The basics of communicating with guests

Get tips and templates for connecting with travelers.
By Airbnb on Jan 8, 2020
3 min read
Updated May 3, 2023

Communicating effectively with guests is the first step toward a positive guest experience. As a Host, you help guests feel comfortable and can encourage good reviews by communicating clearly and promptly from the moment they express interest in your space until after they’ve checked out.

Tips for great communication

Be transparent.  Daniel, a Host in San Francisco, says he’s always direct 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: Guests appreciate a speedy response when they reach out to book your place. Try to respond to all guest inquiries within 24 hours.

Responsiveness is not only important for keeping guests happy, it’s one of the criteria for becoming a Superhost. Using scheduled messages can help you plan ahead to stay on top of sharing information with your guests.

The time of booking: Guests usually 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: Clear directions and check-in details are vital to helping your guests have a stress-free arrival.

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. 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: Specify what your guests need to do before checking out. We send out a reminder with your checkout time and instructions the day before they’re scheduled to leave.

After departure: It’s best to review your guests right away. Be respectful in your approach, and use the same standards to evaluate every guest. Some Hosts also like to send a note to thank guests for their stay.

Jan 8, 2020
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