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How much time do you spend responding to Guest messages?


#1

Hey guys - quick question. How much time do you spend corresponding with guests before/during the stay about the check-in process and about what to do in your city?

And how do you minimize the time spent on it, while still giving good responses? While I want to be responsive and helpful, I feel like I’m spending too much time responding to their random questions.


#2

Hardly any time at all. By using saved messages you can respond in seconds. Some of my saved messages are very long which would take time to type out - time I don’t have. It only takes a few seconds to personalise them so the guest doesn’t realise it’s pre-written.

I have quite a few saved messages about things to do because hosts do sometimes get the same questions over and over again. But if a host is knowledgeable about their area, answering a question takes about a minute if that so it’s no big deal.

There are far more important issues that need time.


#3

Welcome @VituJ

Where do you host and what made you join this forum. Always good to have an introduction for new members.

I have a comprehensive guide book which includes info on public transport, attractions, local websites with details of what’s on, local shops, restaurants, cafes etc.

This answers the vast majority of their questions.

Like @jaquo I also have a bank of standard responses.


#4

I also have pre-saved messages but I also do Instant Book which seems to cut down a lot on replying. It’s the guests that asked many questions and do read your listing that seems to be the problem guests in the long run. (IMHO)


#5

Hardly any time. I have an extensive Guest Book which has local activities and happenings. I send a canned message after they book, welcoming them and requesting they provide me with choices from my Breakfast For Two menu. Questions about how far am I from the beach, airport, downtown, the Islands, I have as a canned message.


#6

Perhaps give the guests signposts to sources of infomation in your listing or in your house manual rather than answering their questions. Keep communication on the app so it feels business like.


#7

Part of the problem is that anyone who wants to shortcut messages to any great extent isn’t making the most of selling opportunities. Saved messages can always be personalised and quick messages that take just a short time are all helping to assure the guest that they have made the right choice when they selected your listing. So much can be done to show that you’re a great host long before the guest arrives thanks to a mix of saved and personal messages. So valuable - hardly any effort or time.


#8

I also have an extensive guidebook that i keep updated with things to do, where to eat, how to get around, etc. as well as detailed information about the unit itself (things like where to find extra towels, how to work the lock, how to work the blinds, etc.) This is all sent ahead of time as well as printed copies in the unit. Also like the others, I have a ton of canned messages I’ve saved as I’ve written them for future use. I can just change the name or add a little to personalize. So to sum things up, I spend very little time at all.


#9

I have instant book, lots of one nighters, few tourists. Even though I’m booked about 80% of every month I spend very little time responding to guest messages.


#10

Yes mine include everything from rules for dogs to what to do if there is a storm and the power is cut. Very useful.


#11

I dread guests that bombard you with questions before booking. Especially questions that are easily answered if they just read the listing details. My experience is that the more questions a potential guest asks, the more likely they are NOT to book. Or if they book, the more likely they are to cancel for no reason. Or if they don’t cancel, the more likely they are to turn out to be problem guests.

This means I generally lose interest in potential guests after about 2 or 3 exchanges - the return on your time after that is pretty close to nil.

However, the check-in process is a completely different thing. I generally spend about 15 minutes with the guests - showing them the facilities, answering questions, showing them maps of the area, pointing out the local attractions. Sometimes more if they want to chat. I figure they’ve paid, and this is part of what they’ve paid for.

Of course, some guests don’t want that, so it is important to pick up on their reactions and leave them alone if they don’t want to be bothered. In that case, I just run through the things they have to know, point them at the cabin instruction manual (which has written in it everything in it that I say anyway) and leave them to it - say 3 minutes.


#12

It took me about 3 years to figure this out. Good for you. LOL. Now I usually just point to the door and say it’s unlocked, let me know if you need anything. My ratings are still high.


#13

Dear @VituJ Communicating with your guests does become time-consuming. As many of the answers have pointed out, a solution is to use saved templates that you can add a personal touch to. As communication is so important, yet time-consuming, AirGMS has created a feature that enables hosts to create automated messages that will be ‘triggered’ on certain dates and times. Hosts can adjust these ‘triggers’ to send a specific message to a guest at check-in, during their stay, or at checkout.


#14

Yeah, what I’ve noticed is the guests that ask for a lot tend to be the problem guests or don’t book at all. I’m lucky because I don’t have any trouble filling my listings so if someone starts taking too much of my time with questions I don’t allow them to book and send them a nice message.

Automating your messaging is a huge time saver. There are a lot of services out there that will automate your messaging, I use Superhost Tools because I like the interface but I think they all do the job.


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