Airbnb management agencies - do I need one for my property and how can I choose the right one?

The short answer is no - managing a short-let is not rocket science and with some research online anyone can do it, especially if you only host a few weeks a year when you're away on holiday. However, things get a little more complicated and time consuming if you're a full time host or spend at least 6 months a year away and want your property to generate a more substantial additional income stream.

Furthermore, if you want to list on other platforms, not just airbnb, you'll need specialised software to avoid double bookings. How about managing same day guest check-out and check-in when you only have a 4-hour window to clean the property and change the linen and towels? On top of that, timely communication with your guests might be a challenge if you're for example in Los Angeles and there's an 8-hour time difference. This is when it's worth considering a professional host or an airbnb management company for a complete 'hands-off' experience.

Management companies can create your listing, take professional photos of your property, connect to multiple platforms like,, and many others, as well as do all the guest communications and housekeeping after the guests have left. They'll also arrange maintenance jobs if such need arises while you're away.

How much does it cost?

Most London based airbnb management agencies charge 20% commission on gross accommodation revenue. Always check if VAT is included and whether the price includes 'full management' package, not just communications and housekeeping for example. You want your agent to also be able to assist with maintenance, if need be.

How do I pick the right agent for me?

There are dozens if not hundreds of agents out there and finding the right fit is not an easy task. However, here are some points to consider when making your decision:

  • is my agent local and do they know the area they are operating in?
  • do they have the resource to attend my property urgently and will the do regular inspections to make sure everything is in working order and there's no damage after the guests have left?
  • will I have an account manager who I can call directly?
  • will I have full visibility of my bookings and revenue on a dashboard online?
  • how important will I be as a client - can a large corporate managing agent devote as much attention to my listing as a smaller, local agency?
  • how long as the company been in business for and what are their reviews from other hosts? can the agent provide references from current clients?
  • can the housekeeping ensure a check-list of all the cleaning and other housekeeping tasks is adhered to?
  • can the agent provide a forecast of revenue and costs, based on actual performance of similar listings in your area?

Having considered all the above points you might find that working with a large corporate agent might not be the best fit, even if their fees might seem more favourable. Less is not always more. In fact, small agents very often will be able to spend more time working with you and your property, manually adjust pricing to get the higher revenue versus automated systems. Also, you'll always be more important if you're 1 out of 30 hosts they work with, not 1 out of 1000.

Happy hosting!

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