Airbnb Hosts Vs. Property Managers

Skift grip

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at how Airbnb identifies hosts, a hybrid work overhaul and United’s new pilot bases.


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Episode Notes

Airbnb has long maintained that 90% of its active hosts are individuals, as opposed to property management companies. But a report shot down that narrativeforcing the short-term rental giant to defend its long-held claim that the overwhelming majority of its hosts are private individuals, reports editor Dennis Schaal.

Asked about a report from an analytics firm that only 38% of Airbnb hosts offered a single listing, an Airbnb spokesperson replied that most of its hosts only shared a single listing. Just last month, Airbnb chief financial officer Dave Stephenson said 90% of the company’s hosts are individuals. Schaal writes that the question is important because many Airbnb customers are looking for a local experience from individual hosts. These hosts are also aware that property managers have gained a share of bookings on Airbnb in recent years compared to solo hosts, adds Schaal.

Schaal says it’s time for Airbnb to be more transparent about the breakdown of host types on the platform, writing that the company mislabels hosts as individuals.

Next, businesses around the world are increasingly looking to tap into the remote worker market. But a venture capital studio based in Nairobi, Kenya, shut down its remote working startup after it discovered its business model was not achieving its goals, reports business travel editor Matthew Parsons in this week’s Future of Work briefing.

Purple Elephant Ventures has shut down Wavel, a platform designed to connect properties with high-end professionals. Purple Elephant, which had raised $1 million for the project, had created Wavel to showcase African destinations as ideal for remote working. However, Purple Elephant co-founder and CEO Ben Peterson acknowledged that Wavel faces challenges with infrastructure and convincing potential customers they can trust the brand.

Peterson said demand for remote work has started to wane. He noted that Wavel was unable to find the right business model. But Peterson added that closing Wavel was the right move as it prevents Purple Elephant from losing money.

To finish, United Airlines will open new pilot bases in Florida and Nevada amid ongoing contract negotiations, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.

United’s Director of Flight Crew Resources Zach Shapiro told staff this week that it will open new crew bases in Las Vegas and Orlando next May. Shapiro described the bases as beneficial for pilots, with Florida and Nevada hosting the largest concentrations of United pilots outside of the carrier’s existing bases. United’s approximately 1,000 pilots living in Florida commute to work at airports with bases such as Los Angeles or Newark.

Russell writes news on the bases amid contentious contract negotiations with the Air Line Pilots Association. A tentative agreement reached by the union and the airline in June was rejected by pilots last month, with many pilots demanding higher increases. United pilots picketed the airline’s hubs last month.

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