Welcome to another episode of Master Airbnb & Vacation Rentals with Vacation Home Help. Today, Tim and I discuss why fast response times are super important to your airbnb guests and your airbnb review scores. Now more than ever, we as hosts need to differentiate ourselves from the pack. Therefore, fast communication in the form of quick replies will set you apart and its good business practice.
Here are the key highlights from our episode on faster response times and better communication with your airbnb guests
Today, John and Tim discuss how to improve your airbnb response time, responsiveness score, and boosting your communication skills to create a more streamlined guest experience. Give your guests confidence. This episode is for those who are new to hosting on Airbnb & VRBO. In this episode, you will learn in under 10 minutes.
- Setting the right tone for your guest’s airbnb stay and improving confidence
- Why you should use automation wisely
- Actively listening, being personal, and actively communicating creates trust
- Better hospitality through proactively communicating pre, during, and post-checkout
- Proactive problem solving to help the guest during stay without skipping a beat
- Earning referrals through excellent communication
- What is an appropriate and timely response on Airbnb?
Listen to the podcast episode here
Welcome to the Vacation Home Help Podcast. The only podcast dedicated to helping vacation rental owners self-manage their properties. Your hosts deliver short and sweet episodes, with actionable advice, tips and strategies to level up your hosting skills. Whether you are a complete beginner or been in the vacation home rental business for a while, you are in the right place to get the tools you need to succeed. Here are your hosts, John Candelario and Tim Casey.
Communicating with your Airbnb guests for a better guest experience
John Candelario (00:34):
So, communication’s super important. When a guest makes a booking, they’re putting their trust in your hands and they want everything to go smoothly. But, how you communicate and how responsive you are really does matter right, Tim? Because, it sets the tone for the entire stay. What do you say?
Tim Casey (00:52):
Yeah, it matters a lot, John. And again, you think about it, put yourself in the shoes of the guest. They’ve got that vacation time and they want to be confident that when they get to their destination, it’s going to be exactly what they want that vacation to be. And, one of the best ways to do that as owners, is to communicate with the guest. Give them the peace of mind. Give them the confidence that you’re there for them. Give them the confidence that you’re listening to what they need from their vacation. And, you can keep that communication going with that guest leading up to their stay without taking a lot of time, because you don’t want to bother them. But, at the same time, you want to give them the confidence that you’re there for them.
And, I have found that by reaching out to them, maybe a couple weeks prior saying, “Hey, here’s the check-in information. If you have any questions, give me a holler, give me an email, give me a text.” Giving them many ways to communicate with you, whatever way they want to use. And, then just staying in touch with them during that journey, gives them the peace of mind that when they get there, it’s going to be exactly what they’ve been looking for.
Automating Airbnb Communication is great, but it takes the personal touch out of hosting. Try communicating the old fashioned way, personal communication goes a long way…
John Candelario (02:07):
Yeah, Tim you summed it up perfectly because you said talk to the guest, talk to them. And, a lot of advice circulating is, automate everything. Just make templates, just send the welcome email templates, send requests to review me template. And, that’s not bad, but it’s impersonal. And, being impersonal is not the way you’re going to gain trust from anyone. And, imagine if you went on vacation and you got all of these scripted responses the whole time. You’re not going to want to go back, because you didn’t feel taken care of.
So what you said, talk to the guest, that’s super important, but it might seem simple, but it’s not because the current way people are being answered is just by copy and pasting templates. And, there’s a place for that like if you have to send the wifi information or the code, that’s okay. You could copy and paste, send a template. But, you need to communicate and ask people, how are they doing? How’d you check-in? How was your first night? How are you enjoying the week? And, when they’re leaving, don’t forget these things but is there any way I could help you check out smoother.
Tim Casey (03:20):
Keeping in touch and following up with your airbnb guests
John Candelario (03:21):
And, even communication beyond checkout, keeping in touch. Do you keep in touch with your guests? I’m sure you do.
Tim Casey (03:29):
I do, as a matter of fact. Because like all guests, they’ve got family and friends. And, if they are planning a trip to Orlando or wherever you have your vacation home, you want to create that connection to where you’re enabling them to introduce you to their friends and family.
John Candelario (03:48):
And, it’s worked for you? You’ve had referrals?
Tim Casey (03:51):
I have. It’s worked really, really well. And, I made the mistake of going down the path of the automated messages. I approached it more as a passive engagement versus what it really is. And, I learned my lesson really fast, that’s not what the guest is looking for. They’re looking for the confidence that there’s another person on the end of that computer or that phone who cares about their vacation almost as much as they do. And, as an owner, you also know a lot of things about your house. Like, what do I know?
I know that many of my guests don’t know exactly how the heater work on the spa. So, if I tell them ahead of time, “Hey, here’s the dial. Give yourself 45 minutes. Turn that on. Give yourself 45 minutes before you want to use it.” That tells the guest that you care about their experience. That you know enough about their house and where some of the problems can be. That you can guide them through those things before they’re a problem for them.
Airbnb guests expect a fast reply from you.
John Candelario (04:57):
Yeah and that’s something that, if they don’t know how to use a spa timer and you say, “Here, figure it out.” With an instruction manual and a picture, some people will be able to figure it out, but some people will take that as, “Well, gee, thanks. That’s not so helpful.”
So yeah, talking to people is really important and everyone just needs to think of the golden rule, if I’m on vacation, I want someone to help me, I’m paying. So, I want someone to help me. If I have an issue with the TV or whatever, if the toilet’s clogged, I want someone to be responsive and we just have to be available. Because, response time it’s also pretty important. You can’t get back to someone the next day if they messaged you at 1:00 PM, it’s not appropriate to message them back tomorrow at 4:00 PM.
Tim shares a story about how fast communication helped his guest have a better experience
Tim Casey (05:44):
You’d be amazed at how much or how far timely response goes. So, I shared with you, John, that I had an issue most recently where the internet was out in the entire community. Well, the guest text me that morning, about eight o’clock in the morning, there’s nothing really I could do. But, by responding right away, at least the guests knew that when they had a problem, someone was going to be there for them. What I could do, is even though I couldn’t fix the internet because it was a system issue, I could stay on top of it and communicate with the guests.
So, if the guest wanted to go to the theme parks that day, I could let them know, “Hey, I’m on top of this. I’ll let you know as soon as the internet comes back on.” And again, doesn’t take a lot of time, but it gives the guest the confidence that there’s someone out there that’s looking out for their vacation and their family time.
John Candelario (06:41):
And, it sounds simple to do, but it’s going to take a little bit of practicing if you’re not used to interacting people that like this, but if you could pick up your phone and text your friends or your relatives, you can do this pretty easily.
Tim Casey (06:55):
John Candelario (06:55):
So, it’s just wanting to do it. And, to put this into practice after listening to this podcast, you can just open up your Airbnb app or whatever you’re using and just asking your guests, “Is everything okay?” You could, even if they’re checked out already just asked, “Hey, how’d everything go. How can I make the experience better?”
And, if you have a template for that, I challenge you to not use it just for a week and just talk to them like you talk to anyone. And, you will see a remarkable difference in how people respond to you because people like the human touch, they like to be communicated with.
Being an airbnb superhost is not a passive business, you must put the work in to be successful.
Tim Casey (07:30):
John Candelario (07:31):
They don’t like to feel like they’re not important. So, that’s where you should start. And, I know your guest experience will be much more memorable by doing so.
Tim Casey (07:40):
Once again, John, this is not a passive business and it doesn’t mean it has to take a lot of time, but working with guests, communicating with guests, it’s not passive, it’s active. And, it’s something that you’ve got to want to do and enjoy doing. And if you do, it can be a really rewarding experience.
John Candelario (07:58):
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