Consider the advice below of San Diegan Ryan Scott, who, at age 33, spelled out for everyone in a Bloomberg News article why the invasion of absentee-owner short-term vacation rental mini-hotels has been so swift and explosive that it has caught governments around the world by surprise and left long-time residents fighting to protect the character and livability of their homes.


The Rise of Airbnb's Full-Time Landlords

By Prashant Gopal and Heather Perlberg, November 10, 2015 — 2:00 AM PST, Bloomberg News


Ryan Scott says traditional landlords are missing out. The real money is in Airbnb Inc.


Scott, 33, figures he brings in half a million dollars a year in revenue from 14 San Diego homes he leases by the night using the short-term rental site. That’s a 20 percent profit margin and almost twice the revenue he could get from year-round tenants, he said. Scott owns eight of the houses and manages six others for landlords, and he’s able to do it and still keep his day job.


“When I got started a few years ago, it was very easy -- there wasn’t a lot of professional competition on Airbnb,” Scott said. “Now I think it’s going to get much more crowded with professional managers, for better or worse. There’s a huge opportunity for bigger companies.”


Listings by investor hosts such as Scott, powered by sites like Airbnb, Vacasa and HomeAway Inc., are surging in urban hot spots around the U.S. The rise of full-time hosts is spawning a crop of startups offering support services from housecleaning to key exchange. While the unlicensed lodgings are giving a lift to local restaurants, shops and bars, they’re drawing scrutiny from city governments and driving some neighbors crazy.


Airbnb gives investors a chance to scale like never before, said Jake Wegmann, a University of Texas professor who analyzed data scraped from the company’s website for San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Washington and Austin. Listings by hosts with more than one Airbnb property in those cities made up about 40 percent of the inventory last year, unchanged from 2013. Total listings more than doubled in the same period, he said.


Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s head of global policy, declined to provide data on the share of listings by hosts with more than one property on the website. He said he questioned the use of scraped data, noting that it could include boutique hotels or neighbors listing their properties for each other. About 75 percent of hosts nationally are families sharing their primary residence, he said. (Please see this website's STUDY section, which offers numerous studies clearly refuting that claim.)


“Airbnb is a middle-class, people-to-people platform -- for the people, by the people, of the people,” Lehane said.


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Why the shift from long-term rentals, on-site owners to short-term vacation rentals?

In a word: Money

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