August 2023

How does Airbnb work for owners: Questions and answers

As an Airbnb management company, we are often contacted by holiday homeowners who are confused about how the platform works and how they can gain the most benefits from being listed.

“How does the weekly discount work?”

“What percentage does Airbnb take?”

“How do I get paid as an Airbnb host?”

“Why should I list my property on Airbnb”

And overall, “How does Airbnb work for owners?”

These are just some of the questions we are asked on a daily basis which is why we have put together a blog to give you an overview of the most important elements of this highly successful short stay rental platform.

If you’ve got any doubts about whether Airbnb is right for you, then we hope to provide you with some clarity to help you make the right decision.


The best Airbnb management solution


Table of contents
  1. How does Airbnb work?
  2. What are the benefits of Airbnb?
  3. How do guests get the keys if there’s no reception?
  4. How does the Airbnb weekly discount work?
  5. How does payment work on Airbnb?
  6. How does Airbnb make money?
  7. How does the security deposit work?
  8. Airbnb Superhosts and Airbnb Plus


1. How does Airbnb work?

Airbnb is a community built on a sharing economy. It is an online platform that allows property owners to list their place as holiday accommodation and allows travellers to find a place to stay while they are away from home.

On the website, homeowners can create a listing for their property and that listing will include a written description, photos and a list of amenities, as well as information about the local area.

Travellers can use filters to search for holiday accommodation that’s right for them – such as the number of bedrooms, location and price.

Airbnb is based on trust. It establishes this trust by asking both guests and hosts to review each other. This creates a rating system for all listings and ensures that, in most cases, everyone has a good experience.

How does Airbnb Work?


2. What are the benefits of Airbnb?

If you’re wondering whether it’s worth listing your property on Airbnb, you should be aware of the many benefits that the platform offers.

  1. Free listing – It doesn’t cost anything to list your property on Airbnb
  2. No price restrictions – You can set the price of your Airbnb to whatever rate you like
  3. Huge exposure – Travellers all around the world are familiar with the brand and head to the website to search for accommodation
  4. Other offerings – Your home will not only be listed on a platform that promotes rentals across the globe but Airbnb has also become a ‘go-to’ place for people wanting to book travel experiences which means you have an even wider audience
  5. Protection – The Airbnb Host Guarantee gives you protection for up to $1,000,000 for damage to your property (eligible countries only)
  6. Not just homes – Airbnb allows you to list all sorts of accommodation including houseboats, tents, single rooms and treehouses.

Outside of these convincing reasons, there’s the potential to earn yourself a decent passive income by listing on Airbnb. Successful hosts can make a considerable amount of money from their listings.

Other benefits of being an Airbnb host include getting to know people from other cultures, being able to share your local knowledge with travellers who will be truly grateful, as well as the personal growth that comes from interacting with folks from all walks of life.

Benefits of Airbnb


3. How do guests get the keys if there’s no reception?


If you’re used to staying in hotels and being greeted by reception staff who hand you the keys and show you to your room, you might find the concept of Airbnb rather unusual.

How do guests get into your Airbnb if you don’t have a reception area? The good news is that there are plenty of ways to give guests access to your property and arrange keys for them.

  1. Meet them at the door or a convenient location – This requires that you are a host who is available at different times of the day. Many hosts will ensure they are available to welcome each new guest – greeting them at the entrance to the property and showing them around before handing the keys over.
  2. Arrange a neighbour or friend to meet them – If you work full-time and have other commitments you can arrange for a friend or family member to hand the keys to your new guests.
  3. Use a key safe or lockbox – There is plenty of technology that allows you to store your keys safely so that guests can pick them up when it’s convenient. Lockboxes and key safes work by guests entering a password or code to access the keys. KeyNest offers a very secure key service for Airbnb hosts.
  4. Hire a professional Airbnb management company – This takes the hassle out of managing all your guest check-ins and check-outs. A professional Airbnb management company can do all the guest liaison for you.


4. How does the Airbnb weekly discount work?

A good way to encourage guests to book longer stays and achieve higher occupancy rates is to offer weekly discounts. Your weekly discount will apply to any reservation that’s over seven days. Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to your listing
  • Click Pricing
  • Go to Length-of-Stay Discounts and click Edit
  • Add your weekly discount and click Save


5. How does payment work on Airbnb?

For most countries, Airbnb takes a 3% commission from hosts. This can be a higher rate for Airbnb Plus hosts. This fee is calculated from the booking subtotal (the nightly rate plus cleaning fee). It is automatically taken from your payout.

Payout methods differ across countries but usually, hosts have the option of selecting their preferred method. 

Payout options:

  • Direct Deposit
  • International wire transfer
  • PayPal
  • Western Union
  • AIS debit card (Cuba only)


6. How does Airbnb make money?

Airbnb makes money by taking 3% commission from hosts and 6-12% commission from guests.


7. How does the security deposit work?

Certain reservations require security deposits on Airbnb. Two days before your guests arrive, an authorisation hold for the security deposit amount is placed on their payment method.

For example, if they pay with a credit card with a credit limit of $10,000, and there’s a security deposit of $500, their credit card limit would then be $9,500 until the hold is released.

The best Airbnb management solution

If there’s an issue with a guest during their stay, such as damage to property, you can report the incident and submit a claim within 14 days of their check-out. The claim can request part or all of the deposit.


8. Airbnb Superhosts and Airbnb Plus

The above rules mostly apply to all hosts – whether you are a Superhost or Airbnb Plus host. If you’re still unsure of where you stand and how this system works, you could contact an Airbnb management company such as GuestReady.

We can assist with setting up weekly discounts, making claims for security deposits and helping you welcome new travellers.

Discover our services or get in touch today. 
Previous article Next article