A little over ten years ago now, the Airbnb story began In San Francisco, 2008. Three college students, down on their luck and in rent arrears, plotted, schemed, and grafted away night-after-night in an effort to avoid having their rental lease terminated and keep themselves off the streets.
The result of all of this hard work was Airbnb, a revolutionary online marketplace for renting rooms and apartments. This breakthrough in online lodging has become a massive success, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars annually and operating in a staggering 192 countries worldwide. In celebration of this momentous achievement and their more than ten years in business, here are 20 Fun Facts about Airbnb, that you probably didn’t know.
1. Who Put the “Air” in “Airbnb”?
With the debt piling up and the landlord on their tail, for rent arrears, Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nate Blecharczyk, found themselves between a rock and a hard place. With no immediate options available to them to cover their costs, the three of them got creative and decided to rent out an airbed in their apartment to budget-conscious tourists or those simply in need of a safe place to lay their heads. This enterprise soon took off, and over time it evolved into the Airbnb we have today, with a little cheeky nod to its birth all those years ago, still in its name.
2. It’s Incredibly Popular with the Locals.
Airbnb was formed in San Francisco in 2008, and it’s in that very city where Airbnb plays host to it’s most loyal customers and fans, with the Sanfranciscan’s on average spending five and half days in each property and splashing out a whopping $1,045 for their stay. Now that’s brand loyalty!
3. Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day, isn’t it?!
Breakfast was undoubtedly crucial in getting Airbnb off the ground; there are no two ways about it. Before they became a massive global success and a license to print money, the company required some start-up cash. Brian, Joe, and Nate solved this problem ingeniously by repackaging and rebranding breakfast cereals to coincide with the 2008 presidential elections. They were a roaring success, shifting thousands of units, and securing that much-needed start-up capital.
4. The World is their Oyster.
To say Airbnb’s growth has been impressive would be an understatement. In only eleven years, they have conquered the four corners of the globe, reaching a staggering 192 countries worldwide. The only countries they are not available in are either war-torn or living under a military dictatorship, which is totally understandable. Not bad for three down on their luck guys struggling to pay rent, a little over a decade ago, right?
5. Golden Years.
Although Airbnb is very popular with young professionals, the fastest-growing client base for the company comes not from hip and trendy, twenty-somethings, but from senior citizens. Older folk are flocking to the online marketplace, in record numbers, opting for a home-away-from-home experience, instead of the one size fits all, assembly line hotels, which often feel impersonal and lacking in charm.
6. Sales, Sales, Sales!
Airbnb’s first year was very successful for the three founders, it changed their lives that year and kept a roof over their heads, and they only had four hundred guests! Jump forward eleven years later, and an eye-watering four hundred guests now make a booking every two minutes. Now that’s progress!
7. The Millionaire Mindset.
A staggering seventy-five Airbnb hosts make at least a million dollars a year by renting out their properties. And if that sounds impressive, one of them managed to make fifteen and a half million in just twelve months. Making Airbnb one of the best businesses for homeowners to get into to not only make some extra cash but possibly change their lives forever.
8. Gold Stars.
Not only are senior citizens the fastest-growing client base for Airbnb, but they’re also the most well behaved, with older women consistently showing as the highest-rated hosts on the platform. Awesome! How many of these are millionaires, we just don’t know!
9. The Numbers Don’t Lie.
In the eleven years that Airbnb has been trading, they have accepted more than five hundred million guests! Two million guests stay with Airbnb each night alone, making Airbnb, by far the biggest and most lucrative online rental marketplace in the world today.
10. It’s Not Just Rooms and Apartments.
There are some fantastic unique places available to rent on Airbnb if you’re in an adventurous kind of mood. They have castles, beach huts, mobile homes, and more than two thousand tree houses currently listed on the site!
11. Size Doesn’t Always Matter.
While logic may dictate that the majority of people are looking for big, spacious rentals, that isn’t always the case. Airbnb currently lists more than fourteen thousand tiny homes, ranging from garden studio apartments to lakeside cabins, igloos, caves, and small boats. There really is something for everyone.
12. Office Space
Starting up in their apartment in San Francisco in 2008, Airbnb had little use for an office, but as the company grew, this quickly became a necessity. Now, in 2019, Airbnb has offices in thirty-four cities worldwide, giving them a global reach and customer service that spans every continent.
13. Size Sometimes Matters.
If a tiny garden studio or an igloo isn’t for you, you’ll be pleased to hear that Airbnb also has some enormous properties for rent on its site. From stonewalled Scottish castles to multi-million dollar mansions right the way through to, if you can believe it, your very own private island. These properties don’t come cheap and are often sold out year-round, so move fast if you have the option to land yourself one of these dream-come-true properties, even if it’s just for the night.
14. Old School, B&B.
Up until 2015, company founder Brian Chesky had the original Airbnb apartment up for rent on the site. Giving fans the chance to experience a piece of history for themselves; unfortunately, the original air bed had long since burst, being replaced by a sofa, which guests described as surprisingly comfortable!
15. You’re Important to Them.
Airbnb has one of the strongest customer ratings in the industry, with more than 96% of guests being happy with the site, service, and their stay. These are the kind of numbers hotels, and B&Bs can only dream of achieving and is a testament to their hard work, attention to detail, and most importantly, their customer service skills.
16. A Massive Global Economic Impact.
Airbnb has a massive positive economic impact, estimated to be somewhere around one hundred billion dollars a year annually, injecting much-needed money and support to communities worldwide through their everyone’s welcome marketplace platform.
17. Long live the Queen!
Airbnb has listings in an impressive eight thousand cities worldwide, but there can only be one winner, with London, UK, coming in as the top dog, with the city with the most listings globally.
18. Hosts are Well Protected
Letting your property out can be nerve-racking; after all, accidents can happen, and vandalism has also been known to occur to some of the less fortunate hosts. A little-known fun fact is that every host who lists on Airbnb is insured for up to one million dollars in damages, ensuring that whatever happens, there’s a safety net waiting to catch them.
19. Airbnb can be a lot Cheaper Than a Hotel.
It might be hard to believe, but on average, Airbnb is way cheaper than renting a hotel room. We’re not talking about comparing room-to-room, but room-to-home. That’s right; an Airbnb home rental is, on average cheaper than a hotel room. No wonder hotels are seeing such an economic downturn.
20. No More Rent Arrears.
Airbnb hosts don’t have to go through the stress and strains of the founders to cover their rent. It’s estimated that an Airbnb host could pay eighty to one hundred percent of their rent or mortgage on a two-bedroom apartment, depending on the city and occupation rate, just by renting it out through Airbnb!