Excerpt from The Guardian
Stay Here helps owners optimise their home for Airbnb, and inadvertently exposes the dangers of untrammelled capitalism
Looking for a new Netflix show to watch? Something with a late-capitalist theme, perhaps? Something that leaves you feeling just a little bit empty inside? Well, I have just the series. I recently discovered Stay Here, a property programme with a modern twist. Instead of featuring hard-to-please couples searching for their dream home, Stay Here features a couple of extremely irritating real estate experts, who are helping people optimise their homes for Airbnb. The hosts traverse the US giving homeowners design and marketing tips so they can "succeed in the world of short-term rental". A sample soundbite: "If you can rebuild it, I can rebrand it."
What's so wrong with succeeding in the world of short-term rentals, you may ask? If you listen to Airbnb, the short-term rental market is a brilliant way to foster community, revitalise neighbourhoods, help ordinary folk make ends meet and bring about world peace.
Get Society Weekly: our newsletter for public service professionals Read moreNot everyone is of this opinion, of course. In recent years, as Airbnb and other vacation rental platforms such as HomeAway have exploded in popularity, there have been increasing concerns that they are exacerbating the unaffordable housing crisis. Various studies support this idea, and there is also plenty of anecdata: I have a friend who was just about to sign a lease on an apartment in Brooklyn when the landlord decided it would be more profitable to turn it into an Airbnb instead.
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