Responding to messages while I'm on holiday

Anyone have any advice on communicating with guests while I’m away for 6 weeks in a completely different timezone?

I have my cleaners who will do the day-to-day organising and be the contact for emergencies, but they are shy and they wouldn’t feel comfortable chatting to guests via email.
Ideally I’d like to shut down the Airbnb while I’m away but my cleaner would like to continue getting work.

I tried the Smartbnb free trial but couldn’t get it to feel personal enough, eg some guests seem to be chatty so I spend more time replying to them.
How does it answer questions like “Can you recommend an orthodontist?” “What time does the mall shut?”.

My inclination is to pay someone locally to do it, but property managers want to be signed up for a year. I’ve thought about friends and other hosts but for varying reasons none of them are suitable.
Anyone tried training someone else to do it?

Five weeks in the Middle East, responded to everyone and had a co host.
The 2 am morning ones were a bit rough, but everything managed.

You have on the ground , day to day organisers, of quality. That’s splendid.

Many of my bookings, when I’m on the ground, come from varied timezones, to the extent that I bury all gadgets under cushions, well away from my bedroom when sleeping. I get overnight bookings from the USA, Israel, China (not at the moment tho,), South America etc etc.

Don’t worry about it! When I’m away, mainly in Europe, I manage it whilst I’m awake , not during the night, and happy to do so…

But as a Home Host, I close whilst away. If I had your splendid team, I would stay open.

Interesting that you run your business around what your ‘shy’ cleaner requires and not your own preferences. :crazy_face:

My opinion is that you’re right and should shut it down if you don’t have a suitable co-host. Isn’t there anyone at all who can co-host for you? Try another host in the area. You don’t need a management company but you need much more than someone who knows nothing about Airbnb.

Personally I would never leave my listing in the hands of cleaners for six weeks. @anomaly14

I don’t think it’s fair to expect them to deal with issues such as difficult guests, evictions, handling plumbing emergencies, particularly when you know they are not comfortable chatting to guests.

Why not get a local experienced host that you can pay a retainer to be on hand and manage guest communication. And be willing to pay a call out charge for emergencies.


This! We live out of state (2 hour time difference) and do just that. She checks on our house every few weeks (along with our cleaner) and responds to more immediate questions from guests during their stay. When we travel I let them know we’re available but may be delayed due to a larger time difference and make sure they have her contact information head of their arrival. She’s also around if there are any emergencies or issues requiring a quick in-person response.

Edit to add: We play a flat fee which includes the occasional home visit and communication and then if there was ever a middle-of-the-night emergency, for example, that required her to go to the house we would pay per occasion.

1 Like