Rachel Boice stopped charging separate cleaning fees on her two Airbnb listings.
She said guests were leaving her properties "so much cleaner" without the separate fees.
The host also said she understood why the fees annoyed guests: "It doesn't feel honest."
An Airbnb host said guests were leaving her properties more spotless than ever after she stopped charging separate cleaning fees.
Rachel Boice, 30, and her husband, Parker Boice, listed their first Airbnb property in Georgia in 2021 with the hopes of giving people a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life. They now have two active properties listed on Airbnb, including a tiny glass house, which Boice said had surged in popularity since it went viral on TikTok in September.
"We wanted to get into more of the experiential side of Airbnb, not just necessarily a house for someone to stay at if they're traveling through," Boice, who also works for a tech company, told Insider.
But like many other hosts, the couple started out by advertising the nightly rates of their Airbnbs alongside a separate cleaning fee — a practice that has raised eyebrows. In 2022, Insider reported on growing frustrations among travelers toward Airbnb hosts who required guests to complete chores as well as pay exorbitant cleaning fees.
In response to the outcry, three hosts told Insider they'd decided to raise nightly rates to attract guests with a $0 cleaning fee.
Similarly, Boice said she decided to forgo a separate cleaning fee a few months ago. Instead of offering a nightly rate of $89 on the tiny glass home with a separate $40 cleaning fee, she began offering stays at a $129 nightly rate. After her TikTok about the Airbnb went viral, leading to a surge in bookings, she raised the nightly rate to $139.
"I get why Airbnb hosts do it because typically you pay somebody to clean, and it adds up," she said of cleaning fees.
But in the months since she instituted a $0 cleaning fee, Boice said, she's noticed a pattern emerging among guests — they're leaving her rentals more spotless than ever before.
"Quite honestly, people have left it so much cleaner now that I don't charge a cleaning fee," Boice said. She said from what she'd gathered, guests who booked the stay might be under the impression that she wasn't paying someone else to clean the Airbnb, so they felt obligated to leave it as clean as possible for her sake.
"I guess they're thinking, 'I'm not paying someone to clean this, so I'll leave it clean,'" she said.
Boice said that she had yet to see many other hosts ditch separate cleaning fees but that she did think it'd start becoming more common as guests continued to express frustration at the additional costs.
"We stay in Airbnbs a lot. I pretty much always pay a cleaning fee," Boice said, adding that she and her husband had often booked Airbnbs where they'd been required to pay up to $200 in cleaning fees. "You're like: 'Why am I paying all of this money? This should just be built in for the cost.'"
"We can stay at hotels, and we don't have to pay cleaning fees," Boice said, adding that when guests were finding a stay on Airbnb, going to book it, and then seeing that it came with a pricey cleaning fee, "it doesn't feel honest."
Read the original article on Insider