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How to craft the perfect welcome email as an Airbnb host

template
email
communication

#1

You’ve set up your Airbnb listing on the site, furnished it so it looks homey and welcoming, and you’ve booked your first guest. Now what?

To be a great host and to make your guests’ experience as smooth and worry free as possible, you should have a welcome email that includes all the information your guests will need to know about check-in, your listing and the neighborhood.

You may be thinking “but this information is all already on my listing!” Well sorry to be the bearer of bad news but most guests don’t read listings fully and they usually forget most of what they have read, especially if they are checking-in in the future. That’s why we want to make sure that you are the best host possible by anticipating questions, concerns and issues that may arise before your guest even checks-in.

So what information should you include?

Part 1: Personal/contact info

Introduce yourself and tell your guest a little about you, especially if you live at the same place you are hosting at. Your guests are booking an Airbnb partly because they want a personalized experience and not some anonymous robot at the other end just collecting their money. The more your guest feels like they know you and like you, the more likely you will get a better review at the end of their stay.
Provide up to date and current contact information. I include my phone number, an email and I also include my husband’s contact info as well in case they are unable to reach me for any reason. I have had many guests that end up contacting my husband because they couldn’t reach me so I would always advise that you have at least 2 contact emails and numbers.

Part 2: Check-in information

I would include check-in and check-out times here so that your guests are aware and can plan their schedule accordingly. Any check-in instructions should be shared here so your guests know exactly how they can get the keys and how they can enter your listing.

Part 3: Transportation Information

Help your guests figure out how to get to your listing easily. What differentiates a great host from an average one are all the small details that you help your guests figure out their visit without having to be asked. If you’re close to public transit, let your guests know how to get to your listing using public transportation from the airport. If you’re not close to public transportation, provide driving directions from the airport and even include a link to a Google map showing directions from the airport to your location. Provide the name of a cab company and an estimate of how much it will cost to take a cab from the airport to your location. The less that your guests need to research and find out information on their own, the happier they will be with their experience.

Part 4: Information about your listing

This is where you want to let your guest know all about your lovely and unique space. Are there any quirky things that you want your guests to know? Perhaps your bathroom door requires a special way of turning the knob to open. Or your neighbors have chickens next door that cluck at 7AM. These are the kinds of things you want to share with your guests so there are no surprises. Better to have a guest realize that your space may not be the right fit for them rather than have them check in and be unpleasantly surprised.

You should list the address of your Airbnb listing, Wifi network and password, Netflix, and any parking information. If you have any special instructions about garbage, recycling, etc, this should all be listed here.

Part 5: House Rules

Any house rules that you want your guests to know should be listed here. I always recommend that you let guests know no parties, no extra guests that aren’t paid for and no smoking inside the suite. That way, it’s clear that you’ve notified your guests and they can’t claim they weren’t aware of what wasn’t allowed.

Part 6: Points of Interest Nearby

You know your neighborhood best. This is your chance to highlight all the cool spots in your area. Is there a coffee shop with the best salted caramel latte 1 block away? Or perhaps there’s a bakery that people flock from all over the city to come visit because of their pastries. Put yourself in your guests’ shoes and share the spots that you would want to know about. Some suggestions that I use in my own welcome email include restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, nail salons and gyms.

Part 7: Things to do in your city

No one is as much an advocate for their city as its citizens. Share the cool spots that your city is known for but also share some lesser known hidden gems that you love. These are the things that set Airbnb hosts apart from hotels and helps to make a guests’ experience different than all the other tourists visiting. They get a chance to brag to their friends about the cool live music lounge you told them about and you get a great review – win win!

Part 8: Restaurant Recommendations

As a major foodie, one of the things I look forward the most when travelling is to stuff my face with all the unique delectables that await me in each new place I visit. I absolutely love when someone shares their favorite restaurant recommendation with me, especially if it’s one I haven’t heard about in my research about that city. Share your favorite restaurant recommendations and include a variety of hole in the wall, mid and high end choices. Don’t forget dessert either – that’s the most important meal I always look forward to!

I would recommend also leaving a hard copy in the suite/room for your guests to peruse and refer to again when they have time or have questions.

If you’ve read through this long and verbose post, I salute you in your efforts to be a great host. Hopefully these tips will help you become an even better host and for your guests to rave about their experience with you.

Happy hosting!


#2

From my experience if you include so much information in a single message, guests will not read it in full. Guests need the right information at the right time, not all at once.


#3

Exactly. My eyes glazed over her post and I just read the bold points and moved on with my day. I have all that info on my listing and in my guidebook. In the day or two before all my guests need is how to get here, how to get in, how to connect to wifi, and where the guestbook is if they’re doing self check-in. Maybe a reminder of the house rules (which I post in the apartment anyway, no more excuses…).


#4

Well, I think there is a lot of useful advice in Cyn’s post. If your “eyes glaze over” reading it, it shows that you are no better than the guests you complain about that don’t read the listing. Maybe you don’t use airbnb when you travel or don’t travel at all? The unique selling point about airbnb is that you stay in a local setting with a local person. All the points in the OP are relevant to that. If you’re a bog-standard (look it up) holiday rental then sure, just do the minimum required to get your money. Meanwhile,…

I would say Part 3 on transport information is probably The Most Important thing!

There is nothing worse than finding yourself in a new country, not speaking the language, tired (possibly lost your luggage) and all you have is an address and some brief instructions about the key code. It massively impacts on your overall impression. When you finally work out how to get there, it doesn’t matter how gorgeous the place is, all you can think of is what a hassle it was to find it. You’ll be pissed off and looking for things to be dissatisfied about.

So yes, detailed information about how to find your place is hugely important.


#5

Thanks for this @Cyn.

I tend to share this information but not in one message. For me I break it down as follows:

Message 1 sent immediately after booking includes a personal thank you and checks the booking meets their requirements

Message 2 a few days before check in includes directions

Tour includes house rules.

Message 3 the day after check in checks they slept well and makes recommendations in the local area / recommends my two fave London restaurants.

Message 4 thanks them for being lovely guests and reminds them of check out procedures.


#6

I kind of do the same as you, as in the first reply is generic and then I follow up with an email and attached directions. The rest is covered by the personal house tour as I’m a live-in host like you.

With an entire property rental, though, personally as a guest I would prefer to have all the information in one email/link/whatever. I wouldn’t want to be searching around for different bits of info ! So yes, general nicey-nicey messages on the airbnb thread, and then followed by ‘I have sent you xyz, please let me know if you need anything else’. That would be my preference.


#7

Another thing about transport into for guests: keep it up to date!

Transport links change, landmarks you’ve cited in directions can disappear etc.
I have memories of arriving somewhere with the most detailed directions BUT the crucial landmark,a store, had been demolished so I was totally lost and confused.


#8

Messaging a guest should be personal to them. For example, points of interest depend so much on the guest. Those who are interested in going out dancing are unlikely to appreciate the information about the local art museum for example.Those whose interests include watersports might not be interested in the local historic home.

I prefer to ask the guests ‘please let me know if you have any questions about the apartment or the local area’. This way, I find out their interests and can recommend places accordingly.

I can’t remember the last time guests asked me for directions - probably the last century? Guests arrive by cab/Uber or use GPS in their car.

Even restaurant recommendations depend on the guest - the honeymooning couple wants somewhere romantic - the people from Germany want to experience a real American diner - French guests want to know where they can get great croissants - coffee lovers want to know where they can get Illy along with great pastries…

It really has to be personal. And if guests don’t read the listing, they are certainly not going to read a lengthy document.

The Airbnb message system helps us to ‘get to know’ our guests before arrival. A pre-made document does not. The Airbnb system is invaluable in helping hosts and guests to get to know each other before the stay. It allays any fears and establishes a personal relationship.


#9

That’s down to your location, though, isn’t it? Those of us who are in cities where folk arrive by air/train/bus hugely appreciate good directions. And hosts that live in rural areas will have all kinds of specific advice on the best way to get there. Also it depends on what kind of guests you host. My guests are generally budget, even an uber from the airport is quite costly so info about cheap options is a big help.


#10

Totally agree about it being personal, though. But I suppose if you’re a busy property manager, that’s not going to happen.


#11

Yes, that’s true. We are a resort city and cab drivers are familiar with our place. It’s also easy using GSP in a rental car.

Nevertheless, I don’t supply directions to our place unless a guest requests it. Everyone seems to get here okay :slight_smile:


#12

Wow, I think I do the exact same 4 messages. Doesn’t overwhelm people, but is helpful and personal at the right time.


#13

It’s not really rocket science … not suprised you do the same as they’re pretty much common sense :slight_smile:


#14

To be honest google maps has completely removed the need to give instructions. Google maps works for both remote and city locations and is mostly very accurate; I suppose my instructions are there for the people who can’t be bothered to plan for themselves.


#15

Cyn, thanks for this!

I agree this is all great information to include.
I have all this and MORE, yes more!

But I put mine in the form of a PDF and send it to the guest immediately after they book. It’s a bit long, and I apologize for this, but nearly all guests have mentioned how much they appreciated getting all this information.

Create it first in a Word document. Include pictures even, then save it as a PDF and email to the guest.

Disclaimer: I’m a travel writer for a major publisher of guidebooks whose name you would know, so I tend to wax loquaciously when offering suggestions and advice. I want to make sure the guests get the most out of their usually short stays in Hawaii!


#16

At least half of my guests arrive from a foreign country and their phones do not work upon landing. I always find out how they plan to arrive, and if they are coming by plane, train, or bus, give them public transportation instructions. Who wants to figure out the bus nºs, etc, after a 12-hour flight?


#17

I can’t be the only traveller who downloads google maps for the area I’m going to and saves it so it works offline on my phone. And I always plan the journey in advance and save that too.

My phone usually works but I’d rather not risk a technology failure - it happened in Canada but all was well as I’d planned ahead.

99.9 % of my guests are from a foreign country and they all pretty much use google. I’d assumed they were using the offline service too.


#18

Great article! Thanks for this. I should check if all of these are in my templates.


#19

That’s an interesting figure. In my case, about 80% of guests are from a foreign country, with the other 20% being locals (Germans).

Anyway, the main reason guests sometimes fail to find me is the fact that Airbnb only tells them my first name, and once they get to my house, they see many surnames at the front door, since our landlord provides those labels and we are not allowed to change them.

I do of course tell guests my full name (Christian name and surname) in almost all the welcome messages they receive from me, after booking, but again, many guests fail to read those. So they often send me an Airbnb message from their phone, or give me a phone call, once they have arrived in front of our house. It is awkward, but I haven’t found a better way of dealing with this.


#20

Doesn’t your apartment / house have a specific number you can include in your address? Like in “apartment B-702”?


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