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Hotel Group Pushes “Public Safety Tool” to Battle Airbnb in New York City [How Will This Affect ALL Vacation Rentals?]

By October 14, 2014 No Comments

In early May I discussed the hotel industry’s plan to go on the offensive with vacation rentals:

Last week I shared the news that Airbnb has adopted smart home control for their rentals, and in that post I mentioned a New Yorker article that highlights the on-going battle of Airbnb vs. NYC.

It seems these two topics have merged.

I wonder how long it will take for this Airbnb vs. NYC battle to morph into a national hotels vs. vacation rental battle.

The Dirt

Anyone close to the vacation rental (and Airbnb) industry knows the dirt: Access Control (or a lack thereof) is a BIG HUGE GINORMOUS security issue.

  • There is no good way to manage floating keys (offline keyless codes are no better!). Who knows who has access to your vacation rental home?!

I’ve discussed this vacation rental security issue ad nauseam. I’ll skip the overview and let you read my links below.

How will the hotel industry start to expose vacation rental (and Airbnb) safety issues?

“Public Safety Tool”

ShareBetter, is the NYC group fighting Airbnb. The group is made up of hotel owners, tenant rights groups and several state politicians.

Just as vacation rental regulations are spreading fast, I suspect this type of group can be created in every city across the US.

Battle lines are being drawn. Fast.

The Tnooz article points out:

ShareBetter recently released the most aggressive tool in its visible fight against short-term rentals in New York: a “public safety tool” that allows guests to uncover sex offenders and building code violations nearby a potential short-term rentals. By exposing potential threats, the thinking is that guests will think twice about using the service.

In fact, the tool can be used for investigating all kinds of hazards in New York City – for residents, tourists and hotel guests as well. There are at least 1,635 registered sex offenders in Lower Manhattan alone, with the majority of them reported as homeless. In addition, there are building code violations on New York hospitality businesses reported via the interface as well.

ShareBetter - "Public Safety Tool"

ShareBetter – “Public Safety Tool”

Does this data have any specific ties to Airbnb (or vacation rentals)? Heck no.

Will vacation rental guests use this tool and/or change their vacationing habits? We’ll see.

But what is clear is there is a battle for public perception being waged, and the first bomb has been delivered by the hotel industry.

Safety NEEDS to be at the core of every guest experience, and the vacation rental (and Airbnb) industry needs to take fast action to ensure public perception is not compromised.

Now. Not at some far off date.

Vacation Rental Security 

  1. Mechanical Keys: An Unnecessary Liability [White Paper]
  2. There’s a HUGE Need for Vacation Rental Security
  3. Breaking Bad: A Look at a Vacation Rental Security Loophole
  4. Floating Keys STINK, But they WERE a Necessary Evil
  5. Vacation Rental Insurance: Where Does Coverage End & Liability Begin?
  6. Where are Your Keys?! {Take Control with Smart Home Automation}
  7. Vacation Rental Security & the Art of War: Why Its Time to Make Your Homes Safe & Secure