NewsOur Colorado


In Denver, home-sharing is for renters too — with start-up company's help

'Our Colorado' looks at home sharing services
Posted at 9:08 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 00:51:38-04

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DENVER -- Colorado is an all-season destination. It's also a really expensive place to call home.

Many Coloradans turn to other sources of income to boost their cash flow, like ride sharing services or home sharing ventures.

The City of Denver recently passed a law regulating short-term rentals and tightening up the rules for hosts. But a new program becoming more popular in the metro is helping leasers get in on the action too.

Airbnb officials say that just last year, Colorado hosts earned $183 million from 1.2 million guest arrivals.

Andrea Christensen is one of the hosts who benefited from that extra cash. She travels constantly for work as a 401K/retirement specialist and has been using Airbnb to supplement her income on the many days she is not home at her Capitol Hill apartment.

Just scrolling through Denver listings, condos and apartments like hers are very popular among people visiting the Mile High City.

Sean Conway started the company Pillow, in part, to keep hosts like Andrea out of trouble with her landlord.

"Sixty-five percent of the nights booked on Airbnb are multi-family apartments. Many times those are against HOA rules and regulations in leases," Conway said. 

The company told Denver7 it provides a complete and legal solution for property owners/managers and residents to safely host on Airbnb while leasers supplement their income by legally renting apartments for short-term stays.

"Denver has been a phenomenal market for us. Our residents earned $100,000 just last month in bookings," said Conway.

For each booking, the landlord takes 10 percent and Pillow takes 15 percent. Airbnb and cities like Denver take a cut, too. But for renters, it means coming out of the shadows and renting out their apartments legally. The bonus? Extra cash.

"I just think it's such a slam dunk for folks like me who live in Denver where the rent just keeps getting higher and higher, and so even being able to offer a few days a month, that significantly lowers the overall rate that you’re paying," said Christensen.