RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JAN 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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46 January 2019 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE Anthony Hitt, president and CEO of Engel & Völkers America, who was recently recognized as a 2019 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, believes this is positive news that could help inspire other segments of the industry. "I think this is an intriguing con - cept that will appeal to a niche market and perhaps inspire new building trends among traditional builders over time," says Hitt. "Why wouldn't a real estate professional want a piece of this action? I think the challenge will come in simply un - derstanding the 'why' behind a new way of design and construction and then preparing the right messaging and marketing strategy targeted to the right consumer." Airbnb Co-Founder Joe Gebbia announced the news on Nov. 29, 2018, stating that Backyard is look - ing into how they could implement sophisticated manufacturing tech - niques and smart home technolo- gies into buildings. "Airbnb challenged conventional thinking and pioneered an entire - ly new industry," explained Geb- bia in the project statement. "We helped people activate underutilized space—from a spare bedroom or treehouse to your apartment while you're away—and built a community that connected people around the world. With Backyard, we're using the same lens through which Airbnb was envisioned—the potential of space—and applying it more broadly to architecture and construction." Hitt acknowledges the company's impressive history, stating that Airbnb disrupted the vacation and rental home markets by introducing a digital platform that works to con - nect renters and their guests. But is that enough? With fierce competition in the short- and long-term rental Look Who's Sharing Now: Airbnb Moves Into Construction and Real Estate Markets by Liz Dominguez F or years, Airbnb has been a household name for house- sharing and finding short-term rentals, particularly in the travel industry. Now, moving into the architecture and construction industry with its new Backyard initiative—being led by the company's subsidiary Samara, a design studio launched in 2016—Airbnb is looking to leave its imprint in a more concrete way: designing, building and sharing homes based on contemporary lifestyles.

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