AirBnB Targets Bigger Stake in Multifamily Market with Plan to Attract Large Landlords

By Katie Burke

Airbnb is working with some of the multifamily industry’s largest landlords in a bid to boost listings and increase its stake in the apartment business.

The San Francisco-based home-sharing company has unveiled a service that will act as a listing platform for developers including Greystar Real Estate Partners, Equity Residential and at least 10 other multifamily owners and management companies across more than 175 buildings in the United States, many of which have previously banned short-term rentals in their properties.

The service plans to allow tenants in a multifamily property to sublease their unit for a set number of days each year as determined by the building’s owner, who would then get a cut of Airbnb’s revenue from the sublets, typically about 20%. An Airbnb spokesperson said Wednesday a new page on its website would list only so-called Airbnb-friendly buildings, starting with properties in 25 major markets such as San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Seattle and Denver.

Apartment renters would be able to list their units on Airbnb in a similar manner as homeowners or management companies, the Airbnb spokesperson said, with those tenants earning money from the listings and the landlords potentially securing more leases from tenants who want to host.

“We believe this platform will provide the right tools for both owners and residents to effectively manage short-term rental activity without impacting overall housing supply,” a Greystar spokesperson said in a statement. The Charleston, South Carolina-based company is the largest multifamily management company in the country, with more than 700,000 U.S. apartments. It has listed about 100 of its properties as part of Airbnb’s latest venture, including the 525 Olive apartment tower in San Diego and the Argenta complex in San Francisco.

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