Micro-Term Rentals & Micro Pods Are the Next Big Thing: Here’s Why
Micro-term rentals are about to be the hottest new trend in real estate. In the past decade, we have seen short-term rentals explode in popularity. A concept foreign to us just 10 years ago is now ingrained in our culture; you rent out your house for a few days to complete strangers. Instead of people staying in hotels on vacations, they stay in other people’s houses. Airbnb and Vrbo have made this a popular service.
The pandemic has pushed a hot new player to the forefront: micro-term rentals, which are the next size down. People will rent spaces on an hourly or even per-minute basis. But what is it about super short term rentals that makes them so attractive to the average person?
Walls closing in on you in Lockdown? Try Renting Your Neighbor’s Extra Space!
Hourly incremental rentals are no longer reserved for salacious activity. People looking for an escape from their day-to-day lives — which for many includes being home all day, every day thanks to the pandemic — will appreciate micro-term rentals. Newly minted at-home workers are already feeling the walls closing in on them, especially those with children or multiple roommates.
Jim Guffrey, a 38-year-old operations manager at a real estate firm, describes his living and working situation.
“I have three kids that are 12, 8, and 6, and they are being virtually schooled and now virtually camped with my wife and I in our 980-square-foot apartment in downtown Miami. Working all day in this environment, especially my daily Zoom video meetings, is proving incredibly stressful as I try to manage the noise levels in my surroundings so I can do my job. I love my family, but I just need an hour in the day where I can have quiet space to make calls, do some critical thinking and planning.”
Guffrey made a deal with his neighbor, who has a spare bedroom, that Guffrey claims saved his family life and his job.
“I found out from a mutual friend that my neighbor Manuel’s roommate abruptly moved out last month.
So, I called Manuel and asked if I could use his spare bedroom for an hour or so each day, and in return I would give him $100 each week. It worked out great! I have been doing this for five weeks now. I have a little chair and desk, and I schedule all of my most important meetings and calls during this time so I don’t have any interruptions.”
Guffrey isn’t the only person who had this idea.
Why Quiet Time Helps You Stay Sane
The science behind why humans need daily quiet time has been a trending topic for the past few years. The TED idea & talk “Why we owe it to ourselves to spend quiet time alone every day” describes many of the reasons. It has been documented that quiet time can help the mind heal from anxiety and emotional stress, boost creativity, and even boost your immune system.
Are There Existing Micro-Term Rental Real Estate Platforms?
Globe is a real estate platform for busy professionals needing a break between meetings and after flights. The business caters to large urban areas and currently operates in only San Francisco and New York. The company allows homeowners and renters to rent out small spaces in short time increments to vetted Globe users.
Perhaps due to the pandemic or other issues, the company doesn’t seem to be particularly active. A quick visit to their website reveals little in the way of marketing efforts. In other words, there is a lot of room for growth in the micro-term rental industry post COVID-19!
Create Micro-Term Rentals with Micro Pods
It’s becoming apparent that real estate supply is rising fast to meet micro-term rental demand. Investors will soon be able to buy and lease commercial real estate at bargain rates around suburbs as various pre–COVID-19 businesses fail.
This empty commercial space from abandoned malls, gyms, and restaurants can be converted into micro pods made for micro-term rentals. These pods would be rented out in 15-minute increments and include a couch that converts to a cot, a desk, and charging ports.
Gale Hariri is a 37-year-old stay-at-home mother of four, and she is in the process of setting up a homeschooling course.
“I think the idea of some space for me to just sit and be alone with my thoughts without the rumpus finding me before I can get them on paper is an exciting prospect! It can be a weekly treat I give myself, and I think it will help me be more productive.”
Hariri points out that the most important part of a perfect micro-term rental is not space or decoration. She’s looking for a new amenity — peace and quiet.
“The size of the quiet space doesn’t matter. I would just expect it to be clean and be extremely silent if I am paying for it by the hour.”
These micro pods would be a perfect place for professionals who want to relax between meetings and work-at-home burnouts who need a quiet place for their virtual meetings and other important projects. People will pay to escape their noisy houses.
Sounds Great. What Are the Drawbacks to Micro Pods?
There are some health and safety concerns that come with micro pods, especially in the current COVID- 19 environment. How can you effectively keep the pods germ-free when turnover is so fast? People spending any amount of time lying around or sitting in a room can cause the area to get gross pretty quickly without proper maintenance. Sanitizing and cleaning expenses might take a bite out of your micro pods’ profits..
Another big concern is the security and safety of the individuals using the micro pods. Unfortunately, people tend to come up with nefarious activities when alone behind a closed door. There would need to be rules in place that don’t allow more than one person per room without exception.
Micro Pods: Micro-Term Rentals Are Already Big in Asia
Before you dismiss the idea, micro pods are already popular in many overcrowded cities around the world. You’ll find internet cafes that are rented by the hour or day. People sleep in them or even live there long term. Although you probably won’t be camping out in a micro pod anytime soon, the idea of renting out a small space for privacy isn’t new. It’s just never been done on a large scale in the United States.
Are Americans Ready for Micro-Term Rentals and Micro Pods?
Thanks to the rise of Airbnb and Vrbo over the last decade, Americans are ready to jump into (both literally and figuratively) micro-term rentals. Spaces that offer the commodity of silence are now more valuable than ever. Even beyond COVID-19 and its effects on living conditions, people everywhere will jump at the opportunity to take an hour or two just for themselves.
The need for extra income and the realization that there is money sitting untapped in people’s homes will also allow this idea to flourish. In the years ahead, consider researching and maybe even investing in micro pods and micro-term rentals. This popular new business idea may help you come out on top.