Last updated Jul 10, 2024 and written by Aditi Mohan

The Side Hustle Series: Co-Hosting on Airbnb, Our Handy Guide to What, Why and How.

Looking to make some money alongside your full-time responsibilities? Look no further than our side hustle series. Today, we delve into the world of co-hosting. Are you interested in staging and managing short-term lets on behalf of a landlord? Read our blog on how to make a thriving side hustle from co-hosting.

Looking for another opportunity? Our Side Hustle Series is here to help you find the best side gig for you.

What is co-hosting? 

Co-hosting, or subleasing, is when you rent out a property you don’t own, with the landlord’s permission, for short-term and holiday lets. Essentially, you let a property from a landlord and with their permission you sublet the house on sites like Airbnb and to holidaymakers or those looking for a short let. As the property manager and renter, your responsibility lies in keeping the property in good condition, decorating it, cleaning it and finding appropriate sublets.

As your business scales up you can hire a team of maintenance staff to take over the check-in and check-out procedure. However, if you have the time and want to keep your costs low you can manage the check-in alone.

How To Start a Co-Hosting Business. 

Finding a Property and Landlord 

The first step in co-hosting is finding a landlord who will allow you to host their property on short-term letting sites like Airbnb.

First, find a property you like and think has potential for co-hosting. Then contact the landlord. Be sure to prepare a short ‘pitch’ which explains why this scheme would benefit them. A landlord may be unwilling to let their property on holiday sites as it's a riskier way to get rent. However, the incentives are high as short-term lets can generate high revenue quickly.

You may consider putting together some financial projections and reassuring the landlord that you will take responsibility for the property and its condition. Therefore you are protecting their asset but also bringing in higher revenue for them. However, this may be reserved for a later meeting. The initial phone call should be enough to entice them and arrange a meeting with you for further information. 

Decorating, Photography, and Setting up Online

Next, once you have created a contract, signed and paid a deposit and rent. You can begin decorating to create a welcoming short-term let. If you’re on a limited budget make the most out of the property’s existing furniture and features. You can DIY decorations such as wall art and source other items through second hand shops or online.

Next, you want to take great marketing images for your listing and other marketing materials. Make sure the photos depict the character of the property. You’ll also need to write a short description of the property, be sure to mention its location, its proximity to tourist attractions, and any extra amenities you will provide such as a washing machine or towels.

Airbnb and have prompts which will help you complete the profile accurately. Once you are set up on these sites you can start to take bookings.

Scaling Up Your Co-Hosting Side Hustle 

As your business grows you can reinvest any profit towards developing your side hustle. Invest in better decor, furniture, more amenities and better photography. These extras can help set your property apart and attract more customers.

Create a development fund which is used to scale up your business. Over time, you may transition from co-hosting as a side hustle to a full-time business and invest in more properties and staff.

Becoming an LTD

Incorporating your company is an excellent way to protect your business. As an LTD your business becomes a separate legal entity, therefore should your business go under you are only liable for the money you put in. Secondly, as an LTD you’ll have other benefits such as protecting your company’s name, tax efficiency and a more professional status.

Co-Hosting is an extremely scalable business model, what may start as a side hustle can become your full-time job. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to incorporate early.

Final considerations before becoming a co-host

As a business, you’ll have to make sure your books are all legal and compliant with the law. Follow any tax requirements, or if you choose to incorporate make sure you’re filing your yearly annual accounts and confirmation statement.

Now, you may be thinking this is a lot for a simple side hustle, but most administration or bookkeeping can be digitalised now. It may be that once a month you’ll have to spend a few hours making sure your business is running smoothly. By picking the right kind of services you can optimise your admin work. Opting for business-friendly banks such as Tide, ANNA, or Cashplus will help save you hours of invoicing time due to its compatibility with bookkeeping services such as FreeAgent. All in all, by picking the right software your business can run smoothly with just a small time commitment.

Being a co-host can be the perfect side hustle if you are looking for a flexible job. With the right strategy and execution, you could turn it into a full-time business and become your own boss.