Airbnb Host Fees: Everything You Need to Know

Find out all about Airbnb host fees and how much it costs to use this platform for your vacation rental business.

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Check out our guide for first-time vacation rental hosts!

Airbnb is the most popular vacation rental site which makes it an attractive option for all new hosts. But before you jump in, it’s important to understand the financial side. How much does it cost to list your rental on Airbnb? And what other expenses should you be aware of?

In this blog post, we’re breaking down Airbnb host fees to give you a clear picture of what to expect before you commit.

What Are Airbnb Host Fees?

Airbnb makes its profit by charging hosts a percentage of each booking. You’ll only pay this fee when a guest confirms their booking, so it’s just a small slice of your earnings. 

This is Airbnb’s cut for connecting you with guests, providing you with 24/7 customer support, free resources, and more.

How Much Does Airbnb Charge Hosts?

Most hosts are charged a fixed service fee of 3% of the booking subtotal. The subtotal includes your nightly rate plus any extra fees you charge, like cleaning fees, but it doesn’t include Airbnb’s fees and taxes. 

Let’s say you charge $150 per night for a 2-night stay, and you have a $40 cleaning fee. Your booking subtotal would be $340.

From this, the host service fee (3% of $340, which is $10.20) would be deducted from your earnings. So, in this example, you’d earn $329.80.

How Much Does It Cost to List on Airbnb?

Listing your rental on Airbnb is free. You can write your listing description, upload photos, and publish your listing without spending a penny. 

You’ll only start paying when you start earning, which means you can list your rental risk-free as you’ll only pay fees when you’ve successfully booked guests. 

Airbnb Service Fees

So, how do Airbnb fees work? The Airbnb host service fee is automatically deducted from your payout. It comes in two different payment structures: split-fee and host-only fee.

Airbnb Split-Fee

With the split-fee structure, the service fee is divided between you and the guest. This means that part of the service fee is taken from your earnings, while the rest is added to the total cost paid by the guest.

Typically, the host service fee is 3%, but in some countries like Italy, hosts might pay more.

Airbnb Host-Only Fee

In the host-only fee structure, the entire service fee is covered by the host. 

It usually falls between 14–16%, but there are exceptions. Hosts with Super Strict cancellation policies might face higher charges, while fees for stays longer than 28 nights could be lower.

This fee is mandatory for conventional hospitality listings like hotels, serviced apartments, etc.

The Host-only fee structure is also a must for hosts using vacation rental management software. So, if you’re relying on property management systems to streamline your operations, a fixed 15% fee based on the booking subtotal is your only option.

Additional Costs on Airbnb

Besides the service fee, there are other costs that you should know about. Let’s break them down:

  • Taxes: In some areas, Airbnb handles taxes for hosts by collecting and sending them to local authorities. But in other locations, you need to handle tax collection and remittance, and, in these cases, the service fee includes VAT.
  • Cancellation Fee: If you cancel a guest’s reservation, Airbnb applies cancellation fees based on when you canceled compared to the arrival date. These fees range from 10% to 50% of the total amount and are subtracted from your future payments.
  • Cleaning Fee: Guests cover the cleaning fee, but it’s your call whether to list it separately or include it in your nightly rate to cover cleaning costs.
  • Additional Costs: Bear in mind that you may have additional expenses outside of Airbnb’s fees, such as bank fees for currency conversion.

How to Avoid Airbnb Fees

Avoiding Airbnb fees entirely isn’t really doable since they’re what keeps the platform up and running. However, there are ways to keep those fees in check:

  • Create a website: Consider creating your own website. This way, you can take direct bookings, giving you more autonomy over your rental business and less dependence on platforms like Airbnb.
  • Redirect reservations: Encourage guests to book directly with you for future stays. While it won’t eliminate fees entirely, it can cut down on what you have to pay Airbnb.
  • Price strategically: Think about what you need to cover your costs and fees, and then adjust your nightly price accordingly.
  • Offer Extras: Provide add-ons and additional services for a fee, like airport pickups or local tours. It’s a way to boost your income beyond just the booking fees.
  • Check Out Other Platforms: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Listing your place on other vacation rental sites can spread out your income and maybe cut down on the fees you pay to Airbnb. You can check out other free vacation rental listing sites and our Airbnb alternatives for more options.

Final Thoughts

To run a successful business, you need to keep tabs on all your expenses and how they impact your profits. While Airbnb fees are a part of doing business, they can be worth it since you’ll promote your listing to millions of travelers. 

Over time, you can always improve your strategy, whether you’ll use your guests’ loyalty to steer them to your website or adjust your prices to offset Airbnb costs. It’s all about finding what works best for you and your businesses.

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