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 totally agree, how can we capture a feeling for a potential customer is I can't even see their picture before they book!
Who cares if it's called the HOST SERVICE FEE or GUEST SERVICE FEE. There will always be a 20~25% difference between what the guest pays and what the host recieves. So at the end of the day..... it doesn't matter what it's called!!!! That 20~25% difference is Airbnb's actual share. Which is actually quite high!
While I appreciate the platform and basic services provided, there is A LOT or room for improvement. And reality is...... if anything were to go wrong, hosts are on their own to fend for themselves. When things go as planned, great~ but if not.... you're totally screwed.
Susan my bookings have mirrored yours this year as well, I am discouraged but agree that the competition has increased. When I started booking through Airbnb I was one of three in my town and last year when I looked It was over a hundred local listings.
.....meanwhile in this town there has been a serious housing rental shortage for a couple years. I’m squeaking by but see that I need to step up my game. I e made improvements and am going to change pics and marketing strategy soon.
I could rent long term and may consider that after this summer but for now I’m grateful for the listings that do come in and the one time I had a difficult guest, that I had a contract and a company behind me to handle it.
i also appreciate the vetting process because back when I was renting through Craigslist I was flooded with crazy.
I too was one of the first Airbnbs in the area, but now there are over 100. I have kept my price low, because many are much more expensive. That's the only way to beat the competition. I would have raised my prices a bit more, but am afraid I won't get bookings. I never expected so much competition in a rural area. I'm still earning more than I would with long term renting, but Airbnb hosting is very labor intensive. I do love meeting my guests from all over the United States and some other countries, though.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to answers. I am happy for the fees as to me it's part of my marketing strategy for Airbnb to promote my home. Thanks again for taking the time to listen to us the hosts. All the best and keep it coming Airbnb, cheers Be Westbrook from Westy's Airbnb Falcon West Aussie
My only complaint with Airbnb is that they keep the money they collect from my guests and I don't receive anything until the guests arrive at the house. I prefer VRBO because they charge about 1/2 to my guests upfront, send me my money from that within a week, and then about a month before the guests arrive, they get a payment notice. As soon as they pay, I receive my cut within a week. I really like this and I believe my guests like it as well. Will that ever change on AirBnb?
This is why I am ditching Airbnb and advertising my cottage on Facebook and twitter - you are pricing yourself out of the Market. I would not mind so much if you paid on time but you don't - and your admin is dire - it often takes 48 hours plus to get an answer.
I am one host who has not yet been paid my hosting fees since April. Can someone tell me how I can get my money as I have suspeded hosting till I get paid.
Hi @Telmore0 . New hosts don't get paid for 30 days, as standard, so that would have caused delay on your first payout. However, if you haven't been paid since April, there's clearly another issue in this instance.
Have you had any communication with Airbnb at all on this and if so, have they given you any explanation for the delay? Are you paid direct to bank, by Payoneer, Paypal or Western Union? Or is there a separate payment entity for Namibia?
I do understand that Airbnb is trying to make our hosting job easier to manage and still have support. That is very important to me as an host. No one likes to pay fees, but they are needed to keep the business running smoothly. I do appreciate Airbnb taking care of the financial part of every transaction, so there are no hassels when people stay.