At a recent Host Q&A event in Sydney, Ben, a Superhost from Brisbane, Australia, asked a great question: What happens to the money Airbnb collects from hosts and guests as service fees? We thought it was such a fantastic question, we wanted to share a few behind-the-scenes details with you here.
You probably know that as a host you’re charged a service fee whenever a booking or Experience is confirmed. For home hosts, the fee amount is usually 3%*, and for Experience hosts, it’s 20%. In most cases, guests are also charged a service fee when they book on Airbnb. A full breakdown of the fee model, can be found in our Help Center.
So what exactly happens to the money that’s collected? We redeploy it into three big categories that help support you as a host and an entrepreneur: community support, marketing, and product development. Here’s a closer look at how your fees are deployed to help power Airbnb:
One of our top priorities is making sure we can support you if you have questions or need support. As we mentioned at our last Host Q&A event, we're investing a substantial amount of resources into our Community Support team to ensure we’re there when you need us, and that we can help you with your question or concern smoothly and efficiently. In the past year, for instance:
We will continue to make improvements and invest in our Community Support team. In fact, one improvement that’s happening right now is that we’re splitting the team into areas of expertise. This will help us connect you more quickly with the right person to address your particular concern. We’ll be using an intelligent routing system to direct your question to a Community Support agent who is specially trained to address your question. We’ll be introducing this program globally in the next few months.
What other ideas do you have for improving the Community Support experience? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments section, below.
Another topic we know hosts care a lot about is getting enough bookings to meet their individual goals. We help to drive that through significant investments in marketing to guests. Through our marketing teams, we ensure that guests around the world think about Airbnb first when they’re making their vacation plans. We focus mainly on three types of marketing:
Finally, our last significant bucket of spend is around product development. Airbnb employs thousands of engineers, designers, and product leaders who build the tools and infrastructure that power your business. They focus on keeping Airbnb up and running (ensuring our technology platform is strong, fixing issues that arise), and they develop products specifically designed to make it easier for you to host and succeed.
Recent examples include tools to make reviews more fair for hosts and the newly redesigned Guidebooks feature. The latter helps hosts give guests local recommendations and create a more welcoming, memorable experience overall. (It’s also a lot of fun to use!)
Let us know if you have any other questions about fees and how Airbnb spends them in the comments section, below. We love to get your feedback.
I have had a lot of guests cancell because the advertised price and the price they pay after making the booking is so much more. I agree that guests are paying to much extra
Wow, I had no idea hosts had this much frustration! I'm so sorry to hear it. Those of us in the Ramona, CA (Fernbrook area) have also noticed a slight decline in bookings and we just assumed it was because of all the new listings in our area and also because of AirBNB Plus. I have never (In my 5 years of being a super host) had any financial hiccups - everything has been done as expected. I feel awful that I've had such a great experience while others have felt so mistreated. :-( .... I really have felt great appreciation for the AirBNB platform and for being able to offer our 'empty' spaces for extra income. Thanks for sharing everyone, its quite eye opening. But I also send my sympathies. Thats a hard place to be.
I don't know how I've ended up here but It's interesting to see Superhosts whinging about AirBnB not doing more for them. The fact that you were able to get the numerous bookings with no cost to you whatsoever and only paying a fee when booked doesn't seem to be enough! Many businesses advertise using their own funds and not get the return expected. It seems that the benefit here outweighs any drawbacks in these cases. If you are all having so many disastrous experiences, how did you get to be a Superhost? Surely, the guest would have not given you the top ratings needed, and the bookings needed to achieve Superhost status. Remember this hosts, YOU HAVE A CHOICE! If you are unhappy with the fees, take your listing off, go elsewhere or market your own..... Seriously, this is so funny....
Perhaps if you'd taken the time to read through the thread properly and educate yourself a little before making inane comments, you'd have learned why, for a variety of reasons, many hosts don't always have a choice, particularly in cities that have been grossly over-saturated for some time, in which Airbnb has complete market dominance.
It's interesting that you (and those who "liked" your comment) feel that thousands of decent, hardworking people having their livelihoods threatened, through no fault of their own, is "seriously... so funny". Classy. Really classy.
Better be wise by the misfortunes of others, than by your own.
Yes I did read the thread. I am a host also, it was just interesting to read the superhosts having a “go” at AirBnB who’ve supported you and the others to earn an income from renting your property.
Could you please elaborate on how your “livelihood” has been threatened? I’m very interested in hearing that. I, for one, would probably have no luck renting my property for an income if it wasn’t for HomeAway, AirBnB & TripAdvisor - I’m grateful. All I’ve done is put my views forth also and been attacked.
if you are so threaded remove hour property from their site is all I can say! Have Airbnb put a gun to your head to lust your property with them?
@Rayma1 "At no cost to you whatesoever"? Do you literally have no expenses? Really? Here are mine: 5-figure property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, cleaning, caretaking, propane and oil, electricity, telephone and internet service, extermination, home security (required by my insurance company), a gardener, a lawn service, a private trash removal service, an electrician, snow removal (required by the fire department whether anyone is at the house or not) - that’s just the list of regular, predictable expenses and doesn’t include the things I do to make sure guests feel they are getting fantastic bang for their buck, have the rugs and draperies cleaned annually, the knives sharpened, the windows washed, etc., etc., and so forth.
So "no cost whatsoever"? Can I have the address of your fool's paradise? It sounds like such a nice place to live.
I find the fees guests paying really high compared to other places you can book at eg. Bookings.com, when you see a price advertised on bookings.com and make the booking the advertised price is the price that you pay. With Airbnb there are so many extra costs you find out about later so when you ready to book and pay it is much more expensive than the price advertised. A lot of my guest complain about this.
It's not that complicated, maybe 20% is just too high at the point we are.
When Airbnb ask us to reduce our price, maybe they can reduce their commission too.
For my part, I have almost 40% less booking than last year.
You do not mention how much guests are charged.
How much are guests charged?
What does "experienced host" mean. That is a very vague term!
We are more than happy with our time with Airbnb and have found any problems have been dealt with promptly and fairly. If we were not happy we would just leave.
I would like to know why we can no longer see a picture of the prospective guest until after the booking is confirmed?
Apparently, they can see our picture, so we should be able to see them.
In the beginning this was not the case. Why has this changed?