Vacasa Fees: How Much Does Vacasa Charge Customers?

Jun 11, 2024, written by Dennis Shirshikov

Before deciding to hire Vacasa for vacation rental property management, owners need to understand Vacasa’s fees and whether they are worth it.

In short, Vacasa’s costs are unclear, not reported on the company website, and there is no universal fee applied to all rentals. Instead, fees depend on the market, property, and owners’ desired features and management needs. In online reviews, current Vacasa owners report average rates of 25% to 35% of monthly revenue, but sometimes exceeding 40%.

Vacasa also charges hosts a range of additional fees for extra - yet necessary - services, such as providing and cleaning linens, maintaining hot tubs, and insuring properties. Furthermore, the company also charges guests multiple ancillary fees that exceed industry standards.

All these fees result in high costs for both owners and guests in exchange for services that many customers find insufficient and of poor quality.

Meanwhile, as the top ranked vacation rental property management company in the US, Summer charges a single monthly fee, starting at only 20% of revenue excluding cleaning fees. This covers high-quality, comprehensive, full-service management that allows Summer-managed properties to outperform at least 95% of local competition in each market.

Vacasa Vacation Rental Management Fee Summary

Vacasa offers three main types of services to real estate investors:

Each of these services comes with its own price. We’ll first take a look at the costs associated with the full-service management of short term rentals, and then Vacasa GuestWorks, which is a much less popular option among hosts. The ESP cost is beyond the scope of this article.

Vacasa Full-Service Property Management Cost

Vacasa’s fees for comprehensive short term rental management include both standard fees and additional fees for extra services.

Vacasa Standard Property Management Services Cost

Similar to other top vacation rental management companies, Vacasa charges a comprehensive monthly fee for the essential services required to run an Airbnb. This fee is calculated as a percentage of the monthly revenue generated by a rental property. However, unlike many property managers, Vacasa’s fees can vary greatly from one property to another.

Importantly, Vacasa does not specify its range of possible fees on the company website. Hosts cannot get even a rough estimate unless they contact the company, provide the details of their property, and get a custom quote.

Meanwhile, owners who have worked with Vacasa report fees ranging between 25% and 50% of revenue, with an average around 35%.

Below is host feedback shared in Vacasa property management reviews on third-party websites regarding fees:

In his review on Trustpilot, John Loboscio wrote:

They tell you they only charge a 25% management fee, but they secretly take 15% as a "booking fee" that you never see on the total rent a guest pays. Their actual charged rate is between 35-37% since they never show you the true full number. For example if a guest pays $100 rental, they don’t take $25 or 25%, instead they take 15% off the top, tell you the guest paid $85, then take 25% of $85 so their total takings are $36.25 -NOT- $25.

Similarly, in her review on Trustpilot, Jesse Obbink wrote:

Essentially you’re paying 30%+ (because of all their hidden fees) for them to schedule cleaners.

In his review on Sitejabber, Ryan P. shared his experience with Vacasa fees:

“We had a pipe burst in our cabin and had to cancel three rentals. Vacasa moved those guests to other properties but still charged us their 35% management fee.”

In their review on Trustpilot, JM wrote:

Not worth the 49% they originally take.

Finally, in their review on Sitejabber, Riverside P. shared the following:

“What they don't tell you is that they deliberately lower your rental fees so they can tack on higher fees which amount to 30-60% of the total cost and, at times, collect more than the actual owner. Second, they charge a $35 damage waiver fee which they pocket since they never repair anything.”

In exchange for the Vacasa property management fee, owners receive the following standard services:

According to Vacasa’s website, its owners get an average of 24% more bookings than comps and an average income increase of 20%. This average revenue boost is clearly not enough to cover the Vacasa costs for management which - at times - can exceed 50% of revenue. Meanwhile, the company does not offer more services than other short term rental property managers in exchange for costs above the industry averages of 25-40%.

Let’s take a look at a simple example.

If we consider a property that earns $60,000 in annual Airbnb rental income with the average Vacasa fee of 35%, over the course of one year Vacasa will pocket $21,000, while the owner will be left with $39,000.

If this same property is managed by Summer, which charges fees starting at 20% of income, Summer will be paid $12,000, while the remaining $48,000 will be received by the host as annual earnings. This means that with Summer, the owner will make $9,000 more in one single year.

Vacasa Additional Services Cost

Vacasa offers additional programs to hosts that incur additional costs. It’s important to note that these tasks are critical for the successful operation of a vacation rental business. They include:

Since Vacasa does not provide a range for the costs of these extra services and the price varies by market and property, it’s impossible for owners to estimate the total fee before talking to a Vacasa representative. But based on customer reviews, hosts can expect to pay more than what most Airbnb property managers charge.

Unexpected Vacasa Charges to Hosts

In their reviews of Vacasa, numerous property owners discuss additional fees that they have been forced to pay but are not listed in the vacation rental management agreement.

Specifically, some owners faced unexpected cleaning fees, even though the cost of cleaning the property between guests is included in the standard monthly fee. Moreover, Vacasa charges hefty cleaning fees to guests, not to mention that many owners indicate the company does little, if anything, beyond basic cleaning.

Vacasa customers also report charges for unnecessary fixes and repairs. Normally, property managers seek owner approval for all maintenance work that exceeds certain thresholds, but it seems Vacasa does not.

Vacasa GuestWorks Cost

As an alternative to full-service Airbnb property management, Vacasa offers GuestWorks, a half-service program helping owners automate time-consuming tasks, including:

Once again, the Vacasa GuestWorks fee is not quoted on its website. Owners can expect to pay more than 10% of revenue, the standard cost of half-service vacation rental property management.

What Factors Determine Vacasa Costs for Hosts

Numerous factors affect Vacasa’s total property management fee. The company explains that this is necessary given local conditions for each property. The main determinants of Vacasa fees include:

Because of the complexity and uncertainty of calculating Vacasa charges, it’s crucial for owners to contact the company and get an exact quote.

Vacasa Fees for Guests

In addition to costs for hosts, Vacasa also charges some fees to guests. Some of these fees are standard, while others depend on property specifications and amenities. Specific amounts are not listed on the Vacasa website.

Common Vacasa costs paid by guests include:

Generally, most of these fees are in line with what other short term rental property managers charge. The main exception is hot tub maintenance, as some of the best Airbnb management companies include this fee in their standard monthly fee in order to avoid rate inflation for guests and to make listings more attractive.

Vacasa Competitor Fees

Because Vacasa costs seem unreasonably high for the services provided, short term rental property owners may want to look for alternatives. Indeed, there are vacation rental management companies that charge much more affordable fees for truly comprehensive services.

The table below summarizes the short term rental property management fees for the top Vacasa competitors:

Fees and Costs of Vacasa Competitors

Summer Airbnb Management Fees

As the best short term rental property manager in the US, Summer charges a single, competitive monthly fee that starts at only 20% of revenue. Unlike other companies, Summer calculates the fee on booking revenue excluding cleaning fees, which further lowers the cost compared to other Vacasa alternatives. This price covers everything needed to manage an Airbnb, from listing and dynamic pricing to guest support, cleaning, and property maintenance.

The only other fee charged by Summer is the price of interior design and furnishing services. These services are entirely customizable based on the property specifications and the host preferences and start at $10,000 per property. Owners can be as involved or uninvolved as they want.

Because Summer is highly selective about the properties it manages in order to provide exceptional hospitality services, Summer-managed rentals outperform at least 95% of local comps.

AvantStay Airbnb Management Fees

Similar to Vacasa, AvantStay’s fees are not stated on the company website. The Airbnb manager offers two different pricing structures:

Additional AvantStay costs include professional photography (provided for free by most managers) as well as interior design and furnishing. The rates for these services are unclear.

Awning Airbnb Management Fees

Awning fees start at 10% of monthly revenue. While this looks like an industry-low rate, it’s likely to cover only partial services that do not suffice to provide passive income to vacation rental investors. The exact cost depends on the market, the property type and size, the property features, the annual revenue, and the level of services.

Unlike Vacasa, Awning provides interior design and furnishing services, with prices starting at $3,000 for small properties with simple needs. The cost of furnishing a big property from scratch might easily exceed $50,000.

Furthermore, Awning offers access to short term rental insurance through Obie, a specialized rental property insurance company. The policy cost depends on multiple factors, such as location, property size, home value, and personal property on site. According to its website, hosts save an average of 25% when insuring their rental through Awning.

Evolve Airbnb Management Fees

Evolve has one of the clearest and most straightforward pricing models in the vacation rental management industry. The fee is only 10% of monthly income, but this is for the provision of half-service management. In other words, the Evolve cost covers the automation of repetitive tasks, such as listing optimization, dynamic pricing, marketing, and guest communication.

Evolve does not charge any additional fees because it doesn’t provide extra services.

The Bottom Line

Airbnb property investors cannot estimate the fees they will pay to Vacasa for the management of their rental without a custom quote from the company. Multiple variables affect the cost, the range is not listed on the website, and extra services are charged incrementally, which makes for a very complicated and opaque pricing model. Considering all these charges, Vacasa’s fees can easily exceed 50% of booking revenue, which is significantly more than industry average. Moreover, the excessive cost does not seem worth the level of service reported by many hosts on third-party review websites.

Meanwhile, owners who would like to pay a competitive, simple, clear fee for high-quality, full-service vacation rental management can check out Summer. Monthly rates start at 20% of revenue and cover all services, with no hidden charges.

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This article was written by
Dennis Shirshikov

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