I trust you are enjoying your weekend!
I am hosting in London, in the area of Tower Bridge road, and usually I have an average of 65-70% occupancy, some month very booked, and calm months such as January and August.
In November I went away for a while and gave the flat to manage to Hostmaker. They asked me to deactivate my listing, which I did. On January 20 I reactivated my account and since then I received 2 enquiries: A gentleman with no profile whatsoever who invited me to call him if I wanted to "know more" on him, and the second, a RUssian account promising me full occupancy if I collaborated with them. Otherwise, not even one enquiry.
And I am Airbnb PLus and Superhost...
Searching and searching, I eventually tested my link anonyously (logged out) and discovered that my map location was completely inaccurate. I contacted Airbnb and indeed they found a technical problem and it is in the process of being repaired.
Nevertheless, I wanted to ask if otther hosts in central London had the same calm, if maybe the Airbnb PLus is hurting rather than helping.
Somebody wrote on Facebook that guests have to write specificall Airbnb Plus for an Airbnb PLus property to come up! Is that correct?
Sorry about the second article - it's behind a paywall for me, too.
"Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.
This morning we’re exploring Airbnb’s march to the public markets. The popular DIY hospitality startup promised last year that it would go public in 2020. That timeline means that its 2019 performance wi...
Recent news, however, doesn’t paint a perfect picture for the famous unicorn. Indeed, Airbnb’s history of rapid growth and profitability appears to have been replaced by slowing growth ...Wall Street Journal reported results from the company’s third quarter that are at once encouraging —...
If Airbnb goes public soon, as it has promised, its recent, trailing results will matter. To get ready for its IPO, let’s rewind through what we’ve learned about Airbnb’s revenue, revenue growth and profitability over the years. Doing this will help us understand how the startup went from rising profitability to posting, through the first three quarters of 2019, a nine-figure net loss.
The Airbnb public offering (likely a direct listing) is going to be the financial event of the year. Get excited.Rewind
The following data points were culled from a host of reports over the past half decade. Each is accompanied by its original source, and I encourage you to read the pieces to get a feel for how Airbnb has been discussed through time. The tone of Airbnb coverage largely tracks its performance; when Airbnb was at the steepest part of its growth curve, the media was enthused. Lately, however, the writing is a bit different.
You’ll see why:
@Susan17 I also noticed that if one does a search in some areas, after showing 4 to 5 Airbnb listings there is a link to Hoteltonight and no more Airbb listings appear, effectively funneling people to a hotel site owned by Airbnb. It used to be for last minute reservations, but I hear they are taking advance bookings now, how far in advance I do not know.
Yep. That's exactly what's happening in some regions. (And yes, Hotel Tonight have been taking advance bookings for quite some time, up to 100 days, I think) The irony is, Hotel Tonight are amassing a huge amount of terrible reviews and a getting themselves a pretty shady rep in many quarters, which makes the reported $400+ million Airbnb shelled out to acquire the company last April, seem like a pretty shaky investment.
That pales into insignificance in comparison to the emarrassment of Airbnb's other big foray into the hotel sector though. OYO Hotels and Homes, into which Airbnb pumped between $150 - $200 million last March, has suffered a catalogue of catastrophes over the past year, with allegations against them ranging from corruption, to bribery of officials, to repeated breach of contract with hotel owners/hosts, to withholding of payments, to toxic culture, all on the back of their global expansion blitz-scaling efforts.
Many experts are predicting that meltdown for OYO is imminent, and inevitable - which would be a massive blow for Airbnb's inventory, particularly in the Indian and Chinese markets (Airbnb predicted last year that China would its biggest market by 2020) Also, China is one of the four pillars of Airbnb's IPO pitch to investors (the other three being Homes, Experiences and Luxe), so the timing of OYO's very public scandals, couldn't be much worse for the company. (And of course, the coronavirus outbreak has thrown a huge spanner in the works for Airbnb's China plans too)
So at this point, things aren't exactly looking too rosy with Airbnb's expansion into the hotel arena either.
Employees Claim OYO Uses Corrupt Practices To Boost Growth.
OYO - Toxic Culture And Troubling Incidents
Airbnb Has Big Plans For China and India
Pretty much fits in with what I'm seeing in all grossly-saturated markets globally, @Sarah977 - the race to the bottom seems to be almost complete.
Pros/commercials and newbies dominating the search placement, prices being pushed to an all-time low (newbie discounts, inexperienced hosts complying with Airbnb's "suggestions" to lower their rates in order to get more bookings, blitz-scaling commercial players with millions in VC funding behind them, punting out thousands of places at lower than local long-term rental rates in order to obliterate small local competition and gain the lion's share of the market. Way too much supply, way too little demand (hence only 23% of listings being booked for imminent dates). Entire home listings being offered for cheaper rates than private rooms. Quantity taking precedence over quality, all the way. (Very) short-term strategies taking the place of long-term goals. Zero governance (or deterrents) for illegal, bogus and unscrupulous operators operating on the platform, etc etc
It's a humongous bubble, for sure.
That's some pretty impressive (on your part) and interesting research there, @Susan17.
It has always worried me (well, perhaps concern is a better adjective) when people have said on these boards they were buying a place just to Airbnb.
For me, it's a room in my house, where we live. If/when the Airbnb bubble burst we'll survive perfectly well (although our mothers will visit more often, so maybe not). But these Johnny-come-latelys taking out huge loans to buy apartments? Scary.
It's gone way, way beyond people buying places to rent out on Airbnb now though, @Gordon0, although that does still happen, particularly with foreign investors and speculators.
The really scary thing is, that by far the biggest game in town now (and for the past several years), is Airbnb arbitrage. Every Tom, **bleep** and Harriet is engaging in this practice these days - which is, leasing out vast numbers of properties (often on 5, 7 or even 10 year contracts, sometimes entire apartment blocks, sometimes several floors of aq block, sometimes individual units), to re-rent on Airbnb. And the more, the merrier. "Rentrepreneurs", they like to call themselves.
Top of the "mega-host" arbitrage tree at the moment is Sonder, with their "controversial" background, $1 billion valuation, $400 million in funding propping them up, and 10,000+ rental spaces around the world, with numbers increasing by the day.
I can't tell you how incensed I was to see Sonder slithering into the market here in Dublin last summer, at exactly the same time as new regulations were being implemented, which effectively make it next to impossible for the vast majority of small, local hosts to carry on operating (and I'm only mentioning Sonder because they're probably the most recognisable name - they're just one of countless arbitrage companies that have taken over the market here)
Coincidentally, Sonder just happens to be listing several floors of an apartment block right next door to Airbnb's flagship office here, and Airbnb's VP of Community Support just happens to sit on the Council of Dublin City Chamber of Commerce alongside the Managing Partner of the salubrious Dublin law firm, whose offices just happens to also be the official registered address of Sonder Ireland. Funny, dat...
Rapidly gaining momentum in the arbitrage arena too is Lyric, another skyrocketing "mega-host", in whom Airbnb led a $160 million funding round last April, and whose inventory is also increasing at a rate of knots. (You know something has gone horribly wrong when small, local hosts are being forced by Airbnb to compete for bookings in the very same searches as "hosts" that the company itself is funding to the tune of millions)
And then you have the Airbnb arbitrage "gurus", who are making a mint by flogging their "expertise", instructing those who have never done a minute's hosting in their lives, how to rapidly amass dozens/scores of properties each (other people's properties), to punt out on Airbnb.
Head on over to check out Sean Rakidzich's Airbnb Automated group on FB, if you want to get some idea of the utter madness that's going on in this sector. The reasons why Airbnb hosts in general are getting such a bad rep, will suddenly become much clearer.
How I Make Millions On Airbnb With No Property And No Credit
How To Make A Fortune On Airbnb Without Owning A Single Home
The self-titled gurus, @Susan17, wind me up more than anything else. I too have come across them on various Facebook groups (which I've normally been booted off). It'll often be a Superhost who seem to think they've cracked the map to the Lost Arc. And then charging the crowd of eager newbies for tips like 'You might want to buy white bedding'.
For the love of sweet baby Jesus.
Lol! I know the ones you mean, @Gordon0, but as highly irritating as they are, that particular type are relatively harmless..
The arbitrage "gurus" I'm referring to though, are in a league all of their own - the get-rich-quick merchants, the chancers, the snake-oil salesmen, the scammers - all peddling bad advice and false dreams to gullible people, to line their own pockets. Like the charmer in the London scam story I linked to below.
"Milburn sees himself as something of a property investment celebrity. He stars in YouTube videos where he explains how, “with very little, or none of your own money, you can create a six figure income” using his genius property investment strategy.
His strategy is this: take out a small loan, or use your own money, to negotiate deals with landlords that guarantee them market rent for, say, three years. Then, rather than renting properties out to long-term tenants, you kit them out with “hotel-like amenities”, list them on Airbnb and Booking.com “and charge a higher nightly rate”.
Milburn is also behind the Serviced Accommodation Specialist Club, where he offers one-on-one mentorship classes priced at £1,100 per day, or two-day group courses for £1,598. The courses, according to the company’s website, reveal how to “outsource, systemise and automate every aspect” of running a serviced accommodation, or short-term rental, business"
Very interesting and shocking results of your study @Susan17 I haven't done it for my area yet but we are without any bookings at the moment. We don't miss them because we are renovating our home and using these few slow months to do other things but I wonder how this year will look like. Airbnb's algorithm is not the only problem, there is also coronavirus and usually, half of our guests are from Asia 😞
@Gordon0 i am the one who bought two apartments for STR, but luckily, I can always sell them (now they are worth more than a few years ago when I bought them) or rent long term ( rent is going up rapidly) so no problem 🙂 I just didn't expect this STR bubble will burst so quickly.
"I just didn't expect this STR bubble will burst so quickly"
The only surprise to me, is that it's taken so long! When you're looking at the kind of stuff going on, that I've been documenting on an almost daily basis for the past several years, the only question in your mind is "How the actual **** are these people still getting away with this??"
I'm glad you've got options, @Branka-and-Silvia0, although it's not quite as simple here due to our taxes. As well as the 40% you'll pay on any profit when you sell, much the same applies on any rent you make. Being a landlord used to bring real dividends here but it's feeling a lot like a mug's game these days.
And another major reason why small, independent hosts aren't getting bookings...
I Stumbled Across A Huge Airbnb Scam That's Taking Over London
"On Airbnb, it turns out, scams aren’t just the preserve of lone chancers. As the short-term rental goldrush gathers pace, Airbnb empires are being rapidly scaled and monetised, with professional operators creating scores of fake accounts, fake listings and fake reviews to run rings around Airbnb, local law enforcement and the guests who place their trust in the platform. Reviews from guests paint a grim picture of people who have been tricked into staying in accommodation with blocked drains, broken fixtures and fittings, filthy floors, dirty bed linen – or, in some cases, accommodation that they simply did not book"