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Who is the average Airbnb host? What are her goals? What are her rates and revenues? How does she manage the property? How often does she have guests and for how long do they stay? Recently, LearnAirbnb partnered-up with Everbooked to release an industry analysis, “The State of Airbnb Hosting,” which gives us the data to answer these questions and allows us to get to know a little more about who Airbnb hosts really are. But in order to arrive at these answers, we need to take a closer look at the numbers and where exactly they come from. We did some analysis and here’s what we’ve come up with.

A few simple percentages highlight a good basis of information about hosts and their listings. Out  of the 430,000 listings included in the data set, 62% are for entire homes/apartments, and only 3% are for a shared room. Of the 250,000 hosts surveyed, only a few manage multiple listings while 80% have one – usually their own house or a second home. While some hosts use short term rentals as primary income, they are in the minority. Nearly 60% of hosts are simply trying to make some extra cash while relying mainly on a separate income source. Revenue data shows that, for the most part, these hosts are successful in achieving those goals.

In order to understand what most hosts are making, you may initially want to glance at the averages. A closer look, however, shows that the averages tend to significantly outweigh the medians, which in this case, frame a more accurate picture. The average annual revenue for an Airbnb host falls at $9,570, but the median revenue is $3,300. What accounts for this astoundingly different $6,270 gap? A closer look at revenue by percentile shows the highest earning hosts (less than .03% of hosts surveyed) made over $1 million through their combined listings, and 98% of hosts made less than $100k. These outliers bring the average up quite a bit north of what the actual majority might be making. So for every host who’s raking in the dough, we’ll also see a few dozen who are simply making a modest supplementary income. In this case, the averages are not a good representation of the norm, and we need to look a little closer to understand what the majority of hosts are really making.

The same phenomenon can be seen in the data for both average length of stay and nightly booking rates. While the majority of stays last 3 days, about 5% of bookings are for over 12 days, skewing the average up to 4.3 nights. Similarly, hosts who rent out entire units can charge significantly higher nightly rates – up to twice that of private or shared rooms. On top of this, while the median nightly rate for a full unit is $102, a few high earning properties bring the average up to $141. Again, this introduces an extreme value set which creates a misleading average. The result? The “average” host seems to have longer stays and higher revenues than the majority of other hosts.

Here’s what we now know about the median (but not average) Airbnb host, based on LearnAirbnb’s analysis. Her main goal is to earn a supplementary income – and she is achieving this goal at around $3,300 annually. She’s charging $102 per night, since she is most likely listing an entire unit, and her guests are staying about 3 nights. By taking a closer look at the data, we can get a better idea of what counts as normal, and by comparison, what counts as lagging behind or racing ahead.

Craving more information? Request your own copy of the report from LearnAirbnb, here.

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