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Brain vs Brawn: Choosing The Right Airbnb Co-Host

Brain vs Brawn: Choosing The Right Airbnb Co-Host

You’re running a flourishing short-term rental business, juggling bookings, handling guest inquiries and ensuring your property is a welcoming haven. But, as the saying goes, “Two heads are better than one.” That’s where the debate between having a co-host or relying on boots on the ground comes into play.

Today we’re breaking down the pros and cons of each, helping you confidently navigate the complex terrain of property management with a special focus on how vacation rental software can simplify your operations.

What is a Co-Host, Anyway?

What is a Co-Host, Anyway?

A co-host is like the Robin to your Batman in the hosting world. They’re professionals or companies that specialize in managing vacation rentals. It’s like having a partner to share the load, taking care of everything from guest communication to property maintenance.

Pros of having a co-host

Expertise at your fingertips

A co-host can bring a fresh perspective and specialized skills, whether it’s marketing finesse, local knowledge or a knack for interior design.

24/7 support

Handling guest inquiries at 2 am? Not your problem anymore. Co-hosts often provide round-the-clock support ensuring your guests are always taken care of.

Hands-free hosting

Want to be more of a passive host? Co-hosts can handle every detail with the aid of vacation rental software giving you more time to focus on expanding your property portfolio or enjoying a well-deserved break.

Cons of co-hosting

Cost considerations

Quality comes at a price. Co-hosts typically charge a percentage of your rental income so weigh the benefits against the financial investment.

Less control

If you’re a hands-on host who prefers to be in the driver’s seat, sharing control with a co-host might take some getting used to.

The Trusty Boots Approach

The Trusty Boots Approach

“Boots on the ground” refers to the hosting model where the primary host takes a more hands-on approach to manage all aspects of the short-term rental property without the direct involvement of a co-host. In this scenario, the host is personally responsible for guest communication, property maintenance and day-to-day operations.

Pros of boots on the ground

Total control

If you’re a control freak- in the best possible way- being a solo host means you have the final say in every decision related to your property.

Cost saving

No co-host fees mean more money in your pocket. If you’re confident in your ability to manage it all, going solo could be a financially savvy choice especially with the help of utilizing a vacation rental software.

Personal touch

Guests love a personal touch, and being the boots on the ground allows you to establish a direct connection with your guests.



Managing everything on your own can be time-consuming. From guest inquiries to property maintenance, be prepared to wear many hats.

Limited expertise

Unless you’re a seasoned pro, you might lack the industry insights that co-host brings to the table. This could affect your property’s overall performance.

Integrating Vacation Rental Software

Whether opting for the collaborative approach of co-hosting or managing your rental solo, an all-in-one vacation rental software like Hostaway is a key ally in streamlining operations, enhancing efficiency and profitability. Let’s dive in how it support both strategies:

  • Channel manager: Keeps track of bookings across platforms to avoid double bookings and optimize your rental’s availability.
  • Automated communications: Sends instant booking confirmations and check-out instructions to guests saving time and ensuring a smooth guest experience.
  • Unified inbox: Simply guest communication by checking all your messages in one place reducing response time and maintain positive guest relationships.
  • Task management: Simplifies scheduling and tracking of maintenance and cleaning tasks ensuring your property is always guest-ready.
  • Dynamic pricing: Adjusts your rental nightly rates based on market demand and seasonality ensuring competitive pricing.
  • Scalability: Grows with your business, making it easy to add new properties.

Making the Decision

Making the Decision

So, how do you decide between a co-host and going solo with boots on the ground? It all boils down to your personal hosting style, business goals and the level of involvement you desire.

1. Know thyself

Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses as a host. If you love the idea of collaboration and want to tap into someone else’s expertise, a co-host might be your match.

If you revel in being the captain of your ship, boots on the ground might be more your style.

2. Define your goals

Consider your hosting aspirations. Are you looking to expand your portfolio and reach a wider audience, or are you content with a smaller, more personal approach? Your goals will shape the support you need.

3. Assess your availability

Do you have the time to manage everything on your own, or are you looking to free up some hours in your day? A co-host can be the helping hand you need to strike a balance.

Regardless of your choice, implementing vacation rental software or short-term rental software is key to managing your property efficiently by automating operations, enhancing guest satisfaction and providing valuable insights for your short-term rental business.

Finding your Perfect Blend

The question is do you choose a co-host or boots on the ground? The answer lies in finding the right balance for you. Some hosts swear by the support and expertise of co-hosts, while others relish the autonomy and cost savings that come with flying solo.

Whether you choose a co-host or prefer to be the sole commander of your property ship, make sure it aligns with your goals, preferences and most importantly, the unique personality of your short-term rentals.

Ready to find out how Hostaway can transform your business?

Hostaway is proud to support thousands of Property Managers and Airbnb Hosts Around the world. We take pride in being Top Ranked in Vacation Rental Software Review Sites: Capterra, G2, Software Advice, Trust Pilot, to name just a few! Check out our reviews and read the Hostaway Case Studies from real successful and growing Short-Term Rental Managers!