Airbnb proclaims exclusivity and owner appreciation, but how important are managers to their shareholders? Is it leaking money from managers who are disloyal to any platform?

Managers are always looking for arguments to convince owners to work with them, and Airbnb is always quoting millions of exclusive homeowners as though it’s their bread and butter!

Every Quarter, Airbnb produces its financial reports and has a call where several analysts ask questions and get some answers!

Two of the questions seldom asked are: 

  1. “Would you prefer 7m independent exclusive owners or 3.5m exclusives and a mix of micro, mid, large and supersized managers, too?”.
  2. “How many professional managers do you have, how many properties do they list, and what is the average ADR and occupancy?”

So how important and challenging are managers to Airbnb, whose general objective is to maximise income and keep their owners happy and are not loyal to any platform? It’s a business, not a hobby, sideline, or part-time.

The following numbers may reveal a few Airbnb challenges and risks or opportunities with their business models. Please note these are the back-of-an-envelope approach. There are also sales of experiences in their income and other income lines, illustrating risk and opportunity. Unless Airbnb discloses full details, then we can only make educated guesses!

Airbnb 4th Qrt and 2023 Full Year Report

Airbnb Quotes:

  • $57bn earned by owners 
  • Airbnb has grown to more than 5 million Hosts with over 7.7 million active listings around the world (those properties that can be seen and have had  at least one booking)
  • GBV amounted to $15.5 billion, which rose 15% from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure (note: accommodation, experiences, etc.)
  • GBV per Night and Experience Booked (or Average Daily Rates) were $156.73, which grew 3% year-over-year.
  • Regarding trip length, the category of long-term stays of 28 days or more accounted for 19% of overall gross nights booked.
  • We believe the majority of new listings are exclusive to Airbnb.

GDP of a small Country

If Airbnb took 15% commission as a nice round number from total GBV, then total booking income would be $67bn. This is about the same as the GDP of Costa Rica, which is not a slouch! Leaving $57bn for owners

Great Manager Argument on DIY!

If we drill down based on these quotes and average the income per owner, we see:

  • Gross (pre-commission) $67bn/7.7m = $8700
  • Net (after commission) $57bn/7/7m = $7,400
  • The average Booking Value is $157 = 55 nights or 15% occupancy.

Break Down of Owners and Managed Properties

Now, let’s take some scraped data, as Airbnb won’t tell the whole story (so how can an analyst evaluate it correctly?). The following is from AirDNA.

  • 3.5 million Airbnb Hosts only have one listing

AirDNA quotes only 30k hosts with more than 20 listings or 0.6% of hosts. We know from various surveys the average lifestyle professional manager has 50 to 70 properties, so let’s call this 60. Total properties = 60 x 30K = 1.8m listings.

We have 3.5m unique listings, 1.8m, with >20 property managers, leaving 2.4m micro-managers/co-hosts/multiple property owners. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say these micro-managers have five properties each, that is, 500,000 who may be co-hosts or true micro-managers and many of these cross-market too.

This shows that Airbnb has (probably) significant marketing control over 60-70% of its inventory.  The other 30-40% is based on the manager inventory, and this has further distribution, with over 2m listings (pro and a % of micro-managers) elsewhere and gaming the system on price and availability.

Airbnb Income

The pro managers with 1.8m properties seek 60% or more occupancy in general, considering seasonal and urban, less than hotels. 

So, if we do some calculations:

  1. Exclusive 3.5m listings at 15% occupancy = 3.5m x 55 nights = 192.5m nights at $157pn…………….Total GBV = 30.22bn
  2. Pro Managers with 1.8m properties at 60% occupancy = 394.2m nights at

$157pn……………………….Total GBV=  $61.9bn

  1. The middle micro and co-hosts have 2.4m listings and a guesstimate of 35% occupancy or 306m nights @ $157pn…..Total GBV = $48bn

Total GBV from all properties, Airbnb and other platforms/OTAs and direct = $140bn. 

This would indicate that Airbnb has $37bn in management sales from a potential 100bn, or 37% of these managers’ bookings.

If every booking were made directly and not on Airbnb, the $10bn commission would be available for local businesses to thrive and guests to enjoy their trips more!

PR won’t carry the load forever.

  • So, who would you focus on to get more business as Airbnb? Owners or managers? 
  • And who would you not want to upset? The 3.5m exclusive owners are also a step away from another disruptive player!

This may explain the focus of the Airbnb PR machine. We love exclusive owners, but we need you to up your game, get verified, and let out 365 days per year! Managers, however, are very valuable to us but so disloyal that it’s not worth mentioning!

Looks like a new vertical is needed or a lot more managers properties, exclusively!

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