By Meghan Hall
Today’s modern workforce is on the move: young workers are not just career-centric, but they are willing to change jobs frequently in an effort to climb the corporate ladder. Today, the average American will move roughly a dozen times over the course of a lifetime. More and more frequently, changes in jobs is translating to changes in geographies, causing new trends in real estate in which “settling down” is not a dominating or important factor. In an effort to accommodate demand for increasingly flexible rental housing, San Francisco-based Landing was founded by Bill Smith. In November of last year, the company announced the release of its first flexible, membership-based leasing model for fully-furnished apartments.
“Landing is offering the industry’s first membership-based leasing model featuring a network of thoughtfully designed, fully-finished apartments that provide a long-term yet flexible living solution for today’s modern renter,” explained Smith, also Landing’s chief executive officer. “Today, we’re seeing a growing trend where renters are moving more frequently, whether that’s between neighborhoods or from San Francisco to New York. The frequency and mobility are due to a number of factors – job opportunities or even just curiosity to name a couple – but what is consistent is that people are waiting to settle down until later in life, and until now, there hasn’t been a company that’s provided a way to live with more flexibility.”
For an annual membership fee of $199, Landing members will receive access to furnished one- and two-bedroom apartments that are available for lease up almost immediately. Members can live in an apartment for as little as 30 days or indefinitely. Units come equipped with everything—from mattress to silverware to towels—in an effort to promote and enhance mobile lifestyles.
“The Landing experience is custom-built and replicated in each and every apartment we create. Through the buildings and neighborhoods that we select, as well as the decor and furnishings – no matter where someone goes, they have a familiar sense of home,” said Smith. “One way we achieve this is through our furniture that we exclusively design and manufacture for each apartment. All designed and built exclusively for Landing, our team has full insight into the production process of each piece of furniture so that it is created with the Landing member in mind.”
Landing has initially launched in six cities: Austin, Texas, Birmingham, Ala., Los Angeles, Nashville, Tenn., New York City and the greater San Francisco Bay Area. According to Smith, metros were chosen based on a number of factors, including data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which shows that cities such as Los Angeles and Austin are seeing rising rates of young professionals and renters.
“We launched Landing in these cities as they are some of the largest metros in the country with a high concentration of mobile professionals,” Smith added.
By 2020, Landing plans on operating 4,000 apartments in 30 cities around the world. Landing will partner directly with property managers and real estate developers, but does not directly invest in the real estate, stated Smith. Which metros are next for expansion are unclear.
“Unlike co-living, corporate or short-term rentals, Landing offers members the comfort of their own home with the ease of knowing they could live there for a few months or a few years. It’s simple and flexible to meet each member’s lifestyle,” continued Smith. “Any time a member moves within Landing’s network of apartments, they are greeted with everything they need to live, from our custom-designed furniture and a kitchen stocked with the essentials, to an on-call concierge service. This is what we like to call “living-as-a-service.” Landing provides all the essentials and removes the stress and headaches of searching for apartments, setting up utilities, moving, furniture shopping, etc. We’re catering to the growing portion of the market who want long-term comfort with the option of mobility, and none of the strict, traditional lease terms.”
The short-term and flexible housing market continues to take off in major cities around the country. The growth of companies such as AirBnb and VRBO has expanded beyond short-term, flexible vacation rentals to companies such as Stay Alfred and Locale, which are garnered toward mobile professionals needing lease flexibility. With Landing, flexible rentals are no longer for those who travel frequently for business or vacation, but for tenants who frequently move and want the moving process streamlined for them. As long as today’s workers remain mobile, Landing, flexible renting and living-as-a-service will continue to evolve, bringing in a new type of renting to the national multifamily market.