Airbnb vs San Francisco’s Proposition F — find out what the rental site was doing to counter the tough challenge ahead.
Airbnb, one of the fastest-rising firms in the U.S. was up against a resolution called Proposition F, which will be presented on Tuesday to voters. The said measure would curb the short-term housing lease which Airbnb was known for.
Time has learned San Francisco’s Proposition F would greatly affect Airbnb’s business model; thus, it has started an extensive campaign, “No to F,” reportedly spending above $8 million in the process and hired a former political strategist, Chris Lehane.
Airbnb’s crusade to stall Proposition F included an expense of $2 million which was spent on 400 volunteers coming by at houses across the city, which, by the way, seemed to be working as the recent survey showed 55 percent of San Francisco residents plan to decide against the motion.
It’s an irony that the company was facing a challenge in San Francisco which serves as its home base. Although the city wherein the company has 5,000 rentals is not as huge as the other Airbnb operations in Paris which have 60,000 or New York’s 20,000 rentals, the passage of Proposition F would be a significant defeat which may incite other cities to follow and carry out similar strictures.
According to Modern Readers, San Francisco’s Proposition F was initiated when advocates of affordable housing sought to downsize to 75 nights per year on short-term rentals. That’s amid the city’s actual residents facing rising rent prices added to that an increasing number of evictions and the city’s housing used as rentals for tourists.
As per Chris Lehane, Airbnb global policy head, the campaign, “No to F” was part of a comprehensive game plan to buckle up for other political disputes. Lehane, who was part of former president Bill Clinton’s damage control team on scandals he faced stated: “It will inform us of not only how we work in San Francisco but around the world.”
We will know the outcome of Airbnb vs San Francisco’s Proposition F in the coming days. Meanwhile, have you ever wondered how the company started out?
Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, two cash-strapped San Francisco roommates, came up with the idea of earning rent money in 2007. To be able to keep up with the rent, the pair loaned out other rooms in their apartment to visiting designers attending the International Design Conference when hotels in the area can no longer accommodate guests, as per Boston Globe.
They called their newest venture “Air Bed and Breakfast,” a hint to the air mattresses where the guests were sleeping on. Although the accommodations were minimal, renters liked the breakfast and city trek they provided.
The rest is history as the movement spread to other apartments, which led to the rise and further development of what we now know as Airbnb.