After the collapse of tourism, Airbnb bet on teleworkers. It turned out great

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In mid-2020, Airbnb was in the worst moment in its history. After years of growth, although not profitable, the pandemic that paralyzed the world threatened to bring down the business of this technology: the short-term vacation rental of rooms and private homes. To stop the bleeding laid off nearly 2,000 employees and cut advertising and marketing expenses. Even so, that first year of the pandemic resulted in losses of almost 4.6 billion dollars, about 3.8 billion euros.

Given the uncertainty about the end of the pandemic, and taking advantage of new labor trends, those responsible for the platform decided to explore a new model: offering longer stays for teleworkers who wanted a change of scenery after months of confinement. A bet that just a year later seems successful, since Airbnb has reported, in your latest balance sheetabout what in 2021 its income grew by 25% and that the last quarter of the year exceeded the same period of 2019 in profits, with a profit of 55 million dollars in that period.

And part of this recovery is attributed to a change in the trend in their reservations, since since 2020 the number of people who use the platform for long stays has grown considerably. Previously, Airbnb’s business was focused on short stays. Thus, almost half of the reservations that the platform had in the last two years have been for more than seven nights, and those that exceeded 28 nights already account for 22% of the total. Some data that they attribute to the growing number of digital nomads who use their services to move around the world while working remotely.

The commitment to telecommuting

To attract digital nomads to telecommute in their guests’ homes, Airbnb launched in the spring of 2021 a series of tools and advantages to favor the search and reservation of long-term stays in accommodation equipped with elements necessary for remote work. such as high speed internet.

Thus, in May 2021, the tourism platform announced agreements with different cities to offer bonds with significant discounts to people who decide to book long-term stays in these cities. As for the new search filters, in addition to the internet filter, it introduced the possibility of searching for homes linked to an area of ​​interest, such as the mountains or the beach, instead of a specific city, with the possibility of including very specific attributes , such as sea views or having a fireplace.

“The lines between living, traveling and working are blurring”, said then the CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, who has trumpeted by example and, as Magnet’s companions toldhas recently announced that he is going to move every two weeks to apartments on his platform scattered around the world to prove it.

The paradox of teleworking: six hours less of commuting in exchange for three more hours of working hours

Local tourism, cost containment and the stock market

Beyond telecommuting, the good figures presented by Airbnb are also due to the fact that they have continued with their cost containment policyespecially in marketing and advertising, and have not recovered the number of employees they laid off in 2020.

They have also benefited from the increase in local tourism that has been lived in many parts of the world since the first summer of the pandemic, since in these two years many people have preferred to travel close to home due to the uncertainty of the covid rules of the different countries, the possible cancellations of flights and the closures of borders. In fact, the company explains that national and non-urban reserves have increased by 45% since the appearance of Covid.

Finally, it has also kept them afloat its IPO in November 2020with which grossed approximately $3.5 billion. An income that, without a doubt, helped to alleviate the tremendous hole left by the loss of almost 4,600 million dollars that we mentioned at the beginning of the article.

Image | Yasmin H

In mid-2020, Airbnb was in the worst moment in its history. After years of growth, although not profitable, the pandemic…

In mid-2020, Airbnb was in the worst moment in its history. After years of growth, although not profitable, the pandemic…

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