Airbnb and its competitors let you rent out your house to strangers in search of a place to stay. This real estate aspect of the sharing economy is expanding. The New York Times (paywalled article) reports that new businesses let people offer up their household pools, living rooms, and backyards. The article focuses on Sniffspot, a company that turns ordinary household backyards into dog parks.
This company is thriving in suburbs outside of large cities, such as New York and Seattle. Wealthy dog owners who live in crowded apartments in the city will pay $35 an hour or more for access to a fenced-in backyard. This encourages hosts to make their yards especially appealing to dogs:
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“We make it a doggie paradise,” said Ms. Rabon, 37, standing in her backyard one recent Saturday. The shaded, fenced yard has a small aboveground pool with a ramp so the dogs can jump in. At the bottom of a long, gentle slope is an obstacle course with a seesaw, tunnels and puppy parkour equipment designed to exhaust any four-legged visitor. The day I visited, the birds chirped, a rooster crowed from a nearby property, and my dog was in heaven, bolting from one end of the fenced property to the other.