How many properties do you think a host is able to manage properly?

I´m curious about this one. I fully managed 3 apartments for short term rental and I spend a lot of time with just those 3. Now someone is asking me if I´m able to manage his place and indeed I think I can, but more might be a difficult task I guess.

How many properties do you think a host could run by himself alone if he is fully dedicated to this?

One! Count it - one. One property that you live on/in. Any more, and IMHO you are cheating your guests of the “homestay” experience – you’re just another landlord dealing in STRs rather than long term.

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Why are you so firm on this? Many posters on this forum limit the stays to a few days because they don’t want to interact too much with people /don’t want them ‘to start feeling at home’.

But I do offer a homestay experience to all of them. For me isn´t just giving then the keys and that´s it. Still, that´s a good point you mentioned, so the question redefined would be:

How many properties do you think a host can manage until he won´t be able to deliver a homestay experience?

It depends on the properties and the kind of guests. If it is four whole house properties and you can stagger the days when people arrive and check out so that you can greet each party on arrival or shortly thereafter then I think you could handle four. If you are getting guests that need a lot of hand holding and there are frequent short stays it might be hard. I don’t see the harm in trying.

I also think there’s a difference in listing style. Like if you have a house with a MIL apartment and also rent out a bedroom in your house. That’s totally different than managing 2 complete apartments a mile apart from each other.

I think 1-2 PROPERTIES is the most a host can do well as that’s a lot of driving, turnovers, STRESS. But managing a few listings on the same property is totally different. But then you also can then start issues with several guests crossing over each other.

But homestay to me is living on the same property. I have a MIL apartment and even that is hard to manage as a “home sharing” feel.

But it’s personal, clean, unique. If that’s your goal you could easily do 3-4 I’d think, but again you’d still have a lot of driving, turnover and stress.

I´m asking this as I would like to start offering my services as a co-host for strangers. Chances are that properties won’t be in the same house.

So how many properties do you think a host could manage if this is his only job and he is fully dedicated to it?

I own and manage 2 properties, and I manage an extra one from one of my friends. I charge him 20% and that´s the fee that everyone here (in my city) charges for co-hosting. To simplify maths, let´s say that on average every apartment I manage gets the same monthly income. If I would like to charge 20% fee, I will need to manage five apartments to get the same I receive from just one of mine. I believe managing 5 apartments it is an impossible task so maybe co-hosting as a job isn´t a very profitable job unless you opt to manage very big houses on where that 20% of fee represents 2-3 times what you might get in average properties.

If the host is doing it full time? I think that with a battery of good cleaners, a reliable handyman etc. then the sky is more or less the limit but the host would have to be supremely organised.

In addition to our own rental, I look after two others. We prefer STRs, one of the others likes longer term stays and the other has a mix of the two. I can easily juggle these and my real job but I’m lucky in that I can manage my real job’s deadlines effectively and fairly easily.

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The problem you’ll run into is either 1) you’ll have some days with having to do several turnovers in the same window all across town or 2) lower profits because you have to pay others to do your turnovers.

Now, if you’re just the computer and communication person you could handle more. But that would make the experience more like a hotel. Just thinking about the possible logistics is crazy to me. Because even if it was your only job and you managed 4-5 properties, if you’re doing it yourself you will have the occasional day when you have to do 4-5 turnovers on the same day and what happens if someone hasn’t left by checkout or shows up early, or there’s a big mess that takes more time? Logistical nightmare.

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Totally @Sarah_Warren
I share your same thoughts. I believe that running 3 properties is already a lot if you are doing everything yourself.
Four might be the maximum limit, then 5 or more you need to hire someone that helps you with the check-ins/out which in turn will mean that you will have to share a substantial piece of the cake with that person.

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I could - just - take on another listing but it wouldn’t be easy. The ones I manage are all in the same complex that I live in. If it was a case of just doing the organising equally locally then I could do another but it would be pushing it quite a bit if I was still doing all the cleaning myself. I like doing the cleaning because a) I think that I have better standards than hired cleaners and b) my real job means that I sit behind a computer all day so cleaning forces me to exercise!

But @Sarah_Warren has some very valid thoughts on the matter so on reflection, it seems that three or four is the maximum if you’re going to give guests a fantastic experience.


Yes, I think that 3 or 4 properties are the maximum number you can handle if you are planning to do this well.

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It really depends on what you call a “property”.

I have one single building I live in, and this building also has 9 small holiday apartments.
We manage them all, it is a full time job for 2 people.