Airbnb has revolutionized the way we approach traveling and taking weekend getaways. Nowadays we don’t need to stay in proper hotels, and many people actually enjoy the aspect of becoming immersed in the local culture of the place they’re visiting. But for the owners of these properties, Airbnb has become a very lucrative way to capitalize on tourism. Especially when you run a lot of them.
That’s precisely the case for one man living in London who owns a ridiculous amount of Airbnbs — 881 to be exact. Over the past year, he raked in $15.6 million in profits, making him the highest earner of all property owners on the platform.
Of the 57,475 listings available across London, his 881 give him 1.5 percent of the entire city’s market. A data tracking site called AirDNA further estimates that around 24 percent of London’s hosts operate multiple properties, meaning people are cashing in on the site’s high demand.
Another man on the island of Bali has taken a similar approach, operating 504 listings that earned him a cool $15.4 million. And although about 80 percent of all Airbnb hosts are just aiming to make some side cash, there is definitely a market out there who are treating it more like a side business.
“We’re seeing traditional property management companies operating as many as 1,000 listings,” Scott Shatford, the CEO of AirDNA, stated. “These numbers don’t show a multimillionaire sitting on a gold mine. These are businesses that have emerged in this new economy, with hundreds of employees, managing other people’s second homes.”
This means that it’s highly likely that the owners in both London and Bali have hired numerous employees to help maintain their facilities. Recently, there have even been companies that have been founded to help others manage multiple Airbnb properties.
This could potentially serve as a problem for those travelers who are hoping to get the local vibe from their stay at an Airbnb, because properties that are run by management companies may start feeling more like a hotel, rather than a private living space.
According to a report last year by Forbes, 75 people in the United States alone made more than one million dollars from their Airbnb properties. However, 80 percent of all owners operate single rooms or living spaces, making it a very small percentage of people who operate a lot of spaces in one area.