One in four Airbnb hosts in Prague will quit the site after a short period of time, says Matěj Koutný, the founder of Blahobyty, a company that manages over two hundred apartments via Airbnb in Prague. Long-term rents still prove much more profitable for most properties in the city, with landlords making in the region of 50-200 percent more on long-term rental contracts.
Currently, more than 17,000 properties are registered on the site and these range from rooms to whole houses. In the summer, only around 35% of these places are rented out.
Koutný suggests two main reasons for this. Firstly, many properties up for rent are out of the city, in not so attractive locations for tourists. Secondly, the cleaning, upkeep, and administration costs are much higher on quick turnover, short holiday rentals.
However, for a company who originally marketed themselves as part of the sharing economy, allowing users to rent out their own home while out of town, Airbnb has become more and more professionalized over recent years. Many accommodation companies, including flat rentals, small hotels and bed and breakfasts, now use the site as a platform to advertise, with Airbnb taking a fee for any rentals booked through its platform. Now, only a third of hosts do so only during holidays, three times a year or less.
So, are more casual hosts losing out to competition from bigger companies that manage several flats as a professional operation? It seems AirBnB has become less part of the “sharing economy” and more like the booking.com of professional holiday apartments.
The professionalization of Airbnb in Berlin, coupled with its high demand for rentals, has been a big factor in the rising price of renting for those living in the city. In light of this, it may be a blessing that hosts in Prague are not as successful and long-term rents still beat Airbnb on profitability!