Airbnb has a plan to fix cleaning fees

Airbnb has a plan to fix cleaning fees

Airbnb is set to introduce big changes that won’t end cleaning fees but could make them more transparent to customers and incentivize hosts to reduce them or forgo them altogether.

Almost everyone hates Airbnb cleaning fees — those pesky fees levied on your vacation rental bill that supposedly cover the costs of getting the place ready for the next visitor. Travelers don’t like expenses, and hosts don’t like charging them either.

Denis Cherchikov, A.N Airbnb The host who owns rental property upstate New YorkHe says cleaning fees are the most common complaint he receives from customers.

“We’re seriously considering cutting it,” he says.

And Cherchikov might get what he wants. Airbnb is set to introduce big changes that won’t end cleaning fees but could make them more transparent to customers and incentivize hosts to reduce them or forgo them altogether. What is an Airbnb cleaning fee and what does it cost An Airbnb cleaning fee is a one-time fee paid by hosts to cover costs such as laundry or cleaning toilets between guest stays. It is separate from the base price and is in addition to the service fee or fee for optional add-ons.

NerdWallet’s June 2022 analysis of 1,000 Airbnb reservations in the US with check-in dates in 2022 or 2023 found that the average cleaning fee per listing for an overnight stay was $75.

But cleaning fees vary widely. An Airbnb spokesperson told NerdWallet that cleaning fees average less than 10% of the total cost of a reservation at properties they charge. Meanwhile, NerdWallet’s analysis found that cleaning fees amounted to about 25% of the total price paid. In fact, nearly 40% of the listings had cleaning fees ranging from 20% to 29.9% of the list prices.

And on a few of the listings, the cleaning fee was higher than the nightly rate. Why Airbnb Cleaning Fees Are So Annoying — And Airbnb’s Plan To Fix It Besides the cost, Airbnb’s cleaning fees can seem particularly brutal given their presentation. The Airbnb search page displays the nightly price on most interfaces in big, bold letters that hide the total price. So, it’s easy to overlook the total price, displayed in light-colored letters.

To add to the confusion, nightly rates are often not linked to the total price anyway. One listing at $40 a night can total $90 because of the $40 cleaning fee and $10 service fee. Another listing at $60 a night could get even cheaper – $73 total – if it had a $13 service charge and no cleaning fee. $50 traveler income They may be tempted by the $40 menu, only to be owed more than if they had reserved the $60 menu.

But that is set to change in December when Airbnb plans to roll out a switch so travelers can choose search results to display the total price, including all fees. Users who don’t toggle total bid will still only see nightly rates.

The company in November 2022 also modified its search algorithm to rank listings by best overall price instead of just calculating the nightly rate, which could influence hosts to lower or remove cleaning fees. What if there is no cleaning fee? A minority of listings do not charge for cleaning. Airbnb says 45% of listings worldwide don’t charge this fee. However, only 15% of the available listings in NerdWallet’s analysis did not have a cleaning fee. The discrepancy is partly because NerdWallet only looked at US listings, while Airbnb’s figure is based on worldwide listings, where fees are less common.

Cherchikov says he prefers to include a final price that includes the cleaning fee for two reasons. First, he believes that guest satisfaction will increase, and second, he believes that guests will leave the place clean.

Airbnb has warned hosts that cleaning fees can backfire by creating unrealistic expectations of how much guests will help out when they check out.

According to a note posted on Airbnb’s website before the cleaning changes began, “With a higher (cleaning) fee, guests may expect to walk away from your space upon checkout as if they were a hotel room.”

This is exactly what Cherchikov experienced.

“If they pay a cleaning fee, they sometimes leave as if they’ve lived in it and been unclean for months,” he says, adding that he returned to find food all over the floor and drinks spilled on the beds. If everyone hates AirBNB cleaning fees, why do they keep charging them? for hosts World Health Organization cleaning the rentals themselves, money May cover the cost of cleaning supplies. Often, this money is simply transferred to professional housekeeping services that handle the cleaning.

Sebastian Long, founder and CEO of a Texas-based short-term rental company, Ludgor, says he thinks the average $75 cleaning fee is pretty low.

Looking at staff wages, supplies, and replacement materials, Long says he estimates it would cost around $22 to turn over a hotel room. If Airbnb hosts outsource the work, Long estimates, it could cost $175 to clean a two-bedroom apartment, including $100 for the cleaning company, $50 for laundry services, and $25 for supplies, such as coffee or small bottles of toiletry.

Cleaning costs for Airbnb hosts are often higher than those for hotels because they most likely can’t take advantage of economies of scale. For example, hotels have commercial size laundry machines. Additionally, listings are usually geographically spread out, so there is an inefficiency in traveling miles between properties. Short-term rentals are usually much larger and have more cleaning space (such as kitchens) than hotel rooms.

But other hosts simply use fees as a way to squeeze more money out of travelers, and they’re clearly overcharging for cleaning fees, a practice Airbnb warns against.

“Aim to use your cleaning fee for cleaning expenses — not to make extra money,” according to Airbnb’s 2021 memo to hosts.

Then there are the hosts who charge to clean and still require guests to clean up after themselves. This, too, will most likely end soon. Along with more transparent cleaning fees, Airbnb said it also plans to require hosts to post cleaning requirements on the listing before guests book. Guests will also be able to leave feedback about the checkout process.

Airbnb has also made it clear that checkout requests must be reasonable. On your next Airbnb stay, if the host is amenable to changes, you may not have to vacuum or mop the beds. All you have to do is turn off the lights, take out the trash and close the door.

For now, though, Cherchikov says he’s sticking to a cleanup fee because he’s not sure whether users will turn the toggle.

“I want to see how many people are actively running the full bid,” he says. “Unless guests use it, it won’t mean much to how prices are set.”

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