A new economic measure needed?

As I wrote last week about regulation, the way we do business is changing and regulation will need to adapt to the new landscape. We also need to consider how we measure economic growth when the value proposition of the Sharing Economy is the lower cost of products?

Traditional GDP cannot account for things like time saved and increase in choices, so there is a disconnect when we try to measure the nominal benefit of the Sharing Economy on our world economy. Check out this article from Business Insider about the UK economy and the thoughts around creating a new metric for measuring economic strength.

Who really lists on Airbnb?

A recent study that was funded by a hotel industry trade group and published by Penn State University suggests that much of the activity on the site centers around homes owned by professional or commercial landlords rather than individuals or families renting out their primary homes.

Nick Papas, an Airbnb spokesman, said of the findings, “This study shows that the hotel industry gets what it pays for, which in this case is a specious study intended to mislead and manipulate”.

Have a look at the full Penn State study here.

I don’t believe these results one bit and I agree with Nick. Studies like this are funded by someone, and those people are unlikely to publish findings that don’t support the narrative they are pushing. In just a few weeks, LearnAirbnb will be releasing our study of the Airbnb hosting industry. We have more than just income and occupancy data, we will be analyzing the opinions and attitudes of Airbnb hosts and potential new hosts. I look forward to sharing our findings with you come mid-February.

Snowed in? Make the best of it.

Over this past weekend many in the northeastern part of the U.S. were slammed with snow from storm Jonas, and you probably spent your weekend indoors. New Yorker Patrick Horton saw an opportunity in front of him. He built an igloo for two then listed it on Airbnb for $200/night. It has since been removed due to not meeting occupancy standards.

This got me thinking: do non-traditional listings like igloos, RVs, and pop-up accommodations have a place on Airbnb? As all of the homes and apartments in critical markets are rented or bought up over the next few years, hosts will have to get creative with the spaces they list. Maybe your next space will be a campground in the middle of your downtown business district!


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This article originally debuted as an email newsletter to our Weekly Digest subscribers on 01/27/2015. If you’d like to receive our weekly newsletter featuring hosting tips, tricks, and resources please subscribe on our home page.

The Coral Team