How and when to communicate with guests
Good communication sets the stage for a positive guest experience. As a Host, you can help guests enjoy a great stay (and encourage good reviews) by communicating clearly and promptly from the moment guests express interest in your listing until after they’ve checked out of your place.
Tips for great communication:
Be transparent: Host Abhay from San Francisco says he’s extra transparent about this space. For example, he is clear that he owns a large dog who sheds and that he rents two rooms in his house, so there may be other guests around. “The idea is to set the right expectations so you can deliver a really good experience.”
Be available: “I make myself available to answer questions immediately”, says Host Chris from Cleveland. “If something ever needs fixing, we address it immediately.” Experienced Hosts use quick replies and scheduled messages to make staying in touch with guests fast and convenient.
Be caring: Small acts of kindness can make the stay a better experience for you and your guests. “There’s a joy in being kind to people – to strangers you’ve never met – and just trying to address a need they have”, says Abhay. If a problem arises, guests often say that what matters most to them is how their Hosts respond.
Be savvy: Communicating with guests on the Airbnb app helps protect you, as all conversations are on record in case you ever need to reference them for customer service. It also makes it easy to find important guest information.
Important moments to communicate with guests
Enquiry stage: “I try to give guests the experience that I would want if I was travelling”, says Abhay. “So I try to reply immediately.” Responsiveness is not only important for keeping guests happy – it’s one of the criteria for becoming a Superhost. Remember to respond to all guest enquiries within 24 hours by accepting, declining, or sending a message.
Soon after booking: Guests appreciate when Hosts send them a “thanks for booking” message. This is also an opportunity for you to ask important questions like the purpose of their visit and who they will be bringing with them.
Pre-arrival: The hardest part of travel is often getting to the destination, so clear check-in details are key to helping your guests have a stress-free arrival. Once you’ve added your check-in instructions to the “info for guests” section of your Listings tab, they will be made available to guests in their Trips tab three days before their arrival. They'll also be included in their Arrival Guide 48 hours before check-in, along with directions to your space and wifi info.
At check-in: If you won’t be there in person to show guests around, make sure they have access to a house manual that includes information unique to your space – for instance, how to operate the entertainment system, air conditioner, fireplace, wifi, or anything else that will help them enjoy their stay.
After the first night’s stay: Many Hosts say they like to stay in touch with guests during their stay. It's helpful to be proactive and ask if everything is fine.
Before checkout: It’s helpful to remind guests what time they need to check out, where to leave the key, and anything they need to do in the space before leaving, such as taking out the rubbish.
After departure: Some Hosts like to send a note to thank guests for their stay. It’s a good idea to review your guests right away as well – this prompts them to write you a review in return while the details about what made their stay great are still fresh.