Airbnb soars in guests and host revenue on Long Island in 2016

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By Melissa Laker and Cosette Nunez

Airbnb expanded on Long Island in 2016 with nearly a 60 per cent increase in guests and host revenue, according to data released by Airbnb last Monday, Feb. 20 2017.

The accommodation service reached 74,000 guests on Long Island last year, an increase of 57.4 per cent, whilst host revenue hit $25 million, a 60.3 per cent increase.

“In the last 45 days, we spiked,” Matteo Patisso from Hamptons Luxury Rentals, who specialize as Airbnb hosts for seven properties in the Hamptons, said. “We probably have almost 30 reservations already on Airbnb. We’ve increased from about 30 to 65 per cent.”

Fifty two per cent of Airbnb hosts have a low to moderate income, 53 per cent report that hosting helped them stay in their homes and that 48 per cent of their host income is used to pay for household expenses.

“We would not say it has allowed us to quit our day job, but we utilize the extra income to make home improvements, pay off debt, and save for the future,” Mary Theinert, an Airbnb host said.  

For other hosts, Airbnb is a full time job.

“It’s constant just because you know it has to be ready just like that, on a moment’s notice,” Amanda, a LI Airbnb host since 2014 said. “Whoever invented Airbnb, it was a godsend. When it comes to someone like me who is a struggling artist or just somebody who has disabilities, it’s a godsend because there is something out there that I can actually do.”

Hosts have reported that the more time they spend on Airbnb and updating their home, the more guests that book.

“We treat it like a business, we apply best practices,” Patisso said. “I treat it like a Fortune 500 company and I’ve had consistent growth every year since 2012.”

Many hotels on Long Island run on a seasonal basis and most, when contacted, had a full voicemail.

“I usually start advertising in April for summer rentals,” Robert Vandike, owner of The Caffrey House, an East Quogue Hotel said. “We go by the month and we don’t operate as a traditional hotel.”

Airbnb hosts, contrastingly, can open their homes all year round and be contacted 24/7.

“I would get inquiries at 3 or 4 in the morning,” Amanda said. “But yeah you hear the bing and you’ve got to respond. I’ve got to be proactive and take this seriously.”

After a series of noise complaints and damages to several properties, New York now has legislation that can fine Airbnb hosts up to $7500 for their listing.

“It is the responsibility of the owner to properly vet their guests and I do not feel we should fine everybody because of a few irresponsible people,” Mary Theinert said.

Airbnb is projected to earn 3 billion dollars by 2020 according to Leigh Gallagher, author of “The Airbnb Story.”

About the Author

Melissa Laker
Melissa Laker
New Zealand born & Australian raised. Currently stranded abroad on Long Island at Stony Brook University. This "snow" in Winter business is getting me all sorts of overwhelmed.