Sean Theodore Rakidzich agrees: it’s getting harder to make money on Airbnb. “AirbnBUST” is now a thing. Hosts are seeing their profits cut up into pieces, tossed in a blender, and pulsed into watery losses. And then you got hotels fighting to win back the STR market share that all these “rentalpreneurs” took from them. For example, Marriott’s jumping in with their Homes & Villas platform. And then the media’s always pointing out how unfair Airbnb’s fee structure is.
So yeah, it’s a lot of negativity all at once. On top of that, people are starting to wise up to what Airbnb really is: a piece of software. Right? Like, Airbnb has virtually no control or say over the product that they offer. Rather, it’s people like Sean and his thousands of students who’ll determine how satisfied you are when you, oh I dunno, rent an Airbnb so you can dress like Crocodile Dundee, pop Molly, and attend Burning Man for a few days. Like I’m totally guessing Sean did in the picture above.
“Now when Airbnb was new,” Sean says, “early adopters were highly passionate, they created great products, and they went very far to get those five-star reviews. Today, it’s more commoditized. This sets a value and a price and things become much more real. Now those same hosts don’t have the margins to leave out baskets of fruit and drive people to and from the airport. And travel demand is starting to slow down. There’s too much supply in the market. Naturally, prices have to come down to reflect this.”
“And because of the glut of supply and the over-expansion of many hosts while the getting was good,” he continues, “a lot of hosts have grown to a point to where they’re not good at this business model. It’s easy to run one, two, five doors, but try to run forty or fifty. In talking to my students and my followers, the problems always arise when they grow too big. And they start to pull their own hair out. They’re like, ‘I need to find housekeepers, I need to find someone to help me manage guests, I’m burning out.’”
The underlying problem here, is that most hosts are just not good at running a business, Sean explains, though I can hardly hear him over that blazer. As a result, guests that are having one bad Airbnb (or Vrbo) stay after the next are now going back to hotels. They want a consistent travel experience that meets their expectations. So what’s a host to do? Well, raise your standards and stick to ’em like bubblegum on the bottom of new Nikes, Sean suggests. If that means going slower and staying smaller, so be it.
Sean’s hosting a live, one-day event, coming up soon. It’ll be in Dallas, Texas. It’s called The 7 Pillars Of STR. So he’ll talk about marketing, logistics, HR, customer service, research analytics, accounting, and operations. Basically, he’s gonna go neck-deep into the different segments of business and how they apply to running Airbnbs. Cost to attend live is $349.99 per ticket. Or you can upgrade to VIP and hang with Sean and company at an after-party for $1,499.99. Or, for the introverts out there, you can just attend virtually, rockin’ your softest sweats, for $149.99.
The general consensus online is that Sean’s the real deal. “I’m in Sean’s mastermind,” says this one dude, in a shaky, selfie-style video he filmed in his car for some reason. “And here’s what I know. Sean actually creates insane content. Both free and paid. His YouTube channel has everything you need to get started doing Airbnb. Same with TikTok. His paid course is probably the best that I’ve taken; and I’ve probably taken five or six paid courses now. Sean puts out real stuff. It’s legit.” Totally. I concur.