Airbnb:Socializing Commercial Real Estate? Socializing Commercial Real Estate?

Never heard of You may want to take a look. They are in the planning stages of a 1 billion dollar funding phase. OK,so it just looks like a rent a room online connection site to you. Well look a little harder. Disruption is what I see, disruption in commercial real estate.


So now if you are a potential traveler/businessperson/renter/consumer. You can go online and rent ANYPLACE. A hotel room a spare bedroom a whole house an office and how about even a retail space. That’s Anyplace Anywhere Anytime. Guess who get’s the commission? You got it

What could this do to commercial real estate?

1.Eliminate the broker.

2.Create a database of potential tenants.

3.Create an online branded exchange for property.

4.Create a social online owner reputation service. Think Yelp for property.

5.Eliminate the need for leases. Think about it.

6.Potential rentable space inventory is now what?

7.Creates a personal connection between the owner and tenant. See #1

8.Who needs Craigslist for adds? The potential tenants come to the owner. New distribution channel?


1.How will this effect revenue streams of hotels,retail and mixed use developments.

2.If you are a property manager is it not your job to maximize revenues?

3.If you are a property manager of multiple properties do you stick with traditional channels and hope that works or do you watch the(online) competition take that revenue away?

4.How will this affect valuations and cap rates?

5.How important is your reputation?

6.Every potential tenant will be able to create and or read every other users experience with you and your company and post it across all social platforms.  At what cost to you?

7. When does this hit the pure retail spaces?

8. Has it not already hit the office market?

9 If they don’t want to sign a lease you have to say no to them right?

Not Worried?

If you own or rep hotels this does not get your attention? I have seen hotels posting on the site already. Have a little excess inventory and not thinking this kind of thing will grow enough to warrant attention. This won’t effect retail,mixed use,industrial, medical etc. at all and certainly not my market. The urge to post and see what happens not great enough? Keep checking back. I am sure at some point the competition across the street will be on there and then what?  Yes, I am thinking the same thing. Socializing real estate will equal commercial real estate disruption. Thoughts?




Duke Long

  • There are actually 2 sites doing this with spare cubes/office currently. Just barely catching on here in the US so few listings.

    • Joshua,
      Agreed. but it is catching on and the future will be interesting. Thanks for the comments and opinion.

    • I’ve seen Kodesk and LooseCubes for office.Your’re right though, little penetration yet.

      I’m a lot more interested in Airbnb for travel as Josh has followed along via Twitter. The user interface is a lot better looking than Craigslist and certainly holds my attention for a few hours longer.

  • Ron Coppock

    Always enjoy your thought-provoking articles, Duke. I do think this is a variation of things that have
    been out there for a long time–hostels? Priceline, Hotwire, etc. have been selling available hotel
    rooms, rental cars, etc. Time will tell how it effects retail space.

    • Ron,
      So I was explaining this to my wife. “It could be like Priceline or Hotwire for commercial real estate.” She gave me that……. whatever look!

  • Dukelong
  • Steven Marshall

    I don’t know…this might be a solution for office space if you don’t want to hold business meetings in your Embassy Suites room, but the thought of a stranger staying in my house, or me staying in someone else’s home kinda creeps me out.