About Us

The Host HQ is a service to help Airbnb hosts in Chicago save money, minimize pain points and set apart their listings. Unaffiliated with Airbnb or any other hospitality businesses, we aim to provide hosts with well-researched, objective information to optimize their hosting experience, from navigating Chicago’s complex legislative landscape to finding legal, cleaning, management and other resources.

Our product offerings include original journalistic content, as well as a newsletter that culls the most recent and relevant news in the hospitality industry. We also have a listings platform where hosts may browse a verified list of hospitality-related service providers and use them at a discounted price. The listings platform also has discounts for guest-facing services like local tours so that hosts can offer more value to guests.

We are in beta mode and building at Northwestern University. Questions or comments? We’d love to chat. Please get in touch if you’re interested in sharing feedback.

Check out our Medium blog for behind-the-scenes updates on our development.

The Host HQ Team (from left): Danny Hwang, Cyan Zhong, Tyler Sonnemaker, Jessica Qiao,
Elaine Ramirez, Louis Oh, Melissa Hovanes. (Photo: Jenna Braunstein)


Elaine Ramirez, Editor and project lead
Danny Hwang, Product manager
Melissa Hovanes, Tech lead
Louis Oh, Design lead
Tyler Sonnemaker, Reporter and audience development lead
Jessica Qiao, Reporter
Cyan Zhong, Reporter


Rachel Davis Mersey, audience insight
Joe Germuska, tech
Richard Gordon, product
Karen Springen, editorial