September 16, 2016
NEW YORK (CBS New York) – Click Here to Watch – We’re all becoming accustomed to getting what we want with the touch of an app. From car service to a grocery delivery, our daily needs really require no advanced planning.
Now it’s possible to book an overnight stay the same way and waiting until the last minute can even save you money, CBS2’s Maurice DuBois reports.
One eleventh-hour service is called “Overnight” and it’s the latest app to cash in on the crash pad industry.
“A guest can book a room and move in, sometimes within minutes,” Overnight CEO and Founder Asher Hunt said. “When I open up the app it’s going to zoom right to where I am right now.”
Accommodations in the area will appear, but you have to act fast .
“All requests expire within 10 minutes. It’s a very tight window,” Hunt said.
Guests and hosts are verified through Facebook, phone numbers, government IDs, credit cards and more. Hunt said there are dozens of safety features built in.
“I have a ton of mutual friends with this person here,” Hunt said.
He also uses the app to book guests in his own home.
“We’re actually able to facilitate community by having guests and hosts come together,” he explained.
“A lot of people I know around my age do things last minute and it’s just convenient,” user Taron Wade said.
Wade used the service for a late-night last-minute room in Austin, Texas.
“Had that not been available I guess we would have to sleep in the car. Who’s to say what would have happened if we slept in the car?” he said.
“You kind of get a feel for who seems normal and who feels sketchy and weird,” host Ryan Matzner said.
Matzner regularly books guests into spare rooms in his Brooklyn townhouse.
“There’s someone who requested to book and was at the house in half an hour,” he said.
Matzner said he only uses the service when it’s convenient.
“If I’m working and l’m at work for 12 hours that day it seems like such a waste to have an apartment just sitting there,” he added.
The Hotel Association said their industry is feeling the competition.
“They don’t pay the same taxes or have the same fire safety standards,” Hotel Association Chairman Vijay Dandapani said.
He said security for everyone is still the most important aspect,
“A hotel has the infrastructure to insure general peace in the building or even outside the building,” Dandapani said.
Prices range from $50 for a couch to about $150 for a room. It is legal to rent out a room if the landlord is there.