Airbnb Host Fees

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Airbnb Host Fees: Are They Worth It for Airbnb Hosts?

What does Airbnb charge hosts? Are Airbnb host fees worth it? How can you avoid them? A quick read with essential information for all hosts.

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I'm Sabrina, an Airbnb host coach who knows starting your own short-term rental biz can quickly get waaaay too complicated. But it doesn't have to be. I help first-time Airbnb hosts like you go from overwhelmed 
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If you’re thinking about starting your first Airbnb, you’re probably wondering how to make your business as profitable as possible. (And if you weren’t wondering that, now you are. 😉)

You probably already know that, while you can earn a lot of revenue from your Airbnb, the cost to run your Airbnb can be a lot, too.

And, one of the most important (but often overlooked!) expenses to account for are Airbnb host fees.

So, just how much does Airbnb charge hosts to use its platform? Are these fees worth it? How can you avoid paying Airbnb host fees? I’m sharing the answers to all this and more, below.

Note: All information referenced in this post is up to date as of 8/14/2022. For the most up-to-date information, please refer directly to specific web pages linked below.

Lake Tahoe Airbnb living room
My Lake Tahoe Airbnb living room | The Realist

What are Airbnb host fees?

Airbnb host fees are what Airbnb charges hosts in order to use its platform.

These fees cover the cost of 24/7 customer support, insurance coverage for hosts (AirCover), and educational resources.

Recommended: Airbnb Startup Cost: A Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Hosts

How much are Airbnb host fees?

Airbnb hosts can choose one of two fee structures:

  • Option 1: Hosts and guests split the fee (most popular option)
    • Hosts pay 3% of the booking subtotal (your nightly rate + cleaning fee), which is automatically subtracted from your host payout.
    • Guests pay 14% of the booking subtotal, which is added on top of the nightly rate and cleaning fee you charge.
    • For example, assume your nightly rate is $100 and your cleaning fee is $50. For a one-night stay, you’d earn $145.50 ($150 minus 3% of $150) and your guest would pay $171 ($150 plus 14%).
  • Option #2: Hosts pay the entire fee
    • With this option, hosts pay for the entire service fee themselves, usually 14-16% of revenue from a given stay.
    • While I’ve never personally seen a listing with this fee structure, some hosts are required to use it. Learn more here.

(Check the Airbnb website for the most up-to-date information.)

The good news?

Airbnb is transparent about its fees. The platform clearly states how much guests pay for the nightly rate, cleaning fee, service fee, taxes, etc. (which both hosts and guests can see).

Additionally, hosts can see exactly what they’ll earn from each booking. Plus, Airbnb automatically deducts these fees, so you don’t have to worry about paying them.

What if a guest cancels? Do you still have to pay service fees?

It depends.

If a guest cancels their booking while it’s still fully refundable, then the guest service fee will be refunded (in addition to the nightly rate and cleaning fee) and you as a host won’t pay the host fee.

If a guest cancels their booking and does NOT receive a full refund, then both the guest and host will be charged the standard service fees on the remaining booking amount (in my experience).

Recommended: What’s the Best Airbnb Cancellation Policy for Hosts?

What else do hosts need to pay for?

Airbnb host fees are just one of many expenses you’ll have as an Airbnb host.

In this post, I’m laying out the real cost of starting an Airbnb (everything from furniture to mortgage payments). Make sure to check it before you start an Airbnb, so you can become profitable as quickly as possible!

Recommended: Airbnb Startup Cost: A Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Hosts

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My Airbnb kitchen and dining room | The Realist

Are Airbnb host fees the same as Vrbo host fees?

Nope.

According to Vrbo, “The service fee amount varies. Generally, the higher the reservation amount, the lower the percentage of the service fee.”

So, there’s no way to say for sure what you’ll be charged (how fun is that?!)

For the bookings I’ve gotten through Vrbo, I’ve paid a service fee of ~13%, plus a 5%
commission (I’m not even sure why), plus a 3% payment processing fee (shouldn’t that be included in the service fee??).

On top of all that, my guests have paid a Vrbo guest service fee is ~13% of your nightly rate plus cleaning fees. This is about the same amount guests would pay if they booked through Airbnb.

How can you avoid paying Airbnb host fees?

Airbnb host fees are required to use the Airbnb platform, so, unfortunately, there’s no way around them.

Are Airbnb host fees worth it?

In my opinion – yes! The cost of using the Airbnb platform is absolutely worth the benefit.

And, if you compare Airbnb’s host fees to other platforms like Vrbo, you’d most likely be charged less on Airbnb.

Furthermore, hosts get a lot of benefits by using the Airbnb platform like damage protection and 24/7 customer support.

Lastly, the Airbnb platform has SO many users (over 4 million!) that this alone makes the service fees worthwhile. Can you imagine trying to get that many potential guests to your own website? Probably not going to happen anytime soon.

Recommended: How to Start an Airbnb: 7 Key Steps to Set Up Your Rental

Recommended: 9 Surprising Lessons Learned in My First 9 Months as an Airbnb Host

Getting ready to start your first Airbnb?

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Are Airbnb host fees worth it?

What do you think about Airbnb host fees? Are they worth it? Let me know in the comments.

Disclaimer: All content on this website is for informational purposes only. You are taking all provided information at your own risk. We are not financial, real estate, legal, investment or other professionals. Nothing on this website should be construed as professional advice. We will not be liable for any loss or damage of any nature. Additionally, we are not agents or employees of Airbnb. For more information, read our disclaimer.

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