New Startups Probably Won’t Reshape Memphis Area Real Estate

Real estate news items were rare last week, drowned out by the din of election and pandemic-related developments. Yet, true to form, Memphis area readers could rely on The Wall Street Journal to come up with a startling real estate feature. ‘Startling’ might be the wrong word—at first glance, at least, perhaps ‘baffling’ would be a better fit for—

“Startup Aims to Be the Airbnb of Storage Space for the Covid-19 Era.”

Since Airbnb is a notoriously successful online vacation rental marketplace, the headline was mystifying. Was the new enterprise one that hoped to target people looking for places to send their hard-working belongings off on vacation? Or declutter, but just for a weekend? And what did this have to do with Covid-19, anyway?

The details did clarify the mystery. The pandemic has created a heap of newly vacant restaurants, parking garages, and offices with, for the moment, few tenants seeking to fill the void. The entrepreneurs see that as an opportunity and are offering to convert the vacancies into storage units. Since another unfortunate offshoot of the pandemic is a bunch of younger professionals “fleeing cities, temporarily moving in with relatives” or downsizing, they need space to store their excess belongings for the time being. The Utah-based firm, “Neighbor.com,” has added several million square feet to its inventory.

Another somewhat pandemic-related startup is targeting antsy city-dwellers. As the “trapped at home” feeling wears on and on, this business (“Pacaso”) hopes to offer them a timeshare-modeled opportunity for weekend getaway homes—not in exotic vacation destinations, but in suburban residential neighborhoods like Austin, Texas and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Memphis area readers would probably agree with a caveat about such “Covid-19 Era” ideas. Since sooner or later (last week, the ‘sooner’ seemed increasingly likely), the lifestyle changes will probably revert toward more recognizable norms. If your own Memphis area real estate goals are less temporary, I hope you’ll give me a call!

About Author
Tim OHare

Tim O'Hare has over 15 years experience working with executive leadership as a digital marketing and technology specialist. Tim relocated to Collierville, TN where he began his real estate career with a sphere of less than 10. In his first 18 months, he was Rookie of the Year at his brokerage and a member of the Multi Million Dollar Club. Tim realized the best way he could give back was to help others unlock their potential, so that they feel empowered to accomplish their personal and professional goals. His passion to learn, coach and give back to the community is what shapes him as a leader. He brings a strong competitive mindset and understands the commitment necessary to accomplish even the most audacious goals. Tim currently lives in Collierville with his wife Anna and 2 boys. He's a member of the Collierville Rotary and serves on the Board of Zoning Appeals for Collierville. Tim also sits on multiple committees at the Memphis Area Association of Realtors.

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