The Good & Bad From Owner's Appointed 3rd Parties Managing Holiday Homes | Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
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The Good & Bad From Owner’s Appointed 3rd Parties Managing Holiday Homes

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The Good & Bad From Owner’s Appointed 3rd Parties


When you manage Airbnb accommodation as a Superhost your credibility is paramount. Anything, or anyone that may comprise this is frowned upon. And discouraged. 

An owner employing a 3r party with independent access (from the responsible agent) to the house can be such a risky compromise… 


Sometimes the owner may have good reason to appoint a 3rd party with free access. But the issues need to be transparent. Today, we want to share the consequences of such choices. And how to find a working relationship if there is no alternative. 

Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen

The agency host and the 3rd party were working together at a home – pr trying too. However, problems arose the host carried the quality control can. But the 3rd party saw it differently. Yes, too many cooks in the kitchen, and 5-star ratings can suffer.

BTW: We have one house where it works reasonably well most of the time. Yes. It took a very long time of headbutting to get where we are today. 

What Are Owner Appointed Third Parties? 

They are people the owner trusts, with independent access to the house. They can be handymen, a gardener, or a neighbour. 

What are the bad dynamics with a 3rd party? 

  • 3rd parties can complicate communication, authority, and responsibility. And, in worst cases, can cause doubt or even distrust. 
  • The owner “encourages” two versions of the same event. Whose account is valid? The 3rd party or the agent? 
  • In worst cases the 3rd party act as a spy. 
  • If the 3rd party is criticised he can decide to give the owner biased feedback. 
  • Justifications, and proving the case become the order of the day. 
  • 3rd parties can involve the owner with an issue without checking with the agent. 
  • Access to the house is uncontrolled. Who is responsible for the 5-star integrity and inventory of the house? 

None of these foster a good relationship between, the owner, the agent and the (empowered) 3rd party. 

How Can 3rd Party Involvement be improved? 

These are suggestions intended to make one party responsible. 

  1. The 3rd party discusses any issue, with the agent first, or vice versa, then together they can involve the owner if needed. 
  2. Only the agent should authorise access to the house. Over time, given a proven trusting working relationship this can change. 
  3. The agent is responsible for guest satisfaction as measured by 5-star reviews. The 3rd party must agree to this and respect the managing agent’s objective. This objective is also the owner’s objective. The 3rd party should never cause conflict, or compromise the guest ready integrity of the home (intentionally or unintentionally).
  4. If the 3rd party is willing to work as a trusted team member with the hosting agent then it may work.
  5. With honest intention by all to create a trusting relationship between each other.

Examples Where 3rd Parties Did Not Work At All. 

  1. An ex-owner had a gardener he liked and trusted. This cool dude had unlimited access to the house. We would prep the house for the next guests. Example: w
  2. When we arrived with guests at the house, we found the remains of his lunch. It was impossible to maintain 5 star standards, and we parted ways. 
  3. Another owner had a young man he wanted to help, who lived in a flatlet next to the house. He was responsible for cleaning the house and looking after guests in exchange for a free stay. But, he was a wolf in sheep’s clothes with “chemical” habits. We parted ways. 
  4. During a clean, the manager noticed a decorating issue. She would come back to address it before the next guests arrive. Before she could address it the 3rd party reported it to the owner. Obviously, the owner was concerned and escalated the issue. And molehill became a mountain. If only the 3rd party talked to the hosting manager first.
  5. A neighbour, the 3rd party, checked guests out. And saw a broken item in the dustbin. He reported it to the owner before we arrived to do our check. Needless to say, the owner thought we were to blame. We parted ways. 

Very few owners with 3rd parties last.

When the manager and 3rd party don’t have a working relationship, the burden to prove who is right or wrong causes unnecessary friction between the 3rd party, the owner and the agency. 

These kinds of 3rd party incidents may look innocent or even harmless. They add a level of unpleasant complications. And, sometimes they are detrimental to guests, the agent and the owner. The risk is just too high. 

Very few owners with 3rd parties last. It’s a very difficult relationship to manage. 

Only A Team Effort With Mutual Success Goals Work

Those that work, work because there is mutual respect. The 3rd party chose to be a critical part of a team. Sharing the same goals. These 3rd parties aim to have clear and transparent communication between the parties involved. 

If you have any ideas on how 3rd parties can and should work let me know.



Johan Horak

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