A strict Airbnb crackdown last month in NYC caused thousands of rental properties to vanish overnight from the platform. Now, new apps and solutions are arising to combat the after effects of such legislation. One of them specifically known as Kiki Club.
What was the Airbnb crackdown & why was it implemented?
Under the new rule, all short-term rentals are required to register with the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement to ensure booking platforms process transactions.
The legislation, known as Local Law 18, was implemented to supposedly aid NYC’s imminent housing crisis. However, as a result, many New Yorkers who relied on renting out their space on Airbnb have since lost that source of income.
What is Kiki Club?
Though The New York Post reported various scamming incidents since the law went into effect, a new underground app is working to combat such risks. KiKi Club is an invite-only subletting platform launched by 23 year old Toby Thomas-Smith. The app originally launched in Bondi, Sydney, Australia, and filled 1,500 homes before expanding into the New York market.
New members must be referred by an active lister or rentee in order to join the app. So far, thousands of NYC renters have joined the waitlist just a month into its U.S. expansion.
“Before Kiki Club, people would post their place or room for rent via their Instagram story in hopes of finding an acquaintance to live in and cover their rent while they’re away. But many folks’ social networks are only so big. Being a part of Kiki Club, members gain access to thousands of friends-of friends who they can immediately trust to take care of their place while they’re out of town,” said Toby Thomas-Smith, co-founder and CEO of Kiki Club.
How does Kiki Club work?
Kiki Club’s exclusivity is it’s main selling point. It “enables members to trust that the person they are hosting was referred by another credible user, giving renters peace of mind in sharing their home with an acquaintance rather than a complete stranger.” Not only that, but you can think of their business model similar to a dating app. Kiki Club actually matches members with similar personal traits and preferences. Today, the app has a 95% positive match rate.
How can Kiki Club help NYC renters?
New York City is a place of constant movement, and with its residents consistently on-the-go, it’s common for renters to be looking for a way to save money on their homes while they’re away. Already, Kiki Club saved members in Sydney $2.5 million in rent. KiKi Club is working to position itself as a solution to safe subletting in NYC that can help save renters up to hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
“The concept of Kiki Club is to connect real people with real homes for their longer term rental needs. This helps people get their rent paid and plants watered by someone they trust while being away from home, creating a much more pleasant renting environment than they have experienced in the past. We’re thrilled to provide this opportunity for New Yorkers and to continue to scale to other major cities,” said Thomas-Smith.