From the data, Airbnb’s story is not as cool as the promotion.


DT Jungang’s friend Xiao Z, who started his work, started a card-breaking trip last year. After going to several cities, I was disappointed with the carefully selected Airbnb: from booking, staying to leaving, I imagined that the landlord would be eager to chat and introduce the local customs. I never showed up and wanted to experience local life through the landlord. Nature is impossible to talk about.

After a small survey, we found that it is not just a small Z that has the same feeling.

Airbnb has a cool brand story. The landlord shares his extra living space and provides it to the tenants for a fee. Compared with the same hotel, the landlord can experience the real local life. This was promoted to a bigger vision in 2014, and Airbnb wants people around the world to feel “belong anywhere.”

The sense of belonging and human touch is the most attractive part of the story, but several young friends of DT Jun did not experience it in the accommodation – is this a common phenomenon for Airbnb tenants?

DT Jun found a website called Inside Airbnb, which regularly publishes data collected from Airbnb’s official website. We used the latest data on the website to do some simple analysis.

[pullquote]Most Airbnb listings are not shared living spaces, more likely to be second landlord businesses.[/pullquote]

The free living space shared by the landlord has the unique temperament of different types of home life, which is also the sense of belonging and human touch. On Airbnb, how many listings are shared by such landlords?

DT Jun takes the most familiar Beijing as an example. From the list of housing types available on the platform, nearly 60% of the houses in Beijing are rented. This means that, at least in this 60% of the listings, the tenants will not share the living space with the landlord.

In the remaining independent single rooms and shared single room, some of them have to live with other tenants rather than the landlord.

Further analysis of the relationship between the landlord and the property, more can explain what the real Airbnb offers.


The initial focus of the shared space should be to rent extra rooms in the home to the tenants, while the new housing is dedicated to the rental of real estate investment. Therefore, DT Jungu also counts the landlord who owns 2 sets or more of the rented property as a professional landlord, and thinks that they are making profits as an investment.

From the data, the number of such landlords on the Beijing Airbnb platform accounted for less than 40%, but they contributed more than 70% of the listings.

The proportion of “superb landlord” in the professional landlord is higher than that of the ordinary landlord, and the recovery speed is obviously faster, but the overall average score is slightly lower than that of the ordinary landlord. That is to say, although there are many good landlords in the professional landlord, the quality is not good enough, and there are a lot of delays, which has led to a lower overall score.

More specifically, the so-called professional landlord, in fact, is mostly a small landlord with 2-5 sets of rented houses, a bit like a family workshop in the hotel and hotel industry, although it is not scaled, it is indeed in commercial operation. If you rent a house in Beijing Airbnb, the chance of encountering this type of listing will exceed 30%.

However, DT Jun also noticed that there are already more than a dozen landlord operating houses in Beijing with more than 50. This seems to have reached the size of a serious hotel. The landlord behind it must not be an individual, but a more professional operating company. In the list of these landlords, DT Jun found the names of Happy Short-term Apartments, Adventure Apartments, and Kumquat Boutique Homestay.

[pullquote]Airbnb is farther away from the beginning of sharing, more and more professional meaning[/pullquote]

It should be emphasized here that Beijing is not a case. DT also looked at the data of other major cities around the world and found that most of the listings in Airbnb in Boston and Hong Kong came from professional landlords.

The data in New York seems to be very shared. Most of the listings come from landlords who only rent out one set, but as the picture above shows, TA is a bit awkward in several big cities.

In an article published in June 2018, The Media, a survey of Airbnb’s weekly listings, found that the growth of listings for short-term rentals was higher than the growth of residential or resident residences. The property that is specifically used for short-term rentals refers to the whole house that can be rented all year round.

Data from different sources show that Airbnb attracts more investors or professional companies in different cities and becomes more professional.

DT Jun agrees with the evaluation of this phenomenon in “Global Travel News”, simply quote:

The advantage of the second landlord’s listing is to provide a higher quality of service and increase Airbnb’s revenue, but it may also weaken Airbnb’s brand story and affect the relationship with many governments.

We looked at Airbnb’s recent major moves and found that this kind of deviation from the initial intentions is somewhat positive. In February 2018, Airbnb talked about the TA’s strategy for the next decade in San Francisco, and became the first choice for everyone to travel for different travel purposes. Probably to meet the needs of more people, TA has also begun to move closer to hotels that have been very different, focusing on the introduction of the hotel-style standardization system Airbnb Plus, using more than 100 refinement standards to select quality listings.

[pullquote]What is the real Airbnb story?[/pullquote]

You see, Airbnb, which is under pressure and has a lot of commercialization, is less and less cool in the brand story.

But is this a bad thing for Airbnb?

The young friends mentioned at the beginning of the article are still voicing, but they are still using Airbnb – this makes DT Jun doubtful. The landlord who represents humanity does not seem to be the most critical factor, so let everyone decide whether to choose What is Airbnb?

DT Jun found a research report on Airbnb released by Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada in August 2016. The report conducted an in-depth analysis of 1,000 Canadian respondents. The most recognized reason for choosing Airbnb is The cost is low, followed by the location. While interacting with the landlord and loving the Airbnb concept, recognition is ranked in the bottom five among 17 reasons.

Indeed, DT Jun also looked at the distribution of Beijing Airbnb listings, the basic coverage of the five rings, it is convenient to live anywhere, this is not comparable to any hotel chain. Moreover, regardless of the accommodation conditions, the same geographical location, Airbnb’s housing prices are mostly cheaper than star hotels.

Perhaps as Lie Gallagher wrote in the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Rule,

Some people also question whether it is a warm and fuzzy ‘friendship’ that attracts everyone to use Airbnb, or everyone just wants to find cheap and cool accommodation.

There are many reasons why Airbnb has become a trend. The biggest factor is the price. Other reasons are not as specific as the price, but more important. Part of the reason Airbnb succeeded was that it found that Volkswagen was no longer satisfied with the standard services offered by hotel chains.



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