Great and efficient communication is the key to all of our relationships. This is also true of the relationship you build between yourself as an Airbnb owner and your guests. You need to be able to communicate well for them to have a fantastic experience, and even just to get them booked in the first place!
It’s important, then, to make everything you say clear to your guests. This will help them feel secure and supported in every step of their vacation journey – from beginning to end. You want people to feel comfortable coming to you if they have any issues or problems during their stay.
Good communication helps show guests that you care, and it sets the stage for a positive guest experience. It can help you get great reviews in return and boost your return occupancy and word of mouth referrals.
Read now: 10 Tips to Get More Airbnb Bookings.
Remember, your guest chose you over any other potential Airbnb stay. So, improve your communication skills and show them that you were the right choice from their very first interaction with you!
Before Your Guests Arrive
When you have guests staying at your property, you want them to be as comfortable as possible. You want them to feel like they can come to you with any problems and queries they may have! Good communication can help cultivate trust, helping guests feel supported throughout their stay.
It is incredibly important to be personable over messages. The lack of physical interaction (especially in the initial stages of booking) can often be a barrier to good communication. In fact, it’s understood that 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and only 7% is the actual words said! With that being said, you need to make sure that what you send is what you intend to say.
Transparency is key. Don’t leave any space for ambiguity or interpretation! You want all guests to know exactly what to expect from their stay. Don’t leave anything that might surprise them or otherwise inconvenience them.
There is a relatively constant messaging timeline for every guest that stays with you:
- Booking email
- Pre-arrival email
- During stay messaging
- Check out email
- Review period email
You need to be responsive at every step of this journey in order to secure and retain your guests.
You should always aim to respond to messages within twenty-four hours of receipt, regardless of whether the response is to accept, decline or reply. Always be available, and make sure you can respond to people immediately. You can also automate your Airbnb inbox in order to help with this. Responsiveness is one of the criteria for becoming a Superhost and getting better reviews.
You can also send a guest a thank you message after they book with you. Always thank them for reaching out to you – they chose you over everyone else! Make sure they know you appreciate their time and interest.
When guests initially book with you, this is the best time to ask them questions about their visit. Who will be coming with them? Is there anything, in particular, they are travelling for? Is there anything you can initially provide them with?
However, while you need to ask questions, don’t overwhelm them with too much! For instance, don’t send all of the arrival documents yet. Wait up until a week to a few days before their scheduled arrival to do this.
You can mention in the initial messages that you will be sending them over on (x) date, so you are being as clear as possible. This gives the guests a timeline they can clearly expect. This will give them enough time to consume the information when they’re in the right mindset to receive it.
As an Airbnb host, you need to be responsible for maintaining the right communications with your guests. You can initiate the conversation – for example, if the guest books without messaging you first, reach out! Thank them, ask questions, and get to know them a little!
Check-in can often be the most stressful part of a stay – for both you and the guest! It’s important to ensure that check-in is as seamless as possible. Organise the arrival of your guests. You need to make sure you ask for your guests’ arrival time and the way they will arrive in your pre-arrival message.
In order to make everything run smoothly, make sure your available arrival guide is up to date. You should work to do all you can to ensure their journey to you is as easy as possible. You can do this by giving them the instructions they need to find your property easily and making sure they have your contact information in case anything goes wrong.
This can be very helpful for both parties, as it can mitigate any issues that may arise on the day. It also makes clear the expectations for check-in, from how to get to the property from the airport down to how to collect the keys.
Ensure the guests have access to important resources like the house manual and your guidebook.
This is also a great time to try and answer any initial problems or questions the guest may have. Try your best to answer anything you can, and if for any reason you can’t, provide guests with resources to help!
During Your Guests Stay
Whilst your guests are staying in your property, it’s important to be proactive with your communications. Something easy you can do is check in after their first night to see if everything is going well. By checking in, you are letting the guests know that you are available and open to them asking any questions.
They may already be wondering where the spare toilet roll is, or how to turn on the TV. By contacting them, you are pre-emptively attending to any issues without them having to lift a finger. Make sure you aren’t overbearing with your messages though! Use restraint and wait for them to respond – double messaging can put undue pressure on the guest for no reason.
You want to utilise a form of communication called ‘reactive communication’. As an Airbnb host, you are part of the hospitality business. This means that no question is a stupid question (no matter how obvious you think the answer is!). Reactive communication means that you must try to your best ability to answer or solve the problem they present to you.
As long as what they ask is reasonable, you should show a willingness to accommodate the wishes of your guests. Show that you care about their experience! Be empathetic with your guests and their issues and questions.
It’s important to aim for complete consistency throughout all of your messages. This should be the case regardless of the guest or how difficult they may seem (though this is often a relatively small portion of guests, so don’t worry!). In turn, this will ensure that your reviews are equally as consistent, and equally good!
Great communication can help greatly reduce the number of complaints or bad reviews your receive as a host. In most instances, guests take issue not with the particular problem they may be having, but rather the lack of its acknowledgement or efforts to have it fixed. Often just showing that you are there and hear them and will do your best for them is enough to ensure a good stay.
At Check Out
Check out is relatively similar to check-in in terms of the levels of stress it can inflict. Send the guest a message letting them know where to leave the key, the check-out time, and anything they need to do before they leave – for example, taking out the rubbish.
You should take the time to thank them for staying with you, and make sure you review them as guests. This will prompt them to review you in return, but if they don’t, don’t be afraid to ask for a review! In turn, make sure you directly respond to any feedback they offer to show you are an active voice in your business, encouraging them to return or recommend you to someone else.
After The Guests Stay
Once your guests have left your property, communication can still benefit you. You can use reviews, feedback, or even the questions and issues raised during the stay to fix bigger issues. For example, if someone has a problem working the shower, it might be good to include better instructions in your house guide.
This will reduce the chances of facing those same problems in the future and will better streamline your ability to help the guests and their overall experience.
Picky guests and those in constant contact may also potentially be helpful to you in the future. They may notice things you haven’t or notice things that you’ve missed that can elevate a future experience. All guest communications can be used as a learning experience, and an opportunity to better yourself and your business.
Communication Tips and Tricks
Be professional. You need to remain professional in all interactions right from the first message. No matter what guests throw at you, you need to make sure you reply appropriately. However, tread the line between professionalism and coldness. Your tone of voice is important! Taking on a friendly and sincere voice will help you not to sound robotic and stiff.
Be conversational. Use more contractions in your messages – ‘I’m’ instead of ‘I am’, ‘can’t’ instead of ‘cannot’, etc. This will help messages flow, feeling more natural and approachable. But don’t use text speak! No ‘K’ or ‘TTYL’! There is a fine line between ‘smart casual’ speaking and coming off as lazy and unprofessional.
Be positive. Keep a positive air about all of your messages. Focus on what you can do for your guests, not what you can’t. You can do this by always signing off with an offer of more help. It reinforces that you are there for your guests and are there whenever they need you!
Keep an eye on formatting. Don’t send huge chunks of text to your guests. This can seem intimidating and makes it less likely that they will read what you say. Instead, utilise paragraphs, white space, and bullet points to better structure your messages.
Automate your messages. You need to send the same messages to nearly all of your guests. These are for the welcome, goodbye, thank you and check in or check out instructions. Instead of going through the labour of typing them out every time, automate them.
It still shows the level of care you want to impart to your guests and helps you connect to them but takes the pressure away from you of having to craft a perfect message every time. Work smarter with your communications, not harder!
Be smart. Messaging guests can actually be beneficial for you in unconventional ways. Having a ‘paper trail’ of messages can help protect you from difficult guests. It means you always have a record of interactions and can prove that you did all you could for them!
Use free templates. You can always use or create your own templates for messages if you struggle with communication. There are many available at the tips of your fingers online. Don’t be afraid to use the same messages for multiple guests – it helps you get it perfect every time!
A people-oriented approach to communication can be great for your Airbnb business. You’ll want to avoid responding to guests in a too-casual tone, being late or seeming uninterested. Doing any of these can really hurt you in terms of guest acquisition and retention.
By strengthening your communication strategy, you’ll in turn end up securing and clearing more bookings overall. It’ll help boost your positive reviews and give your guests an excellent experience.
It’s important to remember before the booking is confirmed the guest might be talking to numerous hosts. Effective and direct communication can make sure you’re the one they choose!
- How to Become an Airbnb Superhost
- How to Impress Your Airbnb Guests
- What You Should Do When Your Airbnb is Damaged
- How to Successfully Manage Your Airbnb Property Remotely
- How to Deal with Negative Reviews on Airbnb
Do you need help optimising the communication with your Airbnb guests? Feel free to contact us!