Airbnb hires head of resi development to partner with for-sale developers

Firm looking to boost short-term rentals at condo buildings

Former Radisson CEO Jim Alderman joins Airbnb as Head of Residential Development
Airbnb's Brian Chesky and Jim Alderman with a rendering of District 225, a condo building in Miami that was part of the pilot program to partner with for-sale developers (Getty, Airbnb, Related)

Airbnb has hired a head of residential development, a new role, in an effort to boost its partnerships with condo developers. 

Jim Alderman, who served as the CEO of hotel chain Radisson in 2020 and 2021, was tapped to the role, Airbnb announced this week. 

Before Radisson, Alderman was the chief development officer at Extended Stay America and Kimpton Hotels, and served in executive roles at Wyndham Worldwide and Starwood Capital Group, according to his LinkedIn profile. Most recently, he was a principal at his own consulting firm. 

The short-term rental company kicked off the for-sale partnership program a few years ago with two Miami buildings, PMG’s West Eleventh Residences and Related’s District 225. 

Those condo buildings will allow for short-term rentals and an in-house team to help residents list their units and assist in turnovers. Miami has been a success for Airbnb, said Jesse Stein, Airbnb’s director of real estate, and remains a focus. 

Over half the condo buildings under development in Miami are Airbnb-friendly, with many rental developers in South Florida pivoting to building condos, given soaring demand. 

The early Miami adopters have made it easier for the company to pitch developers in other markets, Stein said, adding it’s planning to expand in other cities. The increasing inbound interest is part of the reason the company needed to bring Alderman on.

“We needed somebody who could help scale the program,” Stein said. “He’s just a solid human with a heck of a Rolodex and probably one of the only people I know that can sell better than me.” 

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Alderman, who is based out of Atlanta, will largely be focused on condo projects but the partnership could also spread to townhome and even suburban single-family developments where an in-law unit in the backyard could host a short-term renter. 

Even though no for-sale developers in the Bay Area have signed on yet, Stein said, there has been local interest from the company’s home base. 

As condo sales have stagnated in San Francisco, the opportunity to list a condo on Airbnb and make extra money could make condos more desirable and attainable to a mostly younger cadre of buyers, he said, those who also often live flexible lifestyles that leave their homes empty and available for short-term rentals. 

“The developers I’ve talked to look at it as a potential amenity to their consumers, to help move inventory,” he said.

The best time to get commitments from developers is when the land is already purchased but the property is still in the entitlement process, Stein said. It’s much easier to allow for short-term rentals when the building’s contractual agreements are being drawn up, rather than trying to change the rules down the line.

“It’s challenging for my wife and I to agree on a lot of things, let alone my wife and I and 200 other couples in a building,” he said. 

The partnership with for-sale developers mirrors a similar program with apartment owners that Stein says has grown “exponentially” over the last year. 

“The overarching idea is just to normalize the idea of hosting Airbnb across asset classes,” Stein said. “It’s just a step in the evolution of what Airbnb is offering and another example of how we’re expanding beyond the core of Airbnb.”

Read more

Talking Trends with Airbnb’s Head of Global Real Estate
San Francisco
Airbnb’s top real estate executive discusses post-pandemic market
Weekly Dirt: Look at Miami’s Short-term Rental Condo Boom
South Florida
The Weekly Dirt: Short-term rental-friendly condos eating up more of Miami’s housing pie
Landlord incentives bring over 2,000 apartment to Airbnb
San Francisco
Airbnb landlord incentives open SF apartments for short-term rentals
Recommended For You