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Economy & Business

Man Offers Cheap Housing In Silicon Valley By Renting Out Backyard Tent

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now we're going to meet a young entrepreneur.

JOHN POTTER: My name is John Potter and I've been using Airbnb to rent out my tent in the backyard.

SIEGEL: That's right. He is renting out a tent on Airbnb. This is in Mountain View, Calif. - Silicon Valley. But technically, it's not his backyard, it's his parents'.

POTTER: I put the listing up about a week and a half ago.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Potter, a 22-year-old Web developer, said it all started as a joke - until the booking requests started coming in.

POTTER: I'd say it's split pretty evenly between vacationers and tech-y people.

MARTIN: Tech-y people who get a new job, for instance, and need a cheap place to stay.

SIEGEL: Cheap is relative. To live in Potter's parents' backyard in a tent, it'll cost you $46 a night, or $960 a month.

MARTIN: But it is Silicon Valley - a single room can be in the $1,500 range, and hey, you may luck into a free meal.

POTTER: We will give you food if we happen to be cooking - no guarantee. You get Wi-Fi, electricity to charge your laptop with an extension cord.

SIEGEL: Also the tent features a sleeping bag and a crate for your clothes, and Potter and his parents will let you in the house for a shower once a day.

MARTIN: Good. Potter says booking inquiries are steady.

POTTER: I've already gotten a couple this morning, and the day isn't over.

SIEGEL: Since the listing's gone up, he's had two people rent the tent. User Dan from Massachusetts wrote on Airbnb that he loved his stay.

MARTIN: He said, quote, "the room is great and the location is better." He also enjoyed meeting the Potter family - bonus. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.