HOUSTON – When Airbnb first came along, the skeptics didn't think it would work. Same with Uber. But both companies are thriving. And now another company is trying to reinvent the storage industry by connecting people who have extra space with people who have extra stuff.
They say in every attic, there is a hidden treasure, but now, there is a hidden profit, and not just in the attic.
Anywhere you have extra space in and around your home.
Joseph Woodbury is the CEO of the new company, Neighbor.com.
“We allow you to connect with and store with a neighbor,” Woodbury said.
With the company Neighbor, you can store your stuff in someone else's house instead of renting a pricier storage unit.
Think of it as Airbnb for your things.
“In university towns, we will have people put up a closet and students will store two or three boxes in their closet,” Woodbury said.
That's exactly what the Cohen family is doing in their home. They rented out a corner of their attic to a college student, and she brought her extra stuff.
They’re also going to rent their extra parking space.
Odd rental spaces
But it's not just garages and extra space in driveways.
“We’ll have people put up barns, their old barn and they`ll store classic cars in their barn,” Woodbury said.
Look at these options in the Houston area.
Neighbor.com is barely two years old and has already seen a 500% annual growth.
It's available in 48 states and going international.
Landlords can reject anything
“We`re not looking to rent out an RV with somebody’s Airbnb their RV or living in it. There`s a limit,” said landlord Bernice Cohen. Cohen added, “We draw the line, I draw the line.”
Homeowners are allowed to inspect anything they store, and Neighbor.com insures them up to $2 million if the stuff should somehow hurt the house and homeowners can reject anything.
"We definitely wouldn`t have like fireworks," said landlord David Cohen.
"Weapons," added Bernice.
“Or anything like that. Chemicals," David said.
“Explosives or animals,” Bernice said.
And for those renting the space, it is a lot cheaper than the big storage companies because homeowners have less overhead.
The average cost of a storage unit is $88 a month.
Neighbor.com says its prices are typically half-that.
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