Airbnb reports record profits, but some hosts have no reservations

Once upon a time investing in a Airbnb was a wise move for the wealthy. When the pandemic affected, low interest rates prompted those who could afford it to buy a second property to rent on Airbnb. Sales of luxury second homes and investment properties rose nearly 235% last year from pre-pandemic levels, real estate broker says pacaso. In early 2021, these owners saw their investment pay off with an influx of visitors ready to travel again.

However, the payout appears to be short-lived, TIME reported.

Jim Ewing, who owns a property in Desert Springs, Calif., told the outlet that his occupancy rate fell from 80% to 0% last spring. “We haven’t had a single reservation since June,” he told TIME. “When we first signed up last October, we had it covered every weekend. And then from November to April, we had between 70 and 80 percent occupancy each month,” he says.

But the fall season has been a bust.

“This year we had no one in October and we had no one booked for November… So it was extremely slow,” he added.

The somewhat static state of bookings appears to be a perfect storm of a now oversaturated market, along with some public outrage at unreasonable demands from hosts such as absurd chore demands and high cleaning costs.

Not only are there more Airbnbs for travelers to choose from (increasing competition among hosts), but tedious requests can deter some from renting, Neal Carpenter, owner of a short-term rental advisory service The Air Butlersaid TIME.

“If you [as a host] asking people to do more than is fair, reasonable and common, that’s a problem,” Carpenter said. “If you’re trying to charge exorbitant cleaning fees and profit from it, that’s behavior. questionable.”

Related: Internet tears up Airbnb for high prices and hidden fees: “These prices are ridiculous”

If hosts are struggling with reservations, Carpenter suggests putting themselves “in the shoes of travelers” by looking at the competition, then making changes to the property and the guest experience.

However, although some hosts are struggling to fill their properties, Airbnb announced its “most profitable quarter ever” in its Q3 2022 results.

“The third quarter of 2022 demonstrates that we continue to drive growth and profitability at scale. Customer demand on Airbnb remains strong,” said Airbnb Co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, in the report.

Related: Can Airbnb still thrive in a recession?

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