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Realtor.com is leaning in to Airbnb.
In response to what it said is high interest in renting, the online real estate listing portal announced on Thursday that it had partnered with short-term rental giant Airbnb to show homeowners how much money they could make renting part or all of their homes on the platform.
Realtor.com will now show homeowners what they can earn listing their homes or a room within it on Airbnb on the Realtor.com My Home dashboard. Realtor.com then links directly to Airbnb, where potential short-term rental hosts can learn more.
The move comes at a time of increased interest in earning money through short-term rentals, and as Airbnb — by far the largest short-term rental company — looks for ways to attract more supply to its platform.
“By arming homeowners with information about how much they could potentially make by renting a room or their whole home on Airbnb, Realtor.com is helping them better understand their options and in turn make more informed decisions about their home,” said Mausam Bhatt, Realtor.com’s chief product officer.
The new tool comes amid stubbornly high housing costs caused by high home prices and interest rates. Bhatt said the tool will help owners see how they can offset those high housing costs, plus the costs of maintenance, through short-term rentals.
Realtor.com also shared the results of a recent survey it conducted with CensusWide.
Nearly one in four of those surveyed had rented out their homes before or plan to in the future. One-third said they planned to rent their homes to save money for another home purchase with a high mortgage rate, Realtor.com said. Twenty-nine percent of respondents who planned to rent their homes would do so to prepare for potential upswings in variable rate mortgages, and 21 percent said they’d do it to help pay for an existing mortgage.
Sixty percent of survey respondents said they’d consider renting out their home rather than selling if and when they want to buy or rent elsewhere, Realtor.com said.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky has recently been ramping up its efforts to take market share from its primary competitor: Hotels. As such, it has released products aimed at keeping the price of Airbnb bookings in check.
Part of that effort includes encouraging more people to become hosts on Airbnb, which in turn will add more supply. More supply, Chesky said, will keep prices low.
“When demand grows faster than supply and supply constraints, prices generally go up,” Chesky told investors on a call earlier this year. “One of the most important things we can do to make Airbnb be affordable is to make sure we have enough supply in the platform. A year ago we identified supply growth as a major strategic initiative that we really needed to accelerate, and we created an initiative called mainstreaming hosting.”
What the dashboard doesn’t include are the legions of state and local laws and regulations around short-term rentals. One of the most restrictive short-term rental laws in the country took effect this week in New York, shutting off tens of thousands of Airbnb rentals overnight.