Airbnb Wants To Fix Six Things About Its Business

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky took to twitter to crowdsource priorities for improving their product. He reported back on the top six priorities that came out of the project.

I think the platform was revolutionary but also doesn’t live up to its potential. There are way too many hosts with way too many rules that too often fail to deliver the product that they promise. And the platform doesn’t do enough to generate trust and enforce norms of behavior.

Hosts cancel on guests and guests basically just out of luck, there may not be other lodging options available and the most Airbnb will do is offer a credit. Sometimes. The last Airbnb I stayed in had a locked plastic box over the climate control so you couldn’t turn down the air conditioning and cost them electricity charges. And that was at $300 per night.

I also don’t like hauling out my trash at the end of a stay when I’m being charged a cleaning fee. Pricing is anything but transparent when various fees can add 50% onto the cost of a stay. And those fees often make Airbnb an uncompetitive option for short stays.

Airbnb has talked about a loyalty program for years, and there’s been talk of a co-brand credit card too. I like being able to check in early and check out late because of hotel elite status.

The top 6 issues customers have, which have the Airbnb CEO’s attention, are:

These all come down to ‘make Airbnb easier to do business with and through’. I think of customer service as a catch-all for ensuring that the product being offered on the platform is something consumers can have confidence in, and standing behind that when there are problems. This also recognizes that the fee structure is a problem that disincentivizes stays for many use cases.

And a loyalty program is a no-brainer, but it’s far easier to deliver things like rebates for spend on the platform and perhaps more elevated customer service to frequent guests than it is to ensure any sort of elevated experience during a stay. Hotel chains have a hard enough time ensuring elite benefits on properties where there are clear brand standards, expectations for delivering an elevated in-stay experience for frequent Airbnb guests should be modest at best.

There’s a big demand for what Airbnb does. And overall they bring down the cost of rooms (more supply) and bring more travelers which is a good thing in most cases. They’re also the market leader for a reason (compare to Marriott Homes & Villas on transparency). Even Marriott hotel owners want to rent out their rooms through Airbnb.

And of course if hotels can’t – or won’t – deliver on the things that differentiate their product from Airbnb, like elite benefits and daily housekeeping, they’ll find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I do not use AirB&B because I don’t trust their hosts. And I don’t trust AirB&B to solve a problem if it occurs.

  2. I don’t know how to “fix” AirBnB but I agree it doesn’t live up to its potential. Though I’ve never had a truly terrible experience with AirBnB (one was very close but ended up working out) I’ve had enough mediocre experiences to no longer book them as often as I once did.

    They’re no long the amazing value they once were and every time I book them I do so knowing the risk that I’m on my own if anything happens (i.e I don’t book anything if I know I can book another thing the day of).

  3. I’ve used Airbnb for years. I formally owned one of the largest short-term apartment rental companies. I started several years before Airbnb started. I still remember Brian and one of the other co-founders calling me to try to get me to list all my properties on their platform.

    I remember telling them that the key was having high-end professional photos which I did. These were some smart guys but in the early days they didn’t know much about the business. They were doing these free hacks like making owners list their property listings and then it would push out a free listing on Craigslist. I thought it was pretty smart of them.

    It’s been amazing watching them grow the company over the past several years. I still use them often and honestly never have issues. If you just filter and always book with a Superhost you typically will never have issues.

    I’m not saying there isn’t room to improve because there is. But these are some smart guys and have buildt something special.

  4. We’re in the midst of a “Pandemic of Customer Service”. Companies, airlines, hotels etc dont give a shit what you think. The global customer service reset is upon us.

  5. I will not use Airbnb again. The advertisement was incorrect in many ways, starting with the neighborhood with beat down homes to include the home next door collapsing. I had an uncomfortable feeling about walking around in the area. So I decided not to even check-in and then find a hotel instead. Supposedly this was an historic area of town…not at all. Walkable to stores, only thing I found while driving the area during daylight was a Dollar General and Domino’s Pizza. I
    I left this “hood” & researched the area to find high crime rate, including shootings and home and vehicle break-ins. I did not find any historical sites either. I should’ve done this investigation prior to booking but I made the reservation the night before.
    So as far as Airbnb customer service… not any help to get a refund. Except a month later they returned the cleaning fee as I did not use the property at all.
    I suggested to Airbnb to allow me to be a “secret shopper” to check on the property descriptions etc.
    I have only stayed in decent hotels since, even for the cost of a week because I know what to expect.

  6. As a host, I try to do.my best to give excellent customer service knowing I will continue to get business thru good reviews. The advantage I have is living in the property and renting out rooms so guests can always ask questions or get what they need quickly and understand house rules.

  7. AirBNB is terrible.

    But, I have to use it, as it’s hard to find good places to stay for 1-4 weeks, with kitchen/laundry.
    Taking out the trash, to basically feeling compelled to leave a 5 star review.

    Incredibly strange hosts. (I just want to rent a place, and be left alone. Not messaged during my stay to check in on me).

    Heat went out in a place in New England last week.
    No fix. I tried myself
    A bunch.
    Nothing.

    So, I just had to live with it.

    I can’t wait for someone to make a better version.

    Sort of like YouTube – now that there are alternatives, I don’t use YT anymore.
    As soon as their are alternatives to AirBNB, I’m gone.

  8. Way to many fees. The cleaning fees are way out if control. I just stay at Marriotts, I gave up on Airbnb a couple of years ago.

  9. I take a different view than Gary & some commenters. I typically opt against staying in a hotel unless there is simply is not an AirBnb available that suits my needs. I find I can often be nearer to my destination with an AirBnb than with a suitable hotel, and in most Abnb stays I don’t have to wait on elevators or deal with parking garage or valet hassles (and in some cities, outlandish hotel parking charges). By and large my Abnb stays afford me double or even triple the room to spread out than all but the priciest of hotel suites, and generally far, far more amenities, like washer & dryer availability, full kitchens, etc. While there are exceptions now and then, most my Abnb stays have also been far quieter and more peaceful than my experiences across many years of staying in hotels before the Abnb era – no noisy ice machines or elevators, no amorous couples knocking boots or deaf TV watchers with cranked up volume in adjoining rooms, no late-night partiers and screaming children up and down the shared halls, and no slamming self-closing doors from other guests keeping hours different than mine to wake me up. And yes, it’s true that the amenities, service, and general lodging details are more variable with Abnb than with a major hotel chain – and that’s both by design as part of the model, and more appealing than detrimental for me. I can get the same quarter pounder with cheese at a McDonalds in Denver as in Dallas, and a W Hotel room is the same whether it’s in Detroit or Des Moisnes – personally I like the variety of one Abnb to the next. As to taking out the trash at the end of the stay, not all ABnb hosts make this request & I don’t mind doing it as a courtesy when they do. The elimination of daily housekeeping at many hotels during the covid era also would seem to me to have evened the playing field a bit as to those to whom the daily room servicing amenity is vital. In 100+ ABnb stays I’ve never had a host cancel on me – maybe just lucky I guess. And in 2 Abnb stays I had which were subpar for one reason or another (entry code didn’t work in one & I was delayed by 2 hours getting into the unit; in another the unit was simply not clean) the hosts quickly & without complaint gave me a full refund for the entirety of my stay – something I’ve never been offered or granted at a hotel, even where the experience was deplorable. It seems to me Abnb hosts tend to be more concerned about the prospects of bad reviews than most hotel operators. And puuuhhhh-leeeez on the subject of fees… As this very blog has documented well and repeatedly, hotels are far and away the worse offenders on that front, with ridiculous fees for all kind of things that are included at no extra charge with most Abnb stays. Last but not least, transparency of pricing – while it is true that sometimes an extra click is required to get to the actual total charge when browsing for an Abnb (which DEFINITELY should be corrected by Abnb), I’ve never had the experience of booking an Airbnb & paying a nickel more than I was told I would at the time I made the reservation. So, obviously an Abnb fan-boy here. 🙂

  10. I ama 5 * superhost and I am absolutely appalled that someone would.object to taking out trash as they leave. Seriously how entitled do you have to be to take a bag of trash out to a bin? This is the same person that would demand a full refund of they saw a bug or a mouse in the property which is exactly what your garbage would attract of left in the premises.

    I can assure you that I most cases Airbnb will always side with guest. If you didn’t get your way on a dispute it’s because it had to be very egregious house rules or TOS violation. In many cases a guest can make a claim and the property can be shut down or delisted by Airbnb without allowing for any input from the host. Denied damage claims, unauthorized parties, exceeding allowable capacity/occupancy are all frequent violations that we are subjected to.

    There is always another side of the story
    .

  11. @Kathy – “I ama 5 * superhost and I am absolutely appalled that someone would.object to taking out trash as they leave.”

    When paying a cleaning fee on a $400++/night room I’ve been asked to carry trash several blocks away. And you find it appalling to find that unreasonable?

  12. Some people are better suited for hotels and some are better suited for airbnb. Others like me can easily go either way depending on the situation, and with experience can improve the likelihood of making the right call in any given circumstance. I think airbnb needs to identify its core markets. It can’t be everything to everyone.

  13. @ Kathy, Gary has it right on this point imo. There is invariably a “cleaning fee” for an Abnb stay, and whether that means a cleaning service that the Abnb host pays is coming in after the guest leaves, or the host is making some extra money off the guest’s stay by cleaning the unit themselves, there isn’t a very good reason in view of the cleaning charge to ask guests to take out their own trash. The question could fairly be asked how entitled one has to be to want to collect a cleaning fee from guests and then make them do part of the cleaning. My best guess why some Abnb hosts request/require this is that they don’t clean or have the unit cleaned right away upon a guest’s departure (esp. if they don’t have another guest inbound right away), and don’t want odors or pests attracted from food refuse left behind – but that should be a host problem to solve, not a guest’s. As I said in my own post, I personally don’t mind gathering the trash at the end of my stay & dumping it in a bin on my way out (albeit I’ve never stayed at an Abnb where the trash removal was supposed to be to someplace other than right outside the unit, unlike Gary’s experience). But having had this conversation with business colleagues who travel a lot like I do, I have come to believe that for many travelers hotel versus Abnb is a binary choice, and if they are not being asked to cart their refuse away from a hotel room, that’s one check on the ledger in favor of Marriott/Hilton/Hyatt/whoever and one against Abnb. Seems to me every Abnb host should WANT to move that checkmark over to the Abnb column or at least remove it as a point of comparison for travelers.

  14. In vacation destinations, Airbnb is wonderful! Only book with 5-star super-hosts and you will be guaranteed to have a great experience! There is always room for improvement, but I will take an Airbnb over a hotel any day!

  15. I stopped using them few years ago, no point. When Airbnb just started it was beautiful, I was absolutely in love with it, I saved like 50% of hotel rate, now dusty home with excessive fees cost same or more as at least 4 star hotel, no thanks.

  16. I would like to see the cleaning fee less expensive. One place we stayed in cost €60. We left the place spotless and took out the trash and left the towels clean. Another place the charge was €20?

  17. I’m with you on the trash, Gary. Kathy is crazy—if I’m paying a $150 cleaning fee on a weeks’ rental of, say, $600, that’s a 25% surcharge! Broken down in terms of labor, let’s say that is what, 4 or 5 hours in the USA, maybe 2 days (16 hours) of labor in Mexico? In 2020 I paid my full-time housekeeper in my Mexican home $4- hour, that was, $160 week, and she took out trash daily! And that was considered a very good wage, no less. So I cannot imagine any cleaning person NOT removing garbage. I worked as a condo cleaner while attending grad school, and I could thoroughly clean a 2 BR 2BA Florida beach condo in 4 hours, which included sweeping out the beach sand.

    AirBnb was once a great deal. No more. The excessive cleaning fees are my number one turnoff Transparency in pricing is the way to go.

  18. I think @Frank summed it up pretty well in the first post. There are obviously some wonderful hosts and some great properties listed on Airbnb. But there is no way Airbnb is able to (or is even willing to) manage 4 million hosts to a high service standard. Too many things that can (and often do) go wrong, from misleading information to cancelled reservations to hidden cameras to bogus charges.

    Hotels can have issues to, of course, including boring cookie cutter rooms, poor service, and lack of promised benefits for elites (e.g. disappointing free breakfast). But for the most part, you can be confident in what you’re going to get when you book a room with major hotel chains. Which, to me, beats playing games of chance with Airbnb.

  19. Stinking freeloaders pay no tax and operate an unlicensed boarding house which invariably disturbs the neighbours. Here’s my 3 suggestions
    1. Operate the boarding-houses properly like anyone else, get them inspected and registered
    2. Declare your real income and pay tax in this country
    3. Demand a $3000 noise-deposit claimable by the neighbours

  20. I’m an AirBNB host and am proud of the product we offer. Although we charge a cleaning fee we have been sure to keep it low to make our accommodation exceptional value. This is reflected in our reviews and repeat booking.
    As a host I believe it important that a rating system be introduced so that I don’t get bundled up with the second rate providers.
    Why not introduce a star rating like motels have? I would be happy to pay an annual fee to AirBNB to evaluate my property, however, would not accept a self assessment system. This way everyone wins. Guest know the standard they are getting and bad operators are either forced to upgrade, lower costs or leave the industry.

  21. Karl Rupp I agree with you on most of what you said. We stay in Airbnb maybe 95% of our travels but I have run into a few with very long “to-do” lists before we leave, which seem extreme. I leave a clean place but taking the trash down to the boat on a corner somewhere in Venice (and not too near where we were staying) was the breaking point. I left a note saying I had no clue where that place was, so the trash was in bags but still in the apartment. We travel with family a lot and I refuse to book a place that sleeps 10 but charges per person over 2. Just no. Price it for 10 – it sleeps 10. That is really a vacation house rental gripe though, not an Airbnb gripe. So is the trash I guess because I’ve had VRBO homes require some crazy stuff before leaving.

  22. The one big item I discovered against Air B&B last fall with a visit to Vancouver. Hosts discriminate against disabled people that have service dogs. They deny your rental saying no dogs allowed even though Air B&B has a service animal policy. I reached out to them on five reservation requests and received no help at all from them even though the emails indicated someone would reach out to help. Next time I have decided I am going to file a discrimination suit with human rights. I asked one host that told me I had to keep my dog in the kitchen just how they thought the animal could perform it’s work for me from the kitchen. Air B&B need to stop allowing discrimination on their platform.

  23. AirBNB CEO’s list is classic spin: don’t fall for it. No way are those six complaints truly the “top 6” complaints that customers have brought to him. Rather, they’re six vaguely-worded goals that the CEO believes that he can sort-of fix without affecting the underlying profitability of his business.

    Or are you *really* telling me that the #1 issue customers have is that they can’t use their stashes of Bitcoin to pay for AirBNB, and tip the hardworking AirBNB hosts for their great services to humanity?

    It’s pretty embarrassing to watch executives define the goalposts, and then move them here and there when they think nobody is looking. Works when you’re playing games with five-year olds. I’d thought he’d have more respect for paying adult customers. I’ll continue to avoid AirBNB and its mystery meat.

  24. I don’t understand the complaints about the cleaning fee. It is posted. Why did you book the place if you think it is too high? The room rate was lower than a hotel, it was lower than other Airbnb options with lower cleaning fees, had better reviews, so you DECIDED on that one. Simple solution: take one with a lower cleaning fee.

    Taking out your own trash: sorry @Kathy, I agree it isn’t for the guest to do. It is part of the cleaning. The only time I wasn’t granted an extra hour or two was due to the cleaning crews hours couldn’t accommodate the change. No rats or roaches showing up with that schedule.

    @Frank: I have only had one issue with a host cancelling on me and that was due to a water line breaking. Airbnb gave me $150 credit to cover the difference on another property available. I have used customer service to help use the credit due to an airline schedule change. Always prompt responses and professional.

    I use Airbnb on longer stays when my dime is used. I have to say my biggest issue is if the customer has a four star or better review, the host should have to accept the booking immediately and not be able to reject it. My only negative experience was opting for a 21 day stay at a place and the host no accepting it because they prefer seven days or less. Then don’t allow me to book it. I don’t want a message a day or two later so I have to search again.

    Most complaints here seem due to poor researching. You are the negative, not Airbnb.

  25. Gary, most short term Airbnb guests are looking for an experience within a property (such as a private pool, lake, ocean, mountains etc.) while longer term guests are looking for a “home away from home” — not a hotel room with a mini fridge, early 2000’s television and voices of people running up/down the hallways all night.

    You’re post portrays Airbnb as a negative experience all because you feel upset you have to “haul your trash after paying a cleaning fee”. The cleaning fee covers the cost of cleaning and sanitizing the space after your stay. Hosts asks guests to remove the trash bag from the bin to prevent perishables from rotting/decomposing thus creating an odor. In addition, if you take an extra minute and read through your listing before booking — you’ll see the hosts “House Rules” which outlines pertinent information. Rules aren’t meant to be broken but rather to agree or disagree. If you disagree then don’t book — it’s that simple.

    While I surely understand there are some hosts who aren’t the best, let’s not forget that not every hotel offers a 5 star experience as well.

    It’s worth mentioning you’re article is biased since you receive commission from Hotel credit cards through the use of referral links while you receive nothing from Airbnb.

  26. @VH – “you’re article is biased since you receive commission from Hotel credit cards through the use of referral links while you receive nothing from Airbnb.” You do realize the Capital One Venture X comes with a homesharing credit, right? And Marriott promotes their homesharing booking platform?

  27. I been in this business since 2016 as a host with good experiences and few bad experiences.
    I agree with the guests complaining
    about take out your trash and wash ur dishes it’s inappropriate .I think what my suggestion to AirBNB should create the basic house rules for all the hosts.No host can implement their own rules.Seriously I stayed in few AirBnB where rules are like crazy.Do not leave dirty towels on floor,soak dishes in the water etc etc .I felt too much pressure on me becz host took the security deposit too !!!!!

  28. There would appear to be an opportunity for an unbiased review site (Yelp style) for AirBnB properties since so many property owners go to great efforts to coerce their guests into giving unearned 5 star reviews.

  29. The biggest issue with Airbnb is that they don’t show the full price on the search results. They don’t include their fee, taxes, or cleaning costs, which in total can be up to an extra 35% on the displayed price. Clear bait & switch

  30. To those “guests” that complain about having to take trash out after having paid the cleaning fee. So if you are staying for a week, you will not take trash out and just let it pile on in the house? Because you paid cleaning fee? I can only imagine what kind of sty your own dwelling is with that attitude.. unless your mommy comes and cleans after you. Airbnb attracts entitled, messy, complainy, insufferable and never satisfied kind of “guest”, that is why I do not list on it. I have a property that sleeps 10-16, with outdoor areas, hot tub etc there is a lot more to cleaning than just taking trash out. Hot tub has to be drained, sanitized and refilled after each stay; professional housekeeping company brings all fresh linens and towels (laundered in a commercial laundry by the way), makes all 8 beds, and takes used laundry and towels away, and cleans the whole 3 story house. You want us to pay them living wage? We do. I do not get a dime from the cleaning fee charged – it goes to pay housekeeping in its entirety. I actually even subsidize it a bit. And poor guest was asked to take the trash that they generated during their stay 20 steps from the kitchen to the outdoor trash container. How dare hosts ask to do that. On the last note, complaining about cleaning fee is barking up the wrong tree. Why don’t y’all complain about outrageous fees Airbnb adds on that y’all don’t seem mind paying – for nothing more than using their crappy website.

  31. I’m a 5* Superhost with 4 units. Our cleaning people set their fee and they get 100% of it. If ABB starts trying to dictate cleaning fees, we’re out. The trash can is 20 ft from the front door…if you want trash rotting in your rental because you think you shouldn’t have to take it out, fine…we’ll take care of it. But you won’t be coming back.

  32. I’ve generally had good luck with Airbnb. The exception was a property that had only one photo…it showed the only good thing about the property. Lesson learned.

  33. The problem is never people with service animals. The problem is that Airbnb does not differentiate between ESA’s and service animals. And most peoples ESA‘s are their glorified pets that are not well trained and damage of the homes. And it causes problems for people who do have actual service animals and do need to be accommodated no matter what. Airbnb needs to stop treating emotional support animals (which can by ANY kind of animal (snakes rats birds etc) like service animals. The hosts have no say.

  34. Cleaning fees are a scam to trick people out of a few more dollars. Been a Superhost for seven years and have *never* charged a cleaning fee and don’t expect people to take out their garbage. We clean the place ourselves. It’s a cost of doing business.

  35. There always used to be a better option but AirBnB stole their market – managed vacation rentals. As a property owner it’s incredibly frustrating having to rent out through AirBnB: renters trying to blackmail you is now up at the 20% level. And then you have to deal with people who don’t read the description and think they are staying in a hotel (a greater issue since the pandemic) when it’s in fact a private house without servants. Most renters are fantastic but AirBnB has far more problematic ones than VRBO.

  36. Just had our 1st bad experience with Airbnb, after smooth sailing for 5 years. We had to reschedule our vacation and the host refused to reschedule us so we could save our $750 deposit. Our dog fell ill and we are its only care takers, we cannot delegate vet visits/procedures for him. They didn’t care. So….customer service did nothing. I couldn’t even get through to any management to get a meager credit. The host didn’t like a few words in an initial message and labeled us untrustworthy. Huh?? Our guest record is impeccable.
    So:
    1) agree on the fees-too much
    2) full refunds should be given up to 30 or even 60 days before.
    3) Hosts have way to much discretion, and Airbnb will NOT step in to double check this unfairness.

    We won’t be booking with them again. Hello VRBO!

  37. I think the most important issue is making the website easier to use. I’m not sure why you can’t use the property number to search and find it again after you have left and come back to the site. Maybe there’s a way and I just wasn’t aware of it, but it didn’t work for me .

    Second thing I think it would be really helpful is an overall price per night including the breakdown of the fees added to the nightly rate. Call it what it is instead of trying to hide the cleaning fees. And to the hosts who have a reasonable cleaning fee…you will probably get more bookings!

    And in case you people out there didn’t know, ABB charges about a third of the nightly rate for their fees.

  38. Airbnb let dishonest hosts cheat me out of $1000 in London. ANOTHER $300 lost in Flagstaff, AZ. Why would you use this corrupt organUuization.

  39. Apparently this “take out your own trash” issue is a hot button for some Abnb hosts. Which is unfortunate, because it seems to confirm that some Abnb units are not promptly cleaned after guest departure for those hosts. Otherwise why the concern about rotting food, smells & pests ? If you (or your service) are coming in to clean promptly after guest departure, this should be a non-issue.

    @ Seasoned VR Owner, your remark about what your guests’ own homes look like completely misses the mark – your guests do not pay a cleaning fee to stay in their own homes. And if they do, (speaking only from my own personal experience with cleaning services) the cleaning service takes out the trash when they are at someone’s home to clean. At other times, when no one is being paid to clean my house, I take out the trash. Why is this dichotomy so tricky to grasp & honor in the Abnb setting? Perhaps one way to solve this apparently very important issue for some Abnb hosts would be for Abnb to allow 2 different cleaning options with correlating fees, as they have allowed for refundable & non-refundable reservations – one cleaning fee where the guest simply locks the door behind them & leaves, and one where the guest pays $20 less in cleaning fees because they take the trash out themselves.

    As to the amount of cleaning fees, that’s just one more economic factor to weigh when comparing different Abnb options to each other, or Abnb versus a hotel, which may have exorbitant “resort charges” or parking fees. It’s just math, folks. To me, the notion of standardization (of cleaning fees, or whatever) is the antithesis of what Abnb is and should be.

    As to the concern about cameras surreptitiously capturing guests, I have read a few stories long those lines. But that’s not an Abnb exclusive issue. Remember this ? “While staying at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University in 2008, Erin Andrews was secretly filmed nude through a peephole in her hotel room.”

    @NB, I have used vacation rental companies before. They suffer from some of the same uneven performance & service issues that folks are complaining of wrt Abnb. And in my experience, some vacation rental services implement a booking or check-in/check-out process that is waaayyyy too cumbersome. Not all, but some.

  40. Airbnb should not hide other charges on the search results. Other bnb and host charges should be shown right away.

  41. I have to agree that Airbnb guest are the WORST. I am an overnight rental contract cleaner. I can tell without knowing upon entry to any home who it was booked with, meaning Airbnb or VRBO. VRBO guest are far better guest for the most part. I’d also recommend staying home if you don’t want to pay the cleaning fees. I bet you had no idea that your cleaner pays for your supplies. Such as, toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, soap, shampoo etc. I even provide the linens-(sheets, and towels). Oh, and did I mention we have to take all of that to a laundry mat and stand there to wash, dry, fold? So, that cleaning fee you are paying goes towards ALL OF THAT, and it’s divided up by the number of girls cleaning. So we really are not making that great of a living. Not to mention we have to drive to the property, we haul off all of the 300 bags of trash you have accumulated in less than 48 hours. To those who tip us (more common than not) as well as pay the cleaning fee, you are very much appreciated. Instead of complaining about the cleaning fee I would just stay home. Taking the trash outside won’t kill you either, the trash they are referring to is not one kitchen bag, but the guest that come in and do not know how to use a trash bag or never picks up anything after themselves. This is why it has had to be made a house rule. More often than not people leave their common sense at home when they go on vacation. Your cleaner may be so busy they can’t get there that day. It’s more about respect for the home than it is to ask your sorry ass to work because you paid a measley cleaning fee. I can honestly say 8/10 guest are FILTHY from Airbnb. I would rather let them keep their cleaning fee and not rent to them as to have to spend 6 hours in a 2 bedroom after they leave. So, yes definitely go through VRBO they seem to have stricter guidelines for renting to guest and guest are much better to deal with.

  42. Karl Rupp
    No my statement does not miss the mark. “guests” are renting a whole large HOUSE. Say they are staying for a week. Are you implying that just because they paid a cleaning fee, they should NOT take trash from the kitchen trash can (that will fill fast) to the outdoor trash containers (about 20 steps from the door)? Just pile their trash in the kitchen? And wait till cleaners remove it AFTER their departure? They are not staying in a hotel with daily maid service. I thought that was a clear distinction. I totally agree with @Well said, my cleaner tells me the same. Basically , we are not charging ENOUGH for cleaning up the mess they make. The complaints about cleaning fee may hold SOME water when “host” is renting out some small studio to one “guest” (traditional airbnb clientele). Not a standalone 3 story 3000 sq ft + house with a lot of amenities and equipment that accommodates 3 families with kids.

  43. But why cleaning fee is not part of total fee? What is basic rate than? Just add cleaning fee to total room fee? If you add cleaning fee, add also electric bill, internet fee, gas and all other fees? Should be only room rate, state taxes and Airbnb fee, nothing else.

  44. @ Seasoned VR Owner – the problem is that you are equating your particular unit, and a specific set of circumstances you are describing, with the universe of Abnb rentals & renters. That doesn’t work, because Abnb units, renters, and rent stays come in an infinite variety. The specific issue is a straightforward one – why isn’t trash removal at checkout part of and covered by the cleaning fee ? For most, but not all Abnb units it is part of the cleaning fee. At all hotels it is. And as you can plainly see from the comments here on this blog, when Abnb owners / managers add rules like “take out your own damn trash,” it deters some guests from using Abnb, creates a perception problem for the whole Abnb genre, and favors hotel stays. Maybe you are fine with that because that isn’t the kind of guest you want, or because you are not trying to be a hotel, or because you have plenty of business anyway and are not looking to attract renters to whom this is a factor. But the reality is that it IS a factor. And it says nothing negative about a guest that they want someone else to take out the trash, because they are used to that in hotels.

  45. @ Well..said – careful you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. If all those guests follow your urging and stay home or choose hotels, who is going to pay you to clean rentals ? It does not seem a good business plan to tell your prospective customers not to come give you their money.

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