“Airbnb’s cleaning fee remains $400 regardless of the number of bookings I have”

Dennis Sirshikov is a 32-year-old Airbnb owner who owns a property in Whitney Point, New York. Two years ago, he noticed that many of his acquaintances had their properties listed on Airbnb. Since people were less excited about staying in big hotels during the pandemic, Sirshikov and his wife decided to convert their recently purchased former bed and breakfast property into a single-family home for rent on the platform. The property is located near state land and provided them with many options in terms of renting, Airbnb, or potentially renovating and selling.

At first, Sirshikov and his wife handled the reservation and cleaning themselves. However, it quickly became a headache, especially during the back-to-back bookings. Some guests left the property in decent condition, while others left it littered and dirty with stained sheets, broken dishes, and missing kitchen utensils. Some even moved around the furniture. Sirshikov grew frustrated with having to do the cleaning work himself and decided it made more sense to pay more and hire a professional.

In 2021, Sirshikov increased the cleaning fee from about $75 to $200-400 per stay. Fees vary by season and can rise to $400 during the summer months, which is when the pool is open and maintenance is required between stays. Sirshikov has noticed that people tend to stay home more often when the weather is nice and leave dirty dishes and utensils. He also has a large property, with 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and over 2,500 square feet. It may take up to 3 hours for the cleaning crew to clean the property efficiently. Sirshikov lives in a rural area so he doesn’t have many options for cleaning services.

Sirshikov sets his fees above his competitors, but he is fine with that. Looking at comparable properties, cleaning fees range from $100 to $150. He has repeat customers over the past two years, which shows that people tend to be happy with his properties and the initial cost they pay to stay there. The leftover money collected from cleaning fees paid by Airbnb guests is placed in a revolving fund and used to replace broken items. This ensures that guests don’t have to worry about being charged for broken crockery or decorations.

As an Airbnb property owner, Sirshikov knows that there are many expenses that are out of his pocket. For example, he is responsible for paying his mortgages and property taxes on his homes and keeping his heating, HVAC, and everything running. Most of the profit from renting this property goes straight back to maintenance costs. Sirshikov doesn’t think it can fully replace the money he makes from his full-time job, but he tries to save some of the money they make mainly for self trips to local spots. In that case, he will gladly pay a higher cleaning fee than usual to ensure his guests have a comfortable and pleasant experience.

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