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How to Become an Airbnb Co-Host: Step-by-Step Guide

So, you’re interested in becoming an Airbnb host but don’t want to actually list your property on the vacation rental platform? Or, perhaps you’re like one of the millions of others who missed out on the sweet spot in the market to actually buy property. But that doesn’t mean you don’t know a thing or two about managing one or offering great experiences to short-stay guests.

In that case, becoming an Airbnb co-host might just be the perfect gig for you. They’re becoming increasingly important as more homeowners look to enter the short-term rental market without committing to the day-to-day demands it entails.

Whether you’re considering this path for the first time or seeking to enhance your existing co-hosting skills, we’re about to cover the key steps and strategies to help you establish yourself as a go-to professional in the Airbnb industry.

Don’t see the form to download the Airbnb co-host agreement template? Click here.

Understanding the role of an Airbnb co-host

While the primary host is the face of the listing, you’re working behind the scenes (although sometimes front and center) to ensure everything ticks along perfectly. This means you’d usually be the go-to person for guests—answering their questions, fixing any hiccups, and ensuring their stay is as great as possible.

Depending on the agreement you have with the host, you might also handle other tasks, such as cleaning, restocking essentials, and maybe even jazzing up the place for the next guests (like leaving a welcome pack or cleaning the patio to ensure it looks great so they can jump straight into the pool).

Person cleaning pool

Ultimately, it’s up to you and the main host to iron out the details and divide up the responsibilities as you see fit. If you’re better at guest communication or live near the property, for example, it makes sense that you’d take care of guest check-in.

Getting started as an Airbnb co-host

If you’ve never worked in property management before, then you might think the first step to becoming an Airbnb co-host is to gain some experience. And while that’s essential, it’s not the first step.

Instead, you’ll want to educate yourself about the role and the vacation rental industry before building a network of local service providers and hosts to work with as you grow.

Learn about the Airbnb industry

Ensure you thoroughly understand Airbnb’s policies and the local regulations affecting short-term rentals. This foundational knowledge ensures you’re not just compliant but also competitive.

While there are plenty of free videos on YouTube, you want to ensure you get your information from a credible source. Listen to industry experts, attend local networking events or workshops, or take a free course, like ours, on How to Create & Run a Successful Airbnb Business.

While you might not be the one with the Airbnb property, you will still be a crucial player in the business, so it’s helpful to have a certificate or, at the very least, knowledge about the Airbnb industry and how businesses operate to show when looking for a host to work with.

Build your network

Having the right knowledge and skills is great and all, but building a reliable network is equally important. Namely, spend time developing relationships with local service providers such as cleaners and maintenance personnel.

These connections will make it much easier to maintain the quality of the listings you help co-host. However, they also make you much more marketable as a potential partner. Any great Airbnb host will look for a co-host with a network of trusted, quality contacts—if you have those, you’ll stand out among the competition.

Business women meeting

If you can, network with actual Airbnb hosts or co-hosts, too. They can provide invaluable insights and support as you navigate the complexities of co-hosting (specifically the business side of things, which is often more complex).

Set clear goals and expectations

As with any business venture or professional endeavor, you want to head into Airbnb co-hosting with clear goals. Think about what you want to achieve as a co-host and identify your unique selling points to attract hosts to work with.

That might be your local knowledge, a knack for creating welcoming spaces, superior guest communication skills, or an impressive list of suppliers and service providers. Think about what most hosts struggle with and fill those gaps.

Building strong partnerships with Airbnb hosts

So, how do you find a host to work with?

If you have friends or family members who own an Airbnb, they can invite you as a co-host to their listing. However, if you want to become a professional co-host or property manager, we recommend a more professional approach.

Start by seeking out a host whose vision for their Airbnb property or vacation rental business resonates with your own ideas and values. Compatibility in how you view guest experiences, property management, and overall goals for the listing can make all the difference.

While it’s great to align on responsibilities, it’s always best to put that in writing. Draft up an Airbnb co-hosting agreement to ensure you’re both on the same page about who does what, how payment is distributed, and all other legal and financial aspects of the job.

It’s also wise to include information regarding how decisions will be made about the property, from minor maintenance issues to significant changes.

Vacation Rental Agreement Template

Joining Airbnb as a co-host

For hosts in countries like the United States, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Italy, or Germany, the platform offers the ability to search for co-hosts. However, the process as the co-host is less straightforward, often requiring the primary host to initiate contact.

Given this, the most efficient way to become a co-host is by receiving a direct invitation from the host to join a specific listing (or multiple listings, which you can do, too).

You’ll need to meet Airbnb’s quality standards before being added as a co-host on any listing, though. This involves a commitment to maintaining high standards of hospitality, cleanliness, and responsiveness—factors that directly impact guest satisfaction and listing performance.

airbnb host fees

Before being officially added to any listing, Airbnb requires you to undergo ID verification. Following this, the primary host of the listing will need to send you an email invitation to join their hosting team.

While that might sound like a headache, it ensures that all parties involved are verified and accountable, maintaining the integrity of the hosting experience (for you just as much as for your guests!).

Tools for Airbnb co-hosts

Even with all the experience in the world, you can still encounter daily challenges as an Airbnb co-host. To navigate those challenges efficiently and effectively, it helps to have the right tools to manage daily operations and tasks.

A key tool for any Airbnb co-host is a good property management software (PMS) or an Airbnb channel manager. These platforms are designed to streamline the complexities of managing a rental property, making collaboration between the main host and co-host seamless and efficient.

Property management software for co-hosts

A PMS is a comprehensive platform that allows co-hosts to manage various aspects of any vacation rental property. Namely, it centralizes reservation management, guest communication, housekeeping schedules, and maintenance tasks.

For co-hosts, this means having real-time access to all of the most critical information regarding the property, enabling them to make informed decisions quickly. It also makes communication between the main host and co-host a lot easier, ensuring both are aligned on tasks and responsibilities.

Airbnb channel manager for co-hosts

An Airbnb channel manager helps synchronize a property’s listing across multiple booking platforms, including Airbnb,, Vrbo, and others.

Woman using Lodgify channel manager

Airbnb management software is particularly useful if you’re a co-host managing more than one property, as it automatically updates the calendar across all channels whenever a booking is made, significantly reducing the risk of double bookings.

Regardless of which tools you use, though, the idea is to look for tools or software that help simplify many operational tasks, from booking management to financial tracking, allowing you to deliver a superior guest experience while maintaining a strong partnership with the main host.

Ready to become an Airbnb co-host?

Stepping into the role of an Airbnb co-host isn’t just about opening doors for travelers—it’s about unlocking your own potential for growth and adventure. Whether you’re interested in working as a co-host part-time or turning it into a career path in short-term rental property management, there are a million reasons to (at least try to) become a co-host.

So, if you’ve been on the fence, consider this your nudge to jump in. With some knowledge of guests and Airbnb’s standards, a solid partnership with the right host, and a clear path forward, you’re setting yourself up for success.

Before getting officially started, read through our Airbnb co-host complete guide and download our Airbnb co-host agreement template to ensure you’re legally protected. Happy (co) hosting!

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