Sharing is Caring: The Sharing Economy's Effects on Real Estate

Have you been paying attention to the new mode of travel, lodging, and interaction? We’ve been moving to a different way of doing things here in the good old USA, and that way is far more like what our kindergarten teachers used to tell us: sharing is indeed caring these days—and it’s saving people a lot of money.

sharing birds
From the Wikimedia Commons.

So much so, in fact, that it’s beginning to affect how people make major decisions. Do they buy a car for personal use or are they willing to use Lyft, a makeshift taxi service servicing some major cities (and attempting to roll out to more). Need a room for a few nights somewhere? AirBnb has you covered. And the income that people using these services earn (as well as the inexpensive alternative that they provide to traditional taxis and hotels) can affect what factors influence a decision on where to live.

Here’s a plausible scenario: Say there’s a very affordable house on the outskirts of a major city, just outside the range for someone to walk to work. For someone who’s espousing frugality in their efforts, this is a big concern. If Lyft is available for them, then that might tip the scales towards this home that normally they wouldn’t have considered.

Likewise, people may choose to buy a bigger home so that they can rent one of the rooms for a few days a month. The mere presence of these services mean that they’ll become considerations as they catch on.

While we’re not endorsing or detracting from the sharing economy, we’ll simply say this: there’s never been a better time to really get to deeply know your client base. While you might not be representing someone interested in Lyft (which is marketed more towards younger professionals looking to save money), AirBnb might be on their radar. Or Getaround, RelayRides, and more. These services are becoming very popular and might just change some markets—if you’re willing to make the connections and use them as selling points.