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Airbnb is on the ballot today

I imagine the opponents of this proposition were beside themselves over the party house news. Aside from whether it passes or not, I found two things interesting.

  • Airbnb spent over $4M on lobbying just in one city. The Hotel lobby spent $1M. With Airbnb outspending the hotels 4:1 I’m not sure the “hotel lobby” bogeyman is going to be able to keep taking the blame for regulations.

  • There are now close to 3,000 listing on the platform in Jersey City, with the top ten hosts in the area accounting for over 500 Jersey City Airbnbs

I just don’t feel that I have anything in common with “investor-manger” types. I’m indifferent on them as businesses, I don’t care, I’m not in competition with them. But they aren’t doing what I do and they don’t offer what I offer. I will say again that I would love to list on a “one host, one home” platform. I guess it’s just not financially viable.

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That’s just depressing. I don’t know exactly where I would draw the line (I have two Airbnb listings in the same three-story building), but a host having 50± listings feels so wrong.

Actually, I do know where I would draw the line – my city has drawn it for me. I am limited to a maximum of five listings, but I’m not likely to get there - the city has capped the number of registrations at 400, and they have all been claimed. I suppose I could put my name on the waiting list, and get another one if someone else decides to get out of the STR biz. But two units is more than enough to handle in addition to my part-time job, family responsibilities and social life.

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Its an interesting concept. Many cities have drawn the line at “xx days per year for non owner occupied homes.” I also feel an unease with these corporate investor types and won’t book with them…but where does that line get drawn. There’s a guy in a city I stayed in two years ago with a wonderful home. He greeted us in person and was working in the yard for about an hour after we arrived. He had 3 listings at the time but I overruled my one host, one home mantra and booked with him. Now I’m going back to the same city and he has 12 listings. I guess he’s not having problems with Airbnb like some hosts! Now I’m conflicted. He solved the problem of if I should stay with him or not because he now has a 3 night minimum and I’m staying one night. We booked a hotel.

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Also I have to look carefully at the listings. I saw one host with one home…and about 7 listings for that house. The lead pictures are all different but it’s not hard to see it’s just one home. I saw another with about 12 listings but obviously in just 2 or 3 houses. But this guy has 12 separate homes.

Yes but there are people like me. :slight_smile:

We started with the one, that we had used for STR for years. We moved that to Airbnb after an unpleasant long term tenant experience.

Then we bought another in the complex when it came available. Plus, I look after a rental for a neighbour. So really I’m a “one host, three homes” person.

Oh dear!

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One host, one home is a very simple formula for me to use. As I said previously I’d stay with 90% of the hosts who actively post here. Lots of great hosts here have more than one listing. But when I’m trying to sort through 1000s of listings it’s a good culling technique. Sorry.

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I’m more of a one host, one home but 3 listings host. We have a 4-unit home and live in the 4th. In my city it’s normal for houses to be like this, broken into units. It’s definitely a house and not an apartment complex. If we weren’t renting on airbnb, we wouldn’t necessarily rent at all but may just use the whole house (I have an evil plan to take over the 2nd floor next year!) @KKC I think your one host / one home thing puts me in a grey area, no?

There was some legislation in our state earlier in the year about making it only legal for owner-occupied. I’m totally okay with that, for selfish reasons obviously, but I also like the ideal of it being more personal…which is not the way it’s going anyways I know. Then they also discussed having a registration system, it was going to be free but just to “keep track of STRs”. Neither thing passed and hasn’t been spoken of in months but we do have an unusual history with airbnb so I imagine it may continue like this for us for awhile at least.

My culling is based on style and whether or not the host seems laid-back but definitely won’t rent a place that is a management company. I also won’t rent the cheapest or the most expensive. Sometimes it’s about having my dog with me. Even, and especially then, I end up in a hotel as they have become so pet friendly in recent years (I believe in an effort to compete with us).

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You have one home you rent part of. Hosts who live in the home where they are renting part of it and they live there full time (not some scheme where they live there part time to skirt the law) aren’t grey at all. (conveniently, just like I do :wink: ) If I had a home with 6 empty bedrooms (with adequate bathrooms) I might have 7 listings too. As far as renting an entire home where you don’t live full time, there are many variations that are fine with me…like cabins in the mountains, beach cottages, ski condos, those are fine. But when you think "this is so slick I’m going to buy another and Airbnb it, and another, and another, I start to wrinkle my nose.

I’m sure my attitudes will evolve along with the Airbnb model.

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Me too!

Ugh. We have a guy here who keeps putting up places. And the places he already has, he keeps deleting the listing and starting over when he (inevitably) gets bad reviews. Sometimes he gets up to 15 reviews but usually 6 before he scraps it. “Flea bag” is the term that comes to mind when I see the photos. Cheap bunkbeds and futons throughout. They are just awful. I don’t what the hell he’s doing. He’s not even good at it. He has maybe 12 listings at any one time. And then there’s probably another 20 where there’s a different host but he’s the co-host but they don’t seem like legitimate hosts because only his name is in the reviews. He really makes me:

Maybe someday he’ll be in one of the articles we discuss! I’m keeping my eye on him :japanese_ogre:

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My attitude is that I like a really nice hotel if there’s not a really good airbnb.

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Especially for a short stay or a stay where I’ll be out a lot. But it’s so nice to have a kitchen and some lounge space. On my upcoming trip the hotel is $200 for one night but so are most the airbnbs ( there are few with 2 beds and one night booking) once you add in taxes and fees. In many cities I love the feel of “this is what it would be like to live here” as opposed to “here you are, another tourist.”

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The wording of Municipal Question 1 is as follows:

“Shall the recently approved short-term rental (STR) ordinance, proposed to take effect on Jan. 1, be adopted? Under the ordinance, property owners who wish to make their residential units available for STR shall obtain a permit based on the ordinance’s regulatory requirements. These regulations include limitations on the size/number of units in residential buildings that may be used as STRs, compliance with noise, garbage/sanitation, and parking laws, requiring all short-term rentals to be operated by an on-site property owner, and periodic safety inspections.”

That sounds like a PITA. I don’t know if I could hang with all of that. Safety inspections. Ugh. Sorry.

Yes, government regulations always do. Airbnb probably could have avoided regs like this if they had been more self regulating.

That’s what we have here in Portland. Pretty much the same as the Jersey City regulations, except for the on-site host requirement.

Anyone want to take bets on if it passes? My guess is it will, especially after the bad news broke this week.

@KKC I think I’m in some kind of regulation blackhole here. It’s interesting to me that so many comments are made on the forum about “illegal rentals” or “not being licensed” because we have no regulation at all. We will see…

I think so. It’s not outrageously restrictive, as far as local ordinances go. And the publicity around Airbnb in the past week has been simply awful.

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Polls are closed. It’s got a 69% yes vote so far with 25% reporting.

Same here. TX passed a law that overruled the regs Austin tried to put in place. And El Paso is pretty laid back about these sorts of things and there’s no “housing shortage” here.

We don’t even have much in the way of these commercial operators. There’s some hosts who did great so they added listing but I think the biggest one has 5 places. One guy I saw had a bunch and one was a house just down the street. So I was keeping an eye on it but he disappeared quickly. It’s like you said, they can’t keep up, gets bad reviews, goes out of business. El Paso has a bunch of excellent hosts.

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