Have you seen the ads yet? Airbnb this past spring launched a major campaign for its service, blitzing New York with ads.
You can find them on subways, billboards, bus stops, even t.v. and radio, propping up regular people from your neighborhood, all of whom testify they are benefitting big from taking part in the home-sharing service.
(Because New York rents are too damn high).
Their public relations push, along with the hiring of lobbyists to help push their agenda in City Hall and Albany has been successful, to say the least, has become an enormous problem for property owners: for example, The Related Cos., one of the largest owners of luxury residential properties in New York.
In a presentation to building managers, The Related Co.s advised them to keep an eye out for tenants using Airbnb, reported Crains.
In fact, an earlier draft of the presentation, which was finalized and sent out to its building managers in September, offered a chance to win a $500 gift card "for every Airbnb find that you identify."
The offer eventually was dropped from the final draft.
But this is not a simple "millionaire property owner" vs. the company-that-helps-the-struggling-everyday-citizen scenario:
Affordable housing advocates and dozens of elected officials also are against the unregulated use of Airbnb, because they say the service offers incentives for homeowners to kick out its struggling tenants and instead rent their spaces to out-of-town tourists for four times as much, in essence, driving rents up even higher!
Things are certainly heating up in New York City for Airbnb. For property owners, it's about making the biggest dollar off their asset. For tenants, they're just trying to survive the high rents.
It will be interesting to see who prevails.