November 23

Hiring An Airbnb Property Manager? You NEED to read this…

This article is going to give you everything you need to know when hiring an Airbnb property manager.

What you’ll learn:

  • How much you should expect to pay.
  • How to find an Airbnb property manager near you.
  • How to use software to replace a property manager altogether (if you want to that is).
  • Much more...

You ready?

Lets go!

What does an Airbnb property manager do?

The job of a property manager is to (you guessed it) manage your property - so that you don’t have to.

That means taking care of:

  • Answering guest messages
  • Coordinating check-in times and key drop offs
  • Cleaning
  • Maintenance
  • dealing with complaints
  • Ensuring everything runs smoothly

And in some cases they’ll even optimise your listing, create a full-scale pricing strategy and work to ensure you’re beating the competition in your area.

Airbnb property management fees

So how do Airbnb property managers structure their fees?

Let’s dig a little deeper.

Fixed rate:  The property management company will charge you a fixed monthly fee.


  • You’ll know your costs upfront.
  • Cost effective in peak season.
  • Peace of mind.


  • You might pay over the odds in the off season.
  • Beware of hidden add-on costs (make sure you read all the small print for any additional fees you might incur before you lock yourself into any contract).
  • Lack of incentive - The property managers will get paid regardless of how many bookings you get, creating a miss-alignment of incentives.

Flexi: Fixed monthly fee (base rate), plus additional fee per booking


  • Increased alignment of interests.
  • The property manager now has some skin in the game.
  • Peace of mind.


  • Recurring monthly payments
  • Unknown costs of commissions

Commission only: Pay a fee for each successful booking.


  • Full alignment of interests.
  • The property manager has full skin in the game - when you win they win.
  • Increased accountability.


  • Can get expensive if you have a short minimum nightly stay.
  • Costs per month will vary a lot making things hard to forecast.


My thoughts - For what it's worth...

There’s no one right answer, but for me, alignment of interest and skin in the game are the most important factors in mitigating the principle/agent problem that exists in this game.  

What Is the Principal-Agent Problem?

The principal-agent problem is a conflict in priorities between a person or group and the representative authorized to act on their behalf. An agent may act in a way that is contrary to the best interests of the principal.

And it’s for that reason that my personal preference is the commission only model.

Although if truth be told, my favourite option of all is to automate the entire process using a cocktail of tools for the job, more on that in a minute...

How much do airbnb property managers charge?

Ok, so we covered the different ways that Airbnb property managers structure their fees, but what are the actual numbers?  How much do they normally charge?

Well, the average is generally anywhere between 20% - 30% of the rental revenue - however these fees can vary considerably depending upon the level of service and quality you're looking for.

Obviously, for a high-end service you'll be paying a premium.

It's also worth noting that many property managers also require a set-up fee too.  

This fee is to cover any marketing, paperwork etc.  And you can expect to pay anywhere up to around $300 for this.

*Important: Whenever you're negotiating to hire an Airbnb property manager for your place make sure you are aware of ALL the fees and charges you'll be responsible before moving ahead with the contract.  As these hidden fees can oftentimes turn around to bite you in the butt down the road.

How to find an Airbnb property manager

Unfortunately, there isn’t (yet) a centralised location where you can go and find an Airbnb property manager and compare their fees, reviews etc. Instead, the process of finding an Airbnb property manager is quite fractured.

Which means you’re going to have to get your hands dirty and do a bit of Googling & calling around in your area to find a good fit.

Here are a few good questions to ask when deciding on the right property manager for you:

  • What is your fee structure - commission only, flexible or fixed rate?
  • What level of management do you offer - full service - partial, etc?
  • How many properties do you manage?
  • If a problem occurs, what happens then?
  • Are there any additional charges that I need to be made aware of eg, emergency call-out fees, maintenance, etc?

*How to become an Airbnb property manager*

Becoming an Airbnb property manager requires no qualifications and no previous experience - it just requires a bit of know how, and the ability to get yourself in front of the right people.

Here’s my recommended path to becoming an Airbnb property manager:

Step 1: Reach out to hosts in your area and offer your services as a co-host.

Step 2: Read my article on how to be a remote Airbnb host, and introduce those systems into your workflow.

Step 3: Get feedback and referrals.

Step 4: Build a website, and showcase your previous work.

Step 5: Market the shit out of it.

Step 6: Rinse & repeat.

The alternative: An Airbnb that manages itself…

I’m going to be a little bit brutal here, but much of the work that Airbnb managers do can be automated - if you know what you’re doing.

In fact, if truth be told, most of the businesses advertising property management services for Airbnb hosts like you will likely be doing a lot of what I’ll be sharing with you here anyway, and doing very little of the work themselves.

Here’s how it works:

First up you must break down the guest journey - and the associated tasks to manage them - into steps so that you can get a better idea of the entire guest guest flow, and the steps you need to take to make sure all tasks are covered.

And for that you need a system that covers:

  • Messaging & communication
  • Check-in
  • Welcome pack
  • House manual
  • Check-out
  • Laundry
  • Team reminders
  • Reviews
  • Maintenance
Automated airbnb property management system

All of these tasks and more can be carried out using a selection of Airbnb host tools.

The system that I created all those years ago has allowed me to manage my Airbnb rental remotely for the past five years - without the need for an Airbnb property manager whatsoever! 

I cover this exact system in much more detail here.

Wrapping it up

I hope I’ve given you a bit of insight into hiring an Airbnb property manager…

...and I hope to have intrigued you too, at the possibility of doing this by yourself using software to automate most of the process for you.

Either way, if you want to get your time back and take a step away from your day to day hosting obligations then getting someone/something to take care of that labour for you is a no brainer.

Peace out.


P.S. If you’ve got experience using any Airbnb appstools or any services and would like to share your thoughts, pop it in the comments below! 

About the author 

Rowan Clifford

Hey, I'm Rowan.  I'm a bit of a nerd, and froth a little too hard when it comes to Airbnb. And, I LOVE anything that makes my life as a host easier and more lucrative (which is pretty much exclusively all I write about on this blog). Tools, tips, tricks and sneaky hacks are my kinda thing...

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