Investing in a short term rental can be a very profitable, yet a very demanding and time-consuming endeavor. An easy way to benefit from this exciting opportunity without committing to another full-time job is to co host Airbnb with another person.
In this article, we will define what a co host on Airbnb is, what their responsibilities are, how to become one (to make money without necessarily owning a property), and how to find one (if you own an investment property but don’t want all the work associated with managing it).
Introduction to Airbnb Co Hosting
One of the first things you need to settle after you buy a vacation rental is the Airbnb management process. Whether you opt to be a DIY host or choose to get external help should depend on the location and needs of your property as well as your time availability, skills, experience, and preferences.
One way to lower the workload on you – without necessarily hiring a professional short term management company – is to get a co host. This will help you run a successful Airbnb business while retaining some free time, for a share of the revenue you generate.
What Is a Co Host on Airbnb?
The Airbnb platform allows hosts to add a co host, which is an official position in the short term rental investment industry, just like an Airbnb host.
The responsibilities can vary widely, and the Airbnb website allows the host to set up the permissions for the co host. Before you go ahead and do that, however, you should agree with your partner on the exact duties of each one of you and what fees your co host on Airbnb would like for doing their part of the job.
Who Can Be a Co Host?
The most popular categories of co hosts on Airbnb include:
- An Airbnb investing partner: Real estate partnerships make it easy and more efficient to invest in a short term rental. If you own your vacation rental home with a partner, you can co host Airbnb together.
- A family member or friend: You can get help from someone from your family or relatives or from one of your friends who lives close to your investment, who has more free time than you, or who has more experience in Airbnb hosting.
- A local professional: You can add a person from whom you get professional help in managing any aspects of your Airbnb business.
- An Airbnb property manager: If you hire a professional Airbnb manager (like Evolve rental management) to help in maximizing your Airbnb rental income through their experience in the business and expertise in the local market, you can assign them the role of a co host on the Airbnb platform for a more efficient process.
How to Add a Co Host on Airbnb
Adding a co host to your listing is one of the easiest aspects of the Airbnb property management process, much faster and more straightforward than how to list on Airbnb.
All you have to do is to:
- Open your Airbnb listing from your hosting account
- Click on Co-Hosts
- Select Invite a Co-Host
- Enter the co host’s country/region and their phone number/email address
- Set up the co host Airbnb responsibilities
- Add a Note if necessary
- Click on Send
As soon as the co host accepts the invitation and enters the required information, you are ready to cooperate on the short term rental management process. The only other thing you need to set up is the payout of the co host, which is usually defined as a percentage of the generated revenue.
Understanding the Role of a Co Host on Airbnb
As mentioned above, the role of a co host on Airbnb can be very diverse. It depends on the host’s needs and preferences.
If you aim for passive income from your short term rental investment, you can transfer the majority of the management responsibilities to the co host, and – accordingly – give them a major payout.
If, on the other hand, you’d like to retain control over most aspects of the management process but need some technical assistance, you can give your co host limited responsibilities, in exchange for a minimal fee.
Responsibilities and Duties
The most popular tasks of a co host on Airbnb include:
- Managing the Airbnb listing
- Keeping the booking calendar and the pricing strategy up to date
- Communicating with guests
- Managing reservations
- Generating positive reviews from guests
- Writing guest reviews
- Getting support from the Airbnb team
- Preparing the property for guests
- Cleaning and restocking or coordinating cleaning and restocking between guests
- Meeting guests in-person at check-in and check-out
- Addressing guest needs and requests during stays
- Maintaining the investment property
- Coordinating the work of any support staff
Meanwhile, there are some things that co hosts cannot do, based on the limitations of the platform.
Co hosts cannot:
- Change the host payout information
- Access the tax-related information
- View the host’s itinerary when traveling as a guest
It is crucial that you and your co host reach an agreement and understanding on the exact breakdown of responsibilities between the two of you (and any other team members involved). This will avoid troubles down the road.
Once you have a clear understanding, you – as the host – need to set up the relevant responsibilities on the Airbnb platform in order to give your co host the necessary permissions to manage the calendar, pricing, reservations, messages, etc.
Benefits of Having a Partner for Your Property
After you have figured out how to co host on Airbnb, it comes with many important advantages.
The main ones are:
- Passive investment: If you invest out of state or have a full-time job, you can easily invest in Airbnb with the help of a co host. They can manage all the time-consuming tasks, while you focus your energy and attention on the more strategic parts of the job of hosting on Airbnb.
- Professional help: The fact that you have purchased a short term rental doesn’t necessarily mean that you are an expert on hospitality. You can go around this challenge by working with a co host.
- Optimized management: You and your co host can split the responsibilities based on the skills and strengths of each one of you in order to improve the vacation rental management process and to boost your income and return on investment.
- Shared responsibility: If you’re a beginning Airbnb investor, it’s a good idea to split the work with someone with more experience in the field in order to lower the risks and increase the benefits.
- Improved guest experience: Overall, having multiple Airbnb hosts for the same listing should result in better experiences for guests, which can lead to more 5-star reviews. This will enhance your ranking on the booking platform and generate more reservations in the future.
The Path to Becoming a Co Host on Airbnb
There are many benefits of being an Airbnb co host. For instance, this can be one way of how to make money with Airbnb without owning a property. In addition, you can save up your payouts for a down payment on your own vacation rental investment in the future.
But how to become a co host on Airbnb? What skills does it take? What does the process look like?
Let’s figure it out.
Essential Qualities and Skills
While there are no official requirements to be a co host on Airbnb (there is no license for this, for instance), you need certain characteristics and qualifications to thrive at the job:
- Strong organizational skills: First and foremost, you need to be able to stay organized when handling multiple responsibilities of different kinds. Managing an Airbnb property is associated with a lot of different tasks, and you have to stay on top of all of them at all times.
- Communication and interpersonal qualities: As a co host, you might need to communicate with guests, the host, local vendors and contractors, Airbnb insurance providers, and others. This will include in-person communication as well as communication over the phone and via email/chat.
- Active personality: Co hosting on Airbnb is a very dynamic endeavor, so you have to enjoy working in a fast-paced environment and handling multiple, frequently unpredictable tasks to succeed.
- Patience: Dealing with endless guest questions, tackling ongoing property issues, and coordinating multiple vendors and suppliers requires the ability to remain calm and professional, no matter how frustrated you might feel at times.
- Hospitality experience: Having worked in the hospitality industry is not a must – as long as you have all above-listed qualities – but it’s definitely a major plus. This will help you meet the expectations of guests and bring in positive reviews for the listing.
How to Set Up a Co Host Agreement
On Airbnb’s side, the platform requires co hosts to sign the Terms of Service before they can become operational.
However, though it’s not required by Airbnb, it’s a smart idea to draft and sign a detailed, written agreement between the host and the co host that outlines the exact responsibilities of each party as well as the payout to the co host. Having this agreement understood and signed should be one of the first points on your Airbnb host checklist for a smooth, trouble-free, and profitable experience.
Maximizing Your Airbnb Investment with a Co Host
Getting a co host might be one of the best Airbnb hosting tips for investors with limited time availability and poor skills. To take full advantage of all potential benefits, it’s important to follow some ground rules.
Strategies for Effective Co Hosting on Airbnb
Here are a few tips to help you get started and maintain your co hosting experience on Airbnb on the right foot:
- Find a reliable person with the necessary skills to co host Airbnb
- Agree on the responsibilities of each party involved
- Discuss, draft, and sign an agreement between all parties involved
- Set up the co host’s access and permissions right on Airbnb
- Periodically review the performance of your Airbnb and discuss how you could build on it
- Address any developing issues and potential problems right away, before it’s too late
- Make sure your co host gets their payments on time
Financial Aspects of Co Hosting
One of the main things you need to discuss with your potential co host is the payment structure. In most cases, co hosts on Airbnb are paid 10-20% of the nightly revenue, but this amount might be more or less, depending on the exact requirements and tasks.
When addressing this financial matter, you need to conduct rental property analysis to ensure that the co host fee will not negatively affect your cash flow, cap rate, and cash on cash return. At the same time, you have to make sure that your co host feels comfortable and happy with this amount so that they become an invaluable partner in your short term rental investment endeavor.
Co Host Fees
The typical fee for co hosts on Airbnb is between 10% and 20% of revenue. But the amount can be more or less. Also, you and your co host can work out a flat monthly fee instead.
Co Host Payments
The payouts to the co host can be automated on Airbnb as long as they are set up as a percentage of the daily rate. Otherwise, if you agree on a flat fee, you might need to make the transfers through a third-party platform.
Finding the Right Co Host for Your Short Term Rental Property
In case you’ve come to the conclusion that partnering with someone on property management might be beneficial for you, next we’ll discuss how to find a co host for your Airbnb.
Where to Look for a Reliable Co Host
The best places where you can find a co host for Airbnb are:
- Your direct real estate investment partners
- Your real estate network (talk to agents, property managers, vendors, etc.)
- Local real estate investment meetups or online groups (check out forums, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Friends and family
- Professional property managers (check out the best vacation rental management companies)
- Existing Airbnb SuperHosts who might be interested in helping other hosts with their listings
Vetting and Selecting
After you have chosen a few potential candidates, you need to go through a carefully planned out vetting and selection process.
This needs to cover the following steps:
- Ask for proven track record of previous Airbnb hosting experience
- Ask for references including other Airbnb hosts
- Have a video or in-person interview to make sure that this person has the required communication skills and friendly personality to handle guests and others
Finally, once you have chosen your co host, make sure that they are familiar with the Airbnb rules for hosting before getting started.
There are many different ways to make money from a short term rental investment property without losing your sanity, and one of these ways is to work with a co host on Airbnb. If you think that this is the right choice for you, make sure to follow the steps and requirements outlined above to select the most fitting person who will help you along the journey rather than turn into another burden in the process.
Meanwhile, if you and your co host need some extra help in optimizing the pricing strategy for your property, check out the Mashvisor Airbnb Dynamic Pricing Tool.