Guest management starts much before you receive bookings. After browsing multiple Airbnb listings and picking their favourite one, guests usually send questions about different topics to make sure they are making a good decision. Being prepared for this part of guest management - the "pre-booking" - is crucial for property owners, since Airbnb rankings take into consideration the responsiveness of the host. Take a look at the top 3 Airbnb guest enquiries and the best tips for replying to guests.
People love to spend more time in the property than they are supposed to, either for convenience, for instance, because of the time of their trip. Flights sometimes land early in the morning (I am sure we've all been there): Without a good night sleep in the airplane, all we want is to simply get to the property we booked as soon as possible, right?
Once you receive an enquiry from a guest asking about an early check-in, it’s vital to respond to this request as soon as possible as your property could be one of many in their list. Start by asking them the exact time of arrival.
Be prepared for the unexpected as some guests might simply arrive earlier without letting you know. If this happens, explain to the guest in a respectful way that you don't have the possibility to let them check in yet. Then offer them a solution. For example, you can provide them a storage place to put their luggage nearby or maybe suggest a place they can go until the check in time.
However, if you don’t have the possibility to accept early check-ins at all, it's important to mention this in the listing policy. By doing so, you will automatically filter out your Airbnb guest enquiries. Keep in mind that guests don't always read the description fully, so you may still need to reply to the enquiry indicating that you cannot accept early check-ins.
The same goes for checking-out - often guests have a flight that leaves late at night. Therefore, having a flexible check in/out policy pays off because you may be able to secure bookings if not otherwise.
Airbnb has been around for 12 years and overtime, guests became savvy with the concept of home rentals and their expectations rose as a result. Many of them are not shy any longer to ask for a discount on their stay. As a host, you should thoughtfully consider this and the impact on that on your income.
Here are some of our best tips for giving discounts to guests: Long stays and customers who come back regularly are some of the occasions you can think about giving a discount. Discounts show guests you appreciate them for choosing your property and in exchange you have more chances of getting those 5-star reviews.
Another highly-desired feature that always comes up with the Airbnb guest enquiries is parking space. A free parking spot in or close to the property is undoubtedly the most appealing amenity, followed by public parking within a walking distance of the property.
Include details of parking and always specify as much as possible. If you say that the parking is free, does it mean that you have a garage available or there is a spot on the street? And if you say public, how far is the walk and how much will it cost to the guest? It's also a good idea to describe the type of vehicle the parking spot fits. A small garage will probably not fit a big van, so remember that just ‘parking’ will not do for your property listing.
Check-in flexibility, discounts and parking are certainly not the only things that guests value. Take a look this infographic we created to get an idea of what really matters to guests. Property features, location and extras should all be take under consideration for having a successful listing.
General tips for dealing with Airbnb guest enquiries:
Let's review some of the tips.
- Mention in the listing if you have flexible check-in, to rule out any misunderstanding from the start. Make it clear what your policy regarding check-in/out is,
- The location of the property in the listing might be still broad and you may still receive questions on distance to various places, such as proximity to supermarkets and public transport, so best to specify all that right away in the listing description,
- Decide if you want to give discounts as this might impact your returns,
- Configuration information is always handy. Guests will wonder if there is a staircase, lift access or bathtub available in the property. If not, you can consider providing this,
- Send guests details about the key exchange days before the stay. Don't wait until the arrival day because it might be that they are on a flight and will arrive without access to an internet connection. By sending the details beforehand, you guarantee that they will read it and communicate with you in case they have questions,
- When a guest unexpectedly arrives early, offer a solution. Think about places they could go to kill time between their arrival and check-in.
Dealing with Airbnb guest enquiries is not a rocket science - If you are prepared for possible requests beforehand, you'll be able to communicate with the guests in a fast and clear way. Here at MadeComfy, we have a Guest Communication team managing enquiries and assisting guests 24/7. To know more about our Guest Management services, click here.
Want to learn more about Airbnb management? Check out our guide on how to prepare for short-term rentals including tips on furnishing, listing your property and dynamic pricing here.