Although Airbnb's (ABNB 0.60%) stock has dropped almost 40% year-to-date, it is still a popular household name with a lot of potential. The dip in stock price shows that macroeconomic factors may have taken a toll on investors' confidence in the company, despite its recent recovery from the effects of the pandemic. In Q1 of this year, the company saw an 80% increase in revenue compared to pre-pandemic 2019. While some may doubt Airbnb's potential, here are three reasons why Airbnb is shaping the future of the real estate rental property game.
Increased exposure for new properties
Airbnb is a very accessible tool not just for guests, but for hosts as well. At the end of the day, these hosts are real estate investors who own property; they utilize Airbnb to rent out their spaces and earn passive income.
Unlike other platforms, Airbnb does not require users to select a specific location or specific dates prior to their search. If users desire, Airbnb will provide destinations "anywhere." This "I'm flexible" feature has been used over 2 billion times since it was introduced last year. The feature improves marketing exposure for all hosts since users have broader access to properties in locations they may not have otherwise considered. In Q1, the number of nights and experiences booked broke 100 million for the first time in the company's history. The increase in user flexibility seems to have allowed potential guests to foster new ideas for a vacation and act on them.
Differentiation with long-term rentals
Airbnb is not just for short vacations. In fact, Airbnb's 2022 first quarter financial results stated, "long-term stays of 28 days or more continue to be our fastest-growing category by trip length compared to 2019." The company dedicated a portion of its site specifically to long-term stays due to this growth in long-term rentals. With this expansion of services, Airbnb is differentiating itself as one of the only platforms that people can use to book both short and long-term stays.
The long-term booking portion of Airbnb's site could become a lucrative part of the model as remote work allows people more flexibility. A study by Upwork shows that 9.3% of Americans are planning to move due to remote work options. People considering a big move could use Airbnb to find long-term temporary accommodations until they are ready to buy or allow people to bounce around from city to city if they desire.
This feature also provides an opportunity for interns and contract workers to easily find long-term housing in new cities. It is an excellent alternative to trying to sublease a place from a stranger or battling with landlords to secure a short lease.
One of a kind
The use of company names as common phrases has entered our vernacular for those especially innovative companies. To illustrate, it is much more common to hear "let me Google that" than "let me enter that query in a search engine." A company name that people refer to as a verb shows an incredibly strong brand identity as well as a unique product or service.
These companies are commonly filling a gap in the market, which makes it easier for the company to become the gold standard -- and even the verb -- for a specific business model. Airbnb is one example of a company that transitioned to a household name. The company's strong brand identity is drawing more hosts to its platform with the supply of active listings growing to over 6 million by the end of Q1. As the prime example of a sharing economy business model, Airbnb presents itself as a unique leader in its industry.
Airbnb has successfully tackled both the real estate and hospitality markets through its innovative approach. Airbnb's Q1 gross nights booked increased 32% compared to Q1 in 2019, despite macroeconomic headwinds in the world. This shows a continuing interest in booking with Airbnb and confidence in the platform. Although the year is not over yet, Airbnb's innovative approach to real estate makes the stock a great buy for long-term investors.