The kind folks at AirbnbAus have chaperoned their US$3.8 billion boss Joe Gebbia around all week.
The tail end of the week sees all these Media reports of pensioners in Perth running unregulated home hotels, astronomical Airbnb growth in regional areas of Queensland etc, while the reverse sees Councillors in Amsterdam (not here) wanting to ban Airbnb.
After Airbnb’s blitzkrieg of Sydney press it was off to Melbourne, where the plan is to turn residential homes and apartments into venues for every kind. Imagine: a ‘concert house’ with how many attendees playing board games while being swooned by soft R&B, soul and rock ‘n roll…or a restaurant, or a bar next door. Some in Melbourne are very concerned, cause their fair city is climbing up in world rankings of those “most penetrated” by short-term rentals, yet they are still way behind Sydney. And thank goodness for ex-pat Australian Murray Cox of Inside Airbnb, whose data sheds light on the claims made by Brett Thomas/Sam McDonagh/Joe Gebbia and Crew.
It was then off to Tasmania, where there is definite ‘push back’ against Airbnb, most notably from the Tasmanian Fire Service. Airbnb’s Brent Thomas said he is happy to work with the Fire Service – where have we heard that before - BUT Airbnb hosts having to dig into their own pocket to get risk assessments and a fire safety plan would be of “enormous concern…adds costs, time, burden” and that ‘hosts’ in Tassie “should not need a lawyer or a bucket of money to share out their house.” What Brent is really saying is that Airbnb landlords have absolutely no intention of complying with any Federal or State Building Codes or other regulations and will only rent housing to tourists/visitors who they can then price gouge. Renters? Airbnb is not interested.
Before Joe Gebbia jets back to Airbnb Headquarters – and to his home that he no doubt shares with a continuous flow of Airbnb clients – please might we quiz him on the figures that it’s claimed Airbnb contributes to the NSW economy? Reason: those in the know on Economics look to the modelling and the consistent thinking is that you’re using what’s known as Input/Output modelling, which basically takes all the (claimed) upside and none of the downside. And it’s reckoned that Airbnb’s figures appear to be really, really rubbery and quite frankly, “absolutely on the nose”. At least try to make your figures stack up Joe. And, safe flight home!
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers