Homesharing and the business traveller

Short-term renting is on the rise thanks to a shift in the way businesses work.

Short-term work assignments are forecasted to grow to over 20% of all international relocations by 2017, while long-term assignments are expected to fall from 52% to 45% over the same period.

More cost conscious after the financial crisis, companies are curbing expenses and altering the nature of assignments.

A new generation of younger employees used to more flexible business and leisure travel is encouraging companies to deploy people around the world for shorter periods.

For investors and landlords, there are clear long-term rewards in the world of short-term rental accommodation. Cities that embrace the flexibility of models like serviced apartments will reap the economic rewards. Tom Bill, head of London residential research at Knight Frank

The obvious winners from all of this are short-term businesses like Airbnb, Homeaway and Flipkey which specialize in short-term rentals, whether it be for holiday vacation or work.

Business travel currently accounts for 10% of Airbnb’s bookings but it’s something the company is planning to grow

We are seeing a huge rise in business travel. Travellers and employers have long been asking Airbnb to help make it easier to incorporate Airbnb into their travel policies. James McClure, Airbnb’s UK and Ireland country manager

Airbnb launched a business booking service last year and use of Airbnb for business travel increased 143% just during the first half of 2015,

Business stays at Airbnb rentals are longer on average (3.8 nights as opposed to 2.1 in a hotel), and the average cost per expense was significantly higher with Airbnb ($571 versus $222 in a hotel). Airbnb received a satisfaction rating from business travellers of 4.72 stars, compared with 4.04 stars for hotels.

The cities with the highest percentage of Airbnb bookings by business travelers are, in order, San Francisco, with customers spending an average of $558 per stay, followed by Chicago ($248), Seattle ($221), Miami ($139) and Tampa ($103).

“Our latest survey shows that for the first time, Uber overtook taxicabs, when competing for the business traveler dollar,” says Robert Neveu, CEO of Certify.

Airbnb says it now has more than 1,000 businesses from over 35 countries who are making Airbnb accommodations a part of their travel programs.

“Our employees appreciate the choice and the flexibility that Airbnb listings provide them when they’re on the road — whether for conferences, meetings or team off-sites,” Darragh Ormsby, Global Travel Manager, Google

The market shift is based on both convenience and price. There newer services are typically more cost-effective compared with traditional vendors. It’s clear that the sharing economy is here to stay for business people

This summer, San Francisco Travel Association announced a new partnership with Airbnb that will help connect Airbnb to meeting and event planners.

Established travel providers will need to adapt quickly or face further market share erosion to the growth of sharing economy.

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