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April 12, 2024
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Differences between hosting on Airbnb and

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced vacation rental host, you want the best platform experience. With vacation rentals continuing to be in high demand, numerous platforms have entered the market. Two of the most prominent are Airbnb and For hosts, this begs the question: What are the differences between hosting on Airbnb and

We take a close look at these two major platforms. We highlight the importance of choosing the right platform through a deep comparison. We also distill some of the main differences between the two platforms and discuss hosting fees. By the end, you’ll know which platform is most suitable for your needs and will increase your profits the most.

Is it better to host on Airbnb or

Both platforms are big names in short-term rentals (STRs).

Airbnb boasts 5+ million hosts and 7.7+ million active listings worldwide. As a pioneer in vacation rentals, Airbnb also has strong brand recognition. Airbnb caters to home stays. This particularly appeals to vacationers, business travelers, and tourists who want a home away from home.

However, holds the crown for the total number of listings. As of February 2024, has an astounding 28+ million active listings worldwide. Nested in this are 7.2 million listed homes, apartments, and unique stays.

Where differs most substantially is in how much it offers. In contrast to Airbnb’s emphasis on home stays,’s traditional market is hotels, lodges, and resorts.

Key differences

Target audience

Airbnb is focused on attracting guests who want unique, homey accommodation. This makes it popular with vacationers and short-term renters seeking an authentic, local experience. offers a wider selection of accommodation options. This includes hotels, hostels, apartments, and vacation rentals. It attracts a broader audience including leisure and business travelers.

Listing requirements

The two platforms have similar listing requirements. However, the difference comes in where each platform asks hosts to highlight different aspects.

Airbnb encourages hosts to showcase their property’s uniqueness. This includes interesting characteristics, creative spaces, and spaces. This is on top of standard information such as property descriptions, amenities, and house rules. only requires more standardized information. This includes descriptions, amenities, and policies.

Booking policies

Airbnb gives hosts a great deal of flexibility in setting their cancellation policies. This includes refunds and cancellation timelines.

By contrast, runs on tighter cancellation policies, including non-refundable rates and shorter cancellation periods.

Market reach

Operating in 227 countries, has a larger global presence than Airbnb. This is advantageous to hosts wanting to attract a more diverse range of guests in varying locations worldwide. While Airbnb is also available in many countries, it has a stronger presence in the vacation rental market.

Listing process for Airbnb

Here we break down the listing process for Airbnb step by step.

While there are some differences between Airbnb and’s listing process, the process is more similar than different. Viewing Airbnb’s listing process will help give you a snapshot of how the listing process will also look on

Airbnb listing process

1. Property type

You’ll first need to select one of six property types. When selecting your property type, consider the size and layout of your space. Airbnb allows you to rent unique spaces, too. For example, if you have a spare room in the basement, you can rent it out.

Below are the following options available:

  • Apartment
  • House
  • Self-contained Unit
  • Unique Space
  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Boutique Hotel

2. Property specification

Once you select your property type, Airbnb will ask for specifics. Airbnb offers a vast selection  of accommodation types, allowing you to narrow down and get specific. This allows you to make your property stand out and target a particular audience.

Airbnb will provide specific property specifications for you to choose from. For example, you can select a bungalow, houseboat, or farm stay.

3. Choose the type of space

The purpose of choosing the space type is to give your guests more insight into the kind of experience they can expect.

This step requires that you choose from the following three types of spaces:

  • Entire home: If you want your guests to feel at home, you can offer your entire property space.
  • Private room: Listing a private room will give your guests a more hotel- type feel to their stay.
  • Shared room: This is most similar to a hostel environment, where guests share a space.

4. Choose your location

This step is crucial because location is a key factor for guests choosing where they will stay. This enables Airbnb’s map share function, helping potential guests find you if they’re looking in your area.

5. Bedrooms and amenities

You must provide lucid details regarding bedrooms and amenities on offer at your property. These details help guests better understand your space and what you offer—whether or not it meets their needs. Ensuring you give sufficient detail means you can avoid misunderstandings, too.

6. Upload photos

Adding photos is vital. First, it enables guests to see what your space looks like in advance. Second, high-quality photographs—especially if taken professionally—are an essential part of setup and listing optimization. That’s because they can entice guests, help set expectations, and give an accurate representation.

Fees and pricing

Let’s break down the fees and prices you can expect as a host on Airbnb and

Airbnb fees and pricing

  • Most hosts pay a flat service fee of 3% on the booking subtotal. The subtotal is your nightly price plus any optional fees you charge guests, such as a cleaning fee and extra guest fees.
  • Guests will pay a service fee of approximately 14% of their booking subtotal. fees and pricing

  • Hosts pay a commission-based fee based on a percentage ranging from 10-25% whenever they receive a booking. The average fee is around 15%.


Before deciding which platform is right for you, take note of everything we’ve outlined. Think about the different reaches and target audiences each platform has. Consider the different approaches to listing operations and fees. Reflecting on this information, determine which platform your property is best suited to.

Are you a host wanting to take advantage of the best platform? At Keybee, we’ll manage the entire listing process on Airbnb and and manage your property for you.


For more expert advice and hosting tips, view our range of resources for hosts.

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