The Freebird Club, an Airbnb-style home-sharing site for seniors, is set to launch in the UK and Ireland this month.
The online service offers travellers aged 50+ the opportunity to stay in seniors’ spare rooms for a set nightly rate and one-time membership fee. Hosts stay in their homes and receive guests, promoting conversation and social connections between members.
“There are two issues we're trying to address,” founder Peter Mangan told Fast Company. “One is loneliness and isolation in the elderly population. A lot of people are finding themselves quite isolated, particularly in the larger cities. The other is that a lot of people are quite asset-rich – maybe they have a mortgage-free house, but they're reliant on a [fixed income]. This is a way to monetise their assets.”
The site also taps into the growing and unmet demand for products and services targeting older consumers. Americans aged 60+ are the fastest-growing and best-reviewed demographic on Airbnb, according to the latest data from the company. In the UK, those aged 50-69 control more than 70% of all disposable wealth, but less than 5% of advertising budgets worldwide focus on this group (JWT, 2015).
To find out how to connect with independent, knowledge-seeking seniors, read Seniors Level Up. Our Hospitality’s Evolved Sharing Economy report explores the latest services stretching the sharing economy concept through personalisation, tighter service and harmonious brand collaborations.