There are a lot of myths about short-term rental hosting. The biggest of which is that it’s easy, passive income and that if you simply have enough properties, you can quickly become a millionaire while relaxing on the beach all day.
I’m here to tell you that, for most hosts, that’s simply not true.
Short-term rental hosting is hard work. Between finding the right property, setting it up, responding to guests, screening guests, figuring out how to command the highest price, doing tons of maintenance and upkeep…owning a short-term rental can quickly amount to much more than you bargained for.
And while I share tons of tips to help you navigate hosting with ease and become a profitable host without wanting to rip your hair out…well, sometimes we just have to be honest with ourselves about when managing every aspect of your short-term rental, every minute of every day, all by yourself is just too much.
If you’re finally ready to outsource the things you hate about hosting or are wondering if hiring a short-term rental co-host is right for you—look no further.
As a real Airbnb Superhost who just hired her first co-host, I’m breaking down what it’s really like to hire someone to manage your Airbnb. Read on to find out what you need to know BEFORE hiring your first short-term rental co-host.
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- 7 Things You Need to Know BEFORE Hiring a Short-Term Rental Co-Host
- What’s a co-host?
- What does a short-term rental co-host do?
- How do I know if I need a co-host for my short-term rental?
- How do I choose the RIGHT Airbnb co-host for me?
- Who can be a co-host?
- How do I find a short-term rental co-host?
- How do I add a co-host on Airbnb?
- BONUS: What else do I need to know before hiring a short-term rental co-host?
7 Things You Need to Know BEFORE Hiring a Short-Term Rental Co-Host
What’s a co-host?
A short-term rental co-host is someone you hire to help with the day-to-day management of your short-term rental.
What does a short-term rental co-host do?
Unlike traditional property managers, co-hosts don’t do everything required to run a short-term rental. There are certain things they’re willing and able to do and certain things they’re not willing and able to do. So, if you’re a host that wants to outsource certain aspects of your business without giving up ownership of every single thing related to your short-term rental, then hiring a co-host might be perfect for you.
That’s because co-hosts generally want property owners to be involved and maintain ownership over their property. Plus, because they’re not doing everything a property manager would do, co-hosts generally have a lower fee (woohoo!).
Short-term rental co-host responsibilities can include:
- Helping design and set up your property
- Setting up, optimizing, and managing your listing
- Handling all guest communication
- Managing your pricing
- Helping with cleaning, restocking, and ensuring your property is guest-ready (maximizing your 5-star reviews!)
How do I know if I need a co-host for my short-term rental?
Let’s be real—co-hosts cost money and you’re trying to build a profitable business here! That hard-earned money you make from your short-term rental isn’t just burning a hole in your pocket, begging for you to hand it out to someone else.
So, before hiring a co-host, you need to be super thoughtful about whether or not a co-host is right for you. If you’re considering hiring a co-host, chances are you fall into one of two camps:
- You know you need a co-host. Your life is busy, your short-term rental is busy, and you know you need help to get everything done. If you know you want to hire a co-host, keep reading to make sure you know how to find and set up your co-host the right way.
- You’re on the fence. Maybe you don’t know how much time running your short-term rental will take, or you enjoy all aspects of hosting, or you simply want to squeeze out every dollar you can from your awesome real estate investment. Whatever the case, you need to decide whether or not hiring a co-host is right for you and your business. By the end of this blog post, you’ll be able to determine just that.
How do I choose the RIGHT Airbnb co-host for me?
Before you jump into finding a co-host, you’ve got to know what you’re looking for.
So, start by deciding on the highest priority tasks you want to outsource. (Don’t know what to outsource? Consider what’s not a strength of yours and what you don’t enjoy doing.)
For me, my number one priority was hiring a co-host that would handle all guest communication.
When I first started my short-term rental, I was surprised by how much customer service is required. This is by far the most time-consuming aspect of running my Airbnb. As hard as I try, I’ve learned that efficiently responding to guests just isn’t a strength of mine and I don’t enjoy it.
My second highest priority was finding someone that can be onsite.
Running my Airbnb remotely for nearly a year and a half has taught me that, while you can get by with exceptional cleaners that do the essentials like replacing batteries and restocking supplies, cleaners alone can’t do everything. Ideally, you have someone else to be your eyes and ears onsite–doing quality assurance, finding and fixing issues, and reacting in emergencies.
Who can be a co-host?
Almost anyone can be a co-host, but that doesn’t mean you should hire just anyone.
One of the biggest myths I see about hiring a co-host is that it’s as simple as reaching out to a friend, family member, or neighbor and hiring them.
If that works for you—great! But most of the time, us hosts don’t have someone in the area who’s willing and able to do an exceptional job co-hosting. Plus, you’re running a real business here—you want someone who’s going to treat it as such.
So, rather than calling your neighbor’s friend’s sister-in-law who mentioned once that she might be interested in owning an Airbnb someday, I’d recommend looking for someone who’s made a business out of co-hosting (and has done a great job at it!). Or, at the very least, has proven to be an exceptional host at their own properties and is looking to make a business out of co-hosting.
How do I find a short-term rental co-host?
You can find a great co-host almost anywhere: Google, Yelp, Facebook, Nextdoor, Airbnb communities, short-term rental listings, or LinkedIn. Also, don’t be afraid to ask around—real estate agents, fellow hosts, contractors, or anyone else local might be able to give a recommendation.
How do I add a co-host on Airbnb?
Adding a co-host to your Airbnb listing is super simple. From your listing, select, “co-host” then, “invite a friend” and enter your co-host’s email address.
BONUS: What else do I need to know before hiring a short-term rental co-host?
The last thing you need to know before hiring a short-term rental co-host is that you’ll probably need (and want!) to sign a services agreement. This written agreement/contract will detail what your co-host will/won’t do, what you’ll be responsible for, the fee they’ll charge, and any other helpful details about your relationship moving forward.
Hiring a co-host for your short-term rental can be a super simple way to make running an Airbnb sustainable for you long-term. Co-hosts vary greatly in what they’re willing and able to do, which gives hosts a lot of flexibility in being as involved or uninvolved in the day-to-day aspects of running an Airbnb as they’d like.
If you’re finally ready to outsource the things you hate about hosting or are wondering if hiring a short-term rental co-host is right for you, you’re now well-equipped to make an informed decision about what’s best for you and your Airbnb business!
How much does a co-host make on Airbnb?
The amount Airbnb co-hosts charge varies widely based on what the co-host does. I’ve seen Airbnb co-host fees anywhere from 10-25% of gross revenue (after subtracting cleaning fees, Airbnb host fees, and transient occupancy taxes).
Pro tip: I believe a co-host who charges a percentage of your gross revenue is much better than one who charges a flat fee because your incentives are aligned, meaning the more revenue your co-host brings in, the more BOTH of you earn!
How do I split my payment with a co-host on Airbnb?
This is entirely up to you and your co-host! Your co-host will typically have a certain rate in mind. That said, you should talk with them about bringing the rate up or down if you’re hiring them to provide more or fewer services than usual.
Can an Airbnb have two hosts?
Yes! Well…technically no. Each Airbnb listing has one primary host (which can be you, your co-host, or someone else) and up to three co-hosts. Adding a co-host to your listing is super simple. From your listing, select, “co-host” then, “invite a friend” and enter your co-host’s email address.
Can a co-host see your earnings?
Yes, but they can’t view your payout method or taxpayer information within the Airbnb platform.
Do co-hosts get reviews?
Co-hosts on Airbnb do not receive ratings and reviews on their profile. The ratings and reviews guests leave after their stay only show up on the primary host’s listing and only impact the primary host’s Superhost status.
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What questions do you have about hiring an Airbnb co-host? Let me know in the comments.
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