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Huh, Airbnb CEO Says Airbnb Hosts in New York City Make ‘An Average’ of $21K

 

screen shot 2012 01 23 at 10 20 58 am e1327333712767 Huh, Airbnb CEO Says Airbnb Hosts in New York City Make An Average of $21K

At the Digitial Life Design conference in Munich today, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky gave a talk about the “sharing economy,” another way of describing the peer-to-peer ecosystem that Betabeat has been closely following. In the talk, Mr. Chesky placed Airbnb in the third-wave of the internet. After e-commerce and social connectivity, this new wave is about using online platforms to share online experiences. According to Mr. Chesky, this wave, which could include companies like Skillshare, TaskRabbit, and Zaarly, can also be unexpectedly lucrative.

Take New York City, for example, where Mr. Chesky said you can “literally” find an Airbnb on every single block in the city. (Currently there are 10,068 listings in New York.) As TechCrunch reports, on stage, Mr. Chesky said, “Airbnb hosts in NYC make $21,000 a year on average, and some even up to $100,000 a year, which I think everyone would agree is a decent chunk of cash for anyone.”

We agree, $21,000 to $100,000 is a lot of money for renting out your cramped city apartment when you’re out of town, which makes us wonder if the stats he quotes aren’t a little misleading. Take the top two “recommended” results in New York City right now. They range from $89 to $139 per night. At that rate, to make the $21,000 average, you would have to rent out your room for 235 to 151 days a year. At that point, we imagine you’re gone for so long, that you’re also paying rent elsewhere.

What seems more likely is that listings—like these twin cottages in Staten Island, which go for $9,000 a night, and will net you $21,000 in less than three days—are skewing the results. We’re all for marketplaces that monetize your unused time, space, or skills, it’s just easier to get on board when you don’t oversell it.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com

Comments

  1. WeGoLook says:

    I believe it! WeGoLook is a nationwide cloud labor platform…providing custom tasking and reporting from over 7,000 agents.  Our agents perform these tasks, personalized reports and more during lunch hours, after hours, weekends.  Supplemental income for our top “Lookers” the past few months range anywhere from 2,200-6,300 – with Los Angeles being our top market. 

  2. chrismunns says:

    The reason they can come up with these kind of numbers is that far too many apartments on Airbnb in NY are listed by landlords/supers of buildings, who instead of renting the units like normal, are more or less running illegal hotels in some buildings.  Find some of the listings in the East Village, and then click back through the person renting it and you’ll find some have 2-3+ units listed.  These aren’t tenants out for a few weeks for business, they are agents working for landlords to have it appear this way.  And they can make a good 50% or more on a unit per month via Airbnb instead of renting it to a normal tenant on a lease.

    This is illegal in NYC, and for good reasons.  If you live in one of these buildings you can find yourself having to deal with new “neighbors” almost weekly that don’t give a damn about keeping the common areas clean, taking care of their own trash, or that the other people live in the building that aren’t tourists like many of them are.  And who can you complain to about disrespectful “neighbors”? The landlords?  Hell no.  This also limits the pool of available housing for those of us that actually live and work here, which helps artificially drive up rents city wide.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Any law that prevents people from using their own property as they wish is morally repugnant and should be opposed. Many people (some of them bad off and looking for more sources of income) could climb out of their economic situation with the ability to rent out their unused space on occasion, yet we have this law in place where the only folks that benefit are the hotel industry.

      @twitter-16364966:disqus 

      “And they can make a good 50% or more on a unit per month via Airbnb instead of renting it to a normal tenant on a lease.”Market signals drive resources to the places that they’re most highly valued. This is a good thing. If a building is more valuable as a “hotel” than anything else, that’s a signal that its satisfying the needs of more people that way than any other way.

      “If you live in one of these buildings you can find yourself having to deal with new “neighbors” almost weekly that don’t give a damn about keeping the common areas clean, taking care of their own trash, or that the other people live in the building that aren’t tourists like many of them are.”

      I’m sympathetic to this argument, but this could more easily be handled by contractual agreement in short-term leases (clean up your trash and follow the rules or we hold your security deposit, charge you an extra fee, ban you from renting on AirBnB again, etc) rather than a top-down decision that physically prevents people from these beneficial arrangements.

      “This also limits the pool of available housing for those of us that actually live and work here, which helps artificially drive up rents city wide.”
      By your logic, any building used for a grocery store, restaurant, or hotel instead of apartments also drives up rents, so we shouldn’t have any of those things either. How many hotels should there be in any city vs how many homes? What’s optimal? Politicians can’t decide that. Only market pricing can provide the necessary pricing signals that determine how resources should be used to best satisfy people. Once you understand how prices and profits are signals that directs resources to the places where people value them the most, you’ll understand how things like AirBnB are absolutely phenomenal for everybody but the hotel industry.

      1. chrismunns says:

        My logic states nothing about buildings that aren’t residential by nature(grocery stores, restaurants) as people aren’t putting those in already existing apartments, but taking an apartment that was a normal previoulsy leased apartment is quite different. 

        I also disagree that this has to do about signals of a market place.  You are making it sound like the excuse for Airbnb is that there isn’t enough hotel space in a given location, which has nothing to do with why Airbnb exists.  It also has nothing to do with “optimal hotels vs homes”.  These same “market signals” you bring up would in that case then cause developers to buy buildings and then convert them to hotels, and we aren’t seeing a whole lot of that across NYC at all(exception being a few boutique places that pick interesting neighborhoods).  You do however see a ton of new apartment building going on in places like the EV and LES(as well as many neighborhoods in Manhattan).  This does however affect local rents, and works the same way that any housing market would.  Empty units that aren’t being taken under normal tenancy would cause their prices to drop, affecting the rest of the apartments in the area as more came on the market.  Landlords treating empty apartments as hotels means theres no downward force from those vacancies to lower rents.  This creates artificial inflation.  It has nothing to do with hotels.  These aren’t market signals, its manipulation.

        The laws ( and taxes ) that exist around what governs a hotel are straight forward and exist for good reasons.  Any building that is “satisfying the needs” as a hotel should be charging taxes as such.  Airbnb circumvents these laws, and in these cases there are landlords treating units that come on the market as hotels, they have no intention of ever turning them back into normal rental units until they are busted by the city.

        Why are we trashing the hotel industry anyway?  Airbnb exists to help the people with spare space, not a way to “show the man”.

      2. Mingus Ah Um says:

        We are actually experiencing a hotel boom in NYC right now (there have been over 10,000 new rooms added over the past few years, most of the development began in ’07-’08)

  3. Jack says:

    And I’m sure all of these renters are also “sharing” their earnings with the U.S. Government?  I.e. taxes?