Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky told the Financial Times that the company is going "a little bit beyond its core business" starting next year. Chesky wants Airbnb to expand its focus and is currently planning a push into long-term rentals. The service already offers monthly rentals, but apparently, only 18 percent of gross nights booked in the second quarter of 2023 come from stays longer than 30 days. Chesky believes the company can do more to drum up interest in long-term bookings and that offering rentals for up to a year represents a "huge opportunity."
"In this post-pandemic world, there's this unrecognized market of a month, two months, three months, because people can work from laptops, people are going away for the summer," he told the publication.
Chesky's plan, if executed well, could be what the company needs to be able to regain lost NYC listings. The city used to be one of the biggest Airbnb markets with the most number of listings available, but officials recently started enforcing new regulations that wiped out most of them. NYC mandated that hosts will have to lodge an application to be able to rent homes to guests for less than 30 days, and it has reportedly been slow to issue approvals. Further, hosts can only rent out homes for short-term stays if they're also staying there, and only two guests are allowed at any one time.
In addition to putting a focus on long-term rentals, Chesky also intends to expand its experiences selection, so it could offer more "things to do on your trip." He presented more ideas under consideration to the Times, as well, including dining pop-ups and car rentals, though the company doesn't seem to have immediate plans for either. "The second biggest asset usually in someone's life after their home is their car," he said. "That'll be the next thing. Years ago, we thought like we did homes, let’s do cars, that'll be the next thing and it’s never kind of come top of the list but it’s super interesting." His statement hints at a business model similar to services like Turo's, which people have been calling "Airbnb for cars."
Update, October 06, 2023, 2:04AM ET: This story has been updated to include the full quote from Chesky regarding Airbnb's car rental plans.