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Vacasa Fees: How Much Does Vacasa Really Charge?

Percent of revenue is just the start

Vacasa Fees: How Much Does Vacasa Really Charge?

Key takeaways

Vacasa Fees: How Much Does Vacasa Really Charge?

Are you considering hiring Vacasa as your short-term rental property manager? You’re wondering what fees Vacasa charges and whether they are worth it for the services that you’ll receive.

Unlike most competitors, Vacasa does not charge the same management fee across different markets and property types and does not publicize its pricing structure on its website. However, in online reviews of Vacasa, property owners reveal they pay a fee ranging between 25% and 35% of monthly gross revenue. This is within the standard range for full-service vacation rental property management. Besides this fee, though, hosts can access extra services if they pay additional fees.

Overall, complaints by investors who have worked with Vacasa show the fees might not be worth it because of the many problems they report like poorly maintained and dirty properties, lack of proper communication and customer support, and being charged unexpected fees.

* If you’re searching for the best Airbnb management company in the US market, Awning is the national leader in vacation rental property management, providing full-service management in all 50 US states, for an industry-low fee of 15% of revenue. 

Vacasa Service Costs Summary

Vacasa management service costs are:

  • Full-service vacation rental property management: Fee structure not publicized on the website. Customers reviews report a range of 25% to 35% of monthly revenue.
  • Interior design: $99 for Guided Design. $599-$1,199 (contingent on square footage and property needs; additional installation fees).
  • Linen Program: One-time setup fee + small annual fee. Actual amounts not publicized on the website.
  • Assurant Vacation Rental Insurance: $7/booked night for 0-2 bedroom properties. $8.54/booked night for 3+ bedroom properties

The services provided by Vacasa can be divided into two major categories: 

1) Standard full-service short term rental management (covered by the monthly fee) and 

2) Added management services (paid separately). 

These services are aimed at covering all the needs of the vacation rental property, the property owner, and the guests.

Here is a breakdown of all the services provided by Vacasa:

Standard Full-Service Property Management

This is what Airbnb real estate investors can expect to receive when paying the standard monthly Vacasa fees:

Services Vacasa provides for the property:

  • Best-in class optimized property listing
  • Listing distribution on the Vacasa website and the most popular booking websites
  • 3D virtual tour
  • High-definition photos
  • Custom listing copywriting
  • Targeted digital marketing
  • Smart home essentials: Smart locks, noise monitoring devices, and WiFi router with a Vacasa-branded network
  • Professional cleaning
  • Restocking between guests
  • Property inspections
  • Regular maintenance
  • Guest screening
  • Guest damage coverage
  • Dynamic pricing technology
  • Hot tub maintenance and management

Services Vacasa provides for the owner:

  • 20% average boost in rental revenue
  • Online account and map: Calendar, rental performance, statements, maintenance, property information, taxes, and personalized settings
  • Unlimited host holds
  • No fixed contracts
  • Help with permits and taxes
  • Payment processing
  • Dedicated local team

Services Vacasa provides for the guests:

  • Streamlined online app
  • Dedicated reservation agents
  • 24/7 local guest service and support
  • Maintained, professionally cleaned, and stocked vacation rental property

Added Vacasa Management Services

These are the additional services property owners can access for extra fees:

  • Interior design: Guided design or curated design
  • Linen program: The coverage, changing, replacement and management of towels, sheets, and other linens in the home.
  • Assurant vacation rental insurance: $1 million in guest-caused property damage protection, $1 million in liability coverage, $25,000 in guest-caused furnishings and valuables damage protection, and $15,000 in bedbug protection

Vacasa Property Management Fixed Fee

On the company website, Vacasa states it charges a single vacation rental management fee that covers the full-service management. Vacasa claims it tailors management fees for each vacation rental property, and that’s why they don’t charge the same fee across all North American markets that they cover. Instead, they offer fees that make sense for the local market.

Importantly, the website does not show the structure or range of Vacasa fees across the markets where they work. In order to get a quote, property owners have to contact the Vacasa team through an online form. This lack of transparency of the fee structure raises a red flag why the company does not want to provide at least a range of fees.

Online Vacasa reviews by property owners show that the standard range of fees which they pay is between 25% and 35% of the gross revenue, with 30% being the typical Vacasa fee. This range is quite normal for full-service short-term rental property management companies, which usually charge between 20% and 40% of income, sometimes even as high as 50%.

However, the question is whether these Vacasa fees are worth it compared to the services that vacation rental property owners receive or whether there might be a better Vacasa alternative in the US market.

For instance, Awning charges only 15% of gross revenue, which comprises an industry-low rate for a full-service provider, while offering the same services that Vacasa does. Awning’s online reputation is impeccable, whereas you can find plenty of Vacasa complaints by both hosts and guests.

What a difference does this variance in vacation rental management fees bring?

Let’s look at an example.

Let’s say that you own a short-term rental, and you decide to hire a full-service property manager in order to enjoy a passive income. With the help of the property manager, your rental can generate an average annual rental income of $36,000.

If you decide to work with Vacasa, and we consider the typical management fee of 30% of revenue reported by hosts, you will pay Vacasa $10,800/year.

If you hire another property manager and pay a single fee of 15%, you’ll be paying them only $450/month, or $5,400/year. This means that having Awning as your vacation rental property manager will save you $5,400/year. To put this in perspective, you can enjoy an extra vacation with your family every year, instead of giving this money to Vacasa.

One thing you should keep in mind is that many hosts who’ve worked with Vacasa share that they’ve been able to negotiate their fee. This means that if you decide to try Vacasa, you should not settle for the first quote they give you. However, real estate investors could not go below 25% of monthly rental income, which is still 5% to 10% more than Vacasa competitors.

Vacasa Costs for Additional Services

From the company website, Vacasa offers some extra services that are charged separately should investors opt in for them. This is besides what Vacasa calls a single property management fee, typically ranging between 25% and 35% of revenue.

These additional services include:

  • Interior design: You can get a one-hour virtual online interior design consultation for $99, or you can get two-week design collaboration for a fee ranging from $599 to $1,199, depending on your property size and needs.
  • Linen program: You can have Vacasa stock your property with two sheet sets per bed and what they call an “ample” supply of towels for a onetime setup fee. For an annual fee, the company can replace all sheets and towels. Vacasa does not disclose the setup or the replacement fee on its website.
  • Assurant vacation rental insurance: You can get access to $1 million in property damage coverage, $1 million in liability coverage, $25,000 in personal property coverage, and $15,000 in bedbug coverage by paying $7/booked night for a property with 0-2 bedrooms or $8.54/booked night for a property with 3+ bedrooms for additional insurance.

These additional services are a must for operating a successful Airbnb business. That’s why it’s unclear why Vacasa has not included them in the single property management fee they charge, especially since this fee varies between markets and between properties.

The interior design and the furnishing of a short-term rental play a crucial role in attracting guests and getting them to write positive reviews. As a host, you want to make sure that you furnish your property in a way that is in line with local market trends and adequate to the needs and expectations of your target guests. Vacasa offers a consultation for a fee.

Supplying your Airbnb investment property with sheets and towels is also obligatory. It’s important to get linen which is high quality and will not cause discomfort to guests with sensitive skin, while not breaking the bank. If you don’t want to pay the unknown Vacasa fees for enrolling in its linen program, opt for a property manager that provides this service at no extra charge.

Similarly, when you rent out your second home on a short-term basis, you cannot rely purely on your regular home insurance. This will not protect you, your home, your furniture, and your belongings against the increased risk of damage by short-term guests and potential liability. You will need to get short-term rental insurance. But before agreeing to pay the fees requested by Vacasa, it’s a good idea to check out local insurance companies to see what fees they charge for comparable coverage.

Vacasa Incidental Charges for Owners

While the Vacasa website does not mention any other fees or charges, except for those described above, in their online reviews hosts report unexpected and wrongful charges from Vacasa.

Brandon S. wrote on Sitejabber:

They charge for unnecessary home repairs.

Similarly, DC complained on BBB.org:

Vacasa takes 30% and then also charges me for hauling away garbage, etc... They also charge the guest extra fees for dog and hot tub but do not clean for those fees.

That multiple hosts report unexpected fees and charges is a major red flag which makes property owners doubt the honesty and integrity of this Airbnb property management company.

In terms of charges to guests, the Vacasa website mentions nothing. Meanwhile, online reviews show that Vacasa charges guests between 15% and 50% on top of nightly rates, which is a lot by industry standards. For comparison, Airbnb and VRBO charge 3%-5%. Reviews posted by hosts reveal that Vacasa also charges additional fees for things like pets.

Some property owners also report that Vacasa intentionally lowers daily rates in order to attract guests. Afterwards, it imposes above-average service fees to boost its own revenue while not optimizing the income of hosts.

Vacasa Competitor Costs

Vacasa is the largest short-term rental property manager in North America and charges above industry-standard fees, but it doesn’t offer the best value for money. Let’s look at the fees which Vacasa alternatives charge and the services which they provide.

The following table summarizes the main Vacasa competitors, their services, and the fees they charge:

Vacasa Competitor Costs

Awning Airbnb Management Fees

Awning is a direct Vacasa competitor as it is a full-service vacation rental property management company.

Awning covers all services provided by Vacasa including:

  • Licensing
  • Rental furnishing
  • Listing
  • SEO optimization
  • Pricing
  • Guest communication
  • Check-ins and check-outs
  • Cleaning
  • Restocking
  • Laundry
  • Property maintenance

Awning covers all 50 US states, while Vacasa operates in 35 US states.

Unlike varying Vacasa fees, Awning charges a single fee of 15% of revenue for all its services, in all markets, for all property types and sizes. This is not simply a fully transparent pricing model but also the lowest rate that a full-service property manager charges in the US market.

AvantStay Fees

AvantStay is another full-service short-term rental management company, which, however, specializes in group travels. It manages properties in 13 US states only and does not work with homes that have fewer than four bedrooms.

AvantStay provides the following property management services:

  • Interior design
  • Smart home technology
  • Listings
  • Digital marketing
  • Commercial-grade property insurance
  • Cleaning
  • Restocking
  • Guest vetting, communication, and support
  • Revenue management

Similar to Vacasa, AvantStay does not publicize its fees on its website. Online reviews are relatively scarce and do not mention the fees that hosts pay. However, AvantStay complaints by both hosts and guests are abundant, showing that their property management fees might not be worth the services that property owners receive.

Evolve Fees

Unlike Vacasa, Awning, and AvantStay, Evolve is a half-service vacation rental property manager. This means that they do not provide all services necessary to secure passive income for their hosts.

Evolve offers these services:

  • Listing
  • Marketing
  • Dynamic daily rates
  • Property insurance
  • Guest communication and support

For these services, Evolve charges a fee of 10% of monthly revenue. While this is a very low rate, hosts should keep in mind that there is still substantial work for the host to do with the few services provided by the company.

To compensate for the lack of full-service management, Evolve offers to connect hosts with local partners who can take care of things like cleaning, restocking, maintenance, and repairs. However, this costs additional fees.

Takeaway

Overall, Vacasa fees are not transparent and include additional charges for extra services. Hosts report unexpected charges appearing on their statements for services they did not request or receive. Last but not least, the multiple complaints by hosts and guests make us doubt whether the reported fee of 25-35% of revenue is worth it or property owners should look elsewhere.

* If you’re searching for the best Airbnb management company in the US market, Awning is the national leader in vacation rental property management, providing full-service management in all 50 US states, for an industry-low fee of 15% of revenue.

Airbnb Property Management by Awning

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