This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!
I’m away from home for a while and decided to enlist the help of a co host to continue to run my listings. She is an acquaintance who I briefly worked with and has since retired so she has the free time and readily agreed.
Now, she has a strong personality and likes to take control. She also has a need to be needed and these are things I knew before I left. We agreed that she would turn over the room and keep the common areas clean in exchange for 25%. I would handle vetting new reservations and she would communicate with guests during checkin. Since I have been gone she has taken it upon herself to:
-Change small details in the listing description, twice (spoken to the first time it happened)
-Accept reservations when we clearly agreed that I would vet all guests staying in my house
-Attempt to turn a 3 day stay into a long-term guest because “it’s a slow period now”
-Clean every part of the house and reorganize because she “loves cleaning” (this she asked if I wouldn’t mind her doing and I agreed to the kitchen only)
-Changing my dishtowels to ones that she prefers
I also gave her a 100$ float for things like toilet paper etc. But stocked 350$ worth of products for the listings including toilet paper and cleaning products before I left 2 weeks ago. 80$ is gone and I am still awaiting the breakdown of those expenses but suspect that it was not used in the way it was intended i.e. dishtowels…P.S. My guests don’t have access to my kitchen so dishes shouldn’t be being done
She also sent pictures of the kitchen where i saw dishes in the dishrack and so I suspect that she has allowed them to use it rather than respecting my house rules.
All of these things I’ve come to know by chance…through Airbnb notifications or pictures when she was looking for cleaning praise.
I am in a state of paranoia wondering what is going on that I am not aware of because respecting my wishes is something she has a hard time with.
She believes that she is helping but it is driving me crazy. And using 80$ of my money in a way that I didn’t consent to has crossed a line. What part of my house my rules and my business my rules is difficult for her to understand?
She has done nothing to compromise the listing…meaning she cleans and is kind to guests but it’s bothering me to the point where I am considering cancelling future reservations and shutting down shop.
I’ve gone back and forth with whether I think I am overreacting. Any thoughts?
I was getting anxious just reading about what your co-host is doing! She is running the show and totally ignoring your instructions and impacting your business model. You can clearly see what’s happening and there is definitely a trust issue.
Your co-host is looking upon her position and duties as a partner where she has equal say in how things are run. It is apparent that you want her to be more of an on-site manager and work under your terms. It is not a meeting of the minds.
Since she is over-stepping her boundaries and you are unable to reign her in, it would be risky and perhaps dangerous to continue the situation. Her allowing guest use of your appliances alone raises the potential of damage and liability.
Others will present the other side of the coin but if your peace of mind is at stake, I would snooze the listing until you return.
Change the password in the account so she can’t change it, or accept new guests. Explain that any expenses not approved by you will come out of her part of the income. The rest is out of your control until you come home.
I don’t think you can control her, especially not from halfway around the globe. I don’t know if you will make her mad if you block her now by changing the password. She has the power to ruin your listing by not cleaning or otherwise messing with a guest. Or you’d could block her but you’d have to cancel any upcoming stays. I’d say continue to be firm in your wishes when you write her but otherwise grit your teeth and ride it out.
When I have a frustrating time with my dog boarding guests I count the money. So take a look at the net you are going to have after she blows a substantial sum on dish towels, cleaning supplies and remodeling your home (LOL) and consider that if not for her you wouldn’t have that substantial (I hope) sum.
Why not chose one through the co-host system on Airbnb. Then you will get a superhost whose reviews and ratings you can check.
Get one who is already co-hosting for someone else so you can talk to the host about their experience of working with the co-host.
Wait until you have someone new to take over and then give your current host a notice period (but block account access straight away) you will probably need to arrange for the key code/locks to be changed at the same time so your co-host doesn’t have access.
Just explain that you think she has done a good job, but you don’t think your personalities work. I would give her some sort of bonus in lieu of notice and suggest if she has enjoyed it she could approach other hosts to co-host.
Here is another case where the man whose job it is to wave the red flag is putting it away and getting out an extra big one for this person. She has a personality disorder and is unsuited for the role you placed her in. Change the password to your account, perhaps block out dates for future bookings, and let her know how much she screwed up given your agreement. Or just let her go at it if you aren’t away for too long.
She could have a “borderline” personality disorder. Just joking…
I think the OP needs to make a trip back to her listing ASAP. Get a new lock pad she can control remotely. Interview new co hosts while she is there. If you can’t find anyone suitable, snooze the listing, ask for Air’s help in cancelling the reservations more than a few months in the future and shut it down until you can regain control again.
There was an article recently in one of the major media outlets that discussed renters who basically take over the Apartment or house and lock the actual OWNER out, and getting away with it too!!! Not quite the same, but I could see how a co host can get out of control.
Here in Hawaii, there are a lot of off island owners who want to rent their places out but are so stupid they put their investment in the hands of cleaners… cleaners who have the schedules and keys. They’ve been known to rent out your house to their own renters on the unfilled days, throw huge parties of their own and even schedule classes such as yoga or Pilates at your house.
You have to be so so careful with whom you trust your house, account, schedule and keys.
@Kia Lee: I can empathize. Some one assisted me with greeting guests ONLY to give them access to the unit at check-in. She begins telling guests to ignore my dining & activity recommendations because they aren’t very good and to follow hers. I think she began giving them a handout of her suggestions. (I provide my guests dining & activities directory that I created). Her greeting dialog left guests confused and thinking she owned the unit. She gave them her contact information and started doing “checkout” inspections. This is only a small part of the story. I’m still in the process of trying to sort this out myself - a blunt conversation didn’t help.
If you weren’t so far away I’d be telling you to get rid of her and find a new co-host, but this obviously isn’t going to be easy for you given your situation.
Have you tried addressing each of these points with her or are you just quietly seething? I would suggest sending her a message saying something like this:
I just wanted to check in and see how things are going at my property. I want to re-iterate a few things regarding your role as co-host as there appears to have been a misunderstanding somewhere down the line.
your role is to greet guests at check in, communicate with them during their stay and to clean the guest areas in between guests.
you are not permitted to make amendments to any part of my listing
please do not ‘re-organise’ any part of my private space.
the money I left is for essentials for the guest space (toilet roll etc). Please send an itemised list of expenditure so far.
my house rules are to be respected at all times. You are not under any circumstances to allow guests to break these.
Please confirm your understanding of all of the above. These are the terms and of you are not agreeable to these perhaps it would be beneficial to end our professional arrangement.’
^just a rough idea, spell it out in no uncertain terms. I’m not sure about the ending, I probably wouldn’t word it quite like that!
I received the breakdown of expenses and as suspected they were not related to the listing but were for other areas of the house. I still think this is a no no because that’s not what I allocated it for.
I went ahead and addressed the situation in it’s entirety explaining that it was causing me anxiety and why…instead of addressing (probably too subtly) each individual situation. I explained that any new idea would have to be run by me first. I explained that she was entrusted with my most prized possessions…my home and my additional source of income and any modifications I haven’t consented to are not acceptable. I recieved profuse apologies and a guarantee that this would not be a problem in the future.
My calendar is open for the next few weeks, although I’ll be away longer, so we’ll see what happens in that time. I won’t pull the plug just yet.
I’m taking the advice of a forum member and counting the money. Paying your mortage while away is an enticing incentive to deal with stress.
Those who suggested an alternate co host…never in my life since moving to my current area have I encountered so many unreliable people. 3 gardeners in 3 years all who eventually just stopped showing up. I hesitate to trust anyone…least of all someone I have no experience with when so far away.
For those unfamiliar with the co hosting feature (and I wasnt until I began using it) co-host s have their own accounts but by adding them you give them access to guest communication, the calendar, the listing, etc. Any listing that is booked when you have a cohost will automatically give them a share of the profits agreed to…either a base amount or a percentage. So this isn’t practical if you need help from time to time. And should I get rid of a cohost (from my understanding) any bookings made while they were connected to the account would still give them a payout.
I’ll update the post whether the experience was positive or negative. Someone might need help with the listing at some point and successes or failures are an opportunity to learn
I will accept this argument on the day when you never again enlist the services of any person or company. Unless you are a farmer in the middle of nowhere I doubt this is the case. I also assume that you are always 100% satisfied with said services you paid for and never have complaints or concerns…cuz hey you needed them and they were there.
Not at all, I have been in a very bad partnership and in the world of business you could be in business with a monkey and they get the amount you agreed to. You knew better as did I at the time. Just live with it and be more careful next time. This is nothing compared to what I went through in a bad business partnership.
You very clearly stated that you knew her issues. I’m not fighting with you, just telling you that you picked the wrong person.
I think that you are still going to have problems with your co-host. You told her about your feelings (anxiety), explained that you trusted her with your possessions, home and source of income and told her to run any ideas by you first. She doesn’t need to know about your feelings; she needs specific instructions. She is well aware that you have trusted her with your possessions, home and source of income. I don’t know why you included these points in your conversation. If a boss of mine told me those things; I would feel that I was being talked down to. She can’t run every idea she has by you. Imagine a scenario where a guest asks for something and she says that she can’t assist them until she speaks with you. You need to tell her specifically what she is and is not permitted to do: She may not edit the listing. She may only buy toilet paper and cleansers. She may not bend the rules for guests. Even if you have a specific conversation with your co-host, I believe that your styles are a mismatch. I think you need to start looking for a different co-host or a longer term tenant and a property manager.
I highly recommend the Ask A Manager blog for templates of how to have effective conversations with people who report to you. A moderator here said that it’s okay to post this link.