Hosting is hard work. You have to take care of a whole lot from getting your space ready, messaging guests and reviewing them, handling reservations and check-ins/outs, and updating your listing, to coordinating cleaning and maintenance. Some hosts do not have the time to manage their listings themselves, and some are not sufficiently tech-savvy or simply don’t want to spend long hours sitting in front of a screen managing their listings. Here is where they need professional help and an extra pair of hands, so they should hire a co-host for their listing in return for an Airbnb co-hosting fee.
Airbnb Co-hosting Feature
Airbnb Co-Host feature was released in November 2016. This service allows hosts to designate other Airbnb members to share hosting responsibilities or manage the host’s listing on behalf of them in return for an Airbnb co-hosting fee.
An Airbnb co-host can be someone the host already knows such as a close friend or a family member, a property manager who works as a freelancer or a professional property management company. You can add up to three co-hosts to each Airbnb listing. The hosts could also get connected to co-hosts in their area via Airbnb Co-Host Marketplace which was a space for the co-hosts to make their own profiles and offer hosting services to the hosts in return for a co-hosting fee. Airbnb shut down this service in June 2018 stating that this feature was not effective for connecting enough hosts with co-hosts.
The host and the co-host can decide on how to divide marketing and operational responsibilities between themselves. They can help with a wide range of tasks like listing the property, updating pricing and calendar, managing reservations, welcoming guests, answering guests’ emails, restocking supplies, making the space ready, and handling disputes through Airbnb.
It’s a Win-win Deal
Handling every aspect of an Airbnb single-handedly is a daunting task for many owners. Airbnb co-hosting programme not only allows you to outsource managing your listing, but can also make sure your guests receive the best experience possible. Your co-hosts can review your guests and leave feedback on your behalf; as a result, you will receive more positive host reviews, and consequently more bookings and revenue. Stress-free from the details of everyday operations and managing their Airbnb listing, the hosts can dedicate their time and effort to enhance their marketing strategies, drive more potential guests to their listings, and even scale their business if they’re determined to scale their short term rental business.
As the host and the co-host have negotiated and agreed on all terms beforehand, no communications, deals or agreements can be made without the consent of all the parties involved, so the collaboration is fully transparent. In this programme, the hosts authorise the co-hosts to share hosting responsibilities from their own account without the need to give them access to their personal Airbnb account, and handing over their sensitive account information such as personal details, payout method, or tax and payment information. The hosts and their co-hosts will be able to view and respond to guests’ enquiries from their own accounts, and it will be clear who is exactly responding, making guests’ communications a fully hassle-free task with the help of co-hosts.
What is Missing?
The co-hosts split the hosting workload with the hosts in exchange for a percentage of the rental income. An agreement is formed between the host and the co-host in which they agree on dividing the responsibilities and profits, and how the co-host will be repaid for expenses. The host agrees to pay the co-host an Airbnb co-host fee for each confirmed booking for their listing. As a part of the Airbnb co-hosting programme, Airbnb ‘split payout feature’ was authorised to collect such fees. The co-hosts could also get one-time fees for one-time services they offered the hosts. Airbnb had the ability to handle co-hosting payments automatically. When a host charged an Airbnb co-host fee, the split was made from the source based on a custom formula, so there was no need to use a payment system for handling management fees outside Airbnb. This feature simplified accounting for the hosts and took the burden off their shoulders.
In August 2018, Airbnb announced their upcoming change in the co-hosting programme, in the light of which the hosts were no longer able to share payments with co-hosts through the Airbnb platform. The hosts had to work directly with their co-hosts to arrange all payments for their services outside Airbnb through secure online payment apps, bank deposits, cash, or cheques. Airbnb stated that the reason for this shutdown was that the system could only handle a small number of co-hosts and was not designed for a great volume of users.
Many hosts and co-hosts still appreciate and take advantage of Airbnb’s co-host feature; however, removing the auto-payment co-host option from the programme has given both co-hosts and hosts a major hassle. Many of the hosts are complaining about losing an extra hand in managing their listings and the troubles of having to do the calculations and then paying their co-hosts through other systems while the co-hosts are worried about trusting and relying on the property owners to pay them. They are concerned that some hosts may withhold their payments or even refuse to pay them at all. Losing the ease of the co-host payment makes the hosts not use the co-host feature any more or not list their properties on Airbnb.
Zeevou’s Solutions That Can Supplement Airbnb Co-host Feature
Here are just a couple of features Zeevou offers to allow hosts and co-hosts manage their revenue more effectively: