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How to craft the perfect welcome email as an Airbnb host

template
email
communication

#21

nope, there isn’t any specific number I can include in my address. The identifier is my surname only.

Now of course, this surname is being withheld from being passed on to anyone at all, by Airbnb, for various reasons. So the onus rests with me. I will have to tell this to guests somehow, hoping that they actually read the messages being sent to them.


#22

Funny, I guess you didn’t read what I wrote as I said “my guests need to know how to get here”. I do give detailed info. But that information will get lost if they get a message that is 2 pages long like the original posters. They need to know how to get to my place, get in, and then find all that information that is only useful once they’re in, amazingly, in a handy little guestbook I provide.

As someone who has traveled AirBnB, I find it highly annoying to have to sort through a large email with all the information that is readily available in their listing when all I need is what is not in the listing, directions and how to get in. I can go back to the listing if I have questions about if I have amenity specific questions and if a host has all those other recommendations available via the AirBnB guidebook or in a printed form, it’s overkill and annoying when I’m tired and just want to get in and sleep.

So yes, create all that wonderful stuff, but use it appropriately. But not on a traveling guest who yes, may be in a foreign country and can’t read the language and just needs to know how to get there, get in, and relax for a bit.


#23

I do something very similar to your 4 messages, though I try not to message guests after they arrive unless I sense they would appreciate it. I have something similar to your messages 3 and 4 in handwritten notes in the apartment.


#24

Or for foreigners who lose their phone. I have a Chinese guest arriving tonight. I don’t know if she lost her phone or if it was stolen. It’s possible that in her travel schedule she doesn’t have any time to get a cheap phone before arriving here around 21-2200. She said she has my address and will coming in a taxi but is still filled with anxiety about her arrival and the safety of the house/area.


#25

@Eberhard_Blocher: You say you inform guests of your full name in the welcome messages after booking but guests often fail to read those so they have trouble with the details upon arrival.

Are you only signing off with your full name and not otherwise bringing attention to the fact that they must know your entire name? Since it is crucial information, I would either mention it in the first or second sentence of my welcome email or have it as a separate paragraph so it stands out.

I have a trick that I use in my welcome email which l refer to as my “countdown” letter. It is the last correspondence that goes to the guest and is within a week or two of arrival. The email is a bit lengthy with various arrival instructions and information so I precede each paragraph with the subject matter and underline it so it stands out. That way, they act as mini-headlines and are easily located by the guests as to the topic. Here are some of the (optional) headings:

At the Airport.
Rental Car.
Taxi, Shuttle, etc.
Location of building.
Arrival via Lobby.
Arrival via garage/car park.
…etc.

When pointing out an important aspect, I start off with a hook phrase or word such as: “Please note that…” or “Important:” For example: “Important: You must say to the Parking attendant [yadda-yadda] or he will give you a regular parking ticket which requires payment.”

I have zero problems with guests not reading/following my instructions…Zero! Almost without exception, they all exclaim how helpful and wonderful my arrival instructions were. It is something I have honed over the past 7 yrs.

In your case, I would state very early in your letter something to the effect of:
“Important: When you arrive at [the property], there is a Directory with a list of names. Select the name BLOCHER (my name) and ring for entry.”


#26

I suppose it’s the London effect. I’ve had to date (in two years hosting) one Scottish person, one from Manchester, and one from Croydon. All the rest were international although admittedly overwhelmingly Western European.


#27

I include driving directions as my address has been changed several times over the last 8 years. I’ve not moved. First they changed the name of my local municipality, twice in five years, than again two years ago. At that time they changed the postal address, both my street number and the town name for postal address. So, I can’t be sure what Google and GPS are telling people.
I include info re grocery and liquor, beer stores and advise them that the nearest stores are a 30 km round trip. In season, I tell them about local farms selling produce.i include phone contacts for myself and my brother. As neither of us has texting, I tell them they have to call, not text.


#28

Great info Cyn. I send mostly the same information except I send it chunks. I always gather the guest’s personal email so I am assuming they know how to pull up my name and review all the previous emails I sent at a glance.

I then put in a different heading for each email such as directions, restaurant recommendations, hiking, activities, etc.


#29

Yes, that’s a good point. It would be frustrating to get too much info when you’re travelling with intermittent wifi etc,. The majority of my guests book at least several weeks beforehand so they have the time to print off or store the info for future reference. On the occasions where it’s been a last-minute booking where the guest is already in transit, I’ve tried to keep it short. But yes, good reminder not to go for overkill on information!


#30

What might be more helpful is to post a sample, rather than adding all the explanations for doing things. I know to keep my rules few and simple…the most important only. As for food, etc. I direct them to YELP (for reviews) and a box of menus…most people use their devices these days, so my maps and other touriest stuff is rarely used…one small colorful map of Venice Beach is enough… LESS IS MORE with information…just the most important! (PLEASE --they came to vacation, and relax–not READ!) Some lists of rules, etc. read like real estate contracts—arrgg!


#31

When I do the house tour, which I tend to do quite quickly because guests have usually been travelling for hours (or even days), my final comment is to ask them if they have any questions for me. Usually at this stage, they’ll ask for details of the things that interest them. (Where can we rent paddleboards? What’s a good romantic restaurant? Where’s the nearest supermarket? Is there a bike rental place locally? Etc.)

Airbnb guests do look places up in advance of their trip but also have been sold by Airbnb advertising that their host will recommend their own personal favourites. So I only tell them about places if I have personal experiences. Even then you have to be careful. For example, I love our local 24/7 diner that’s been (constantly) open since the 1930s but I describe it accurately because not everyone has my tastes.

If they ask me about something I haven’t experienced - fishing trips in the case of my current guests - I have a drawer full of tourist brochures on hand but be sure to let the guests know that I haven’t used these services myself.


#32

This is an excellent piece of advice. I now started adding this to my various pre-formatted welcome emails, and I am sure this will help a lot. Thanks very much indeed!

By the way, I like the way Airbnb lets me store all those welcome templates, and easily paste them into the messages sent to guests, even on the iPhone. I’ve gotten used to that, and I really miss that functionality when using competing platforms for hosting. I do get lots of bookings on Wimdu, Homestay.com and others, and always have to open Airbnb on my PC to copy-and-paste those messages. :wink:


#33

I do that too! I hate typing the same thing over and over or forgetting important information.


#34

Mine is simple

  1. Thank them for choosing … and advise check in time.
    Offer info on guest recommended tours if they wish

  2. Morning of arrival : request estimated arrival time and give directions.

  3. Arrival : welcome and give tour. In room have a folder with wifi password, house rules, map of area with details of restaurants in walking distance and with your recommendations. Plus Trip Advisors Top 10 in your city. Tour information, local sights etc. (Check in takes 5 minutes)
    (My guests love this folder!)

(Within 24 hours ask them if everything is OK or can you address any concerns as 5 star rating important to you. IMPORTANT!

  1. Morning of departure thank them for staying and let them know you will be giving them a review to help them with future bookings.

This system is working


#35

I once had guests who said they did not ha e enough towels. Dont know how that happened but they did not tell me until review. Now i always check with guests within 24 hrs of arrival.


#36

Wow, y’all are organized. I’m pretty abbreviated:
When they book – Happy to host you, will send keycode and more info closer to the date
2-3 days in advance – Your self-enty keycode is xxxx, how to distinguish my house from the other similar-looking houses on the block, instructions to go down the drive to the back door, and what is your ETA?
1 day later – How’s it going? Need anything? [There’s a welcome book and loads of maps and brochures in the suite.)
They usually send me a message when they’re leaving and I reply “Thanks for booking, safe travels.”


#38

We can’t allow overtly promotional posts. I have to remove this.


#39

While most do use google maps, myself included its not a bad idea to try using GPS perhaps each month to be assured it is still accurate. As mentioned earlier some area markers change, i.e. Renamed roads or roads that change names. I do know that in my apartment complex not 1 person has been able to pull up my address. That includes Uber, rental car companies, pizza. Ive learned to make right/left directions for everyone


#40

1000% agree with you! Lucky if you can get guest to read even when it is is bullet. Can be a little frustrating.


#41

I do a very abridged version. Since my profile is a comprehensive introduction to me and my husband it would seem overkill in the email. Plus, these people aren’t vacationing to meet me. I’ve had a few guests that matched with our rental because they wanted to meet us (very flattering) but most DGAF and that’s totally cool with me. I’m almost getting sick of the “sell yourself “ aspect of Airbnb. A warm welcome, reiterating important check in details, short directions, and letting guests know they can come to you with questions seems to do the trick for me.


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