The Real Deal New York

Three biggest US resi landlords are in talks with Airbnb

Revenue-sharing arrangement would list Equity Residential, AvalonBay and Camden Property Trust units on website

December 15, 2015 05:25PM

Zell Airbnb

Sam Zell and map of Airbnb rentals in New York

In a testament to the fact that if you can’t beat them, you should join them, three of the nation’s largest residential landlords have held discussions with Airbnb about allowing tenants to market their properties on the website in exchange for a cut of the revenue.

Real estate investment trusts Equity Residential, AvalonBay Communities and Camden Property Trust have all had discussions with Airbnb in recent weeks about joining forces with the home sharing giant, executives at each of the companies said.

All three companies are interested in a revenue-sharing model with Airbnb that would expand the website’s access to rental units across the country while allowing the landlords a cut of the action, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But such an arrangement could also stoke concerns that a bigger portion of the nation’s housing stock would be used as hotel rooms – leading to higher rents.

Sam Zell’s Equity Residential is the largest publicly-traded apartment operator in the country with 108,000 units, while AvalonBay is second-largest with roughly 83,000 apartments and Camden places third with around 59,000 units.

Tenants who use Airbnb to list rooms or entire homes for a fee are often dodging lease restrictions that forbid them to do so without permission – leaving them subject to possible eviction.

But that has yet to stunt Airbnb’s growth, with the San Francisco-based company now listing more than 322,000 accommodations in the U.S. and valued at $25.5 billion – almost matching Equity Residential’s $28 billion market capitalization. [WSJ]Rey Mashayekhi