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.
As long as Airbnb supports us host when most necessary and delegently and satisfactorily I dont have any complain.I think Airbnb is entitled to what theirs.
Well a lot of these explanations and comments are regarding the Airbnb Homes. Guess I'll be the first to raise the issue about Airbnb Experience:
Why is the fee for Airbnb Experience Hosts WAY much higher than Airbnb Homes Hosts? 3% and 20% are so different. Do Airbnb Experience Hosts get more marketing or exposure or something?
Very curious :)
@Ahmad64 the fee for Experiences will be a lot higher because the wide range of activities with the [3rd party ]risk of death and injury to guests being much, much higher.
It is a lot easier to ensure that foreseeable risks are managed by hosts for providing only homestays and accommodation. Whereas the risks with outdoor activities and mobile experiences are significantly greater. Thus, Experiences would be attracting some healthy back-of-house insurance premuims,
Consider how many hosts have difficulty getting their local insurance companies to even provide coverage for Airbnb onsite hosting? The feedback here in Australia on payouts from insurance companies outside of Airbnb is The offering from insurance companies is very slim, and the eligiblity restrictions are high. .
It is a wise move for Airbnb to build in a better fiscal reserve to cover the inevitable payouts that are likely to occur. No-one can know in advance of this extension of services and new Airbnb/host venture what claims will eventuate; only we do know from history misadventure will occur, despite everyone's best efforts, and they are preparing for it, by setting aside a portion of this larger fee.
Those are my thoughts on the probable reasons for the higher fees on Experiences.
Fee charges have been shifted to the host, and it may be that a smaller levy now applies at the guest end. I have never checked what levy Airbnb puts on a guest booking for Experience. Some one else can probably confirm this detail.
Christine from Wombat's Studio at Glenbrook
@Christine1 I honestly don't know that Airbnb have insurance policy for my guests. Would be nice if you could provide me the link (I couldn't find it myself) regarding this to be sure. From what I know, it's all on the hosts if anything ever happened to their guests :)
I am not unhappy with the 3% fee as a host - in fact I think for the ability to use one of the most successful platforms to offer guests accommodation 3% is very small. But......when I started as a host the guest paid 8% when they booked - it is now between 14% and 20% added to the total fee. I must have missed those emails telling us that the guest commission had gone up. When I asked the airbnb helpline to clarify this they were not able to tell me how much a guest paid for a booking above the amount received by me. I would really appreciate transparency in this area. The great thing I find though is that whenever there is a problem or I can't understand something I have always been immediately helped by the phone operators who are patient, informed and if they don't know they answer will find it out for me. I have been a host for 5 years and continue to really enjoy using my home (the apartment guests stay in is attatched) to welcome so many guests from all over the world. I also really enjoy staying in other Airbnbs when I go on holiday - they always have a personal feel and not a "holiday let" hollowness. I recommend Airbnb to all my friends and love to be part of this global family
Adele, Port Macquarie, Australia
whats the point of a community if we are not going to help each other.. ?? It has given us the Oppourtunity, then the tools, now the potential to grow with in the community, if you are worth it..
once said to me.. for some one to grow higher up the ladder, one have to help otherr beneath them to go up along the ladder. As we help them up, we gain the necessary boost the grow up the level we are in today..
to be able to gain is to give out first.. first you invest and addapt, you improvise and later you profit from the seed you invest and hold it's mud.
the only thing is real is struggle..
I am involved in DataCube AI for large estate network analysis in Cina. Can we collaborate with Airbnb in developing our approach.My contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Airbnb dont want to listen when you warn them about an unreasonable guest and know they are going to lie in their review and just say they are allowed to have their opinion. Seems unfair fortunately only happened once they also try and get you to charge such low rates sometimes. Apart from that all good.
The one problem I have with Airbnb is that they tell you you will receive £94 if you recommend a friend. Which I did and helped her every step of the way. I then asked for my money. But you don’t receive money. You receive vouchers to stay at other Airbnb places. I don’t use Airbnb for myself and I think this policy is very unfair. I need the money. Not vouchers.
I have had only bad experiences with AirBnB so far. Allow me to share my problems
1) bad customer service and customer service reps without basic knowledge of the subject matter. Also problems with ethics. I had a problem with some other agencies advertising my property on AirBnB falsely representing themselves as hosts. I raised a complaint with AirBnB and after several 'case closed' misinformed and careless answers in their customer service chat I got this response:
Thank you for your reply.
I can understand your disappointment and your concerns.
As I said Airbnb is an online platform and does not own, operate, manage or control accommodations. I know this is not the outcome you were expecting and I am sorry I cannot help.
I will consider this case now closed.
Conclusion: basically, they understand but they don't care someone else is representing themselves as me on the AirBnB service. There are 3 false profiles with my villa and I can't take them down as AirBnB doesn't care. I guess it's just about building up property numbers and selling shares on a big IPO, exiting and getting rich. It's sad.
2) AirBnB does not pay you before people enter the property. Sometimes not even before they leave.
3) AirBnB Plus. A special one. I have a 1 million euro villa, a special property. You can search it and see it as Yellow Tree Jurici Home & Spa, AirBnB didn't pass the property to AirBnB Plus because I didn't show them photos with mattresses on sofas (my sofas don't need mattresses), because I don't put conditioners in rooms (because I don't and I have good reasons for this) and because I don't put bottles of water in the fridge (because where I am from we drink water from the tap!! We don't buy bottled water here). I explained this zillions of times to a customer service agent of AirBnB but the kid didn't understand and kept repeating dumb requirements like a trained robot.
I still keep AirBnB although it doesn't fit my target market. But I got properly disappointed with a service that looked cool on first glance but has proven to be a totally amateur project. There are much better ways to reach out to people. I stated a Google Business profile and it looks promising and its no nonsense.
My experience only, please have mercy with comments. I was a bit explicit.
I think AIR IS FANTASTIC and as a supper host i can only say without AIR would not be where I am today.
Thankyou Again and Again