Airbnb and Booking.com are vacation rental companies that have changed the face of the travel booking industry. Airbnb wins with a larger share than Booking.com with more than 7 million active listings across the globe and ubiquitous brand recognition. Booking.com vs. Airbnb has become a hot debate in the travel accommodation industry since Booking.com has picked up pace. Considering the upsides and downsides of Airbnb and booking.com for hosts can help you decide which one is worthy of your investment. This blog will help you do that. So let's begin:
Booking.com Vs. Airbnb — The Difference Between The Guests
Categories and Expectations of Guests
The guests at Airbnb are more inclined towards genuine experiences and look for spaces that give homely vibes and more flexibility. Millennials generally prefer Airbnb as they crave experiences they may share with buddies. Their preference is quirky, instagrammable accommodations like themed homes, castles, forest cabins and yurts rather than regular hotels.
Guests at booking.com may be more demanding of the services offered at hotels, lodges and resorts than at individual rooms or private vacation rentals. Booking.com accesses more people generally than its rival but gains more mature users plus families. These travellers look for ease, good location and lower noise levels.
Related: Top 6 Apps Like Airbnb
Airbnb Provides More Opportunities to Understand Your Prospective Guests
Airbnb boasts a built-in guest rating tool that lets hosts leave a review and star rating to the visitor once they complete a reservation. The guest gets all their star ratings given to them by every host added into a total rating that shows on their profile.
It helps vacation rental owners check the previous reviews of a person before accepting a reservation. They can consider any feedback associated with the guest’s actions on Airbnb and booking history. The star rating also helps indicate how convenient or challenging they can be to host.
Airbnb Lets You Scrutinize Guests
Airbnb enables hosts to say no to a potential guest who wants to reserve a vacation rental. When a property manager makes an account on the platform, the Airbnb instant book function initiates which automatically acknowledges all reservations.
Hosts could turn off this feature and reject a booking if someone possesses zero reviews or low ratings or makes unacceptable requests.
Booking.com doesn't have such a feature and all new bookings are automatically acknowledged. It may accept a possibly difficult or poorly behaved guest.
Booking.com Vs. Airbnb — Service Fee Rate on Each Booking
Booking.com asks for a commission between 10 to 25% of the total price from hosts, based on their location, with the standard rate being 15% with zero commission from guests. A fixed rate of 15% or higher may feel pretty exorbitant.
However, booking.com also lets property owners charge extra money to guests, like a towel and cleaning charges (if applicable). So you can cover the commission expense by raising your rate and taking a fee for additional services.
Airbnb Charges (Including Host-Only Price)
Airbnb charges service fees in two ways. One is the split fee, where charges are split between guests, who give about 14 to 16% of the gross reservation cost and hosts, who give about 3% to Airbnb.
The other method is a host-only fee, which charges no money from guests and about a 15% share of the booking rate to hosts. Since 2020, Airbnb has made the host-only charges mandatory in most states except for Canada, the United States, the Bahamas, Mexico, Uruguay, Taiwan and Argentina.
The travel booking app has made this change to boost booking rates. Airbnb commands an initial, final fee to people who will not be bothered by a 14% surge in fee at their checkout.
Is Booking.com Pricier than Airbnb?
The charges of Booking.com and Airbnb for hosts depend on the property’s location. However, property owners in countries where it's allowed to choose the split fee method could assume it's the more inexpensive mode for them.
The split fee method might attract more profits but some people prefer to reserve host-only listings. The disadvantage is that the reservation percentage can decline with a cost surge guests attain when checking out. The host-only charges enable full cost transparency between rental owner and their guest, stirring up the business.
Accommodation renters need to pay an average 15% commission rate on the booking.com app. It is nearly the same rate as the host-only charges on its rival meaning that it will expend about the same money to list on booking.com as a host would on Airbnb.
A Comparison of Cancellation Policies
Airbnb offers these six cancellation policies:
- Super strict (30 days)
- Super strict (60 days)
These policies change based on how early the check-in date someone could cancel and get a refund. Every policy has its upsides and downsides and Airbnb presents the property managers the liberty to pick their cancellation policy at their will.
Booking.com proposes three booking options for reservations:
Hosts can select the amount a guest will need to pay if they cancel after a specific date.
Fully Flexible Policy
Guests need to only pay while they are living in the host’s accommodation and may cancel for free given it's in the period the host has chosen.
This policy charges the full price to guests even if they cancel, modify or are absent on the check-in date.
After opting for one of these policies, hosts may also pick between:
Take Deposits from Guests
People who select free cancellation usually pay a deposit when they reserve that they will attain back if they back out within the time frame set for free cancellation. After this time, they will lose the deposit if they cancel.
Take Prepayment Charges
For non-refundable and partially refundable reservations, people may either pay the complete fee or a part of it. If they cancel after booking and paying, they relinquish their prepayment amount which saves the host from losing out on profit.
Pre-Authorize and Hold A Specific Amount
For partially refundable and non-refundable reservations, the host may also use this option on a guest’s card and command them to pay for it at a later time. They may stop this money as a guarantee in case the person who has booked doesn’t show up. If they don’t, the host may either charge them or remit the money to the guest.
You can also choose for no deposit, pre-authorization or prepayment but it is a dicey decision. With no type of protected payment, you will backslide on gains if someone decides to call off at the last minute.
No matter what option you go with, you would have to pay a commission when:
- You take money from people who have dropped on a partially refundable or non-refundable booking or are absent on the check-in date.
- You command a cancellation fee for a booking after the free cancellation period has expired.
If you want to earn some easy money by renting your space to guests visiting your area for holidays and other business, consider one of both platforms. We hope this blog has helped you decide whether Airbnb or Booking.com is worthy of your investment.