Airbnb dips its toes into real estate with branded apartments

by Rincey Abraham

Airbnb is getting more involved in the real estate industry, as it recently announced its partnership with Newgard, a Florida developer, to create a new residential rental complex called Niido.

Located in Kissimmee, Florida, the multifamily building includes 324 units and is “powered by Airbnb” — the home-sharing technology company will not own the property. Instead, Niido will fully support the construction costs and retain full ownership of the buildings.

So what will Airbnb bring to the table? One of the more interesting parts of the partnership is the inclusion in Airbnb’s Friendly Buildings Program, which allows hosts and landlords to share revenue generated from home sharing.

Residents also will sign annual leases and can share their units — either the entire residence or individual rooms — for up to 180 days a year on Airbnb, but Newgard will have the opportunity to claim a percentage of the money tenants make from renting out their home.

They will also have access to a variety of tools provided by Niido, including an app integrated with Airbnb that will enable tenants to manage guest stays remotely by setting up hotel-like services provided by a “MasterHost” at each property who will support with checking in, assisting guests, cleaning and linen services.

The companies will work together to design both the individual units as well as the overall building so that it includes features such as keyless entry and common spaces that encourage home sharing.

“This partnership shows how landlords, developers and Airbnb can work together to create value for everyone and better serve tenants,” said Jaja Jackson, director of global multifamily housing partnerships at Airbnb. “Together, we’re making it easier for more hosts to share their space, and giving guests access to more affordable options when they travel.”