A few years ago, Airbnb started offering the option to separate cleaning fees from nightly fees. The main reason for that is that cleaning is a cost as part of your hosting operation and is tax deductible from your Airbnb revenues. Many new hosts struggle to find the right amount while some simply omit to charge cleaning fees overall. Cleaning fees will directly affect your listing’s competitiveness and should not be selected lightly. Below are tips to determine the right cleaning fees for your listing.
The first step is to determine the segment you wish to position yourself on. This depends on the type of property you are renting out, the type of experience you wish to offer to your guests and the nightly price you intend to charge. The following questions might help you: How long does it take to clean your place? Do you have access to professional laundry machines or would you be better off outsourcing laundry to professionals? Will you offer any welcoming baskets to your guests and what will be in it?
Once you’ve selected your segment, convert it into numbers. Cleaning costs can be broken down into three main categories:
- Cleaner service/Cleaning supplies costs
- Laundry costs
- Expenses linked to guests’ welcoming basket
Cleaner service / Cleaning supplies
If you decide to hire a professional cleaner, know that most of them charge a two-hour minimum fee to cover for their transportation. Hourly fees usually range between $15 and $25 per hour depending on the Airbnb cleaner services. If you are paying a higher rate, make sure that cleaning products are included in the price. You might have to try different cleaners before you find the perfect one. If your place is relatively small and takes less than two hours to clean, you might consider doing it yourself. Do keep in mind that you might need to be available during the middle of the day for cleaning. Ask yourself how much is your own hourly fee and add it to your cleaning fees. Cleaning supplies should not cost you more than $1.50 to $2.00 per cleaning.
If you plan to host on a regular basis and do not have access to professional machines, consider using a third party cleaner. They can usually pick up dirty sheets and drop off clean ones directly from your location. Not only will you save a lot of time, your sheets will come back impeccably clean. Airbnb cleaners usually charge a flat fee for pick up/drop off, plus a price per pound ranging between $1.00 and $1.50 depending on the quantities you send. Note that you will need to have a little bit of sheet inventory if you go that route.
Finally, you need to determine the costs of any items in the welcoming basket. There is no obligation to offer a welcoming basket of course, but it is a small attention that can go a long way. Use your creativity and take this opportunity to give your guests something unique that will make them think of their time at your place. A reasonable budget should be somewhere between $3.00 and $5.00 per basket.
In conclusion, while cleaning costs depend on various factors including the size of your listing as well as the type of experience you wish to provide to your guests. Remember that everyone has different standards when it comes to cleanliness so make sure you aim for the highest possible ones and do not cut corners! Take some time to define which segment you would like to position yourself and make sure you have a realistic understanding of how long it takes to clean your place. Then determine the ideal cleaning fees and budgets.
About the Author: Gaetan is a professional Airbnb Host.