Airbnb survey on commission, cancellation, booking etc

Anyone done the recent Airbnb survey? Delivered to my UK mailbox today. It’s researching host attitudes to commission and guest fees. Lower commision for flexible cancellation etc…
One thing is it offers lower commission for accepting any guest on instant book (without I.D., without reviews, even the ones with the rare distinction of having got a thumbs down!). Why oh why does Airbnb want to facilitate these guests, it’s just more hassle for everyone. It really feels like a move away from home sharing now into an hotel style world. I wonder if Airbnb will offer more support, refuse refunds and help with evictions for these difficult instant book guests?
Overall fees and commissions are very high. Airbnb are paying themselves handsomely whilst constantly trying to drive down our prices


That’s interesting @Jess1 I didn’t receive it.

Not yet.

I already do this. But whose commission is lowered? I’ve seen promos where Airbnb says “fees are half price for this date” and it comes out of the guest side and I supposed they are testing to see if it results in more bookings for such dates?

Not news.

LOL. Of course not.

Many people think this but I don’t know why. Other peer to peer sites like Rover/Lyft/Uber charge more. Wag a US dog walking site charges 40%. And while it seems like Airbnb is making money we don’t really know much about that since they aren’t a public company.


Ah I have just received it.

Basically they are creating an Easy Jet style menu, where hosts pay 3% if they want a basic service. However if you want a) host protection b) not to be liable for the full costs of rehousing a guest if you cancel c) to have a strict cancellation policy etc etc you then have to pay much more in commission I think up to 15%

So just another way of shafting hosts by charging them extra in commission for other the things they currently get for free.


Obviously a trend away from house sharing was there already, but these proposals make reviews of guests practically redundant. This is a BIG shift of rights and responsibilities! So guests will get the rights of an hotel with zero responsibilities and pay less. A lose lose situation.

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Airbnb profits $100m for 2017.
They charge the fees but don’t absorb cancellations or support hosts a lot of the time. It’s mostly just running a website.

I don’t think people have thought the host protection thing through. I mean how many hosts have landlord insurance etc… Also hosts are leaving themselves wide open to being sued re health and safety. For example hosts are pressurised into offering kitchen facilities, but how many hosts have landlord certificates on their gas and electric appliances? Prices are going down which means it’s even more difficult for hosts to provide insurance and health and safety. Airbnb could become the Rachman landlord of the future.

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Ok, well then I guess we will just have to vote with our feet. If Airbnb solicits terrible guests and offers zero protection then they will lose millions of hosts. We will find out soon enough how that works for them.

Millions of us of course will be fine and carry on as we have but will it be enough for Airbnb?

Yep, Air currently can take a maximum of 23% (host and guest) out of the transaction. When local taxes (sales and hotel) are added, say another 6-18%, SOMEBODY and it ain’t the host is getting up to 40% out of every transaction.

It’s pure rent-seeking, by local governments and Air, and anyone who isn’t heading full-tilt toward switching their bookings to direct via a website needs to get going.


I took the survey this morning. Looks like they are trying to weigh which features are more important to hosts, and how much they are willing to pay for them. But it seems a bit disingenuous, as it assumes that if you elect to pay more for a certain feature (ie: Host Guarantee, strict cancellation policy, etc) you will actually receive these features. It seems that more times than not they override your policy anyway. I wish they had let me comment on some of the answers I gave. Because, yes, the Host Guarantee may be important to me. But ONLY if I’m actually guaranteed to receive it should something go wrong/missing. If you’re going to override it anyway, I don’t want to pay more in commissions for a false promise.


The survey does also ask if you use other platforms. Then at the end they offer a selection of features based on your choices, then ask if they offer this to you, would you change the way you use AirBnB (more, less, etc). I’ve never used another platform, and I only have one listing so I suppose my answers won’t sway them one way or another.

The taxes will be due regardless of how you rent your place, i.e. AirBNB, craigslist, Homeway so I don’t think adding them to your calculation is honest.

Word it the way you did, 40% does sound dreadful. Any number below 40 could be up to 40 though couldn’t it?

So there’s the chicken little perspective and there’s reality. My reality is my guest pays 13-14%, I pay 3% and my occupancy taxes are around 5%. I also pay federal income tax on that but that would be true of any income. All taxes are still going to be due regardless of the method of booking. Of course there are the tax evaders but that’s a different topic.

That’s 22%.

There are many of us for whom this simply won’t work. I feel that 22% is workable for me. I think up to about 30% and I could hang in there. Above that I might not keep doing Airbnb. I’d have to see if I could up my price a little and still get booked.

Yes, I did the survey last week. It takes a while. They want you to select the ideal combination for you between guest & host fees, IB vs. manually accepting, premium or basic phone support, different cancellation policies, etc. I wonder if they’ll let hosts choose different types of hosting packages, which may be good, or if they’re trying to get a general consensus of what most hosts want.

It always amazes me when hosts rely on the so called ‘guarantee’ Airbnb offer. Seems madness to me when you see how many areas they exclude and the reported difficulties in making claims. I use a specialist Airbnb STR insurance, but understand there are other standard policies on the market in the UK, where you can add STRs on for an extra fee.

It’s a legal requirement for landlords in the UK to have a gas safety certificate so I would hope that ALL UK landlords would have this. I also have an electricity certificate.

Airbnb also have a liability insurance that cover listings in the UK so I have details of this, but my buildings insurance also has a liability element.

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I found the phone support option particularly galling as it’s one of the main reasons I work to get superhost status - as I know I can get through quickly.

Are they now saying you only get that if you pay extra for it (through increased commission)?

There are no benefits for hosts with this suggested approach - basically you end up paying, much more more in their proposed fee structure than you currently do for the same services.



22% is workable, would possibly be workable for me as well

… 40% is PURE PAIN, yet governments hitting folks with taxes much much much higher than 5% don’t see this …

somewhere between the two is where this whole model goes falling off a cliff.

And tax hauls and AirBNB aggregate fees start to DROP as folks flee the scenario.

That’s interesting that they ask if you use other platforms.

Our main platform is VRBO/HomeAway (vacation home in fly-to location). We don’t get many AirBnB bookings. I wasn’t sent the survey. I know I can’t generalize, but I hope they sent their poll to some users that don’t get a lot of bookings on AirBnB. They might convince themselves that almost all hosts are monogamous with AirBnB otherwise.

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Oops, didn’t see this thread. I’ll post my screenshots here and remove my other post.


@konacoconutz - not to sound stupid, but is the “commission fee” the same thing as the 3% they take from our payout today? I always think of that as the finance fee - I pay 3% to PayPal for processing a direct booking so today I’m indifferent.