The impacts of quality and quantity attributes of Airbnb hosts on listing performance

Karen Xie (Daniels College of Business, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA)
Zhenxing Mao (Collins College of Hospitality Management, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, Pomona, California, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Publication date: 11 September 2017



With the prevalence of the sharing economy phenomenon, there are an increasing number of hosts on Airbnb who manage more than one listing. Managing more listings likely makes hosts more seasoned in terms of serving guests, but it may undermine host quality due to hosts’ constrained capability. This paper aims to examine the effects of host quality attributes and the number of listings per host on the reservation performance of these listings.


Using a large-scale but granular data set of 5,805 active listings of 4,608 Airbnb hosts in Austin, Texas, this study estimates the effects of host attributes (host quality and listing quantity) on the performance of the hosts’ Airbnb listings through a blend of regression models.


This study evidences that host quality attributes significantly influence listing performance through cue-based trust. In addition, this study finds a “trade-off” between host quality and the quantity of their listings. As the number of listings managed by a host increases, the performance effects of host quality diminish.

Research limitations/implications

The business implications of this study include the suggestion that sharing economy businesses such as Airbnb should sustain service quality through incentivizing hosts to improve host quality while balancing the quantity of listings managed.


This study contributes to the literature through its meaningful theoretical extension in the sharing economy context and unique data-driven insights enabled by an analytical approach. It addresses the critical but less researched topic of host quality and listing quantity and generates important practical business and policy implications.



Karen Xie and Zhenxing Mao (2017) "The impacts of quality and quantity attributes of Airbnb hosts on listing performance", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 29 No. 9, pp. 2240-2260

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