Airbnb is one of the most popular ways to rent vacation properties. Millions of local and international travelers use Airbnb to find accommodations they love every day.
Perhaps you’ve used Airbnb yourself as a traveler. And you wonder if you should turn your property into an Airbnb rental? If so, it’s essential to know about Airbnb host fees. Once you understand Airbnb fees for hosts, you can calculate your ideal Airbnb price. Then you can start making money!
In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Airbnb host fees. You’ll learn how much they are and how to calculate them. And we’ll offer insights about how not to rely on Airbnb as much for your bookings.
Let’s learn what Airbnb host fees are all about!
Airbnb Host Fees Overview
What is the cost to list on Airbnb? It comes down to Airbnb host fees, the amount the website charges you when someone books your property. After your guest checks out, the site takes out the Airbnb listing fee from your payout.
Airbnb host fees are charged to cover Airbnb’s overhead expenses, such as the website and its 24/7 customer telephone support.
What Do Airbnb Host Fees Cost?
Airbnb charges two types of fees that most Airbnb hosts can select from: split-fee structure and host-only fee structure.
The split-fee structure is what most Airbnb hosts select. It was once the only option as it was the website’s original business model.
If you opt for the split-fee structure, you and your guest pay an Airbnb guest service fee. The site deducts the fee when it pays you. Airbnb also charges the guest a guest service fee.
- Host Service Fee: As an Airbnb host, you will probably pay a 3% service fee to Airbnb. But this can be higher sometimes. Some examples are an Airbnb Plus host or having rental properties in the Italian market. Airbnb determines the fee based on the booking subtotal. This includes your nightly rate, the additional guest fee, and the cleaning fee. But it doesn’t include Airbnb fees and taxes. For example, let’s say your monthly income from your Airbnb is $500, so you’ll pay $15.00 in Airbnb host fees.
- Guest Service Fee: Most Airbnb guests pay a service fee of 14.2% or less. This also is calculated from the booking subtotal. But the service fee depends on several booking factors. When they check out, Airbnb guests will see the guest service fee details on the property listing page.
Host-Only Fee Structure
The host-only fee structure is a new addition to Airbnb host fees. It’s a simplified pricing method that Airbnb introduced recently.
The host-only fee structure means the site deducts the total service fee from your payout. Airbnb doesn’t charge the guest a service fee. The host-only cost varies between 14%-16% of the guest booking subtotal. So, if your monthly income from the rental is $500, you’ll pay between $70 and $80 in Airbnb fees host.
The said fee structure is an option for most Airbnb hosts. But it’s required for hotels and hosts who use a channel manager or other software to link to Airbnb. Software-connected Airbnb hosts with listings in the US, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, Uruguay, Taiwan, and Argentina are exempt. It means hosts can still select between split-fee and host-only fee structures in the said countries.
Wondering if you should use the host-only fee structure? Then, you should understand the pros and cons of the said Airbnb fee structure.
First, Airbnb says if you pay for the guest’s service fee, you may get more bookings. The idea is guests like clear, transparent pricing without surprise fees. So even if you pay a higher service fee, you’ll get more bookings. And make more money.
If you are worried about lower profits with the host-only fee, consider boosting your base rate. And if you use the host-only option, Airbnb uses a unique tag on your listing to tell people you pay their service fee. This may boost the performance of your Airbnb property.
Second, major online travel companies such as Expedia use the host-only fee structure. Using this option gives you more control over your property’s prices. Plus, you can show the same rate for your rental on multiple channels. This ability can net you more money for your rental over time.
Using the host-only fee structure ensures your Airbnb is competitively priced at all times. Plus, the listing may be more appealing to travelers accustomed to no service fees on other platforms.
However, you will see a fee increase from 3% to 14%. Some Airbnb hosts may object to the lost income. That’s why the site hasn’t made the host-only fee structure universal yet. But be aware: Airbnb may make the host-only fee mandatory in the future.
What About Other Airbnb Host Fees?
Now, we’ve covered host service fees and guest service fees. Are there other Airbnb host fees to know? They are the only Airbnb fees that the company charges the host.
However, remember that host service fees differ from the 3% or 5% charged for Airbnb Luxe units and Airbnb Experiences. In the latter case, the host service fee is 20%.
How Can You Depend Less on Airbnb for Your Income?
As we’ve shown, Airbnb can change its fees when it likes. So, of course, the site will warn you several months before the change kicks in. But significant changes to Airbnb host fees can affect your profitability. So, remember to be ready for the change.
Some ways to make up for possible lost revenue with your Airbnb include boosting the base rate. Or, advertise your Airbnb rentals on other channels.
Further, Airbnb can change its algorithm anytime. So your listing could fall in the search results depending on what they do. If your property isn’t visible to site visitors, you’ll lose money.
That’s why it’s critical not to rely too much on Airbnb for your rental income. Instead, several booking sources are essential to maintaining a strong rental business.
Let’s look closely at several ways to branch out from Airbnb and obtain guests on other platforms.
1. List Your Airbnb on Other Channels
Getting your Airbnb listed on other channels is the most efficient way to get more guests in your Airbnbs. There are all kinds of booking sites where you can list your properties. Some of the best are:
Booking.com attracts more than 400 million monthly visitors. It claims it’s the top accommodation website worldwide. Whether that’s true or not, you definitely should list your Airbnb here!
It’s free to list your Airbnbs on Booking.com. Plus, your listings will be posted on Google Maps and Agoda, among others.
The site’s listing services cost about 15% per booking. It is pricier than other Airbnb listing sites. But you don’t pay a commission on a booking if the guest doesn’t show up.
Plus, guests can book your Airbnb instantly, and you don’t need to communicate with them. The site also allows you to set your prices and availability and open and close the Airbnb when you wish.
Last, Booking.com doesn’t charge guests other fees. On the other hand, Airbnb usually charges a guest service fee of 14.2%.
TripAdvisor goes back to 2008 when it bought FlipKey and became a massive resource of restaurants, bars, attractions, and vacation rentals.
Listing your Airbnb rental on TripAdvisor can be lucrative. There are about 400 million travel reviews on TripAdvisor.
Booking on TripAdvisor is convenient for guests. After they book their rental, they also can pay for flights, rental cars, and other services. They don’t need to visit another site, it’s a true one-stop-shop for travelers.
TripAdvisor charges Airbnb owners a 3% fee. But guests pay 12%.
Only renting a spare bedroom? You may want to list on Homestay.com, instead of on sites where entire homes are listed. Homestay.com has 55,000 rooms available in 160 countries. It focuses on private rooms and single traveler accommodations.
You can set your price on Homestay. It charges guests a 15% booking fee based on the price you set for your rental.
Note: When you list your Airbnb on these booking sites, you need to do more than just make an account and upload pictures.
You also need to be sure that your various booking accounts and calendars are linked.
If they aren’t, potential guests on different channels will book your Airbnb when it isn’t available. But don’t worry – this problem is easy to avoid (see more below).
2. Implement a Channel Manager
A channel manager is a vital tool for a property manager advertising an Airbnb on several sites. The tool syncs property listings, calendars, and property availability across all your advertising channels.
Some benefits of channel managers:
- No more double bookings: If two guests book your rental for the same night, that’s a problem. But that won’t happen when using a channel manager.
- Reduce the time you spend on listing management and calendars.
- Communicate with your guests through one inbox.
- Sync all calendars in real-time.
3. Create Your Own Booking Website
You can reduce your dependence on Airbnb by building your booking website. Having your booking site means you can get direct bookings. Why does this matter?
Direct bookings are essentially free for you because you don’t pay Airbnb owner fees or commissions to booking sites. There is no Airbnb percentage fee. And that means more cash in your bank account.
Also, you have direct control over your Airbnb marketing. For example, you can gather guest emails and target them to rebook in the future.
4. Participate in Vacation Rental Forums
Joining vacation rental forums lets you communicate with other Airbnb hosts. Doing so helps you boost your business by learning from others. And you also can indirectly market your rental properties.
Commenting regularly in the vacation rental community will encourage others to send you business from time to time. So, it’s wise to build your credibility online in these forums. Provide valuable information to others over time, and you’ll see results.
5. Make Special Offers to Guests
Your business will always benefit from offering special offers to guests. A sure-fire way to net repeat business – offer previous guests a 10% discount on their next visit if they bring friends or family with them.
Note that Airbnb has a referral program, so there’s no reason you can’t do the same thing.
6. Become a Source for a Lifestyle Blogger
This method can take work, but it’s a good option for long-term growth. And most Airbnbers probably aren’t doing it.
Find a lifestyle blogger in your area with a large social media following. Contact them and offer a free stay on your property. In return, ask the blogger to review the property and post about it.
Will they take the offer? It depends; they may review if your Airbnb has plenty of positive reviews.
Look for lifestyle bloggers in your city on Google or Facebook. And try Help A Reporter Out (HARO), too.
7. Make a Unique URL for Every Listing
Do you have a unique way to promote a listing? Then you might make a unique URL. For instance, perhaps you have a single-family Airbnb in Orlando with a spectacular pool and outdoor kitchen.
Making a unique URL for your Orlando property can make it easier to track the traffic. And it makes potential guests remember the listing.
Go the extra mile by buying a domain name that redirects to the duplicate listing on Airbnb. It takes just minutes. Now you’ve got a memorable .com domain that you can share with travelers.
Understanding Airbnb host fees is a critical part of the investment decision process. Armed with this information, you can use Mashvisor’s tools to help you find the best deals in your favorite markets.
For example, Mashvisor provides an Investment Property Calculator that helps you determine cash flow and profits from potential investment properties. It uses up-to-date data and trends. It also allows you to input your data to produce accurate cash flow estimates. You can use the tool as a companion tool to an Airbnb host fees calculator.
Mashvisor also features a helpful Airbnb profit calculator with complete investment property analysis. At your fingertips, you get comprehensive Airbnb analytics and the data you need to make the best investment decisions for 2022.
With Mashvisor’s proven tools, you can find the most profitable Airbnb properties in just minutes. So are you ready to get started?
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