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As a building manager, you answer questions every single day. Do you want to allow pets? What about smoking? What amenities can you offer your residents to stand apart from the competition? How can you best serve your residents? Right now, property managers are facing another difficult choice. Should you allow your residents to offer short term rentals in their units on popular sites like Airbnb? To best serve your tenants and yourself, consider saying yes to this big question.

Get Control

Whether or not you explicitly allow short-term rentals, odds are that they’re happening any way. A recent study of top property managers from the National Multifamily Housing Council found that 43 percent of managers had rentals occur without their approval. Your tenants recognize the power of the short term rental market and want in! You should capitalize on this opportunity and take control. By allowing short term rentals, you can better monitor and  control these rentals. This can mean making sure that short term rental activity is compliant with all local regulations and ensuring that all of your own building rules are followed as well. You can know exactly when residents will have guests and vet the people that will be staying in your units. When you officially sanction a short term rental program, you’ll be in control of the short term rental market instead of the other way around. As an Airbnb friendly building,  you’re getting in front of potential problems and preventing future issues.

Extra Income

There are a few ways that allowing short term rentals will translate into more money in your pocket. First of all, many tenants are willing to take on a higher priced lease if they know that they can recoup some of their money through short term rentals. With the added financial security from short term rental capability, your tenants will be confident spending more on their lease. You won’t have to offer other concessions when you offer this service! Additionally, many landlords take a cut of short term rental profits as a tradeoff for allowing the service. You can invest these funds in your community by offering upgrades that will benefit everyone. By allowing short term rentals, you can profit off this new and exciting market.

Monetize your empty space

Smart property managers keep some units open to allow for flexibility and flux in demand. With a well-run short term rental plan, you can monetize these assets. By offering your vacant units as short term rentals, you’ll earn considerably more money than a traditional lease. Rates for a short term rental are consistently 10 to 30 percent higher than a traditional 12-month lease, and they’ll grant you more flexibility as well. If you already have the system in place to offer short term rentals across your property, this is a seamless way to make some extra money.

Attractive Amenity

More and more, renters want the option to list their units on short term rental sites like Airbnb. A growing number of potential tenants check with a building’s short term rental policy before signing anything. In fact, 78 percent of millenials want the freedom to list their units on Airbnb short term in order to make extra money and travel. Young professionals want the opportunity to travel for work without paying for an apartment they’re not living in. As a smart property manager, you can leverage this by becoming an Airbnb friendly building. Many properties that have added this as an option have already seen an increase in rentals. As previously mentioned, this also means that these new residents are likely to sign higher priced leases.  This is an incredibly attractive amenity, without incurring large costs or efforts on your part. You’ll stand out from the competition by offering this attractive amenity!

A No Brainer

By 2020, Airbnb’s revenue is expected to top $8.5 billion. Whether or not you allow short term rentals, they’re likely already occurring in your building. Stay on top of short term rental activity by allowing a transparent and controlled rental program. By doing this, you’ll also make your residents happy and earn some extra money yourself. Make the right choice for yourself and your building by allowing this exciting new amenity.

About Pillow

Pillow is solving short-term rentals for multifamily properties, allowing building owners and property managers to have control and transparency over short-term rentals while enabling their residents to rent their units short-term on Airbnb. When someone books a short-term rental reservation with a resident, building owners are earning 10 percent of each booked reservation allowing them to invest back into their communities or help cover management expenses. Additionally, building owners receive daily and weekly short-term rental activity reports with key reservation information including dates, guests’ names and contact information. Landlords can also leverage Pillow’s Vacant Unit module to manage and monetize vacant units. With Pillow, landlords can rent out their empty units for a few nights at a time to make the most of this valuable asset. Pillow charges an 8 percent fee per completed reservation: the average property manager can make 10-30 percent more than typical market value by offering short-term rentals in addition to traditional leases. All in all, Pillow offers a one stop shop for managing short term rentals in multifamily buildings. With one service, you can offer your residents the flexibility to do the same and easily monetize your vacant units.

If you own a multifamily complex or management company and are interested in providing short-term rentals, email or visit

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Writer: Todd Conway is Co-Founder of Pillow | September 5, 2018

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