I’ll Say That Again: Sean Rakidzich’s Candid Feedback for STR Businesses Facing ‘Airbnbust ’

How many times have you watched the news or read an article about the current problems of Airbnb? The stories of how the once lucrative side hustle is now seeing a dramatic loss in revenue can be enough to send chills down any host’s spine.

The downturn has caused many hosts to complain about a drop in bookings. Couple this outcry from hosts with guest grievances — ranging from lists of chores for them to do to demands for mysterious extra fees — and you would think the STR (short-term rental) platform would be struggling to maintain its phenomenal success of the last 15 years.

However, Airbnb is doing very well, thank you. In fact, 2022 was a record year for the platform, proclaiming a record-breaking 12 months in its financial report. And, what’s more, Q4 of last year was their “most profitable ever.”

So what is going on?

Keeping it Real

The answer is quite simple for Sean Rakidzich, a successful operator of more than a hundred STR properties across seven cities and a leading voice among thought leaders in the industry.

After a high in 2021, when everyone was desperate to travel following long periods in lockdown, the market has settled back down. But more accurately, the potential of Airbnb to provide valuable extra streams of revenue has caused a flood of new hosts to sign up, diluting the market quality while increasing competition.

Rakidzich’s advice for hosts who want to survive the change in market dynamics is blunt. His relevant content on YouTube includes videos with titles like ‘Your Failing Business. It’s Your Fault,’ ‘Airbnbust: How I’m Fighting Back,’ and ‘You Deserve to Fail.’ These no-holds-barred offerings provide straight-up facts for Airbnb business owners, describing why hosts need to stop whining and raise their game if they are serious about long-term success.

But Rakidzich isn’t just some talking head trying to raise his profile on social media. He is an experienced businessman with multiple successful projects to his name — bringing in more than $10 million in annual revenue from Airbnb alone — who wants to share his experiences with others looking to avoid the mistakes he made while achieving similar success.

The dynamic host and presenter ascribes much of his good fortune in business to his struggles growing up.

Hard times

The eldest son of three, Rakidzich’s parents were both alcoholic and abusive. It caused the future millionaire to develop survival strategies, such as hypervigilance, to pick up on the subtle signals of his parent’s mood swings.

Later these strategies became the bedrock of his ability to empathize with and read people, which gave the Rakidzich an advantage in the workplace.

“Immediately after graduating from high school, I was selling newspaper subscriptions,” shared Rakidzich. “And my ability to read people’s mannerisms, their tone of voice, and the ability to use my own reassuring facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice to influence them into a sense of comfort — the type of soft skills that can’t be easily taught — came from my need to survive as a kid.”

Always open and disarmingly honest, Rakidzich’s YouTube channel has, since 2017, documented his ups and downs as STR host, including his peak in 2020, when he was able to fully automate his operation and take a year off from work.

I’ll Say That Again

More recent content, where Rakidzich has once again become a hands-on STR manager, depicts his ability to adapt to the new reality of STR with unmissable insight into property management, pricing strategy, and how to maximize occupancy.

Rakidzich’s latest upload, Airbnbust Killed My Calendar, focuses on occupancy and the sometimes esoteric and confusing world of dynamic pricing (flexible pricing set by market demand) in his typically candid manner.

“The host community generally doesn’t know it’s possible to use flexible pricing,” said the entrepreneur. “They haven’t even considered this to be a market mechanic. But hosts that do change their prices in response to the market understand the best practice of dynamic pricing: collect a lot of money when demand is high, collect some money when demand is low, and make sure never to collect no money. I’ll say that again, make sure you never collect zero money.”

If you are serious about making your side hustle into a profitable, long-term STR business, check out Sean Rakidzich’s YouTube for the inside track on Airbnb success.

About Sean Rakidzich

With over $10 million in revenue generated as an Airbnb host, Sean Rakidzich (previously of Airbnb Automated) is the leading expert, entrepreneur and influencer in short-term rental education and operations on the Internet. He will soon be expanding his teachings beyond just Airbnb to include Peerspace, Turo, VRBO, Booking.com, and more. For more information, please visit www.rakidzich.com/

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