Do you use an electronic guidebook that you can send to guests before they arrive with all the information they need during their stay?
We’ve always printed a house manual personalized to each guest, but our printer is starting to go wacky and it looks like it’s going to cost nearly a thousand dollars to get it working like new again! (Toner cartridges, new drum, etc.). So, I was thinking it would be cool if we could do it electronically.
If worse comes to worse, we could always just convert our normal manual into a pdf file and email it to them a few days before they arrive.
I just checked out Coral.life and Hostfully.com.
I found that Coral.life really was the best for our needs. They have slots for all the information we’d like to give to our guests and they give you the flexibility to write exactly what you want to say. No uneditable canned messages.
Hostfully, seemed to be put together by people who have never hosted themselves but thought, ‘hey, this would be a great idea for Airbnb hosts’!
I say that, because they had pre-written certain things that we can’t edit and they weren’t exactly to our liking. For instance, they say, “Select the statements that best describe how your guests will gain access to the property”. The choice that comes closest to meeting our needs is “We’ll be there to meet you, if not contact me on arrival.”
Well, we would never say, “if not, contact me on arrival” because there is not a chance in the world that we won’t be here! And we don’t want to leave guests with the impression that we take hosting so casually that we might be out and about - and just give us a call when you arrive and we’ll rush right home to let you in! PLEASE! We would NEVER say that!
But it’s the kind of thing someone who has never actually hosted might imagine that a host would want to say, but a real host would know better! Apparently, there’s no way to change this wording. This is the type of phraseology you’d expect from corporate types who had a big idea, but have no real world experience in the field they’re working in. (That’s my impression anyway).
Or, another mandatory field is called “Bag Storage” and our choice says, “You can store your bags in the listing all day.” Well, we would never call our place “the listing”! It’s not a listing, it’s a home or a house or an apartment.
And yet another mandatory field on Parking. This time they force us to say, “Economical parking stations are available nearby!” Nobody in the U.S. calls parking lots, parking “stations”! And you can’t change the wording! And I wouldn’t say “Economical” either - I don’t really want to remind them AGAIN that it costs something.
So, I prefer Coral over Hostfully, but Coral’s website is abysmally slow, a little quirky and doesn’t always seem to work just right.
Hostfully has a gorgeous website that’s really fast. But, as beautiful as it is, I find the guide that Coral sends, is beautiful in its simplicity. A guest would have absolutely no trouble finding exactly what they need. It’s laid out in a very logical way and it flows well.
And we get to deliver the information in our own words without any interference from them with mandatory pre-written canned messages. Hostfully, while graphically prettier, I find the beautiful graphics kind of distract from the information.
And it seems, you can’t connect either one of these to your Airbnb account so they could send these guides out automatically. It’s a real pain to have to do this manually! And I’ll probably forget to do it half the time. And apparently, people can’t download these into their phones or tablets for offline access. A lot of our guests don’t have any online access because they’re coming from other countries. So, that’s a real drawback.
Anyway, I was just curious if anyone had other suggestions that I may not have stumbled upon yet.
Thanks for any help you can give!