Airbnb cleaning fees are the most talked about by all hosts. It should come as no surprise that whether you are a newbie or an experienced host, one thing definitely crosses your mind: 'should I charge cleaning fees in my Airbnb and how much should I charge?'
Cleanliness is unquestionably crucial for any vacation rental and helps ensure that guests have a positive experience, leading to glowing reviews. That said, cleaning fees allow hosts to prepare their Airbnb for the following guest without paying for the costs incurred after the previous guest departs.
Due to the potential impact on your ratings and booking activity, it is crucial to understand the ins and outs of Airbnb cleaning fees.
Let's dive into:
A one-time service fee that hosts charge guests to cover the cost of cleaning and preparing their vacation rental for the following guest. Keep in mind that not all hosts charge guests a cleaning fee.
Also, the hosts may charge separately or incorporate it into their nightly rates, depending on the host’s decision. Some hosts strategically charge a cleaning fee to their guests in order to earn additional income and experiment with different amounts.
The cleaning fee is not covered by the security deposit or the service charge for Airbnb; it is a separate expense from the total cost of the booking. Thus, after the booking has ended, it cannot be returned.
Additionally, the cost of the cleaning fee does not vary depending on the number of guests or the length of stay for any given booking.
More importantly, the cleaning cost is disclosed and split down along with the nightly rate, so a guest making a reservation request is not surprised by it. As a result, everything is very clear to guests before they book an Airbnb.
The Airbnb cleaning fees help hosts in reimbursing the cost of cleaning and performing the necessary cleaning duties to get the place ready for the following guest. Having said that, let's consider what those costs consist of:
Although there isn't a fixed rule and it could seem like a lot, you must take the aforementioned costs into mind if you want to run a successful Airbnb business.
Depending on a number of variables, the host determines the costs for Airbnb cleaning fees. This includes the kind of listing, location, and whether the host chooses to hire a professional cleaning team or do it yourself. Also, take note that professional cleaners' charges vary depending on the city.
According to NerdWallet, the typical cleaning fee per listing can go from $75 to hundreds of dollars. But then again, this depends on a number of factors as mentioned earlier. Come to think about it, an actual average is quite hard to determine.
Having said that, the easiest method in determining your cleaning fee is to picture the size and style of your property. Furthermore, compare the cleaning costs of comparable properties in your neighborhood and calculate an average from there.
The decision to charge a cleaning fee or not, despite the fact that it is frequently done on Airbnb, is left up to the hosts.
In order to keep their Airbnb's pristine and entice guests to leave 5-star reviews, some hosts may decide to include it in their overall costs, while others may choose to charge for it separately. Be aware that not all hosts choose to charge a cleaning fee since they feel it will discourage guests from booking excessively. When this happens, the majority of hosts either decide to clean their Airbnb properties themselves or incur the cost for professional cleaning services.
Having said that, finding a balance between your personal preferences and satisfying guests is important. It is understandable that considering whether to charge a cleaning fee or not may seem intimidating, especially for a newbie host.
However, you must find a compromise between providing guests with well-kept Airbnbs and reasonable rates. More importantly, have the following in mind before deciding whether or not to impose a cleaning fee:
If you add a cleaning fee to your listing, more likely than not, luxury travelers won't mind paying more for superior care, especially if it helps the hosts to cover the cost of expenditures and maintain a high standard of living.
However, if your listing is just a room in your house or a studio apartment, you are not obligated to provide a separate or sizable cleaning cost.
Therefore, it is important that the quality of the services you are providing to guests meets the standards for which you are charging and also, is aware of the incurring costs involved.
The best course of action when deciding whether to raise your nightly rates and add an Airbnb cleaning fee is to research your competitors' offerings. This will enable you to set a fair price to charge without turning away potential guests.
Hiring a professional cleaning team can be fairly expensive. This also depends on where you live or how big your property is.
Having said that, decide whether it is cost-effective to hire cleaners or to complete the task yourself. Don't forget to take into account the time required and the cleaning supplies needed.
Adding cleaning fees to your rates helps discourage guests from one-day bookings. For instance, a $70 additional cleaning fee charged to a guest who is staying for a night may seem too much. But to a guest who is staying for a couple of nights, would appear more affordable.
Consider your target market when choosing a cleaning fee for your listing. By doing this, you'll be able to choose the best course of action. For instance, charging more for cleaning would not be a popular decision if you were aiming at backpackers. However, if your target market is high-end travelers, they will be more likely to pay a premium for better services.
By allowing pet-friendly guests, you run the risk of causing more mess and damage to the Airbnb property, which could lead to more expensive cleaning and maintenance costs. Instead of imposing extra cleaning fees, the majority of hosts may decide to apply separate pet fees.
Additionally, keep in mind that most visitors who bring their pets with them are familiar with their requirements and tendencies and are prepared to handle any accidents that might happen.
In some cases, if a guest cancels a reservation before the check-in time, the cleaning fees will be entirely refunded. However, be aware that it will not be reimbursed to a guest who cancels after the booking has begun, irrespective of the cancellation policy you've chosen for the short-term rental.
Furthermore, it is regarded as non-refundable once a guest's stay is over.
Airbnb calculates its service fees based on the sum of the payments made by guests and the payments made to hosts. The cleaning fee is a part of the overall rental price and is subject to Airbnb Service Fees.
The costs for Airbnb service fees vary from country to country and are based on the location of the property. For instance, hosts only pay around 3% of their booking fees as a service fee while guests pay roughly 14%, depending on whether they are in the United States, Mexico, The Bahamas, Argentina, Canada, Uruguay, or Taiwan.
Additionally, in every other country, guests are not obligated to pay a service fee; instead, hosts are liable for paying a 15% host-only fee.
Depending on how you opt to set your prices, the Airbnb cleaning fee may have an affect on the performance of your listing. Depending on the host, it could be incorporated into the nightly rate or charged as an extra service fee. In any case, the impact of including cleaning costs in your listing individually will have no change in your bookings compared to including it in the overall total pricing as it may startle customers with the sudden increase in pricing before making a booking.
An alternative is to multiply your cleaning costs by the total number of nights a guest stays; the cost is then increased by adding the total to the nightly charge. Keep in mind that the downside to this approach is that it raises your average daily rate, which deters guests from making reservations because there is no clarity regarding the total cost.
Having said that, spend some time testing both strategies and decide which generates the most bookings. And if you notice a shift in your bookings after adding a cleaning fee, make small changes till there is an improvement in your booking rate.
More importantly, be aware Airbnb's search algorithm changed last November 2022, with listings now being prioritized based on the best total pricing rather than simply the nightly rate. This change is intended to encourage hosts to cut or eliminate cleaning fees.
To change or update your cleaning costs, take the following actions in your Airbnb host dashboard:
Step 1- Sign in to your Airbnb profile Step 2- On your dashboard, select "Listings" Step 3- Click on "Pricing" Step 4- Next to the "Cleaning Fee", click Edit Step 5- Enter the desired amount and select "Save"
Although cleaning is one of the major overhead expenses and time-consuming tasks, it is actually not bad as it may seem. Hosts can either choose to charge guests with a cleaning fee or not but considering the perfect balance between getting it right and all of the aforementioned factors while keeping your target guest in mind is the best approach when deciding on the final pricing.
Also, if you notice a change in your booking activity after adding a separate cleaning fee for your listing, then maybe it’s time to lower your cleaning costs or incorporate it in your overall nightly rates to increase your ratings.
More importantly, choose to automate your cleaning schedule via Hostaway, saving time from back-and-forth communication with your cleaners. Doing so will ensure that your Airbnb properties are well-kept and prepared for the next guest.