Airbnb is considering expanding into the long-term rental business to become a viable alternative to Craigslist, reports Bloomberg.
Craigslist is the dominant platform for apartments and rental properties in major cities, especially in the "sublet/temporary" category. It doesn't police listings for scams. Airbnb sees an opportunity to be the safer service that offers identity verification on listings. It has hired McKinsey & Co. to look into the market.
Larger strategy: Airbnb spent $300 million to acquire Luxury Retreats last month as part of its bid to be a full-service travel company, and it's also developing a flight-booking service. The $30 billion company is looking for new revenue streams as it matures. Yesterday, execs announced a 26-city tour to meet with hosts and local officials — a good opportunity to feel out the market for longer-term rentals.