Pacific Standard's Who Really Runs the Airbnbs looks at the boom in Airbnb rentals in New Orleans with a focus on better understanding whether or not Airbnb hosts live in the space they rent.
In New Orleans, most don't. Key quote:
Only 34 percent of rentals are for rooms or shared rooms; 66 percent of listings are for an entire home or apartment. More than two-thirds (69 percent) are rented year round. Almost half of all hosts operate at least two rentals.
These numbers suggest that your modal Airbnb host doesn’t live in the home they rent out. Some may actually live in another city altogether. Others are using Airbnb as an investment opportunity, buying homes and turning them into full-time rentals.
The very cool chart below comes from Inside Airbnb New Orleans and shows the distribution of Airbnb rentals by type across New Orleans.
New Orleans is a major tourist city with a non-stop parade of conventions and party goers. This year round demand for accommodations makes it attractive to folks who want to rent apartments or houses full-time.
What's happening in New Orleans is indicative of a broader trend of opportunistic entrepreneurs using the Airbnb to create micro hotel chains.
As we said last year, we expect this trend to continue. Key quote from our article:
Because of their business focus, micro hotel will provide better properties and service. They will also garner more reviews and promote their sites more effectively. These factors will lead to consumers increasingly choosing micro hotels over true peer-to-peer rentals.
A similar thing happened on Ebay.
Not many remember this, but initially Ebay was positioned as a peer-to-peer commerce platform. The vision was to create a site where people could buy and sell things to other people. But it didn't take long for entrepreneurs to recognize the value of Ebay and businesses large and small quickly dominated the site.
This does not mean the death of peer-to-peer commerce (or peer-to-peer Airbnb rentals). But expect to see more and more businesses operating on Airbnb. Also expect to see more businesses on the other sharing/on-demand platforms.