The basics of communicating with guests
Communicating effectively with guests is the first step toward a positive guest experience. As a Host, you can help guests feel comfortable and encourage good reviews by communicating clearly and promptly from the moment guests express interest in your space all the way until after they’ve checked out.
Tips for great communication
Be transparent. Daniel, a Host in San Francisco, says he’s always transparent about his place. “What you tell your guests they will be getting and what they get when they arrive at your listing needs to be congruent,” he says. “It is better to undersell your listing and have the guests walk into a nicer place than they expected than the other way around.”
Be curious. You can open the door to inclusivity by simply asking your guests: What do you need to feel comfortable and welcome in my space? Showing empathy—and not making assumptions—goes a long way.
Be available. Annette, a Superhost in San Francisco, likes to tell guests: “Please don’t attempt any repairs yourself, no matter how minor. Contact us immediately, and we’ll take care of it.” For routine issues, experienced Hosts use quick replies to stay in touch with guests.
Be caring. Small acts of kindness can make the stay a better experience for you and your guests. 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, because all conversations are on record if you ever need to reference them with customer service in case an issue arises. It also makes it easy to find all your guests’ info in one place.
Important moments to communicate with guests
Booking inquiry: When a guest first reaches out to book your place, a speedy response is always appreciated. Responsiveness is not only important for keeping guests happy—it’s one of the criteria for becoming a Superhost.
You can provide five-star service from the start by responding to all guest inquiries within 24 hours. Using scheduled messages can also help you plan ahead to stay on top of sharing info with your guests.
The time of booking: Guests appreciate when Hosts send them a “thanks for booking” message. You might personalize your welcome message with info from your guest’s profile.
This can include questions about their interests, hometown, and hobbies. This is also an opportunity for you to ask additional 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 directions and check-in details are vital to helping your guests have a stress-free arrival.
You can answer common questions by filling out all of the fields under the Info for guests section of your Listings tab, including directions to your space, check-in instructions, and wifi. This will be shared in your guests’ Trips tabs 48 hours before their scheduled check-in time.
Check-in: Guests—especially those from historically marginalized communities—have shared that self check-in can make them feel more comfortable. But if you’re nearby, you can also ask your guests if they would prefer an in-person check-in. You can also create a house manual that includes info about how to use the various systems and appliances in your space.
After the first night: Many Hosts say they like to stay in touch with guests during their trip. It’s helpful to be proactive and ask how everything is going.
Before checkout: It’s a good idea 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, like taking out the trash.
After departure: Some Hosts like to send a note to thank guests for their stay. This helps remind them to write you a review while the details about what made your place great are still fresh. It’s smart to review your guests right away as well. Be honest and respectful in your approach, and use the same standards to evaluate every guest.
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