One day, homes might come with Airbnb rooms built right in.
According to a new report from The Information, a tech industry news site, the room rental company is thinking about how to convince home-builders to create properties that have extra rooms included especially for being rented out.
There’s a whole lot of unanswered questions here: Would the rooms differ from the main residence architecturally, being more self-contained? Would any agreement with construction/architectural companies involving money changing hands, or just a sharing of expertise? Would the existence of these rooms alter the nature of the home-owner’s ownership? How would the the extra cash that extra room’s rent provides be balanced against the fact that space is a premium in a lot of places, placing the cost of the property out of reach of those who would benefit from the extra income most?
Is any of this really any different to a traditional spare room?
We don’t have an answer — and Airbnb may not yet either. This is reportedly a “long-term” goal, and nowhere near implementation. (We’ve reached out to Airbnb for comment, but have yet to receive a response. Spokesperson Nick Papas told The Information only that the company is “continually experimenting with new things and we don’t have anything to share right now, but we have a few exciting things in the works.”)
But the report is indicative of Airbnb’s efforts to diversify beyond its core business and develop new products and revenue streams.
Earlier this month, the $30 billion startup announced it had built a boutique hotel in Japan, designed to fulfil a joint purpose of being lodging for tourists and a community centre for locals. (It doesn’t like it being called a hotel though.)
That effort was led by the newly announced Samara team — a division inside Airbnb led by cofounder Joe Gebbia that describes itself as a “design studio … exploring new attitudes towards sharing and trust.” Samara is also reportedly looking to explore with architects “how can people think about owning a home and how can it be more flexible.”