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    Great communication is the key to hosting success

    Great communication is the key to hosting success

    Keep guests happy by being responsive and staying in touch.
    Autorius: Airbnb (Feb 14, 2020)
    4 min. skaitymo
    Atnaujinta Feb 14, 2020

    Highlights

    • Communicate clearly, promptly, and often

    • Use Airbnb’s tools: Download the Airbnb app, use pre-saved messages, add check-in instructions, a house manual, and a guidebook

    • Key communication moments: 1) booking inquiries 2) post-booking 3) 24 hours before check-in 4) after check-in 5) 24 hours before checkout

    Good communication sets the stage for a positive guest experience. As a host, there’s a lot you can do to 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. Here, seasoned hosts share their strategies for success.

    Tips for great communication:

    Be honest: Host Abhay from San Francisco says he’s always really honest about both the advantages and the quirks of his space, because he doesn’t want any surprises, and knows his guests don’t either. 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: Guests like to know that they can reach you if they need something. Experienced hosts stay in touch throughout the stay by using Airbnb’s in-app messaging. “I make myself available to answer questions immediately,” says host Chris from Cleveland. “If something ever needs fixing, we address it immediately.”

    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—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: Download the Airbnb app to make communicating easier on the go. Keeping communication on the app also helps to 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. That said, many hosts and guests appreciate the convenience of text messaging—a great way to reach each other quickly, especially in areas where connectivity is an issue.

    Important moments to communicate with guests

    Inquiry stage: When guests express interest in your listing, it’s important to be responsive. “I try to give guests the experience that I would want if I was traveling,” 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. So make sure you respond to all guest inquiries within 24 hours by accepting, declining, or sending a message. Feel like you’re answering the same questions for each guest inquiry? Save time by creating saved message templates with answers to the top questions.

    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 travel and who they will be bringing with them.

    The idea is to set the right expectations so you can deliver a really good experience.
    Abhay,
    San Francisco

    Pre-arrival: The hardest part of travel is often getting to the destination, so clear check-in details are key to ensuring guests have a stress-free arrival. You can use Airbnb’s check-in instructions feature to provide all the necessary information for accessing your space. Guests will automatically receive your check-in instructions a few days before their scheduled arrival, so you won’t need to remember to send the same information for each individual booking.

    At check-in: Experienced hosts reach out shortly after guests arrive to make sure they feel settled in and let them know you’re available for help if they need it. 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, 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, like taking out the trash. To help smooth their transition out of your space, you could also ask whether guests have any questions about transportation to their next destination—for instance, the best way to get to the airport.

    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 in mind.

    Highlights

    • Communicate clearly, promptly, and often

    • Use Airbnb’s tools: Download the Airbnb app, use pre-saved messages, add check-in instructions, a house manual, and a guidebook

    • Key communication moments: 1) booking inquiries 2) post-booking 3) 24 hours before check-in 4) after check-in 5) 24 hours before checkout

    Airbnb
    Feb 14, 2020
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