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I've suggested that we all can make money by renting out part of our homes and thus getting our share of the multi-billion dollar storage industry. Well guess what? There's a site that actually helps you do this (and they're a sponsor here at Free Money Finance!) So I thought you all would like to hear details on the service, so I did an interview with the people from Homstie. Check it out below. Once you do, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this new idea.
What is Homstie?
Homstie is a website where people with extra space can rent it out to people who need affordable self storage. Those with unused space can generate up to a few thousand dollars per year while saving renters over 50% compared to traditional self storage facilities.
Where did you come up with this idea (what's the need)?
It's kind of a long story.
Here's a quick summary: People in the US spent over $22 billion on self storage in 2007* and need a cheaper alternative to this overpriced industry. At the same time, millions of homeowners need (or want) extra income. *2008 figures have not yet been released. This stat and more can be found here.
Where is Homstie available?
Throughout the United States.
How does someone willing to rent out their home use it?
We call these people "Listers" and the process of renting out their space is very simple:
1. Sign up for a free Homstie account
2. List your space for free
3. Wait for other Homstie users to apply for your space
4. Accept or reject users who apply for your space based on their profile, feedback and your discussion with them
5. Once you accept a renter, arrange for them to move their belongings in, and start collecting rent!
Homstie offers a customized lease agreement to our listers to secure their storage transaction with a legally binding document. Created by a top US law firm, the lease agreement is automatically customized to the exact specifications of each lister's storage space. See our lease page for more details.
How does someone wanting to rent space use it?
The process for renters is also very simple:
1. Sign up for a free Homstie account
2. Browse storage listings by region and/or proximity to major California universities
3. Apply for the listing of your choice
4. After the lister approves your application, they will contact you to make arrangements allowing you to move your belongings in and to start saving money on storage!
Renters can choose which space to apply for based on its size, location and price. They can also review each lister's profile and feedback score. For extra security, all listings backed by the customized Homstie lease are indicated by a seal on the listing detail page.
What sort of reaction are you getting to the service?
Homstie currently has 25+ listings in California and Ohio and thousands of people are visiting the site in search of storage space. While we are a brand new service, our customer base is growing fast as more people learn about the money making and saving potential of Homstie.com.
Do you have any sort of special offers at this time?
Listing space on Homstie is free and there are no transaction fees at this time. The customized Homstie lease is only $19--significantly cheaper than paying a lawyer to draft a customized contract (that can cost hundreds). There are no up front costs as listers pay for the lease agreement only after they accept a qualified renter of their choice.
What else would you like to tell Free Money Finance Readers about Homstie?
Homstie believes in the strong environmental implications of "person-to-person storage". There is over 2.2 billion square feet of self storage space in the US and over 800 new facilities were built in 2007. This is an incredible waste of resources and real estate when extra space already exists on peoples' property throughout the country.
Homstie is licensed as a Real Estate Broker in California (License #: 01849924) and as a registered and bonded Legal Document Assistant, Registration #: LDA-367, Los Angeles County (exp. 08/25/2010).