TNW 130: The Airbnb Apocalypse

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I am catching up on some back episodes, so I just now am watching this one. As a person who has lived in Airbnbs for two years now, I find the subject pretty interesting. However I think the guest has a narrow and negative view of Airbnb. Sure there are a lot of units that are very upscale and rent for very high prices. I don’t think most of the hosts I have had are getting rich off of Airbnb.

There is also a segment of the traveling public who are nomads rather than tourists. When the pandemic hit, most of us had no house in our home countries to run back to. I happened to be in the states when I got caught. I am currently living in a complex where about a third of the apartments are Airbnb. Most of them are occupied, by people like me who were stopped in their travels by Covid19.

On the expat facebook pages for the various countries I had planed to travel to and the ones I have already lived in, I see that there are a a lot of travelers who are sheltering in place.

Next month I am moving to another airbnb. It is a small guest house, where the owner uses Airbnb as a booking service. He said I will find that the others staying there are in the same situation as me.

I have never been very happy with how many investors have gotten into the Airbnb arena. You can usually spot them from their listings. They don’t give good customer service. I prefer the small operators who have a few units and give very personalized service.

I am sure that Airbnb is taking a very bad hit. I am sure that a lot of the speculators will lose their shirts. But to say that Airbnb has lost 100% of their bookings was wrong. I am quite hopeful that Airbnb will come out of this situation greatly reduced but better for weeding out the “get rich quick” folks.

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