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The Sharing Economy is Thriving: Just Look at WeWork

The Sharing Economy is Thriving: Just Look at WeWork
  The sharing economy is so much more than Airbnb. The sharing economy continues to progress on a daily basis and shows no sign of dissipating any time soon. The recent success of WeWork is ample proof of that. New York-based WeWork, which provides shared workspaces, recently received a $300 million investment from Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank, which catapults the company’s value to more than $17 billion. Not too shabby for a sharing-economy business founded seven short years ago. Perhaps it’s more of a surprise that the post-millennium concept took so long to be discovered in the first place. Rooted in convenience and cost-savings for consumers, and ancillary income opportunities for businesses, the sharing economy is the perfect blend of modernism and common sense. Airbnb was the first of this breed to truly take hold on a global scale, facilitating part-time rentals for houses, apartments and other living spaces. This essentially bypasses the need for hotels for many consumers while providing a more intimate experience at their destination. Since Airbnb was founded in San Francisco in 2008, numerous other examples of sharing economy have sprouted up, particularly in recent years. Most metropolitan areas now offer a bicycle-sharing service, in which individuals can rent a bike on a short-term basis at Point A and return it at Point B. RelayRides facilitates the use of neighbors’ cars, enabling individuals to rent cars by the day or the even by the hour. DogVacay serves as an alternative to the kennel, allowing dog owners to utili......
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Google Maps’ New Parking Feature Underscores Demand in Urban Core

Even Google understands how frustrating parking can be in urban markets. By now, nearly everyone has utilized the Google Maps features that shows how congested the highways and side streets are on a particular route, and offers the most expedient routes given the real-time traffic. Now Google Maps is taking it a step further with a similar feature for parking. According to a recent article in TechCrunch, Google is using historical parking data to calculate a parking difficulty score, which will be presented in the app’s direction card as “Limited,” “Medium,” or “Easy.” This feature was first spotted in January when users of Google Maps’ beta on Android had access to the addition. The benefits to commuters are clear, as now they can mentally prepare themselves not only for the forthcoming drive, but also the parking situation when they arrive. For apartment communities in those urban cores that possess a fair amount of extra parking space, the ancillary revenue opportunities are tremendous. Apartment communities in those congested markets can transform their empty spaces into cheaper and more efficient parking options for the local businesses and their employees and visitors. To be clear, the Google Maps parking feature is still a work in progress. It relies on historical data (such as: this area is usually popular in November) rather than the real-time data, but its anticipated that the feature will quickly gain traction and improve as time passes. For now, Google is launching the feature in the top 25 metros of the U.S., which is ......
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Ancillary Income: Can Parking be a New Revenue Stream?

  As the preferences of residents in urban areas continue to gravitate toward newer, hip forms of public transportation, apartment owners should be watching eagerly.    Fewer and fewer residents in high-density areas are opting to own cars, causing them to place a higher priority on car-share and ride-share services than on parking. Initially, downtown communities might have met this trend with disdain, wondering what they were going to do with all those extra parking spots.     But the concept that spurred this trend – the sharing economy – is also the answer of how to address it. Those empty spots serve as an ancillary income opportunity that can not only generate additional monthly revenue, but add overall value to the community. While residents opt for alternative forms of transportation, you can fill those increasingly vacant spots by utilizing a park-share concept.   Even though some of your residents might not park at your community because they don’t have a vehicle, spaces are still at high demand for those who commute to the area for work or entertainment.   A look at a study by the National Multifamily Housing Council on Urban vs. Suburban Housing Preferences reveals a clear picture of the disparity of resident preferences. While parking is a primary interest for close to 95 percent of residents in areas with household densities in the 94th percentile or less, the number declines in markets at the top end of the scale. In turn, interest in bike-share and car-share programs eleva......
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