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Who is behind the smiling faces of some owners Airbnb? multi-million dollar corporation


Sports crisp shirt buttons in your profile photo, smiling Airbnb host «Alejandro» declares that he was in the world and, consequently, the other traveler understands "much better."

Profile pic for «Mike» shows that it is a bearded, grinning, and relaxing all that plays on your iPhone – great cold for someone who works 61 on the & # 39; ads to Airbnb and organized more than 7900 vouchers.

«Aj» is organizing a bachelor party trip, when he does not manage his 90-plus lists AirBnB.

All of them are among the most prolific hosts Airbnb Canada, according to CBC News tag 32000 as much as apartments, condos and homes listings that with & # 39 appeared on the popular online accommodation booking in 16 major cities across the country.

But while Airbnb promotes itself as the favorite of the exchange economy, it is advertised in the houses and the relationship with the representative hozyavami real people, its largest players in Canada, in fact – and sometimes secretly – a multimillion-dollar business corporation, CBC News analysis found.

"Much of what is happening on the Airbnb not sharing the house," said Professor David Wachsmuth McGill University urban planning who has studied the company for several years. "Instead, it is something that is much more like a short-term lease of commercial operations."

This is far from the co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky in vision "Ordinary people" become micro-entrepreneurs and earn a little extra income to help them do their own apartment.

Airbnb had no idea that anyone-CBC News said violated the terms of service, although in some jurisdictions limit the number of lists according to local regulations.

"Makes it more attractive"

Take the "Alejandro". According to Airbnb, CBC News collected over a 24-hour period at the beginning of this month, he had 238 listings in Montreal, in the center of Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver – more than any other host. Undoubtedly, a very difficult task for one person to manage, even the one who says "the hospitality of my life!"

It turns out that Alejandro had help. Search the web for images matching using a profile photo shows that he was actually hired employees, described as "specialist Airbnb," Montreal corporate fundamentals stay, multi-million dollar company, which mainly leases longer term executive suites for business travel staff

Corporate Tours was founded ten years ago and are run by Vladimir de Suarez d & # 39; Aulan, a Frenchman who studied business in Montreal and whose social media messages document their globe-trot. If there are vacant seats among its 600 or so furnished apartments in Canada, the company rents out some of them for a long stay through Airbnb.

"I was just basically a reservation for guests [and] control of all of them, "said Alejandro, when CBC News reached him in Montreal.

The head of the company's sales, Frédéric Aouad, said that they did face Alejandro your account Airbnb, because "it helps the performance of our proposals."

"It's much more personable to talk to someone," explained Aouad. "This makes it more enticing." But he said it was not a trick, and Alejandro will be clear to prospective tenants before they booked, he was a corporate housing company.

Alejandro Airbnb lost the title of King of Canada last week. His face disappeared from all of its lists, replaced STAYS corporate logo. There are now only 87. Aouad said the company cut its tourist offer, to focus on longer-term business orders, and added that his company's image suffers from noise complaints and complaints of neighbors associated with many Airbnbs.

Alejandro job was eliminated.

Fake profile photos

The new leader in the ranking of a company called Sønder, also based in Montreal, but since then have followed the lure $ 135 million US dollars of venture capital in San Francisco.

As Corporate Stay, Sonder has a smooth whole furniture of the apartments, though its Canadian offer – 232 listings in Montreal at the beginning of this month – this is only a part of its global inventory. But unlike corporate Stay, Sonder logo and company name has been front and center on their profiles Airbnb. Through PR firm, Sonder declined to comment on its strategy.

And while Sonder clear that the company is working on a business Airbnb, other leading Canadian players at no platform.

Profile of "Mike," one of the most prolific hosts Airbnb in Canada, now uses the stock photo image and the nickname for the name. "Mike" told CBC News he "previous problems with racist comments about my form. (Airbnb)

There's a "Mike", which has more reviews than anyone – 7.955 as Monday night – a spread of 64 lists. This means that "Mike" took the man, at least 7.955 times, putting to the test his own description of how "Quiet Man" who likes "to be with and around people."

His photos are not real; Search in image matching online shows this stock picture which has been used in dozens of times in unrelated sites around the web. On the old opinions of its properties, guests call him "Hakim."

It turns out that "Mike" as a & # 39 is a cover for the company's Montreal You, who works lists on a commercial basis. Through posts Airbnb, he said that he uses Stock Photo – bearded, smiling, young white male – "because I had a previous problem with racist comments about my form."

He chose the pseudonym "Mike", because it is the nickname of the employee. He did not reveal the name of his company, but said that he pays all taxes and is in the process of becoming compliant with the provincial and municipal laws and regulations. "Hakim" was the officer who used to control the Airbnb account of the company, he said.

Properties are listed multiple times

«Aj» with & # 39 is a self-described former engineer management software 90 of the Montreal & # 39; a reality from earlier this month. "I plan events and organize a bachelor party trip full time," his profile reads. It also uses a stock photo for your account, one that can be found on more than one hundred individual profiles and social networking websites.

Aj his real name, but the photo is a stock image. "This is from the point of view of responsibility," he said. (Airbnb)

But the real Aj. Full name: Alexander (AJ) Zakowski. Its business is mainly For rent furnished apartments throughout the school year for students in higher education, especially exchange students for three or four months, who do not want gravity rent for the entire year or buying furniture. If they take off for the summer, his company puts suites on Airbnb, as night rentals.

He still seeks to give it a human touch, he said – that is why the cost Airbnb in his name, not his company. "If I went, I would have to deal with a person than the company, "he told CBC News.

He uses false picture, he said, for him and his family safety & # 39; and. "This is from the point of view of responsibility. When guests do have a problem, we do not want them to, like, taking it personally to me. "

44% & hosts # 39 are "multi-listers"

The data collected by CBC News provides only one-day filming Airbnb market for the entire house, apartment or villa, which accounted for about two-thirds of the listing on the platform in the major Canadian cities. Numbers can Var & # 39; iravatstsa over a wide range of tourist season or school year, as well as the data are far from definitive. Airbnb has repeatedly called these figures alone received "very fragile."

For example, Zakowski said many commercial operators AirBnB – including himself – can list all of their properties several times: each number can have a list as part of the space, and then the apartment as a whole in the list to refer to a range of potential guests. Thus, its total number of lists may be twice the number of properties it manages.

But the number of captured earlier this month in the serial key respect: In town after town, many of the proposals from people who have more than one whole house, an apartment or an apartment for grabs. Our national analysis showed 44 percent of the owners of at least two lists, and 22 percent, at least five.

McGill University professor David Wachsmuth Urban Planning said that he was in favor of a true home exchange, but not commercial operators on Airbnb, which take up what would otherwise be a rental housing. (Radio-Canada)

"A significant piece of the hotel effectively acting from what it was before, or that otherwise may be a house of people"said Wachsmuth McGill in. He is in favor of the home exchange, he said, but not commercial operations slowly that by the growth in house prices and rents.

"I do not think there is any reasonable public policy justification for their existence at all, let alone be proliferating ".

Airbnb declined to be interviewed & # 39; w, but said in a statement that "in any city with Airbnb presence of homes listed on our platform accounts for a small percentage of the total & # 39;. The supply volume of the local housing" The company said that It supports efforts to protect the city affordable housing proposals.

He also noted the use of commercial HOSPITALITY business it entered service in its mission "to ensure our platform offers more choices for our guests and helps all kinds of hosts success."

"Sharing Responsible house strengthens neighborhoods and creates a significant economic impact on the communities and our hosts."

Methodology: As CBC AirBnB lists analysis?

CBC News has collected and monitored price, number of comments, stars and geolocation of the house advertised list or package that a & # 39; AirBnB appeared on the website of April 10, 2019, in 16 Canadian cities. Minority lists may be duplicates of the same property, created by the same host as a marketing strategy.

Airbnb constantly said that the data collected in this way, with the & # 39 is unreliable and may have significant drawbacks due to limited on & # 39; the amount of information available on its public web pages.

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