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5 Tips on Acing Your Airbnb Guest Communications

It’s often said that communication is key. When your Airbnb guest first reaches out to you about renting your property, the method, tone, and urgency in which communicate with them will determine whether they want to book with you or not. It’s a crucial time to show off your guest communications skills. Successful ‘rentalpreneurs’ must be and prompt, polite and people-oriented.

In my life as an Airbnb rentalpreneur, I find a large portion of my day-to-day activity will be responding to incoming reservation requests. Due to the international reach of Airbnb, these requests will come at all times of the day and night. Be prepared to answer all incoming messages quickly. Responsiveness is critical to confirming reservations before they move on to the next host.

Unlike hotel reservations that can be quickly made online, with Airbnb, often there is a lengthy dialogue with guests prior to booking. Airbnb has recently been urging potential guests to contact several hosts to improve their chances of booking a place. Responsiveness is—and always will be— the most effective way to confirm bookings.

Here are some tips and tricks on how best to communicate with possible guests to maximize guest experience and guest returns:

  1. When receiving an inquiry, “get personal” with your response. They are communicating with a human after all, not a robot so if they mention they have kids, for example, speak directly about your place being child-friendly. Find common ground with your guests. One way to do that is to review the guest profile and highlight anything you may have in common in your email correspondence.
  2. Close each deal quickly by creating a sense of urgency.
    A typical email you’ll receive is this: “Is your place still available?” A simple response of “Yes!” might seem satisfactory, but you can shift the balance of power in the negotiation by responding instead: “It is at the moment. I’ve been communicating with someone else today who is interested, but they haven’t confirmed the reservation yet.” Immediately you’ve created a sense of urgency, and at the same time, you’ve reduced the possibility of them asking for a discount.
  3. Be clear in your house guidelines so there are no misunderstandings or false expectations. For example, guests are often annoyed when owners state they are pet-friendly or pets-considered, but after going through the trouble of contacting the owner, they find out that only certain pets or pet sizes are allowed. Be equally transparent and straightforward when you’re communicating about your total costs (ie. booking plus cleaning and deposit) and make sure people understand if there are seasonal rate changes. Don’t forget to update your booking calendar (either on one site or across the multiple sites where you host their property) so the available dates are clearly communicated.
  4. During their stay, if any questions arise, answer them quickly and to the best of your ability. Feel free to be verbose and answer every question in detail. The guest will feel heard and appreciate that you’re going above and beyond to make them feel at ease and comfortable in their new surroundings. Make a list of all guest questions you receive and periodically update you house guide to address them.
  5. Contact guest immediately after check-in and check-out. Many guests experience easy to solve problems within the first hour of their stay. By reaching out to them shortly after check-in, these issues can be immediately resolved. After guests check out, wish them safe travels and emphasise what a pleasure it was hosting them. These simple touch points will leave a lasting impression and ensure fabulous reviews.

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