Airbnb is considering a move into the long-term rental business, with Bloomberg Technology reporting that the company has asked McKinsey & Co. to research the market.
McKinsey & Co. has reportedly performed a competitive analysis of Craigslist, which currently dominates the rental market in many cities. It has about 60 million visitors a month but allows its users to post free and anonymous ads with no supervision from the site. This has made Craigslist a popular resource for scammers and criminals. In fact, a recent study found that the site fails to identify and remove more than half of scam rental listings.
Airbnb believes it can offer renters a safer, identity-verified alternative, and this new service could be a good way to add a new revenue stream to help the site live up to its private market valuation of $31 billion.
While there has been an Airbnb Sublets page on the site since 2011, it isn’t advertised on the homepage and lacks basic functions, such as requiring bookers to input an end date for their stays.
Airbnb had no comment on this specific matter, but a spokesperson noted that “examining different parts of the market is standard operating procedure.”
It has already been reported that Airbnb is working on expanding its trip itinerary options, tours and travel experiences, as well as creating a flight-booking tool. And last month, the company acquired Luxury Retreats, a high-end travel rental and tourism service, for $300 million.