Lately, a lot of people have been asking for tips on how to build their own Co-Hosting empire. I am happy to share a short list of ways to find some clients. Here goes:
1. Register with Airbnb - Airbnb is the #1 tool I use for renting homes, so if you want a business like mine, you need to create an account. If you don’t have one already, use this link for $30 credit towards your first stay: https://www.airbnb.com/r/zmcintyre1?s=8&i=
(Airbnb used to have a service where you can list yourself as a Co-Host so that people in your area can find you. At the time of writing I could not find it, so they may be revamping the program, and yet, keep an eye out as it may come back. To be clear, they still offer the Co-Host option to link yourself to someone else's listing but I do not see a way of advertising yourself.)
2. Rent Out Your Own Space (if possible) - Do you have a spare room in your home or can you rent your space when you go on vacation? You are more likely to get hired if you can speak from a place of experience. If this is not possible don't get discouraged, you can still learn the ropes on the job and through reading books like: “Get Paid For Your Pad” or blogs like mine.
3. Post about it on Facebook & other Social Media - It may sound silly but I get countless opportunities on Facebook from concert tickets to petsitting gigs to travel deals. Letting your greater Network know that you are starting up this business and are happy to take any leads from friends or friends of friends, could really pay off.
You could write something like this:
“I am starting a business where I help people as a hospitality manager or Co-Host on websites like Airbnb. If you or anyone you know might be interested in help with renting their house or condo (while they are away on an extended trip, or on-going), please have them contact me at __________. I can help them with setting up the listing, staging, photos, and also the day to days of guest communication, scheduling cleaners, and overseeing home maintenance.”
It’s important to fill in everyone you know on your new business venture. Even reach out to friends who come to mind or family members via email. People who know you and trust you can give you great references. 100% of my Co-Hosting business has come from word of mouth, only recently as I am becoming more known in the industry, am I getting requests from people I wasn't previously connected to.
4. Create an ad on Craigslist - You can create free postings on craigslist to generate leads. I would suggest posting in 3 sections (make sure your ads/titles are slightly different so you don’t get flagged for multiple posts): sublets/temporary in Housing, vacation rentals in Housing, and domestic in Gigs.
Make sure to list your experience, what you offer, what you charge/what that includes, the areas you are willing to cover, etc.
5. Create flyers to post in local coffee shops/bulletin boards - Create flyers are home, bonus points if they have the pull off strips with your phone number and post them around town. In touristy, seasonal, and small towns I have seem managers who charge up to 40%, if you are open to offering something around 15-25% that may get you a lot of calls. You can use a similar ad to the one you used on craigslist.
6. Solicit through Airbnb/VRBO - Occasionally I get emails from my Airbnb/VRBO listings about people offering a service or wanting to help me rent my properties. Of course, I don’t need this service, but I don’t doubt that they get some clients this way. Airbnb frowns upon spamming accounts, so if you intend to send these messages, I would only send about 10 at a time and come back at another time to send 10 more.
7. Lastly, let me know. Recently, as people are discovering my blog and hearing the podcast interviews, they are beginning to request that I manage their homes. I am very selective on the clients, homes, and locations I take on, so I may have referrals that I can pass along.
*Disclaimer: Depending on where you live, there may be licenses required to call yourself a Property Manager, and yet, working as a Co-Host or Hospitality Manager is quite different. Property Managers are responsible for knowing the local laws, drafting up contracts, doing background checks and the like. As a Co-Host you do none of that so you are within your scope of practice, just be careful how you advertise yourself.