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Do you consider yourself to be employed by Airbnb?


Good attitude. It’s in short supply these days, unfortunately.



PLEASE highlight what you are replying to, then hit the “quote” button that pops up, so what you are replying to is quoted. When you reply to multiple posts, it’s hard to figure out which message or poster you are replying to… thanks.


No. they are a supplier providing a platform and a service.


That’s good for me to understand why hosts pick Airbnb and their motivation behind their decision to stay. We have a meeting with internal Air staff next week with Q&A scheduled and feedback so I’m going to try to take all of this knowledge I’m gaining here and somehow word it to where I can get the host voice heard, but not tell on myself at the same time.


Airbnb is far and away the market leader for home sharing and even in the traditional vacation rental space, I think #2 after Booking dot com.


Because OTA’s destroyed the business.
No-one wants to work with OTA’s but since they have a lot of more marketing budget than the individual business, or even more budget then the average tourist office there is no way to get around them anymore.

Fortunately direct bookings are 50% of my business. The rest I fill with OTA’s.
AirBnB is still a dwarf compared to Booking Holdings and Expedia, but it always better to not put all your eggs in one basket.
AirBnB used to be a good platform that attracted a high quality audience, but last 3 years it is going downhill. AirBnB is attracting more and more low quality bargain hunters that are better of in a hotel.

I don’t think AirBnB will last very long as an individual company, somewhere in the next few years they will be bought by one of the big players.


Suggestion: Tell them you have been “cruising” or “lurking” on the boards as a research tool.


I think you are being a little paranoid @TheInsider :slight_smile: , these are public forums anyone can read them and I am sure airbnb has a group in their marketing team whose role is to monitor the community forums around the world. (that’s what the vast majority of global/large companies who are talked about online do.

They will know what the big issues are that concern hosts - in the majority of cases they just aren’t interested in fixing them.


At my level I have to be careful because a non disclosure agreement is in place. I do understand what you mean though.


What is an OTA, please?

edit: never mind, I found it. Online Travel Agency.
I’m not following how they have destroyed business, though.


Very interesting to hear many opinions like this. I’m not disagreeing fully but they are already second to booking.com and just bought hotels tonight. I’m not sure if they’re going anywhere but up. Then again, the new regulations individual cities and counties are creating is making it more and more difficult for independent hosts to keep profitable. We shall see I suppose.


They are second as a OTA, but as a company both Expedia and Booking Holding are 5-6 times larger.

AirBnB grew due to a lack of regulations and loopholes in laws. They had no competition because there were no rules.

AirBnB is a one-trick-pony and it’s less and less able to perform its trick due to regulations.
They are trying to diversify with trips and plus, but I doubt it is enough.

I expect AirBnB’s owners to cash in, somewhere in the coming years and sell to Expedia or Booking.

This might be a very good thing for hosts. It gives AirBnB the possibility to focus on home sharing and Holliday rentals again, and leave hotel rooms voor the other platforms.


Interesting. It seems if they wanted to sell they could have done that without trying to add properties and concepts that are already in the spaces potential buyers occupy. Time will tell. They have already far exceeded anyone’s expectations.


In no way can Airbnb be considered my employer, nor the employer of any host who lists on its platform. They are a booking service, plain and simple that also facilitates payments, marketing, and conflict resolution. In my case, I am not even an 'Independent Contractor" as I do not classify my Airbnb income as “business income”. It is income I derive from “rent” of my guest suite and as such is not subject to certain taxes and I am able to take certain deductions I would not be able to if I declared it as “business Income”. The money doesn’t come from Airbnb, it comes from my guests. Airbnb does empower us to “go into the real estate rental business” but how we conduct our business is different for each host. Before I used Airbnb, I had another third-party management company list and manage my rental, but after a year, I was not happy with them and decided to manage it myself. Now, I co-host for other owners, and for them, I am an independent contractor through my real estate consulting business. Tax laws will vary from location to location, but unless Airbnb is sending you a W-2 every year and deducting Federal Withholding, FICA, and SDI, you are not an employee. Period.


Airbnb is positioning themselves to go public in the near future. They want to be the Amazon of travel. Don’t underestimate them. I only hope they give us hosts a chance to buy in before the public IPO.


I’m not sure what you are saying with your statements about taxes and income but just in case anyone is reading and is confused (tax season in the US is upon us), Airbnb income is taxable. There is a robust debate here about if it’s declared on Schedule E or C but it’s income. :wink:


And then there are those of us that have a business that owns the home we rent out, so we file form 1120S and generate K-1s to distribute to the shareholders.
But, yes, the revenue you receive from renting out part of your home or all of your home, less the applicable deductions, is taxable - UNLESS you rent it for 14 nights or less in a year (US tax laws), when it is not included as income.


While I think that the employment relationship Airbnb has with host has some validity when talking taxes or unions, my conclusion is that the relationship is really the same as a crafts person has with a tool.

Our Airbnb tool is the algorithm that ranks our listing.

I have to say that I think that there is some solace in re-framing the platform as a tool like this. It takes some emotion out of the job of hosting. As the saying goes it is a bad craft-man (woman) that blames their tools.

If you were to host with this philosophical approach you realise that when times get onerous, it is not that we are “working for the tool”, it is simply that the “tool may need sharpening”.

At times Air can be considered to be in an authoritative position, but I think in practice they have no more control over their algorithm that ranks our listings on the platform than we do.

Sure they have the power to remove a listing from their platform with impunity but in the market of markets hosts can always switch to another platform.


We are a company who handles people’s Airbnb properties for them, so we manage the keys and guarantee their rental income, so we aren’t employees of Airbnb but we are employed by people who use Airbnb as a platform on which to list their house / flat.


When I’m investing capital, I’m running the operations and I’m only paying Airbnb for advertising and customer support, I can’t be an employee. I am not an employee.

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