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We’ve learned that many Experience Hosts have grown their businesses by enlisting the help of Co-Hosts. Partnering with a Co-Host is a decision for each Host to make—some Hosts may be just fine running their Experience on their own, and others may want assistance.
In this article, we share some helpful stories from other Hosts who have added a Co-Host to increase availability and support for guests, and to expand their business. Learn how to build your team by adding a Co-Host.
Experience Hosts can partner with Co-Hosts in different ways. Here are some common arrangements to consider:
As stand-ins: Many of our most successful Hosts have enlisted Co-Hosts to run the Experience in their absence. You are allowed to have a maximum of 5 Co-Hosts, who can be permanent or temporary members of your team. Hosts frequently use Co-Hosts as a way to add availability and increase visibility during periods of high demand.
As support providers: In some cases, Hosts find people to help with offline or online support tasks, such as handling messages from guests, setting and cleaning up, or shopping for supplies. Hosts have reported that having someone do these tasks helped them focus more on the quality of their Experiences.
As language specialists: Hosts have also used Co-Hosts to expand their Experience into a different language. A language specialist Co-Host can assist the primary Host during the Experience or run separate instances in a different language.
Finding a Co-Host
Hosts have found a Co-Host through many different avenues, such as:
- Their own networks
- Friends or family members
- Posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, or another job board
- Airbnb Experiences, as well as Host meetups and Experience Host Community Facebook groups
Introducing Co-Hosts to the Experience
Adding a Co-Host can be a fantastic way to grow your Experience, and onboarding additional Hosts should be a thoughtful and thorough process. Rushing things could put your Experience and revenue at risk.
Many Hosts educate Co-Hosts about their Experience by following this basic framework:
- Introducing the material: Hosts spend time explaining their Experience in detail and clarifying the standards they adhere to. They provide a script of the information the Co-Host will need to deliver, and offer advice on group management.
- Shadowing the Host: Hosts then have their new Co-Host observe them run the Experience several times, suggesting that they pay close attention to logistics, group management, and managing difficult guests.
- Shadowing the Co-Host: Once their Co-Host starts running Experiences, Hosts observe them several times and review guest feedback together to improve. Hosts should monitor and provide additional feedback for their Co-Hosts on an ongoing basis.
Of course, these aren’t the only ways to educate Co-Hosts, so consider what approach would work best for you. The general consensus from Hosts is to make sure Co-Hosts are completely ready before letting them run an Experience on their own.
Keep in mind that, as the primary Host, you are still responsible for the quality of the Experience, and that any negative review of a Co-Host will be visible on your Experience page. Similarly, any behavior by the Co-Host that violates our Terms of Service or Experience Host Terms can lead to the removal of your Experience and potentially even your Airbnb account
Payment for an Experience goes to the primary Host, and there are many ways for Hosts to compensate those who help them run their Experiences.
Some Hosts use a revenue share model, meaning they give a percentage of the booking value to their Co-Hosts. Others pay Co-Hosts a fixed amount for each Experience, or use a combination of these two models.
If you pay someone to provide services for your Experience, be sure to follow regulations in your area. Different countries, states, and cities have different licensing requirements and rules; it’s your responsibility as a Host to make sure you comply with applicable local laws and regulations.
Also, consider any obligations and other legal requirements set by the relevant government agency for your area. This may include things such as statutory contributions, workplace health and safety, and work permits if your Co-Host is from a foreign country.
Some Hosts may be required to obtain certain registrations or permits. This can be a complicated area and it’s a good idea to contact a lawyer or your local representative to understand the rules that may apply to you. You might also contact your local chamber of commerce or small business organization for guidance.
Some Hosts come up with other ways to incentivize and reward their Co-Hosts for doing a great job.
Some Hosts organize monthly drinks or lunches for their Co-Hosts, or even give them bonuses for each five-star review they receive—something that can encourage Co-Hosts to deliver high-quality Experiences.
You can reach out to Hosts in your community if you’d like to find out more about how they’ve used Co-Hosts in their businesses, where they found their Co-Hosts, and how they educate them. Get inspired and experiment!
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