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I was wrong (sort of). Once you get to the listing, I don’t see the AirBnB fee. But if you click the “Total before taxes” line of the listing in the search before you select the listing, you’ll get the AirBnB service fee separated from the owner’s fees:
I did qualify that by saying exactly that- my perception would have to be an informed one, given the area and the average wages for cleaning, and the size of the place. The average wage for cleaners in my part of Mexico is 100 pesos/hr., the equivalent of $5. So if I saw a cleaning fee in this area of $150US for a 3 bedroom house, I would be aware that is obviously not all going towards cleaning.
But if it was a 3 bedroom house in Denver or Vancouver, $150 would appear reasonable, and if it were $50, I would assume it either doesn’t actually get properly cleaned, that the host is stiffing some immigrant worker, or not valuing their own cleaning time.
I was just throwing out random numbers as an example of charges being reasonable or not, depending on local wages. I have no idea what cleaners charge in Denver or Myrtle Beach (now I do) or most places in the world. My point was that a host’s expenses and fees vary hugely across the world, and a guest would have to know the local economics to make an informed opinion as to whether a host’s fees were reasonable or whether they were gouging or being deceptive.
Honestly, I’ve never come across a cleaning fee that I would believe actually covered the entire cost of cleaning the Airbnb. As high as some cleaning fees can be they haven’t been high enough that I would clean the place for the same amount. And no one else (who is being treated like a human being) would either.
We clean our own apartments so we have an advantage. Our cleaning fee has ranged from $29 to $59 over time depending on various factors. However, we’ve had cleaners come a few times for various reasons. For one of our 2-bedroom apartments which are just shy of 600 sq ft it cost $300-400 for a professional cleaning. And that doesn’t include doing any laundry, having the beds made, doing any stocking and there’s definitely no lint rolling to get it to airbnb standards either.
Just the other day I kind of knocked on the other hosts in my area for their $125-150 cleaning fees. But I’m pretty they don’t care for me and my (completely unrealistic) $49 cleaning fee either. My husband does most of the cleaning these days. He’s not even making minimum wage with that cleaning fee. There’s often talk here about Airbnb wanting hosts to lower the prices and the race to the bottom thing. This push to lower cleaning fees is just more of that.
Well, I have seen listings where they were obviously trying to suck people in with a super low nightly rate and then tacked on a cleaning fee that was ludicrous, and guests have also posted about them.
I know some hosts list a high cleaning fee to discourage 1 nighters- their attitude is they don’t want super short bookings, but if someone is willing to pay the price, okay.
To each his own, but if a host doesn’t want short bookings, they should just set the minimum nights they prefer, IMO.
I don’t charge a cleaning fee at all. I decided when I started hosting that I wasn’t willing to put in the time it takes me (an hour and a half to do the guest room and guest bathroom, another half hour or hour to make sure the shared kitchen, and outdoor areas look good), for less than 3 nights. In fact, most of my bookings have been longer than that.
The first night’s fee covers the cleaning, utilities, and other expenses, all nights after that are basically profit.
We have a neighbor that has a $500US cleaning fee. That’s almost two weeks’ pay for a housekeeper in our country! But the nightly rate starts at $500US. However, he accepts short stays unlike most of the villas in the area, so that might be his way of discounting longer stays. Too bad there aren’t better tools to discount longer stays.
The weird thing is, or maybe it isn’t weird considering Airbnb’s mindset, is that they have a setting to lower the cleaning fee for short stays, but not to raise it. Lowering it would only be useful to hosts who prefer short stays and want to encourage them. There should be both options, either to lower or raise.
And you can only lower it for either 1 or 2-night stays. You can’t reduce it for any length of stay that you want. Theoretically, it should be somewhat static anyway. Our minimum stay is usually set for 4-6 days but if we end up with some orphaned dates in between other stays I will open them sometimes.
It’s infrequent that I’ll do a 2-night stay but when I do I have it set to reduce my cleaning fee by $5. I don’t think that the 2-night guests are going to cost us $5 less but it’s worth $5 to appease the algorithm It’s more common that our short stays would be 3 nights but the setting doesn’t allow for lowering the fee for 3-night stays.
It would be nice for cleaning fees to be set by any length of stay. I’ve seen some hosts say they use higher cleaning fees to deter short-term stays. But there are also hosts, I know some personally, who have a low nightly rate and a higher cleaning fee because they are doing long stays, 30+ days. That is typical of longer stays in general, a lower nightly with a higher cleaning fee because it is more extensive cleaning. But they also get orphaned dates in between them and want to book for a week so but can’t drop their cleaning fee for it. I helped a friend set-up a second listing for his shorter stays with a lower cleaning fee but a lot of hosts aren’t privy on how to do that.