ECONOMY

Airbnb levy waived for guests

airbnb-levy-waived-for-guests

The commission that Airbnb hosts pay to the short-term property rental platform will rise from 3% to 14% from December, while the 13% commission guests pay will be completely waived. This translates into a reduction in the revenues the industry’s leading entity will collect, benefiting users.

This won’t necessarily translate into an additional burden on hosts, as Airbnb is recommending that they pass on the extra cost to guests. This not being mandatory, there may well be some hosts who choose to absorb part or all of the extra charge themselves in order to increase the competitiveness of their assets and improve their occupancy.

The pandemic has changed the landscape in the market of short-term rentals and is set to further increase competition among property hosts. In areas where the supply of properties exceeds demand, it is possible that prices per night will go down for occupancy to grow, which will depend on the policy each host adopts.

Professional managers of property assets tell Kathimerini that this move means Airbnb is reducing its profit margin and revenues in an effort to remain competitive amid the pandemic and to retain its dominant position in the market. Up until end-November, Airbnb will collect 16% commission in total from each leasing, of which 3% will come from the host and 13% from the guest.

Besides the reduced price the guest will pay, there will also be increased transparency in the price: Instead of the various prices and charges, depending on the property, guests will only see one price that will include all charges, commissions and cleaning costs. This is a model tested in the last few months in cooperation with professional property managers which has received positive feedback, so it will be promoted extensively next month.

According to Airbnb, the new system’s pilot application in several European countries led to an increase in bookings. Through the abolition of the commission charge for guests, hosts can manage the price offered themselves.

Industry insiders say that Airbnb's rival Booking.com uses a similar system, with a 15% commission.