A Complete Guide: How to Train Your Airbnb Co-host for Your Airbnb Business

Airbnb Co-Host

A Complete Guide: How to Train Your Airbnb Co-host for Your Airbnb Business

Airbnb Co-Host

This post has been a long overdue. If you’re not familiar with what an Airbnb co-host does, then be sure to read through this blog here.

The goal of this article is to help transition all of your host responsibilities to your co-host so you can gain free time to focus on your next move.

If you want to scale up to multiple units and earn more on passive income, then now it’s your chance. Or have a friend in town and want to meet him for lunch? Now, you can do that because of your new co-host. 🙂

What does that taste like to you?

Airbnb co-host

FREEDOM!!

Account Management for Your New Airbnb Co-Host

When you created your Airbnb account, you are listed as the primary account holder. Only you have the ability to change payment methods and preferences while your co-hosts do not have access to the financials of your account.

This is a good thing. You don’t want anyone to mess around with where the money is going and how much is going to what account.

We’ll cover how to pay your co-host later in this blog post.

As of today, you can add up to two co-hosts for every listing that you have. It used to be three, but the times have changed!

There are a couple of ways to do this, but I’m going to show you the easiest way.

You ready?

Here’s the process of adding your new Airbnb co-host.

To add a new Airbnb co-host:

Step 1: go to your Airbnb Host Dashboard.

Step 2:  Go to Listing and select the correct listing that you want to add a new Airbnb c0-host. Here’s a picture.

airbnb co-host training

Step 3: Invite the person that you want as your co-host via their email address.

That’s all you have to do on your end to add a new co-host. Once you send the invitation, all your new co-host needs to do is to accept the invitation and they can start helping you right away.

You can hire a contractor for this role, or have your cleaner who’s more intimate with your business become your co-host.

In my case, I hired my cleaner because she’s not only a fantastic cleaner but also a good communicator.

An important thing to note: Whenever a guest sees your listing, the guest will see your profile picture on their reservation. This means they would expect that you are the one interacting with them.

I have a solution to this later on as we move into the training section.

What Can An Airbnb Co-host Do for You?

A Co-host can do almost everything that you can do as a primary host. I won’t waste too much time here because you can research this on your own.

Head to Airbnb to read more.

I want to stress what they cannot do:

  1. Access your payouts or tax information
  2. See your traveling activities on your guest account
  3. Access previous conversation where they were not already a co-host

In order to really put your business on auto-pilot, having an Airbnb co-host is the only way to automate 99% of your business operations.

How to Train your Airbnb Co-host

Airbnb co-host

There are really two approaches to training your new Airbnb co-host: laissez-faire, or an 80% baked plan.

what does that mean, Sam?

Don’t worry, I’ll explain!

Laissez-faire Training

I’m all about that sink or swim mentality, baby!

🙁 I really don’t like that cliche because not everyone can thrive in that kind of environment.

Some people need more structure and some people can run wild with an idea. The truth is you won’t know until later…

I’ve worked for some bad managers in the past and I vowed to never be like one of them. I felt that management only seems to notice what you’re doing wrong. The annoyance slowly builds over time because feedback is only given during monthly, quarterly, or yearly reviews.

If you’re just starting, how do you know if you’re doing well?

Hint… You don’t.

Finding out three months from now is incredibly inefficient and dumb.

The laissez-faire approach is the lazy man’s approach. Don’t be lazy, man!

The 80% Baked Plan

I got this idea from half-baked pizzas. The idea is that you can buy already baked pizzas so it’ll save you some time when you bake it at home.

Airbnb Co-Host

That’s genius, I thought!

They say managing is the hardest part of any business. And DAMN. They are absolutely right!

Sorry. Got a little distracted. This is what I mean by 80% baked plan.

You are at a point where you are hopefully at scale (3+ units) and earning a comfortable $10k a month in revenue from Airbnb. This is also the point that you’re willing to give up a little bit of your profit margin in order to gain more time back.

The 80% baked plan is really just outlining all of your current host responsibilities on a piece of paper. The other 20% is the plan for when your co-host makes a mistake.

(Were you expecting something more genius? Sorry, that was pretty anti-climatic…I know) 😉

Outlining your responsibilities is not “fun” or “exciting” work. But someone has to do it…

Oh wait, are you hinting at something, Sam?

Well, yes. That someone could be me. Here’s the load down.

I recently trained my cleaner to finally take over my hosting responsibilities so I can take a month off to travel with my girlfriend in the states!

Our plan is to take a camper van and just go. Sounds like a fun plan? We’ll see… it’s going to be cold as hell once we’re made our way past Arizona to Utah.

airbnb co-host

Do you want a free Airbnb co-host training Guide?

This is the outline that you can have when you need it. Click Here for your Airbnb Co-host Training Guide

Next, I’m going to cover only the most important responsibilities in this blog post.

The Essential Co-host Training Guide

If you can compartmentalize your Airbnb business then it’d fall into three buckets: pre, during and post.

PRE-Book: I don’t want my co-host to mess around with my calendar availability and pricing. I’ve already written lots about this, so go do a quick search on my blog. Or go here.

During: this is where you can have templates on check-in, check-out, and asking for a 5-star review. I’d upload your current templates into a Google Drive (Google, if you’re reading this, please be my sponsor!!) and share it with your new co-host.

Post-Check-Out: this is where the bulk of the work will be.

Your new co-host will need to coordinate cleaning or clean it themselves. Because my cleaner got promoted to her new role; she’s also the cleaner.

That part is easy.

A Few Important Things About Your New Airbnb Co-host:

  • Restock Essential Supplies: Make sure there’s enough hand soap, clean towels, and toilet paper is vital! (Check out my shopping template for all of the busy hosts out there).
  • Coordinating w/ Maintenance: Your co-host will need access to your handyman.
  • Resolution Center: How to request money if the guest needed extra services like early/late check-in/outs.

Preparing Your Co-Host for Filing an Airbnb Host Guarantee

Sh** happens, so it’s important to prepare for this when it does.

In my almost two years of hosting, I only had one truly horrible guest (the cops were called and I’ll write about this later).

You’ll need to train your co-host on how to properly file for an Airbnb Host Guarantee.

Airbnb Co-host Fees and How to Pay Your Co-host

airbnb co-host

I tried the co-host model for a few months and charged 18% for my services.

Now, for some, this may seem like a high number, but I also bought my hosting experiences and a back-end crew to manage the listing. I see some hosts charge as much as 30%, but you’d have to find your niche.

Obviously, you don’t want to pay your co-host 30% or even 20%.

This is completely negotiable depending on your co-host’s situation. If they have no prior experience and no back-end team (cleaner and handyman) then it doesn’t make sense to pay them a high percentage to start.

Do you want to know a secret?

I pay my new co-host 3% to start and 5% when she’s fully ramped up… The math worked out for both.

The 5% margin is worth about $6,000 a year. I spend an average of 1.5 hours a week managing my units so that’s 1.5 * 52 weeks = 78 hours.

$6000 / 78 = $76.902 an hour.

I save 78 hours a year and she’ll make 77 dollars an hour. Honestly, this is a win-win for all of us.

How to Pay Your Airbnb Co-host

It’s important to keep your cleaning fee and booking separately. My co-host only gets paid a percentage out of the reservation revenue and not cleaning.

For example, if the reservation was for three (3) nights at $100 per night and a cleaning fee of $100 then the math would look something like this:

Airbnb Fees: $300 * 3% = $291

Co-host Payout: $291 * 3% = $8.73

The easiest way to pay your co-host is to have her invoice you at the 1st of the month for the previous month.

For example, 12/1/18 – 12/31/18 will get paid on 1/1/19.

In the invoice, she’ll need to itemize cleaning fee and co-host fee.

Got It All Down?

Join my Airbnb Host Community Email List. I will send you Airbnb host best practices and tips to increase your margins. Sometimes, I’ll even surprise you with an awesome giveaway!

 

6 Comments
  • Gina DiMasi
    Posted at 18:09h, 15 January Reply

    Hi Sam,

    Thanks for the great content, always a fan.

    I was wondering if you would ever consider hosting an airbnb that is out of state? Currently, where we live there are legislations that would not allow us to conduct an arbitrage business. Do you go over ways to get around these laws in your class? Also, in your class do you go over picking out a city for airbnb?

    Thanks for everything!

    • Sam Zuo
      Posted at 10:22h, 21 June Reply

      Hi Gina-

      yes, make sure to set up the system prior to leaving the state. And yes, there are ways to get around it. And, picking out a city is part of the course.

      Not a problem.
      Sam

  • Angella Emmett
    Posted at 17:03h, 26 February Reply

    Thanks for sharing your experience and great content with us. I am curious to know how the co-host and their services are covered for liability? From what I can find, Airbnb doesn’t cover them outside of the host guarantee. Do you require you co-host to have a GL policy?

    • Sam Zuo
      Posted at 18:35h, 26 February Reply

      Not if I’m the primary host.

  • Jerry Dahlinger
    Posted at 18:02h, 13 March Reply

    Hi Sam,
    Not getting the math in your example:
    Airbnb Fees: $300 * 3% = $9… not $291
    Did you mean:
    Airbnb Host Payout: $300-3%=$291?
    Jerry

    • Sam Zuo
      Posted at 01:54h, 14 March Reply

      Yup, you’re right Jerry.

      It’s $300 – ($300 * 3%) = $291.

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