The extra income your house generates when rented out on Airbnb is a nice way to supplement household income and smooth self-employment income variability. However, it is not without its own share of demands on a host’s time. One of the most intangible, ill-considered, but greatest time suck can be guest communications. The best way to minimize this impact is to build in predictability and mitigate multiple communication touchpoints.
Respond quickly to the initial inquiry
When a guest initially sends an inquiry for a booking, it is extremely important to respond in a timely manner. Hosts are measured by how fast they get back in touch with potential guests and whether they respond to every inquiry. These ratings can have a dramatic effect on booking levels so it’s important to respond to initial inquiries quickly.
Set expectations after acceptance
The Airbnb system now has the ability for a guest to add remarks when a booking is accepted. We like to set expectations on the front end, letting guests know that they’ll hear from us again with check-in details about a week before their arrival and solicit any questions before their trip. This puts their mind at ease and saves a lot of back and forth communications regarding details that will be forthcoming.
Create a regular communications schedule
It is important to establish regularity and predictability of communications to ensure all guests receive the information necessary to guarantee a smooth arrival. To this end, we recommend hosts pick a day of the week that they regularly reach out to guests arriving in the next 10 days. This ensures everyone is addressed well before their arrival and that a guest is never missed.
Make an email template. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Once you have drafted effective check-in language, save a copy to your favorite note taking application like Google Docs or Evernote. You now have an email template that you can copy and paste (with a few tweaks) into the Airbnb email function every time you reach out, saving yourself a ton of time. Using the same base text also ensures all consistent details are communicated to every guest. The establishment of predictable patterns ensures every guest is provided the same care, concern, and comfort through the check-in process.
So what do you think? Share your guest communication tips in the comments below.