Hosting Fees on Airbnb and VRBO
Both Airbnb and VRBO charge hosts a variety of fees. Cleaning and service fees are charged by both platforms, but Airbnb is more expensive overall. If a host wants to take reservations through the platform, they must pay each of these fees plus a separate host charge.
Host fees are charged in addition to guest fees. The platform charges both fees for the cost of running it. Hosts can choose to pass on these costs to guests (by setting a higher nightly rate). Hosts who do not wish to charge their guests additional fees can simply opt out of paying host fees entirely.
Hosting companies typically charge per listing rather than per property: If you have two listings that you rent out and both generate revenue, then you will be charged twice as much as someone who only has one listing.
Accepting a Reservation
Now that you’ve accepted a reservation, you’ll be charged a service fee of 3-5% by Airbnb and VRBO. This is the money that goes towards the cost of running the platform, including marketing and customer support. You may also be charged an additional cleaning fee between $35 – $100 if your guests leave your home in less than “host ready” condition.
This brings us to our next topic: cleaning fees!
Completing a Reservation
When you’re ready to book a reservation, Airbnb and VRBO both charge a 3% fee for reservations.
The cancellation policy is another area where the two sites differ. Airbnb charges hosts a $50 fee if they cancel on the guest after booking or if the guest never shows up at all. VRBO, meanwhile, does not charge its hosts for cancellations under any circumstances.
Airbnb and VRBO both charge host fees, but Airbnb charges more.
Airbnb and VRBO charge hosts a service fee and/or cleaning fee. The amount charged by each platform, however, varies widely.
Airbnb charges a host fee of 5%—which covers transaction costs and payment processing fees—in addition to its larger service fee of 6%–20%. Airbnb hosts expect to pay anywhere from 11%-24% in total costs for each stay booked through the platform.
VRBO charges a single “service charge” ranging from 8%-13%, depending on the length of stay. Service charges include both transaction costs and payment processing fees. It functions similarly to an aggregated version of what Airbnb charges as separate components (i.e., it covers all three types of fees).
Conclusion: Airbnb vs VRBO Host Fees
Hosting on Airbnb can be a lucrative side business or income, but you have to know that it comes with some costs. Both sites charge a cleaning fee and service fee, but Airbnb charges more than VRBO.
Many forget about these fees when starting out vacation rental hosting, so make sure you account for them in your budget! Also, note that different types of listings have other fees (like rentals or rooms vs. private homes), so if possible, stick with one throughout your listing’s lifetime, as this will help reduce costs overall.