November 2020, Airbnb released an amazing new feature to support Airbnb scheduled messages! This feature is among Airbnbs top requested features from hosts worldwide.
Scheduled messaging has long been a standard feature in vacation rental software like Hostaway but with Airbnbs release we believe it’s a great time to provide some tips on how to best incorporate it into your guest communication strategy.
In this article we provide tips on:
● What messages are best automated ● How to sound natural with “fields” ● How saved templates can further automate your process ● How to automate your messages on other major OTAs
The first question to ask yourself is what messages should I automate and what should I not? The easiest to automate are standard instructions such as check-in and checkout messages.
For most hosts, not already using automated messaging, it’s typical to copy and paste a message to a guest the day before check-in. This new feature removes that need! Finally you can add your template directly into Airbnb and have it sent automatically.
You no longer need worry about forgetting to send check-in instructions to arriving guests. Scheduled messaging is sent automatically at a preset time of your choosing.
Take a look below at a few examples of messages that could easily be automated with this new feature:
When your guest instant books:
Thanks for choosing to stay at our property!
Our property is beautifully furnished and stocked with all the cooking essentials you would expect to find. We follow all of the cleaning protocols recommended by Airbnb including fresh linens and towels between each reservation.
I’ll provide detailed check-in instructions just prior to your arrival!
Provide the check-in instructions prior to their arrival:
As promised, here are your check-in instructions: The exact address is 123 Pine Street and free street parking is available.
Your unique access code will be 1-2-3-4 for the entire duration of your reservation. Just prior to entering the house you will be greeted by a ring doorbell to confirm your identity and ensure a safe and secure check-in process.
In order to connect to the WiFi please use the password: 6hshlg9002.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask!
Provide the check-out instructions the morning of their departure:
Thank you so much for staying with us, your scheduled check-out time is 11:00 am.
If you have any dirty dishes, please start the dishwasher.
Thanks again for choosing to stay with us!
A few days after their departure, automatically ask for a review:
Our cleaning team was very pleased with the condition you left the house in, thank you so much for that!
You were an absolute pleasure to host and I truly hope you enjoyed your stay. If you enjoyed your stay I encourage you to leave us a 5-star review and a few comments about your stay!
The limitation of Airbnb’s scheduled messaging feature is that it only offers three trigger events: booking confirmed, check-in, and checkout. If you’re looking for additional triggers, Hostaway’s messaging feature has further triggers including: cancellation, pending reservation, and inquiry.
One of the trade offs with the scheduled messaging feature is that your conversations may seem less natural and personalized. This doesn’t need to be the case; with the use of the “short codes” feature you can input personalized touches, unique to each reservation.
If you’d like to input a guest name into your message, no problem! Simply add the code “guest first name” this will add the unique name of the guest. Other codes include: address, wifi, check-in times, and many more.
Hostaways short code list is further expanded by offering additional fields such as: fees, cancellation policies, number of guests, and many more beyond what Airbnb offers.
An important Airbnb automation tactic beyond scheduled messages is saved templates. These types of messages are best for circumstances when a question is frequently - but not always - asked. The messages are not automatically sent out but are instead stored as buttons that can be easily sent to guests, when needed.
Here are some examples of when to use quick replies:
● When a guest asks, “What is the WiFi information?” ● When a guest asks, “How do I turn the fireplace on?”
These examples all require detailed instructions that can be easily templated within your Hostaway account. If you find yourself frequently responding to the same questions, reservation after reservation, then a thorough templated response is the best solution.
Once you start using the new Airbnb feature you’ll probably start to wonder how can I automate on all my sales channels? The answer is using vacation rental software such as Hostaway. Hostaway’s channel management system allows for automated messages across all major OTAs including VRBO, Expedia, Booking.com, and Tripadvisor.
By having your automated messaging configured and integrated across multiple online travel agencies (OTAs) you will be able to automate incoming inquiries, bookings, check-ins, check-outs, and review reminders across your sales platforms.
Interested in learning more about Hostaway’s automated messaging features? Reach out to the team at Hostaway and request a demo!