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 daily which is why we have put together a blog to give you an overview of the most important elements of this highly successful vacation rental platformIf 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


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 considering listing your property on Airbnb, it’s essential to understand the numerous advantages the platform provides. From reaching a global audience to earning additional income and leveraging user-friendly tools, Airbnb offers a compelling opportunity for property owners.

  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 Airbnb 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 the 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 generates revenue primarily through commissions and service fees on bookings made via its platform. Hosts pay a service fee of about 3% of the booking subtotal, while guests pay a service fee ranging from 5% to 15%, depending on various factors such as the reservation subtotal and length of stay.

Additionally, Airbnb offers premium tiers like Airbnb Plus and Airbnb Luxe, which provide high-end accommodations and experiences for discerning travellers. These premium services come with higher commission rates. Furthermore, Airbnb earns from value-added taxes, exchange rates, and various ancillary services such as cleaning fees and extra guest fees, which are set by the hosts and collected by Airbnb.


7. How does the security deposit work?

Certain reservations on Airbnb require security deposits to ensure the property is protected against potential damages. Two days before the guests’ arrival, an authorization hold for the security deposit amount is placed on their payment method. For example, if a guest uses a credit card with a $10,000 limit and the security deposit is $500, their available credit would be reduced to $9,500 until the hold is released.


The best Airbnb management solution


If an issue arises during the guest’s stay, such as property damage, the host can report the incident and submit a claim within 14 days of the guest’s check-out. This claim can request part or all of the security deposit to cover the damages.


8. Airbnb Superhosts and Airbnb Plus

The above rules mostly apply to all hosts – whether you are an Airbnb 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 Airbnb management services or get in touch today.

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