Does advertising that you don't have a cleaning fee give you a competitive edge or attract low-quality guests?

TL;DR: Does advertising that you don’t have a cleaning fee give you a competitive edge or attract low-quality guests?

The answer is probably both!

I’ve been thinking of adding “No Cleaning Fee” to my listing title.

I took a couple of months off hosting and recently reopened my listing, a basement in-law suite. I have hosted this space off-an-on since 2015. I have noticed it takes a while to get bookings after I’ve been closed. (Whether it is because I don’t have recent reviews, the algorithm is slow to find reopened listings, or because I usually take a break after I’ve had a three-star review, I don’t know.)

My market (Seattle) is saturated with professional hosts with 2-night minimums and/or big cleaning fees, so I started catering to one-night stays. This works better for my busy schedule as I can just be open a few nights a week in between family activities. (And I avoid hosting the days my kids wake up early, which was the catalyst for my three-star review in September.)

I dropped the cleaning fee and raised my prices with the assumption I’ll be hosting one-night stays. I got two different one-night bookings over Thanksgiving weekend and they both were wonderful guests, exactly who I was looking for!

However, I don’t want to attract those guests looking for a crash-pad after a night of partying as they often are loud, have extra guests, and leave a mess. I take other measures to deter these guests: have a morning cut-off time for day-day bookings, emphasize I live on site, emphasize the quiet hours, and engage guests if they show up with undisclosed extra guests. Still, I get these on occasion. Do you think announcing that I don’t have a cleaning fee would attract more guests who aren’t a good fit?

As usual, I’m overanalyzing everything. :slight_smile:

I noticed from browsing in Incognito if you tick the “display total before taxes” box it hides the cleaning fee in the total breakdown, at least before booking, so it could be guests don’t even realize there is no cleaning fee.

(I’m not asking if I should charge a cleaning fee or not. I do in the busy summer season when I’m as booked as I want to be.)

A picture is worth etc. etc

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Lovely listing! Is it yours?


There is a link on my forum profile
(Current prices for December are jacked up because we want a break but will accept reservations for a big fat premium fee. Back to normal next year, where we are already solidly booked until the end of April)

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I am sure guests appreciate finding a two-bedroom place without a cleaning fee. I’m guessing this listing title has only been helpful? I’m not sure if Coquitlam is also an oversaturated market.

We included it in the listing name after we read the market research last spring about how cleaning fees left such a sour taste in the mouths of Airbnb guest members.

Coquitlam is a competitive market – but this will change next spring when new legislation removes free-standing suites from the market – no more “investment condos,” just in house, in-law suites and laneway houses in the back yard. Then this becomes more of a sellers’ market.

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Would love to see your listing - we occassionaly travel to Seattle.

I am one of those guests who get annoyed at cleaning fees - we don’t charge one for our Airbnb.

One of the other things I look for is off-street parking - tough to fine in Seattle.

Yes it is! I posted a few weeks ago about getting a reserved parking sign. I live in a residential neighborhood a few miles from downtown and have had recent problems with people parking in my off-street spot. I’m glad I can offer parking as an amenity but it is annoying keeping watch to ensure it is available.

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However you decide to word your listing, remember that the majority of guests read very little. Thus your emphasizing certain aspects many not get through.

I put “no cleaning fees and all taxes included” at the top of my listing description recently. I think may have got some needed traction. For now it is a financial hit to fill the calendar. I’m also trying IB on Glamping hub… They said the calendars sync in an hour which of course wasn’t true or at least not in the middle of the same night when I had RTB on Airbnbn and IB on GH arghhh…

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This sounds like a helpful regulation for both traditional on-site hosts and locals in need of long-term housing. I hope our regulations catch up Seattle. Our city council introduced regulations in 2017ish that limited each host to two properties (and one must be owner-occupied), but there seems to be loopholes and/or lack of enforcement because I still see whole apartment buildings listed.

I don’t think so. But I do think that posting too high of cleaning fee will drive people away. I refuse to go to a listing where cleaning fee is 50% or more on one night stay. That’s low balling to get business then sticking it to guest on the back side in my opinion…

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I also disapprove of deceptively lowballing the nightly fee and tacking on a high cleaning fee. But it seems like that would depend on the minimum nights a host has. I don’t charge any cleaning fee, but have a minimum stay of 3 nights and the majority of my guests book for longer than that. If I accepted one-nighters, I would charge a cleaning fee that would likely be half the nightly fee- it takes me 2 hours to clean and prepare the guest bedroom and bathroom, including making sure the kitchen and outdoor spaces, which are shared spaces, are clean and tidy. I charge $39CAN/night, and I wouldn’t want to clean for 2 hours for less than half of that on a one night booking.

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In British Columbia the regulations are from the provincial government – and they are deadly serious and have some smart people working on it. There will be no loopholes.


Give it a go and see what happens. High light it if you think that will help.
Good luck

I include the cleaning fee in my nightly fee. When I priced it separately, people left the place a mess, because they were paying a cleaning fee. I also included the following: We don’t charge a separate cleaning fee and cover 4 hours of cleaning. This includes change out of all linens and cleaning of the house to the condition it was when you arrived. If there are big messes that exceed our normal cleaning, you will be billed at a rate of $25/hr or any part thereof. Please load all of your dirty dishes into the dishwasher and move all furniture back to its original location. No need to strip the beds or start any laundry. "


Thanks for taking the time to reply! About a week ago, I dropped the cleaning fee and added “No Cleaning Fee” to the nightly rate about a week ago. I haven’t had any bookings yet. I’m showing up on the front page of my neighborhood when I do a private browser search. I think it is just slow right now or perhaps potential guests are deterred by my recent 3-star review.

Really like this approach. Do you find guests tend to leave the place nicer this way? Or most won’t even read it?

I saw a big difference in the way guests leave the house. Much tidier and no big kitchen disasters, unlike before where guests would leave pots and pans unwashed, oven spills baked on and greasy stoves from frying food.

I’ve actively advertised “No Cleaning Fees or AirBnB Fees” for a while. I then just build it into the nightly price and offer a discount for multi-day stays. I’ve had a good number of guests say they really appreciate the “no fees” approach and several have stated that it was that reason they chose my place over somewhere else. I’ve also noticed a couple of years ago that when I did this and the nightly price went up, the quality of my guests improved. My rates are fair, even low, but intentionally not the lowest.