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Airbnb partners with San Francisco's largest apartment landlord

The home rental site makes a deal with Veritas Investments and startup Pillow Residential to boost short-term rentals in its hometown.


Airbnb's headquarters, pictured here, are in San Francisco where it's partnering with the city's largest residential landlord. 


Once a foe to landlords, Airbnb is now working with some of them.

The home rental site announced Sunday that it's partnered with San Francisco's largest residential landlord, Veritas Investments. The idea is to let tenants in Veritas buildings list their apartments on Airbnb for short-term rentals and then share the profit with their landlord.

"Veritas is a leader and innovator in the real estate community," Jaja Jackson, Airbnb's director of global multi-family housing partnerships, said in a statement.

In just under a decade, Airbnb has gone from a website for couch surfers to having a massive online presence. It lists millions of homes for short-term rentals in almost every country on Earth. That growth, however, has come with challenges.

The company has waged extended battles with landlords, regulators and housing advocates in major cities around the world, including San Francisco, New York, Paris, Berlin and Barcelona. So, over the past year, the company has been working to make nice with lawmakers and landlords.

Many landlords don't allow tenants to sublet their apartments on Airbnb. That's because it typically comes with more risk and no profit for them. But, increasingly, Airbnb is working with landlords on profit-sharing deals. The company announced a partnership with a major landlord in Florida last month that's similar to its Veritas deal. 

As for Veritas, it will initially let tenants in five of its buildings list their apartments on Airbnb. The landlord will get 10 percent of that short-term rental profit and said it will put some of the money back into the building for upgrades and program oversight. Veritas owns more than 200 buildings in San Francisco.

Along with Veritas, Airbnb also announced Sunday that it's partnering with tech startup Pillow. Pillow aims to make it easier for people to rent out homes on Airbnb. The company has tools like an "online dashboard" that gives people information on a building's specs and prices for short-term rentals in a certain neighborhood. Under the new partnership, Pillow will be available to people living in Veritas buildings.

"We reached out to and surveyed residents, and there's a great deal of interest in this new aspect of the 'sharing economy,'" Yat-Pang Au, Veritas CEO, said in a statement. "Airbnb and Pillow can help our residents with economic empowerment and could further differentiate our properties."

Airbnb has partnered with other landlords in similar deals under an initiative it started a year ago called "Friendly Buildings Program." Like the Veritas partnership, landlords who join this program allow tenants to rent out their apartments on a short-term basis for a cut of the profit. So far, landlords across the US and in Canada have enrolled more than 13,000 units in the Friendly Buildings Program.

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