How to Become an Airbnb Owner With a Cohost

By Carole Braden · October 12, 2023 · 9 minute read

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How to Become an Airbnb Owner With a Cohost

If you own an Airbnb property or are contemplating offering one on the popular rental platform, you probably know that doing so can bring in a welcome stream of income. You also probably know that it can take time and energy to keep things running smoothly. Guests may cancel at the last-minute; your property’s dishwasher might break; and an array of other scenarios may arise, demanding your attention.

In this situation, you might want to find a cohost to assist you. A cohost can simplify the process by assisting with bookings, housekeeping, answering guests’ questions, and more responsibilities.

A cohost could be a friend or family member, a person you find and pay for their services, or a professional with whom Airbnb connects you.

Here, you’ll learn more about this option including:

•   What is Airbnb?

•   How does Airbnb work?

•   How does Airbnb work for hosts?

•   How to become an Airbnb cohost?

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What Is Airbnb?

Airbnb is an online marketplace for private home stays (whether that means renting out a room, a floor of a house, or a whole property) as well as vacation experiences.

How does Airbnb work for hosts? Owners sign up to rent out a room, apartment, or house for a home stay. (Even treehouses turn up among the properties.) The hosts set their rates, and share their rental policies. Guests can then book via the Airbnb platform, which assists with communications and administrative tasks for a commission.

More than four million hosts now operate worldwide, with over 150 million users globally who have booked over one million stays. It’s a proven platform for coaxing an income stream out of any property, and it can be an enticing endeavor for first-time homebuyers.

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Who Books on Airbnb?

All kinds of people book on Airbnb: Recent grads, families, retirees, wedding guests, digital nomads, and more. Both frugal travelers and posh jetsetters alike are looking for lodging. Many people prefer the authenticity of an Airbnb to a cookie-cutter hotel or motel room.

How does Airbnb work for guests? They search for and book a property based on location, price, available dates, and desired amenities, among other factors.

When potential guests submit inquiries, owners receive immediate notification of the reservation request. Airbnb has technology in place to block guests with a record of negative behavior (such as property damage) from reserving properties.

How Does Airbnb Work for Owners and Cohosts?

There are many things to know when renting out an Airbnb. Here’s how Airbnb works for owners: Those who list new properties on Airbnb receive step-by-step instructions for setting up their space. They can be matched with a successful Superhost (that’s Airbnb’s term for highly rated and reliable hosts) to assist them.

If you bring aboard a cohost, they will be verified by Airbnb (submitting ID may be required). Once approved, they will have full privileges to help you with managing and optimizing your listing(s). Tasks can include:

•   Managing booking and reservation-related tasks

•   Answering prospective and current renters’ questions

•   Stocking and otherwise maintaining the property

•   Updating the listing as needed

•   Enhancing guests’ experience.

Recommended: Is It Smart to Buy an Investment Property While Renting?

How Much Do Airbnb Owners Get Paid?

If you are offering a property for rent on Airbnb, you are probably interested in turning a profit. So how does Airbnb payment work? The price you charge for your property and the number of nights you book will determine how much you earn.

If you consider this in more detail, the income from an Airbnb depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the property for rent, amenities (does it have a spa-style bathroom? A swimming pool?), the tourism market, local housing market trends, and the number of other Airbnbs you’re competing with.

Looking at the Airbnb site and sizing up your competition can help you determine how much to charge and how rates vary over the year.

In terms of how much Airbnb owners get paid of the amount renters pay, consider that most hosts pay a service fee of 3% of the rental subtotal (the nightly cost plus any fees you charge guests, such as cleaning charges). Airbnb doesn’t charge its hosts a payment processing fee.

In addition, guests usually pay Airbnb a 14% service fee on top of the subtotal.

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How to Become an Airbnb Owner with a Cohost

Want to launch your property on Airbnb with the help of a cohost? The platform makes it simple:

•   Go to the listing(s) where you’d like to add a cohost.

•   Click on “Cohosts” and then “Invite a Cohost.”

•   Add their location and their email or phone number, and click “Next.”

•   You’ll be prompted to select permissions for this person; then click “Next.”

•   You can add a note if you like, and then hit “Send.”

Airbnb will then handle inviting and verifying the cohost and adding them to your listing. You can have up to 10 cohosts per listing.

In terms of how to become an Airbnb cohost, the person you’ve invited will likely have to accept your invitation and then provide information and ID to Airbnb.

Airbnb Owner Requirements

Here are some of the owner requirements to offer a property as a rental on Airbnb:

•   Be of legal age. Perhaps it goes without saying, but minors shouldn’t be involved in renting out properties on the platform. While it may sound like a cool summer project for a teenage cousin to help manage a family lakehouse, that would be a no-go.

•   Make sure renting your property is legal. Depending on the home’s geographical area, a host may need to register the property or obtain a short-term rental license. Or you may not be allowed to rent out your property at all. A call to your city hall may be the best way to learn the details.

•   Know the tax implications. In some tax areas, Airbnb will handle the calculation, collection, and remittance of any local occupancy taxes on your behalf. In other locations, you may be responsible for this.

•   Cover yourself. Hosts should understand the liability insurance that Airbnb automatically applies to rentals. Hosts may want to also confirm that their homeowners’ insurance policy provides coverage for short-term rentals.

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Pros and Cons of Being an Airbnb Owner

As you consider becoming an Airbnb host with a cohost or without, you may want to review the benefits and disadvantages of renting in this way.

Pros of Being an Airbnb Owner

Are you thinking about how to become an Airbnb host for others? Among the upsides to consider are the following:

•   Hosting short-term rentals can bring in cash. This can help ensure you’ll have resources to make your home loan payments.

•   Income from rentals can fund renovations and other improvements, or it could help finance your long-term financial goals.

•   A successful rental history can increase the value of your property when you’re ready to sell.

•   Many people find hosting a rewarding activity, both as a business and a personal pursuit.

Cons of Being an Airbnb Owner

Here are some of the downsides of being an Airbnb owner:

•   It can be a big leap to give total strangers the key to your home. For instance, if the property is your primary residence, you will have to vacate for bookings. If your home contains treasured furniture or tableware, you may worry about damage.

•   Some cities, towns, and homeowners associations have passed legislation against short-term rentals.

•   Owners who rent their properties, even a few days a month, must pay taxes on the earnings.

•   While Airbnb provides insurance coverage automatically to hosts, you may want to make sure your homeowners insurance can cover short-term rentals as well.

•   It can be a time-consuming endeavor, and some people may find being a host to be frustrating in some ways.

Writing an Airbnb Host Listing

A successful Airbnb host listing is typically a combination of an enticing portrait of your property and all the vital, nitty-gritty details.

Usually, the listing will share:

•   A short introduction, which delivers an overview and highlights why it’s a terrific property

•   Room-by-room descriptions

•   Details about the property/outdoor features

•   Information about the location and things to do nearby.

Be sure to define terms that bookers may not know, such as what is a duplex or pergola.

Tips on Hosting on Airbnb as an Owner with a Cohost

Here are some ways to collaborate with a cohost:

•   Have your cohost manage the calendar, set holiday/peak rates, and answer questions.

•   Ask your cohost to share ideas for area attractions that draw guests. Mention these in your listing, including distances from your property.

•   Talk to your cohost about personal touches they think would please guests, like sharing a list of good local restaurants that don’t require reservations.

•   Ask your cohost to create house rules and determine how to share and enforce them with guests.

•   Have your cohost review the property and highlight anything that needs maintenance or that could be improved.

•   Give your cohost the job of restocking the property after each guest stay.

The Takeaway

If you’re considering offering a property on Airbnb or are already doing so, a cohost could make the management easier. A cohost could be a family member who helps out for free, or they could be a paid professional who manages a number of Airbnb rentals and has considerable experience. A cohost could help you boost the success of your hosting on this popular platform.

Are you just pondering becoming an Airbnb host and currently eyeing the perfect bungalow to rent out? Finding the best mortgage for your purchase is an important step.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.

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What percentage does Airbnb take?

Airbnb typically collects a flat service fee of 3% of the rental fee subtotal. In addition, the guest pays Airbnb a 14% fee directly.

How much do owners have to pay Airbnb?

Airbnb will deduct a 3% fee from a rental subtotal (which includes the nightly fee, plus any other fees the host charges, such as a cleaning fee).

Do Airbnb hosts get all the money?

Here’s how Airbnb payment works: Airbnb hosts do not get all the money. They typically pay 3% of the subtotal (nightly plus other fees) to Airbnb and then get the rest. Airbnb doesn’t charge any payment processing fees.

Photo credit: iStock/AJ_Watt

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