The startup industry has a shorthand by which new startups are described via comparisons to successful startups. From those humble beginnings, a multi-billion-dollar company has formed, all based on this idea of renting out extra space in your home. In an economy with stagnant wages for workers, the option to pay your rent by renting out your home is appealing even if it leaves you searching for temporary housing.
While it can sometimes sound silly, it’s an easy way to quickly describe what a company does. Now, this shorthand has come to its logical extreme with the “Airbnb for Airbnb.” Can I Stay With You While I Rent My Place On Airbnb? connects Airbnb hosts to people who can offer them a place to stay while they rent out their own houses.
“You’re making loads of cash by renting your place,” the service’s landing page says. “You’d make even more if you had somewhere to stay so you can rent it more often. But asking ‘Can I stay with you?’ can get awkward. Join a community of people who say ‘sure.'”
Can I Stay With You While I Rent My Place On Airbnb? suggests bartering with those you stay with — offering beer or a place to stay when they rent out their own place — or sharing some of the profits. Bartering may sound natural for something called the “sharing economy,” but it’s a bit odd to think of seeking out someone’s generosity while you yourself rake in those “loads of cash.”
The founders of Airbnb (the original one) launched their company after renting out their own apartment in San Francisco, when a convention descended on the city and made hotel rooms scarce. They were so successful they figured other people may want to do the same, so they built a platform that made it easier to do.
Airbnb has said that its service is for “regular folk” interested in supplementing their income and welcoming newcomers to their neighborhoods. The company has not shied away from the idea of a host making a living from renting their home, but it has focused on people with spare bedrooms. Read more…