It is the magic of the “collaborative economy”, a concept which assumes that all share underutilized resources but often just making us pseudoempleados of companies that are located as intermediators. It happened with über – because we gave our impressions on our journey together with conductors of this service in Madrid while it was still active – and passes with Airbnb, the platform that allows you to rent your flat of an attractive and comfortable or enjoying the story that people rent.
Airbnb is nothing more than a well led evolution of the rentals classifieds. The little signs that populated (and plueban) the terraces of the apartments and streetlights or newspapers ads have been overcome by this new system so that 2.0 the presentation of the floor is more striking and attractive for both sides, and where all – communication, payment – operations management is more comfortable. That has made this service a delicate and uncomfortable rival to all the traditional hospitality.
A huge business
Two years ago Blecharczyk – one of the founders of the service – granted an interview in The Sunday Telegraph stating that chains such as InterContinental and Hilton have more than 650,000 rooms in total, on Airbnb already there were 500,000 and up. However, admitting, “they have a much higher occupancy rate”. Is it capable of Airbnb move to large hotel chains? Current data seem to show curiously different conclusions.
As you might expect, Airbnb has grown considerably in the two years after that interview. The official information of the service indicated that Airbnb already has more than 1,200,000 ads, having “hosts” in more than 190 countries, and that the total number of guests who have used the service on one or other occasion is 35 million.
Dizzying figures that certainly make it clear the dimension of a business that has taken advantage of very well this idea of the under-utilization of resources and been nurtured by the advantages they bring these web services: more comfortable to wear, more colorful, and with that reputation management making that hosts and guests have a “karma” which we can trust when it comes to using the service.
The thin red line… of regulation
Things in the legal field are much less showy. As with Uber and other services in which the concept of “collaborative economy” comes into play, this market is deregulated. The company has had considerable legal problems but has had a more proactive and consistent with the regulation it existed in the traditional sector. In San Francisco already it was launched last year the “law Airbnb” that allowed these short-term rentals, but the hosts must assume the rate of 14% assuming the catering establishments.
Things have been in our country especially convulsive. Much has been said about the quality tourism that brings Airbnb to Spanish cities, and last year Madrid has tried to legislate against them.
On Airbnb a little wash hands in the official information and yield to host this legal responsibility, indicating to users that “it is important that you understand how your city legislation.”. The company has reached an agreement to operate in Catalonia, and is likely that this type of solution to expand in the near future.
Both models can (should) coexist
Hospitality has openly protested the appearance of Airbnb and its growth, but the truth is that It should have no reason to do so. In New York, for example, hotels had a year (of April 2014 to April 2015) record, with better occupancy rates in its history and benefits for these entrepreneurs. The economic downturn seems to have finally given truce also to this sector, and that “joy” in this segment has infected to Airbnb, which recently closed a round of amazing of 1,500 million dollars investment.
As indicated in Inc that does not mean that Airbnb is going to eat the hospitality industry. The company is one of the most valuable startups around the world – just after Uber and Xiaomi, and expected that this year revenues reach $ 900 million and amount to 10,000 million in 2020. But beware, because today the company loses oil money. Those responsible have been advised that in 2015 operational losses will amount to $ 150 million.
The funny thing is that as in other cases in Internet companies, valuation is high Instrumento without having demonstrated where is the roof of this type of business. Airbnb is currently rated at 25,200 million dollars, which is more than the valuation of market of Marriot (20.600 billion) and that it approaches dangerously the chain Hilton (27.400 million dollars). This chain has 152,000 employees around the world, while in February 2015 the figure of employees of Airbnb was 1,600.
Airbnb to offer take advantage of this “bargain” concept They seem to drag all these services has not business hotels to lower. If we look at the conclusions of those New York restaurateurs does not seem that the thing go wrong, and in our country for example the situation is similar. There may be crisis, but according to the study by Tinsa which analyzes the market host in 2014, “is clear that 2014 has been closed with results superior to 2013 and that it is foreseeable that” 2015 to improve outcomes of 2014 “.
Obviously the hotels are reacting to Airbnb thrust, and in fact a few weeks ago it was revealed that Hyatt had taken a stake in Onefinestay, a competitor of Airbnb, while Wyndham has also invested in a home Exchange service, Love Home Swap. Both chains appear to be unwilling to give up this kind of business model to complement it with traditional hospitality, so things move.
And the best thing is that consumer all sums. More and better offers, and a wide range of alternatives that will also probably have lower prices than existing at that time pre-Airbnb. We’ll see if that service regulation–if it occurs – makes prices vary or not sensitive.