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Just saw this on Facebook Air testing No Guest Fees


#1

Anyone else see this or have been contacted?


#2

Which translates as all hosts fees!


#3

Supposedly it is for PMs, but it would not surprise me if they eventually defaulted to this model.


#4

12 % to 15% …an huge and massive and stunningly unmentionable increase in our overhead.
Excuse me while I go hang my head over the toilet.


#5

Does anyone feel more and more like we’re becoming hotels with all the taxes, fees and expectations!


#6

Dang, a 12% margin! Who wouldn’t want that? I’ve been thinking about this and this makes hosts a little like independent franchisees. We get the technology platform and the brand building activities of Airbnb. We’ve paid a percent of our earnings for that support. Research says a franchisee would typically pay two fees: royalty fees and marketing fees ranging from a total of 6-10 percent (after the initial franchise fee). A fee of 12 percent seems ridiculously high given existing franchisee practices. I can see where they would remove perceived guest friction at booking – with this change the price is the price. Yeah, some hosts have to add taxes local governments require, but not everyone collects those taxes. I am NOT saying I like this change, please don’t misunderstand, but thinking about the business model I can see why they would think about it. I do not think they can prove causality with this volunteer experiment. It has to be a controlled environment so saying more bookings was the result of the change is guessing. No matter what, for the amount of money they make on listings, I’d expect more out of the main office in support of the hosts – more like a franchisor operates.


#7

Hi Cyn!! Glad to see you post! Hope you can join us more!

Yes… I believe Air used to be the market leader in their own niche but are now feeling pressure from all the other platforms, including Booking. This would essentially turn us all into booking dot calm listings.

IB, flexible cancellations, no fees to the user… it’s all bearing down on us more and more.

All the big platforms are going this route. And what do we then become. They’ve lost their way. All of these companies have lost their way.


#8

Is the idea that the host raises rates to net out to the same revenue as the 3% fee? Do they believe some guests are offended by the large service fee that is listed in the total costs??


#9

Nobody likes fees, charges, taxes! Airbnb has always shot itself in the foot when they advertise our properties at a seemingly low rate and then all the ad ons at the end, and let’s not forget the currency exchange rort as well.
They are wanting to appear more “transparent “ and load all those costs on to the hosts. B.com at the moment is trying to get me to include the cleaning fee into the nightly rate… why? Because they don’t get a cut of it. My response was to lower the nightly rate and up the cleaning fee.


#10

They are competing against the other platforms like booking that don’t charge the guest a service fee at all.

I would put money that they are very worried about booking cutting into their market.


#11

In my area, Air BNB collects about 16% total in fees on a two-night stay — 3% from the host, and about 13% from the guest. That means they’re betting on us raising our rates AND seeing an increase in bookings.


#12

When I first started doing home sharing, HomeAway only made money by via the subscription fee paid by hosts. The conventional wisdom at the time was that HomeAway guest complaints were ignored; hosts were king.

Then Air came along and their egalitarian, democratic model said: we take somewhat equally from both guest and host and we serve both fairly.

Now, if hosts are the ones paying ALL the fees to Air will they then start catering their policies to hosts? Somehow I doubt it.


#13

Worse than hotels. Because a lot of hotels only list part of their inventory on these OTAs. So for them, flexible cancellation is easier to replace with walk-ins or if they can’t rebook - it only negatively affects a portion of their daily revenue. They are still getting direct bookings on their own.

But these OTAs want 15% of a single listing host’s daily revenue. And if someone cancels last minute it could cost a host a week or so worth of their revenue. Imagine a hotel losing an entire week’s worth of revenue due to one guest cancelling…they’d never put up with it.


#14

They are abusers. They are taking advantage of our addiction to them and they know we will roll over for anything they propose.


#15

Am I the only one that thinks the guest fees Air charges are really high and 3% for hosts is quite low? Having said that, I HATE Airbnb right now having spent 2 hours trying to sort something out and dealing with stoned-out-his-head Josh and then being passed on to the supervisor, even-more-stoned-and-utterly-cluelessless Jon. They should be embarrassed at this piss-take of a ‘service’.
Does anyone know if these stoner kids have any power at all? As in, can they arrange to scupper your listing because you swore at them (badly, really badly)?


#16

Oh dear. You lost your good humor, didn’t you? I am so very sorry. All of us have better things to do than talk with AirBNB. You have my condolences.

And I don’t think that the nighttime stoners can actually affect your listing placement.


#17

Thank you, It was a horrible experience. But I will regain my humour! Co-hosting on other platforms has made me fully realise that Air are way down bottom of the league on CS. I know, everybody knows this already…!


#18

Hi @konacoconutz

Living in sunny Queensland at the moment. I visit the forum from time to time when I get an email notification to keep abreast of any changes. Don’t post too much but give the odd heart when I see a likeminded viewpoint or get a good laugh!

I have been struggling the last couple of weeks to connect Siteminder to our listings so I can offer a perspective of someone using a channel manager to you. It is just recently that we have had connectivity enabled.

With all the other sites we just feed out one rate and everything is easy and fine. It would literally be about a 15 minute job to connect to a new site. With AirBnb - wow. You do not base the price on the final total the guest will pay so you have to load all the rates at about 14% lower than the others so that you can get rate parity.

BDC, Expedia and all their subsidiaries charge a 14% commission. Overall, it is convoluted because you start with a lower price so the % has a different impact - just to add another element of fun and further calculations!

The guest pays the same price regardless - it is just that the other OTA’s charge the property the “guest fee” and not the guest themselves so it works out to pretty much the same net earnings in the end.

My pricing:

Price on BDC = $100 for guest with 14% commission = $86 net to me.

Price on AirBnB = $89 for guest with 3% commission = $86 net to me or for the other property = $91 for the guest with strict policy of 5% commission. Plus you have 12% service fee = about $10 so the guest will be charged $99 or $101 depending on cancellation policy to be in line with other site pricing. Just the calculations on a round figure of $100 is complicated.

Add to this they made a mandatory minimum $7 cleaning fee where we have never used this function before and your head will be spinning trying to work out all your seasonal rates on all your room types with all the percentages AND they took away the function “what does the guest pay?” which was my lifeline in helping to figure out some of these totals. Everyone else just works with what the guest pays.

There is an option to use the existing rate plans in place and a way to add a 9 or 15 or whatever percent discount it is supposed to be but then you cannot block off dates that would be best sold on another site with the cancellation policy you want, hence the need to create another rate plan and endless calculations to fix the price.

They have turned a simple connection into a task for an MIT mathematician. I am only about 25% of the way done connecting 8 listings with 19 different pricing plans and I can assure you that the other system would be most warmly welcomed by me!!

When you work with other OTA’s they make you sign a contract that you will have rate parity on other sites. Imagine my surprise last month when we got an email saying we had dropped ranking 18 positions because we were 3% cheaper on another site. Get out of town! This was a mistake on their part but these global companies are watching even the little guys who are operating on their competitors sites.

Now that AirBnB is the first vacation rental site to jump the divide into the playing field with the big operators by having channel manager connectivity, I would imagine they are going to branch out and start behaving more like them. They will have to really, in order to be a credible competitor. I cannot imagine that the multiplex properties that they are courting at the moment will have the tolerance that the little fish do to deal with their convoluted pricing scheme.

It won’t change the end price for you at all. Your online price will go up and AirBnB will just collect all their commission or “fees” from the host rather than splitting it up as is the normal acceptable practice for bigger OTA’s. The guest pays the same amount in the end. For anyone using a channel manager this would be a hugely welcome change. It would certainly cut down on my alcohol consumption if they streamlined this process sooner rather than later!

B


#19

I don’t think this will work for hosts who aren’t property managers. It would be a mistake for Airbnb to implement this for all hosts. I’ve had many returning guests who wanted to bypass the ABB site and deal with me directly. I usually deny it because I wouldn’t get a review and I’d lose the $1 million host guarantee. For the small percentage I pay now, it’s not worth going off site. But, if they increased the fee substantially, I think many hosts would start booking directly especially with repeat guests and ABB wouldn’t get anything.


#20

I currently charge Guests who book with me direct about 5% more than the ABB listed price, so they save a bit and I make a bit more. Seems fair.

I would also prefer the listing price to be what the Guest is charged.


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