Who are today's Airbnb hosts and how loyal are they?
Airbnb's host community and its origins in the sharing economy undoubtedly contribute to its brand. But does staying in an Airbnb still mean staying in a local stranger's home and all the quirky experiences that go with it? Inventory has shifted away from shared units and towards professional management, but how will this continue to affect consumer perception and loyalty and what should it mean for the IPO?
Since 2017, the share of shared listings has fallen considerably, with entire home listings now accounting for 79% of Airbnb inventory as it grows further from its sharing economy roots.
Within entire homes, apartments particularly have grown, now making 46% of total stock. 'Other', including listings such as castles and treehouses, which Airbnb have previously championed, is the only entire home grouping to see its share fall.
Distribution of listings by how many listings their host manages allows us to see the progression towards professional management.
The percentage of all hosts with more than 1 listing has grown, eating into that of the single property hosts. Individual hosts have shrunk from 47% of all listings as recently as March 2018 to 37%. Small property managers (between 2 and 20 listings) comprise the largest portion of Airbnb supply, but larger property managers are also growing fast.Those professionals hosting over 100 listings have grown in number the most considerably.
This presents a challenge to Airbnb as its brand is built upon guest experience, yet the larger the host, the lower their average reviews and rating. Guests consistently rate individual hosts the highest.
Lastly we answer the question of how loyal these hosts are, and whether the movement towards professional, entire home listings is impacting this loyalty.
The more listings managed by an individual host, the more likely they are to list their inventory across multiple channels. 60% of listings managed by a large property manager (e.g. managers more than 100 listings) appear on more than just Airbnb. By contrast less than 20% of listings managed by an individual (e.g. just one listing) appear on multiple channels.
We can see however that Airbnb has a superior exclusivity ratio across every nation analysed, exceeding Booking.com and Expedia. In most instances, Booking.com has the second most listings, but Expedia is very competitive in the US.
However, our last chart shows that in the vast majority of countries, loyalty is wavering as inventory professionalises.