The story of Airbnb's founding and its meteoric rise to become a short term rental booking juggernaut is nothing short of amazing. For those that aren't familiar, two guys are unable to afford their rent in San Fransisco. They decide to blow up air mattresses and host guests charging $80 per person. The idea is born. A lot of seed money, many tweaks and two years later they hit their stride. Key changes lead to the site growing by 800% in one year and Airbnb becomes the website we see today with its ultra clean layout and heavy focus on professionally taken, high quality pictures.
BY THE NUMBERS
The site has forever changed the way we vacation and the impact it has had on all phases on travel, subletting, and vacationing is immeasurable. One thing that's clear, it has birthed a thriving short term rental market on Long Island. Recently disclosed data by Airbnb shows listings based on Long Island have almost doubled in the 12 month period from April 2015-April 2016. The additional numbers released are staggering.
Airbnb bookings in Nassau and Suffolk counties increased to 17,000 in that one year period, a 8,400 increase. An increase in bookings is to be expected as the site grows in popularity but the truly meaningful number concerns the amount of listing rising from 1,070 to 2,000. That's an average of 2.5 new listings a day!
What this will mean in the long term for Long Island is hard to determine but what's obvious is the positive effect on tourism this is having for the entire island. Visitors that would have previously taken trips elsewhere due to lack of affordable lodging are choosing Long Island as their getaway. And why not? With our many beaches and easy access to mass transit, it's a no-brainer if you're looking to escape NYC for a weekend trip. I myself have hosted an untold number of guests coming from all parts of NYC. In addition, there has been a variety reasons guests give for their visit. Many are traveling nurses looking for a reasonably priced option, others are visiting family in the neighborhood and just want their own space.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
Airbnb hosts earned $15.4 million from these bookings, a number that is sure to be crushed in the years ahead. I'm in the process of writing a future blog post that covers in detail the topic of current laws concerning the many different municipalities on Long Island (it's proving to be quite an exhausting task!). Although these laws are changing rapidly, I'm happy to see a majority of towns, hamlets, and villages have so far taken a "if ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to the short term rental market. It is my belief this overall trend will continue, but there is one thing these numbers make abundantly clear. And that is Airbnb (and VRBO, TurnKey, Homeaway) and the overall short-term rental market on Long Island is here to stay.
Craig Mannella is the owner/operator and founder of STAYAWAY Cleaning Services. After 7 years working in the cleaning and restoration industry, where he excelled in customer relations and satisfaction, he started his own cleaning company. Extensive training and industry experience along with time spent running a successful vacation rental listing lead to the creation of this blog.