Airbnb, which has focused on short-term room and housing rentals, has extended its service to include long-term stay options and sublets in major cities worldwide.
Those who book before Sept. 8 receive $200 toward their rent for each month up to six months [ with its recent $112M investment, Airbnb can afford such generous incentives ].
Airbnb has more than 30K available sublets in 5K cities -- 20% of them in the New York City area -- that range from two weeks to six months. Renters can pay for their sublet with a credit card, another convenience. The sublet service could easily become the best way to find a roommate, a thought we're sure has crossed CEO Brian Chesky's mind.
UPDATE: "This type of booking is something that Airbnb has seen trending among users (in fact, there have been 3K sublet rentals to-date), and the company decided to support these bookings by making it even easier to search, book and pay monthly rent," an Airbnb spokesperson told LAUNCH via email.
In addition to taking another bite of Craigslist's business, Airbnb's new service is a threat to sublet.com, which charges renters membership fees to gain full access to its sublet listings and landlord contacts. For landlords, Sublet.com is free for standard listings but charges a fee for its premium services.
Airbnb got attention this summer when the home of EJ, a blogger in San Francisco, was ransacked by an Airbnb guest who also stole her identity.
Since that event, Airbnb has added verification measures as well as a $50K insurance policy for hosts [ see our story ].
In Chicago, Airbnb host Antoinette Wonsley received a citation from Chicago Police for renting out rooms without a business license [ see our story ].
AWESOME STARTUP JOBS
Challenge Post - Solving problems for everyone.
Datastax - Big Data. Big Smarts. Big Fun.
Thumbtack - America's marketplace for local services.
RecoEngine - Tech Buying. Made Simple.
Rapportive - Let's make email a better place