Recently, I searched for two rooms to accommodate a couple and single person in Amsterdam. They were coming to this wonderful city for the weekend. I compared the prices of hotel rooms with apartments on Airbnb. I had hoped that the latter would be cheaper and give my guests a more Amsterdam experience. But no. Despite a survey in the US stating that Airbnb apartments are on average 21% cheaper than hotels rooms, prices were more or less the same. That is unless you prepared to forego the second bedroom and put up with some kind of awkward sofa bed experience in the common area of the Airbnb apartment.
This got me thinking about why prices were so similar. Then I thought about what a friend told me. He has an apartment in Amsterdam which lets out via Airbnb on a full time basis. It's being managed, along with many others, by a middle man who arranges for key transfer and cleaning. He levies a hefty 20% commission for his services. My friend admitted that to some extent, he had factored in this commission when setting the rental price of his apartment. Wasn't the whole purpose of Airbnb to allow people to accommodate travellers in their homes for some extra income? Wasn't it all about avoiding the middle man fees in the first place? As Airbnb becomes more and more of a viable business for landlords, it is starting to approximate traditional business models and abide by the laws of supply and demand. At the end of the day, good accommodation will always command a good price.
I'm Frank Gaine. Strategist, Designer, Manager, Founder, Educator.