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The lease up period is a crucial time for multifamily building owners. To succeed, the key is to differentiate and promote those key offerings that set your community apart from other local options. Top multifamily operators are finding success attracting new residents by allowing them to list their units on Airbnb, in a controlled fashion. This unique & attractive amenity is enabled via Pillow, a platform that provides Short Term Rental control, transparency and profit sharing for landlords.

Several terrific properties across the country have already incorporated Pillow into their lease up strategy.  Bradford Mills Lofts in Louisville, Kentucky adopted the platform before construction was even completed. In Denver, Colorado, The Grand also picked up Pillow during the construction process. Digit 1919 in Dallas has also leveraged the platform. In Seattle, Broadcast Apartments and Waterton Apartments used this as a key lease up feature. Instituting Pillow from the very beginning is an easy and effective way to fill newly available units.

To date, Pillow has created more than 2,000 leads in these buildings which have led almost 100 property tours (and counting) and scores of signed leases attributed solely to this amenity. It’s easy to see why; residents can earn on average an extra $3,500 annually just by renting their unit four nights each month! This simple to use program allows tenants lifestyle flexibility and a convenient way to earn extra money.

“Pillow is definitely a big lure, so much so that at least one out of every seven leases that we have signed thus far, is absolutely because of Pillow,” said Luisa Smoot, community manager for The Grand. “The most recent new tenant took a lease higher than she had originally planned, feeling safe because she could make up the difference with Pillow.”

During the lease up period, Pillow’s team puts extra effort into marketing. New buildings are given onsite promotional materials to share with their potential renters, and Pillow devotes specialized effort to marketing the amenity. Potential residents are made aware of the Pillow Price Guarantee. They will receive $100 when they sign up for this amenity and lease the unit on Airbnb. Pillow guarantees an income for each night you list your unit, even if it goes unbooked. At the end of every month, Pillow pays you the difference between the amount guaranteed and your earnings through Airbnb.

Leasing agents are sure to mention the fact that residents are basically guaranteed monthly income with little to no extra effort required on their part. Leasing agents help potential new residents to conceptualize a path to a lower monthly rental payment via the earnings they make through the short term leases. Incorporating Pillow during the lease up phase leads to stronger staff buy in for the program, as they appreciate the help with filling up the building.

Short term rentals are a massive market, and they’re only expected to grow in popularity in the future. There are more than 4 million Airbnb listings worldwide, and 2 million people are staying in Airbnb listings any given night. More than 200 million people have booked Airbnb stays since its start in 2008. A recent study from the National Multifamily Housing Council found that 43 percent of the nation’s largest apartment firms have had residents list their homes on short-term rental sites without the approval of their building’s owner. Multifamily buildings are particularly popular among Airbnb guests. They have amenities that guests love, are located in popular housing where other housing may not be available, and property managers and homeowners associations guarantee that they are well kept. Perhaps this is why 50 percent of booked stays on Airbnb are in multifamily buildings. In addition, this market isn’t going anywhere. By 2020, Airbnb’s revenue is expected to be as much as $8.5 billion.  Furthermore, offering Pillow during the lease up process allows multifamily building owners to control the type of tenant they are attracting. 78 percent of millennials want the option to lease their units short term to grant them lifestyle flexibility and bonus income.

“Originally, I was looking to work with a landlord that allowed for Airbnb,” said Brooke Brown, who lives in a building that instituted Pillow during the lease up phase. “ I travel a lot for work and it gets expensive paying rent for an apartment when you are gone more than 30 percent of the time. Being allowed to Airbnb my apartment while I am away for work was the number one factor for me in signing a new lease.”

Overall, offering short term rental capability during the lease up period is an effective way to attract new residents and fill units. From the very beginning, residents are aware of this amenity and can plan accordingly. The Pillow Price Guarantee  guarantees easy additional income, making residents more likely to sign the lease.

If you own a multifamily complex or management company and are interested in facilitating short term rentals for your tenants (at any point of the building process) email partners@pillow.com or visit www.pillow.com.

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