ParqEx: Airbnb for Parking

In Chicago, reports chicagobusiness.com, an app called ParqEx is helping people rent out their under-used parking spaces. Participants register their parking spot, pay a 20 percent service charge for the app to administer the transaction, and make hundreds of dollars a month. The peer-to-peer marketplace requires approval and cooperation from condo associations and hasn’t meant with any real resistance so far. One ParqEx user, Brandon Arnold, rents out his two spots because he doesn’t even own a car.

Using an app developed in Chicago, Arnold rents one of his spaces to a woman who keeps a car downtown for weekend use, and the other to a man who parks during working hours Monday to Friday. On weeknights and weekends, when that latter space is empty, Arnold occasionally rents it to people coming to the neighborhood to shop or eat.

Another user says he tried renting out his parking space through craigslist.com, but felt more secure having payment handled by an outside source.

Airbnb has been taking heat lately as state and city governments demand the application of taxes, apply limits the amount of time property owners’ can rent out their dwellings, and even outlaw vacation rentals in residential areas altogether. Complaints from neighbors have put pressure on Airbnb participants, and opposition from the hospitality industry is affecting the way the business is carried out.

Maybe ParqEx will get by without similar challenges, but I recommend a high degree of discretion. Part of Airbnb’s difficulties have arisen from its widening base. As the business grew it went from a kind of underground vacation rental network to a worldwide trend. That popularity is what has made it so threatening to outsiders.

Read the article here.

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