Host Often, the Halifax-based vacation rental management start-up, offers everything from property management to guest communication. With 15 full-time employees, the company covers bookings, advertising, turnover cleaning and even local recommendations. “We make sure we’re showing people the way locals see Halifax,” says Sid Kosatsky.
Kosatsky started Host Often in 2017 after he was unable to find a reliable and affordable cleaning service for his own Airbnb in Dartmouth. “I thought there was something missing here,” says Kosatsky. “Other companies were using third-party cleaners and services, but I wanted to do everything in-house.”
A former firefighter in the Canadian Armed Forces, Kosatsky moved to Halifax with his wife in 2016. He launched Host Often during his free time. By helping people rent their properties while remaining hands-free, Host Often provides clients with the means to earn passive income. Currently, the start-up manages more than 30 properties, from downtown condos to St. Margarets Bay cottages.
In the future, Kosatsky hopes to work with more downtown heritage properties. He believes that if these properties were short-term rentals, they would generate enough income to cover revitalization costs and maintain their historical integrity.
Kosatsky tries to fill his clients’ places as often as possible, but when a property isn’t occupied—and during that window between check-out and check-in—Host Often offers its spaces for free to local artists and businesses looking to do photo shoots, record podcasts or even put on a performance.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Kosatsky says. “They get to use a beautiful space in the city and we get to meet new people.”