When hosts list their vacation rental properties on Airbnb, they also need to decide if they should include an Airbnb cleaning fee. Deciding whether or not to charge a cleaning fee can have an impact on your listing’s pricing and marketability, so it’s best to do a bit of research before using it in your property management strategy.
Continue reading to find out more about the cleaning fee and if you should be using one for your vacation rental.
What is an Airbnb cleaning fee?
A cleaning fee is a fee charged to guests by an Airbnb host for any cleaning services that the property requires after the guests depart. It’s not mandatory, as there is no official Airbnb cleaning policy that the company enforces. It’s an optional addition to the list of service fees that hosts include as part of their property management.
What services should the cleaning fee cover?
Hosts need to ensure that their rental property is prepared and ready before guests arrive. This includes cleaning and tidying. Cleaning fees help hosts account for extra costs that arise because of cleaning requirements. The exact services that the Airbnb cleaning fee should cover will vary depending on the property’s size, its decor and furnishings, and amenities.
If you are planning to clean your vacation rental yourself, then the fee should cover the cost of buying the cleaning products as well as the time that you need to clean (keep in mind that cleaning can take longer than you predict). If your property is too large for you to self-clean, or if you would prefer not to clean, then you will need to hire an external cleaning service. You will likely be paying a higher rate if you hire a cleaning company, so ensure that you’re charging enough to cover this.
Generally speaking, an Airbnb cleaning fee should pay for the following cleaning services:
- Dusting and vacuuming
- Washing and changing of towels and linen
- Tidying up and rearranging of rooms
- Washing used dishes
- Mopping and wiping surfaces
- Taking out any trash
- Restocking kitchen, bedroom and bathroom supplies
- The time taken to clean the property
Should I include a cleaning fee for my listing?
A good way to decide if you need a cleaning fee is to take a look at the size and type of your vacation rental. Is it a cottage, a house, or a one-bedroom apartment? Once you’ve established your property type, do a rough estimate of how long it would take to clean.
From there you can decide if the time needed to clean plus the cost for products validates an Airbnb cleaning fee for your listing’s management strategy. Keep in mind that if you include no cleaning fee at all, you will be covering the cost of cleaning, which translates to lower net profit.
How much should I charge for my Airbnb cleaning fee?
How much you decide to charge for your cleaning fee can be influenced by a number of factors:
The size of your property
Try to keep your rental’s size in mind when you decide on a cleaning price. If you charge $100 to clean your listing when it’s a small apartment, guests may be less inclined to book with you. On the other hand, if you charge $100 to clean a three-bedroomed home, guests will likely accept it without complaint.
The minimum number of nights guests can book
The number of nights that guests are allowed to book at your rental also can affect the fee. Allowing guests to stay for only one night and charging $60 for cleaning may put them off. On the other hand, if your minimum stay is three nights then the cleaning fee becomes $20 per day, which sounds more reasonable.
How much your competitors are charging
A good way to decide on an appropriate Airbnb cleaning fee is to take a look at the cleaning fees that your competitors are charging. Try to find listings in your neighborhood or area that are similar to yours, and check the search results to see how much they charge for cleaning.
The average cleaning fee on Airbnb
If you’re still feeling unsure about how to calculate a price for your cleaning fee, use the average cleaning fee on Airbnb as a guide. For hosts who do their own cleaning, the average fee is $65, while hosts who hire cleaning companies charge around $105. Keep in mind these are just average estimates.
Will the Airbnb cleaning fee impact my rental bookings?
Once you’ve calculated your cleaning fee you need to decide how to include it in your listing. Hosts usually either include the cleaning fee as part of the nightly fee, or charge the total cleaning fee separately to the nightly fee.
If you decide to have your cleaning fee divided by the number of nights in the reservation it will increase the overall nightly rate of your property. This could potentially put guests off if your rate is higher than your competitors’. On the other hand, making the cleaning fee part of the additional charges means it will only be added to the cost when guests are ready to book. This could irritate your guests, as they may feel misled. It may seem like a difficult task either way, but implementing some testing should help.
Set your listing as having a nightly rate that includes the cleaning fee and see if your bookings increase or decrease over a test period. Then change your listing to display the cleaning fee as a separate cost and see if any similar changes occur. Take notes and compare which setting gives you the most bookings. Also, keep a close eye on what your competitors are charging.
Adding an Airbnb cleaning fee to your listing can help maintain cleanliness and receive better reviews. Another way to enhance your cleaning is to get vacation rental software. It allows you to automate cleaning tasks, schedule cleanings, and send notifications to your cleaners. This way you can rest assured that cleanings are done on time and your property is always prepared for your next guests.