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.
So the preposterous fees paid by hosts and guests are being spent on community support, marketing and product development??
We're not getting much bang for our buck then, are we?
Hi there @Tony574 !
Yes, they most certainly are entitled to make a profit - as long as they do it in a transparent, honest and ethical manner, and their "profits" aren't taken directly out of service users' pockets, via "extenuating circumstances," stealth charges, shady policies, dodgy practices, double-dipping, payment witholding, denial of damage claims, miscalculations, "glitches", etc etc...
Wow, that's a pretty extensive list of grievances - I'm going to naively assume you've dropped Airbnb for one, some if not all these reasons?
I have only been with Airbnb since March this year and for me it's been like this ->
a. list the space
b. wait a little
c. take booking and service guests
d. get paid
e. back to c and loop
What they do with my 3% service fee is frankly non of my business, what they do with the guests commission is none of my business either and if hosts or guests aren't happy then my guess is they'll move on - standard commercial/economic forces apply.
How long have you been with Airbnb and suffering the above practices you describe? I'd like to learn more about your situation if you're happy to share?
Like countless thousands of other hosts, I'd dearly love to drop Airbnb completely, but when one company has dominant market position, and is leveraging that position to force out competitors and smaller operators, - and when a host has invested many years of time, money, blood, sweat and tears (literally) into building up their reputation and little business on the platform - dumping Airbnb is simply not a luxury many can afford. Unfortunately.
The grievances I listed are not just my grievances, but shared by thousands on hosts worldwide - you only need to have a quick look around the Community Centre, Airbnb's official FB page, any Airbnb/STR related group or forum, or any international consumer review site to find a limitless supply of evidence to attest to that.
I've been with Airbnb since 2010, exemplary track record, never once cancelled a guest, never had a guest complain about me, hundreds of 5 star reviews, thousands of happy visitors through my doors, and on July 1st, I'll be one of fewer than 100 Superhosts in the entire world who have consistently earned the SH title all 20 quarters of the 5 years since the inception of the SH program.
Have a look at the screenshots below, and see how much business Airbnb is sending my way (peak summer period/tourist season in Dublin, Ireland), and let me know if you think I'm getting value for my 9 years of dedicated service to Airbnb, for my soon-to-be 20 time superhost status, or for my 3% fees...
I too, have had a blank calendar for two months after being about 75% booked continuously during prior months. The fees to my guests have gone up to about 17% from around 5% and it's our down season in South Africa. I am one of only a few homes in my area so Airbnb is doing nothing to lure guests to this area by increasing their fees to guests by so much. I have lowered my booking fees but this still makes my guests fee over what it was during the summer months.
I have decided to opt out of Airbnb from August and rent out long term instead. It's unfortunate for my regular guests. I know that when I rent an Airbnb I really like, I go back to that same home all the time. But a girls gotta eat....
First and formost airbnb are a business, and your argument that airbnb are not sending you enough business, then you are deluded, as its the guest that chooses their destination not airbnb. Bitter you certainly are, and the same answer for you as others. If you are not happy then go else where.
Fancy words just hide your bitterness. And of course the ignorance is your alone, you are not contracted to remain with airbnb.
And the fact that you have been with airbnb, for so long proves that you were more than happy to reap the benefits. But things move on and people are choosing to rent elsewhere so all you can do is gripe and moan, and if you really believe that airbnb should make sure that you get more bookings then you really are deluded.
The world is an open market and is ruled by supply and demand, and we all have to operate under the same rules.
One of the benefits of using airbnb, is the clear fact the you only pay when you get a booking you are not charged any fee to advertise, or showcase your business, so infact its a win win situation.
The thing is @Terri35, hosts are absolutely not all operating under the same rules on this platform, but you clearly haven't learned enough about how Airbnb works yet, to realise that. Maybe do your homework before commenting.
No ! the thing is your arrogance knows no bounds. And who voted you to be spokes person for Airbnb hosts.
Absolutely nobody....... But what is apparent is how much your anger is leading you into an argument that you cannot win. I may be relatively new to airbnb compared to some.
but I am not new to holiday rentals, so I will suggest you screw in your neck a bit and stop preaching to everybody who does not agree with your opinion.