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One of the great things about being an Airbnb host is that you can set your own rules and regulations. This includes setting your own check-in and check-out times. Many hosts choose to charge an early check-in fee for guests who want to arrive before the standard check-in time. But is it really worth it to charge airbnb guests early check in fees?
Should you charge airbnb guests early check in fees?
Yes, it is generally worth it to charge early check-in fees for guests who want to arrive before the standard check-in time. The reason being is that it helps to offset some of the additional costs associated with accommodating an early arrival, such as having to hire extra staff or pay for expedited cleaning services. Additionally, it sends a clear message to guests that you have firm check-in policies, which can help to deter last-minute requests.
The Pros of Charging an Early Check-in Fee
1. You can make extra money: This is the most obvious benefit of charging an early check-in fee. If you have guests who are willing to pay for the convenience of an early check-in, then why not charge them? Every little bit helps, right?
2. It helps discourage late checkouts: By charging an early check-in fee, you’re effectively discouraging guests from trying to extend their stay beyond the checkout time. This means that you’re less likely to have problems with guests overstaying their welcome and throwing off your schedule for future bookings.
3. It gives you more time to prepare: Most guests don’t want to incur additional fees, so if you can avoid early arrivals, then that gives you more time for things like cleaning the house and stocking supplies between bookings.
4. You can use it as a marketing tool: In some cases, offering an early check-in fee can be used as a marketing tool. For example, if you’re trying to attract business travelers, they may be more likely to book with you if you offer an early check-in option (since they’re often working on tight schedules).
5. It can deter last minute requests: If you have a firm policy in place for early check-in fees, it can deter guests from making last minute requests. This is because they know that they’ll have to pay a fee if they want to arrive early, so they’re more likely to plan ahead and make their request in advance.
The Cons of Charging Airbnb Guests Early Check-in Fee
1. It could deter guests from booking with you: If your listing is in high demand, then chances are you won’t have any trouble filling your calendar even if you don’t offer early check-ins. But if you’re struggling to fill your calendar, then charging an early check-in fee could deter potential guests from booking with you.
2. You could end up having to accommodate anyway: Even if you charge an early check-in fee, there’s always a possibility that a guest will show up early regardless. If this happens, you’ll either feel pressured to accommodate them or risk getting a negative review.
3. It’s not always easy to enforce: Unless you have someone there to greet guests at the door, it’s not always easy to enforce an early check-in fee. Guests could easily just show up whenever they want and there’s not much you can do about it unless you’re there to turn them away yourself.
4. You might not actually make that much money:
Depending on how much you charge for the early check-in fee, it might not actually be worth your while. For example, if it costs you $50 in lost wages to accommodate a guest who arrives two hours early, but you only charge $20 for the early check-in fee, then you’re actually losing money in the long run.
5. It’s not always convenient for guests: Keep in mind that many of your guests may be traveling from far away and they may have limited time to enjoy their vacation or business trip. Charging an early check-in fee could add unnecessary stress to their travel plans if they’re trying to save money or they arrive late due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control.
How to Add an Early Check In Fee to Your Airbnb Listing
If you’ve decided that charging an early check-in fee is right for you, then here’s how to add it to your Airbnb listing:
1. Log in to your Airbnb account and go to your listing page.
2. Scroll down to the “Pricing” section and click on the “Edit” button.
3. Enter the amount you want to charge for the early check-in fee in the “Additional fees” field.
4. Scroll down and click on the “Save” button.
5. That’s it! Your early check-in fee will now be added to your listing.
Keep in mind that you can always change or remove the early check-in fee at any time, so don’t be afraid to experiment a bit to see what works best for you and your guests.
How Much to Charge for an Airbnb Early Check in Fee?
There’s no magic number when it comes to how much to charge for an early check-in fee, but a good starting point is $10-$20 per hour. You can always adjust the price up or down depending on your particular listing and location.
Just remember that the goal is to deter guests from requesting early check-ins without making it so expensive that they’re deterred from booking with you altogether.
Potential Issues with Early Check In Requests
Even if you don’t charge an early check-in fee, you may still occasionally get requests from guests who want to arrive early. Here are a few potential issues that can arise from these requests and how to deal with them:
1. The guest arrives early and expects to be accommodated: If a guest arrives early and they were not expecting to be accommodated, then it’s up to you whether or not you want to accommodate them. If you do decide to allow them to check in early, then be sure to let them know that there may be an additional fee.
2. The guest arrives early and is upset that they have to wait: If a guest arrives early and they’re upset that they have to wait, the best thing you can do is be understanding and apologetic. Let them know that you’re sorry for the inconvenience but that you would appreciate their patience.
3. The guest arrives early and is disruptive: If a guest arrives early and they’re being disruptive, then it’s probably best to just let them know that they need to wait until their scheduled check-in time. If they continue to be disruptive, you can always call Airbnb customer service for assistance.
4. The guest arrives early and the house isn’t ready: This can occur in the event of same day turnovers or if the guests arrive early and you weren’t expecting them. In these cases, it’s best to just let the guests know that the house isn’t ready yet and offer to store their luggage in the garage if possible until it is.
Additional Tips About Early Check in Fees
Communicate in Advance
Once you’ve added the early check-in fee to your listing, be sure to communicate with guests in advance so there are no surprises when they arrive. The last thing you want is for a guest to show up expecting to be able to check in early, only to be turned away because they didn’t know about the fee.
To avoid any misunderstandings, it’s best to mention the early check-in fee in your listing description as well as in your house rules. You can also send a message to guests after they book to remind them about the fee and let them know how they can arrange for early check-in if they’re interested.
Be Flexible When Possible
Even if you charge an early check-in fee, it’s always a good idea to be as flexible as possible when it comes to accommodating guests. If a guest arrives early and there’s no one else scheduled to check in that day, then it’s usually not a big deal to let them in a bit early.
The same goes for guests who arrive late due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control, such as flight delays or bad weather. In these cases, it’s often best to waive the early check-in fee and just be as accommodating as possible. After all, the last thing you want is for a guest to have a negative experience because they were charged a fee that they weren’t expecting.
As with anything in life, there are pros and cons to charging an early check-in fee on Airbnb. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual host to decide what’s best for their business based on their unique circumstances. If you do decide to charge an early check-in fee, just be sure that you’re clear about your policy in your listing description so that there are no surprises for your guests when they arrive.
Have you charged an early check-in fee on your Airbnb listing? If so, how much do you charge and has it been effective in deterring guests from requesting early check-ins?
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2 thoughts on “Should you charge airbnb guests early check in fees?”
I have rented many airbnb’s and have always received great reviews as a guest. I treat the rentals as I would my home and the hosts as I would a respected colleague. If I want to check in early, my practice has been to contact the host a few days before the rental begins to ask if it’s possible. Without exception, they have said yes provided the cleaners have finished and that I should check back on the day to be sure. I’ve never been charged, and I assume that’s because I have not asked them to make any special arrangements. However, this winter (2023), I was informed that there would be a $25/hour fee whether or not the host had to do anything to expedite the check in. It just seemed like a money-grab given that the host hadn’t incurred any extra expense to accommodate my request. I hope this doesn’t turn out to be an airbnb policy!
Thanks for your feedback! It’s really up to the host and you’re right many times if they can accomodate, they may not charge. But sometimes it requires an expedited cleaning or rearrangement behind the scenes to accomodate – so good to look at from both angles. Thanks for reading and really appreciate your comments!