Getting automatic reminders for when to email guests

Hello all,

A good friend of mine has a handful of listings in Japan (where AirBnB is exploding right now) and he has been doing a very brisk trade indeed, in large part due to him putting a lot of effort into making stays special for his guests and that is certainly paying off.

I met up with him a couple months back and while talking about it he showed me the system he’s been using to keep on top of booking-related emails, but also the extra emails that he sends that increase the number of confirmed bookings that he gets.

For example:

  • If it’s been 7 days since he’s last followed up a pending enquiry, drop them a line.
  • A day before check in, confirm the details of the key exchange, directions etc.
  • During their stay, drop them a line to check in with them
  • Post check out follow up
  • Reminder to write review (if necessary)
  • (And the most effective one) If someone makes an enquiry that conflicts with someone else’s enquiry, let them both know; this will often result in a split decision by one or the other to make the booking. Then point the other to your other listings, or your friends’ if you’re feeling generous…

That last one in particular is something that he says has been particularly effective in increasing the number of confirmed bookings that he gets:

When you have two listings, keeping on top of all this and more is no problem, but as someone with more than two listings he was starting to feel the strain of parsing his inbox each day to work out who to email. Particularly when it came to those lucrative overlapping enquiries, working that out as new enquiries came in was getting harder the more popular his listings became.

As he already had a system worked out, but it wasn’t computerised/automated, just for fun and to help out a friend I spent a day making a simple web-based system which would do all the calculations for him, telling him each day who to email what, which enquiries were overlapping etc.

Since then I’ve added some features like a custom booking chart that shows all pending, confirmed, currently staying and past bookings (including who left a review), the ability to add in any assistants that you might have (e.g. for key exchange), and a one-click way to clear emails that you’ve sent.

The system doesn’t link in any way with the AirBnB system itself (no API!) and it’s of course quite specific to the way that my friend works, but I was wondering is this problem of keeping on top of emails, and particularly pending bookings (which AirBnB doesn’t help you with much), a problem that you feel you have? If so, how are you getting around it? When my friend first spoke to me I did a search and found one that was in beta but it didn’t help with scheduling communications so it wasn’t what he was after.

Currently I’m quite happy to have just made it for him and I’m not selling access to the system but I’d be really interested to hear everyone’s thoughts on this. For those with 3 or more listings are you finding it a chore to keep on top of all the communications, particularly for pending enquiries which AirBnB doesn’t show in the calendar? Or are there other aspects of the admin side of things that are holding you back?

There is a company called Vreasy which is supposed to help with automating emails. I haven’t being able to help out. Yes, it would be sweet to have something like this.

Vreasy looks slick; slightly confusing pricing though. Anyone have experience with it?

Thanks for the vote of confidence, if a few people are interested then I’ll look at presenting the system in more detail in case it might be of use to anyone.

I use VReasy for almost a year now and so far i’m really happy.
I’ve tried multiple solutions and this one was the best for our need.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
PS: we manage 50 properties in Prague on almost 30 channels