Improving price transparency for guests

Stephanie
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Improving price transparency for guests

 

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Today, CEO Brian Chesky announced that we’re updating how prices are displayed to guests in Airbnb search results. Our goal is to maximize price transparency in places like the U.S., where showing nightly prices (before fees) is currently the travel industry standard.

 

Guests who currently find nightly prices in search results will be able to switch to showing the total prices. The total price includes the price per night, Airbnb service fee, and any Host fees for cleaning, pets, or extra guests. 

 

We’re making this change, along with a few others, to help you stay competitive and meet guest expectations. Get the details on the Resource Center. 

 

Displaying total price and simplifying checkout

 

What’s your strategy: Build your cleaning costs into your nightly price, or charge a separate cleaning fee?


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105 Replies 105
Trude0
Level 10
Stockholm County, Sweden

@Stephanie

Regarding your question on cleaning fees:

I've been hosting since spring 2019, with a break from summer 2021 to summer 2022.

During this time, I've played with different strategies for cleaning fees, sometimes charging one, sometimes not.

 

When I took a break, you could only chose between charging a cleaning fee, and not charging.

I've noticed now that you can have different cleaning fees, depending on length of stay.

But from what I can see, the only option you have, is to charge a lower cleaning fee for shorter stays. Which I'm sure makes sense for some hosts.

 

For me, though, I would like to go the other way...

Currently I don't charge a cleaning fee, but I have a 2-night minimum stay and a 7 day maximum.

I prefer shorter stays, having the same rate per night, and not charging a cleaning fee.

But then it does not feel like it is "worth it" to allow 1-night stays, so I have a 2-night minimum.

 

On the other hand, if I add a cleaning fee, then the cost per night would be higher also for the guests who stay 2-3 nights. I would like to be able to apply a cleaning fee, only for 1-night stays

 

Would it be possible to change the cleaning fee settings, to add more flexibility?

With the extra person fee, you can choose to add a fee from x persons, x to be decided by the host. 

Emilie
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

@Trude0 Welcome back to hosting, I hope the transition back into it after that break was a smooth as can be. 🙂

 

Your strategy around cleaning fees definitely appears to make sense for your listing, and thank you for sharing that suggestion on even more flexibility around how to set them up. I'll certainly relay that idea to the team for you! 

 

Emilie

 

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Trude0
Level 10
Stockholm County, Sweden

I think the change that Airbnb have announced, in how prices will be displayed e.g in the US, is great. I'm sure guests in the US will welcome the oportunity to see the full price of their planned stay (and the break down), long before they come to the last step of the booking process. To be better able to compare listings, and make a good decision, with less time wasted.

 

As many several others have mentioned;

In Europe, prices in search results have been including all fees and tax for a long time.

You have also been able to see the split between the price per night, the cleaning fee (if there is one) and the Airbnb service feee. So I guess not much will change here - apart from the fact that the "Service fee" will now apparently be correctly called "Airbnb service fee" - which I think is good.

 

However, I do very much welcome the news that "checkout chores" will now apparently be visible for guests before booking, so guests can weigh this into their decision. This will give even more transparency into "what you pay, and what you get" (for guests) - or "what you charge, and what you offer" (for hosts).

 

I do not charge a cleaning fee, and I have a "walk away" approach - turn of the A/C, lock the door, key in the box.

 

I know this way of working will not suit every host. My listing is a tinyhouse in my garden, and I host small groups of guests who stay 2-7 days. Easy. For others, cleaning fees and a short list of checkout chores will be be better/neccessary.

 

So of course Airbnb should not in any way try to restrict hosts on which checkout chores they can ask guests to handle - and I hope they will not. But I think it is fair to expect that these chores are visible to the guests when booking. Again - transparency.

 

Hoping for more improvements like this, and not too many "bad surprises" in the "Winter Release"! 🙂

 

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Pat271
Level 10
Greenville, SC

I think Airbnb should stay away from the word “chores”. That word has a negative connotation. Maybe “Checkout info” or “Checkout reminders”.

Emilie
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Thanks @Pat271, I'll make sure to share that suggestion with those working on this!

 

Emilie

 

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Erica1402
Level 2
Wilmington, DE

The only house keeping task I ask of my guests is to strip the bed. Due to monkey pox and covid, I do not think it is unreasonable for guests to put used linens in a provided laundry bag. It helps to eliminate spreading diseases/viruses etc. I hope Airbnb takes this into consideration. 

Yvonne41
Level 9
Kirkland, WA

While I appreciate the effort, the reality is you are forcing those of us who rent out our personal vacation homes to become 5 star hotels. The only reason that I have to ask my guests to wash and dry their towels before a check out, is so I can keep my prices lower and do not have to have a gap day in between every check-in and can "flip" my 4 bedroom 3 toilet 1 hot tub property that averages 7 humans staying in it during the peak season. I would rather do that and enable another group to take advantage of an 80 degree day at the beach, over letting it sit open while my housekeepers wait for the towels to dry. 

 

The other issue I have with this change is that you are still utilizing an archaic and highly flawed methodology to collect reviews from guests (and from hosts). Until you come up with a more precise apples to apples review system, the data you are basing your new quality assessment for determining best search ranking is going to set many of us up for failure and we will either sell out to management firms to monopolize, or we will find another way to gracefully bow out of this game. 

Jenny
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Hi @Yvonne41 

 

Thanks for your feedback - we have taken a note of it - and I thought that you'd like to know that Airbnb plan to work with Hosts over the next few months on new guidance for checkout tasks.  

The feedback that you've given will be taken on board by the relevant teams as part of that process.

 

Jenny

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Erica1402
Level 2
Wilmington, DE

Thanks Jenny. The only house keeping task I ask of my guests is to strip the bed. Due to monkey pox and covid, I do not think it is unreasonable for guests to put used linens in a provided laundry bag. It helps to eliminate spreading diseases/viruses etc. I hope Airbnb takes this into consideration. 

Pat271
Level 10
Greenville, SC

@Yvonne41 I often wonder if that last sentence of yours is the intended result. Remember, most if not all of those management firms are Airbnb hosts.

Kristina46
Level 10
Hawaii, United States

I saw Chesky's announcement on Twitter. So he agrees guests should leave a kitchen filthy and grimy after using it? Dishes undone? Most of my guests leave my place in beautiful condition even without being asked. They weren't raised in a barn.

 

Anyone who thinks they are entitled to leave me with a bunch of their dirty dishes and trash is going to get a bad review and low stars from me and will never be welcome back. Will he try to control that too? Seems more and more Airbnb takes the side of the guest, guests who, in many cases, do not understand what it means to stay in a vacation rental and how much time and money it takes to turn them over. 

 

That said, I must credit Airbnb and give high marks  for eliminating the onerous extenuating circumstances policy. I have lost thousands over the years on EC cancellations. Hawaii is a fly-in destination and last-minute cancellations were positively eviscerating.  Enough was  enough. I didn't get in this business to serve as guest travel insurance, which is exactly what that was. So kudos there. 

Lyn70
Level 2
Victoria Park, Australia

Unfortunately some people are selfish  grubby people who think just because they are paying for it it’s not their problem. It’s very very infuriating and disappointing. 

Mike-And-Jane0
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Kristina46 what has happened to the EC policy? Have I missed something?

Kristina46
Level 10
Hawaii, United States

It basically covers nothing now. go look! They changed it right after Covid. 

Andrea-and-Glenn0
Level 10
Mill Bay, Canada

@Stephanie  Well, we really like the “new” layout and format that shows pricing to our potential guests as a “per day” and as a “total”. More details.More details.Clearly pricedClearly priced

 

Thanks, we approve. 

Andrea and Glenn

 

Jenny
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Thanks for letting us know @Andrea-and-Glenn0 - we appreciate the feedback!

 

Jenny

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Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia

@Stephanie  off topic, but why is this post under a heading of "Airbnb Updates" and there isn't a board devoted to that? 

Jenny
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Hi @Gillian166 

If you head to the top right of your screen, you'll see a button with three lines in it, beside your profile picture.  If you press that, you'll see Airbnb updates about halfway down the list.

Jenny 😊

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Lorna170
Level 10
Swannanoa, NC

@Stephanie  I charge a separate cleaning fee and have had no pushback from my guests about the fee for the 20+ years i've been in business, sending out invoices prior to the OTAs taking that over.  I live in a state where all fees have to be disclosed BEFORE the guest books.

 

My take on pricing transparency is as follows:  Service Fee should read AIRBNB SERVICE FEE.  Finally, the guest will know that this is NOT a fee that is charged by me, paid to me or able to be discounted by me.

Jenny
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Hi @Lorna170 

 

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts about this update!

 

As part of this new price display that will be launching in the coming weeks, guests will be able to see a price breakdown of the Hosts’ nightly rate and the Airbnb service fee in the search experience.  Hopefully this will help your guests by informing them of any fees in advance!

 

Regarding the Service fee, when guests choose the total price display option, both the total nightly rate (inclusive of any Host-set fees) and the Airbnb service fee are listed as part of the pricing breakdown. We explicitly call it the “Airbnb service fee” as a line item.  That means your guests will know that the service fee isn't charged by you.

 

Jenny

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