Is the shine starting to come off Airbnb?

The lustre of the short-term rental platform, Airbnb is starting to wane with a new report showing superhosts are leaving and starting their own platforms.

According to The Bear Cave, many professionally managed properties listed on Airbnb are now gearing up to directly compete against the company. 

The Bear Cave author, Edwin Dorsey, said hosts were looking at ways to cut the platform out amid high costs and other troubles the company has been facing.

“Airbnb’s top professional hosts are building out their own booking platforms and offering cheaper deals to cut out Airbnb, growing their own email lists and distribution, and offering loyalty discounts to book off of Airbnb,” Mr Dorsey said.

“In short, Airbnb’s future will look a lot different than its past as the company will now need to compete against its best and largest hosts.”

Mr Dorsey said the Airbnb community had shifted towards professionally managed properties with significant advantages over individual hosts, including better search rankings with “superhost” status, better photos and copywriting, and a reliable check-in process.

He said guests are also growing tired of the cleaning requirements, last-second cancellations and the unreliability of the entire experience.

“Professional property managers only represent 1 per cent of all Airbnb and Vrbo hosts, but they manage 23 per cent of available listings which generate 28 per cent of total revenue,” he said.

He said property managers for holiday rentals are also looking to try and cut out the platform to save costs.

“Owning the customer relationship allows professional hosts to avoid Airbnb’s 17 per cent platform fee, control any refund/dispute process, communicate directly and seamlessly with customers, market aggressively for repeat business, and not be at the whims of Airbnb’s algorithm,” he said.

The report also points to some of the ongoing issues that the company has been facing including numerous scandals and horror stories ranging from hidden cameras to deaths.

Mr Dorsey said other providers, such as Stay Heirloom, are taking over a number of properties previously listed with Airbnb.

“One fast-growing property management company is Stay Heirloom, a leading provider of large-format, luxury short-term rentals,” he said.

“Stay Heirloom appears to manage its own properties and properties on behalf of third parties and today has over 300 listings in premier cities around the country.”

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