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When do we get paid?

Evolve Vacation Rentals, who I have used for years, just changed their payout policy from paying homeowners in full 30 days prior to guest arrive to paying 48 hours after guest arrival. They tell me they switched to what is industry standard. To this I ask: what gives these hosting platforms the right to hold onto our earned income for weeks or even months at a time?

If you could let me know which hosting platforms you use that offer more reasonable payout timing that would be great! Thank you.

It’s their game, their rules. You don’t like the rules you don’t have to play!

That’s what gives them the right to hold on to your income if they choose and you agree.

I guess you could say that they have Evolved…

Airbnb has always paid out a day or so after guests arrive. I suspect that’s what most other Short Term Rental platforms do as well.

Why any rental platform would payout 30 days, or even one day before guests arrive I simply cannot fathom. It just isn’t in their best interest to do so.

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Oh the complexity if they cancel, shorten or change their guest numbers or dates.
Any direct bookers that pay in advance I put in an account and only transfer to the right accounts when the stay has ended.

VRBO has taken up to 10 days after my guests check out to pay me. I have twice called to ask what the hold up is and both times they have asked me to up date my banking information.

The actual platforms like Airbnb/VRBO/Booking.com/etc. don’t pay hosts before they actually do anything. Imagine how many more host scams would exist if host got paid in full before guests even checked-in. It make sense for property managers like Evolve to do the same. Why should they have to pay owners before they get paid by the platform?

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That’s just it: guests pay Evolve a 30% deposit when they make the reservation, and the balance is due from the guest to Evolve 30 days prior to check in. Before they changed their payment process, those funds would go almost immediately to the homeowner minus Evolve’s commission. But now they have changed their process to what I’m learning is more the norm. However, if guests are paying these management companies when they make the reservation–be it weeks or months in advance–then the management companies are sitting on the money during those weeks/months prior to the guests’ arrival date. I understand the risk involved with cancellations, charge-backs, etc., but Evolve does keep my credit card info on file and can charge it if necessary.

So I’ll reframe the question with this: if I were not an individual but rather representing a company, then is it acceptable/industry standard to get paid whenever the guests pay i.e., funds go to the company rather than an individual? The guests do pay prior to their arrival, and those funds need to go somewhere. And I can understand why a guest would feel more comfortable entrusting the payment to a company rather than an individual.

Btw, Booking dot com allows guests to provide their credit card information to homeowners directly.

Are you asking if Evolve would pay you promptly if you were registered with them as a business entity? I have no idea (although I doubt it). I imagine their terms of service would say so, if that were the case.

Airbnb normally pays host the day after guests check in. However, it may take up to five days to show up on your bank account. There was one reservation that took three weeks to pay out. When I contacted Airbnb they said they had made changes to pay outs.

I’m not sure why you refer to it as ‘our earned income’. But as Brian says, what about scams? There are so many out there and how could they be avoided if hosts are being paid in advance?

If you’re using a service, then you have to abide by the conditions they impose.

Not a good sign. So their “corporate policy” apparently is “withhold payouts as long as possible to assist cash flow”. No thank you.

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When I first listed with them, they offered me to pay a yearly fee so I would be paid faster and no booking fees. I didn’t choose that option and five days after the guest checked out I was paid usually. But sometimes they will pay up to ten days out or less.

From what you describe, it sounds like Evolve has their own booking platform (I.e. guests book directly through Evolve instead of through Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com etc.) . I didn’t realize Evolve was doing this. However, if that’s what they’re doing, then they are correct. The industry standard is to pay hosts after check-in, and no, it wouldn’t make a difference if you were an individual or a company.

Thinking about it a little more, I think what they are actually doing is what I originally thought and simply acting as property managers. Only in some cases (such as guests from Booking.com), they take the payment directly. In other cases (such as guests from Airbnb), they get paid when the platform pays them. Still, I agree that it makes sense to pay the owners after check-in, that way they can deal with cancellations and other issues without bothering the owner.

My bet is that they had a lot of problems paying hosts and then having to pay out of their own pockets when cancellations and other issues came up, and they evolved themselves.

A special thanks to everyone who has responded to my post today. It seems that Evolve has spoiled me these past three years, and my wake up call is now. I shall no longer live in the “fool’s paradise” as they say. Nevertheless, I cannot help thinking that these platforms have gained way too much power in this. They can make these policies to avoid charge backs and cancellation repercussions, and until I have my own platform I am subject to their rules, but my adherence does not mean that I agree with it or believe it to be fair business practice. Cancellations and chargebacks are only a tiny fraction of the financial risk and expense that vacation rental homeowners have to face. It is the homeowners who hold licenses, can get fined, and pay for all of the expenses involved in making our properties suitable for guests. The web platforms do not share this financial burden at all.

To answer the point about avoiding scams, in my mind ensuring that scammers are not advertising on Airbnb, etc is the responsibility of the web platform corporation, and that liability should not fall on the homeowner. We have nothing to do with their screening process, which should be in place to prevent such things. If a customer does fall victim to a scam on Airbnb or a similar web site, then that web site, not the legitimate homeowners who advertise on it, face that liability and should pay for the make good due to the customer.

And I wish you luck with that!
Just look at Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy. Airbnb grants the guest a full refund and the host gets nothing for the closed calendar and blocked dates.
We are the insurance policy for the guest and AirBNB.

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In addition, their “corporate policy” is to hold onto guest’ deposits for ten days too, as I found out last October after booking through them.

My bet is that they have their very own treasury department, with both guest and host funds going out on the Forex Market for the duration.

Barely worth the bother these days, with interest rates so low. Unless they have squillions to play with.

Or … maybe they aren’t doing all that well and they need the extra time to float it at our expense. Whatever the reason, it is shitty for us hosts.

That’s interesting. Hosts have the facility to refund the deposit immediately, else it will be done automatically (unless a claim against it is made) after seven days. Obviously hosts have no knowledge of when the deposit refund is actually made.

Payment terms with HA/VRBO are decent enough, payment is processed the day following check in and is received by the host within five to seven days. Their payment processor is based in Texas, even for European hosts.

JF

Mine didn’t. The other issue, when trying to find if it had been paid into my bank account, is that it doesn’t show up as a recent payment. It shows up against when the payment was actually made, which was weeks beforehand.

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We refund as soon as we’ve turned the apartment round, within a couple of hours effectively. I’m still in contact with one HA guest, I’ll ask them when they received the payment as I’m curious now.

I don’t want to be saying to guests that they’ll get the deposit back in X number of days, when in reality it’s X + 7.

Do you mean that the initial payment was adjusted, as opposed to you seeing a credit from Hyperwallets systems, their payment processors?

JF

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