“Try before you buy” is a hard concept to implement in the world of real estate. But a new partnership between Airbnb and realtor.com aims to do just that for potential homebuyers, letting them experience a specific neighborhood before purchasing there.
The partnership is particularly focused on millennials, who now represent the largest group of homebuyers in the U.S. at 32 percent, recently taking over from Generation X. This age cohort, born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, is about 79 million strong, and their purchasing power is estimated to be $170 billion per year.
The Airbnb-realtor.com partnership aims to reduce some of the unknown factors associated with relocating to a new community. Here’s how it will work: Visitors to realtor.com will see an “Airbnb before buying” option for certain properties, and the choice will also appear on the homepage and on for-sale listing pages. Potential buyers will be able to book accommodations on Airbnb ranging from single-family homes to condos, lofts, and other properties located near their chosen neighborhood.
“As we offer a variety of unique accommodations in neighborhoods across the country, we’ll be able to allow potential home owners the special opportunity to experience those neighborhoods as if they already live there,” said Chip Conley, Airbnb head of global hospitality and strategy.
Millennials are extremely technology-driven in their home-buying efforts, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study. This partnership plays perfectly into that, allowing them to make all arrangements online.
“I think it’s brilliant—this could give [millennials] a taste of a neighborhood and change them from renter to buyers,” said Jay Forrester, a Realtor with Ebby Halliday Preston Center.