rental Concierge are all in the mix.
These lesser known (but probably not for long) companies are helping owners with everything from guest screening and check-in and marketing. “A lot of our clients are people who do not have time to do this 24/7, 365 day a year job,” says Mel Hignell of White Spider Rental Concierge. “We also work with people who travel abroad a lot. A large majority of our clients have homes around the world, so they are traveling quite often.” Like in Real Estate, Hignell and others recognized the importance of capturing the prospective guest’s attention through professionally written descriptions and photography. Airspruce features a pool of professional travel writers to help entice visitors and White Spider was the first company in the world to pair design services (staging) with specifically Airbnb rental. “Our rental in Portland was chosen to be converted into one of Airbnb’s conference rooms in San Francisco [each Airbnb conference room reflects an actual Airbnb room from around the world],” says Hignell. “Once that happened, we thought that maybe other people needed help with that aspect, and we just branched out from there.”
To read more about Airbnb’s impact on support start-ups, please visit: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-10/how-airbnb-makes-property-investors-rich-despite-the-neighbors