What brings you to the area? Who are you coming with? When do you think you’ll arrive? Airbnb hosts have a number of questions swirling through their minds when they receive a booking. And many hosts take the opportunity to get to know their potential guests by asking these questions before guests book instantly. It’s not required, of course; but, adding questions to a pre-booking message can help drum up more information about potential guests, simplify the booking process, and ensure a great relationship with guests from the start.
Later this month, Airbnb is launching an improved feature: pre-booking message. It’s a better way for hosts to add a greeting and ask all of the questions you want before guests book instantly. (You’ll have plenty of room, too, because we’ve increased the character count. And if you currently use welcome message, there’s no need to change anything.) Your potential guests will read your message while they’re booking, and be able to respond to your questions before confirming their reservation.
Here are some ways to make the most of Airbnb’s pre-booking message feature.
5 pre-booking message tips from fellow hosts
1. Start by thanking your potential guest
“I think it's a good way to build trust and a way to encourage a good stay,” said host Juan, of Colombia.
2. Ask about what’s most important
Think about the one thing that would make a great (or not-so-great) stay for you and your guests, and ask them about it in your pre-booking message, like these hosts do:
3. Invite guests to re-read the listing and House Rules
When writing your pre-booking message, take the opportunity to remind guests of any crucial listing details they may have missed. “I put myself in the guest’s shoes,” French host Marie Line said. “Sometimes we are so happy to have found the apartment of our dreams that we hurry to reserve it—I once booked an apartment without realizing sheets weren’t provided! So, I think if the hosts had invited me to read their listing again, I wouldn't have made that kind of mistake." Other hosts offer these suggestions:
4. Get to know your guests
To customize your hospitality and let guests know you care, hosts recommend asking questions like these:
5. Showcase your hosting style
Some hosts ask a lot of pre-booking questions while others ask none. Hosts recommend reflecting your hosting style—whether it be laid back or strict—when you’re asking questions in your pre-booking message. This will also help guests determine if it’s the right fit:
Once you’ve saved your pre-booking message, potential guests will automatically receive it when they use book instantly. Creating a pre-booking message once will help simplify the booking process, give you more peace of mind, and let guests know they have a wonderful stay ahead.
@Airbnb Since you took the time to make this rather lengthy post, I assume that the pre-trip questions are supposed to be still active and visible to guests. There have been several threads in this forum in the past, discussing this subject. Numerous hosts have said that their questions were no longer there, while others said that theirs were still visible.
My last four guests have not responded to the questions at all --yet they were able to instant book. This leaves me having to follow up and ask the guest to please respond. My most recent guest was unable to locate the questions at all.
Why are guests allowed to instant book without answering the questions when they are supposed to be part of the booking process?
Often, guests do not bother reading the listing description. In our case, we have had numerous guests who were surprised at the presence of cats on the premises--something that my listing makes very clear. The pre-trip questions are vital, because I ask the guest to acknowledge that they are aware that there are cats on the property and that our guesthouse may not be well suited to those with allergies.
I ask that you PLEASE, fix the booking process so guests won't be able to instant book--UNLESS they have responded to the questions. This can't be so difficult.
I have Guest information on my list under Guest requirements but when I EDIT guest requirements there is no section for questions, just a check in message which is way too short anyway. Above it says to be released shortly but everyone seems to be accessing this already? Graeme
Nice to see the character count increased after I received this response from support back in April.
This was to a suggestion to look at increasing the character count to this exact section when I was advised the prebooking questions were being up updated.
I empathise there, Richard_Karen1, as I often want to clarify certain aspects of what we offer, and don't have enough characters to do this properly... can be frustrating especially if potential guests look under a certain classification and assume that covers everything they want to know...
I would like to be able to ask questions and get to know the guests before I approve their accommodation. Recently this seems to have been removed.
I would be put off by being asked too many questions about why I am there so we don't do that.
After thanking them for their reservation we do however confirm the number of separate beds they have booked and mention when there is a flight of stairs. Both of these can cause a drama on arrival if not made clear.
We also confirm that parking for ONE car is included-we had a reservation where three people turned up in separate cars and all expected to park free-we don't have the space!
Apart from that the only real question we ask is approximate time of arrival and we mention that we are not there all the time and will be making sure we are there to greet them. Otherwise we have found people say they will be there at 2 for example and then turn up at 5 casually saying they went shopping first-we are not a hotel and have waited for hours !
Sometimes it is difficult to strike the right balance between being friendly and too casual!
I agree, I definitely don't need to know why they are there! Or who they are coming with as long a they booked the right number of people!
But I have a full apartment for rent not a room. If I were renting a room in my house I would want to know how the person will be using it, hanging around in my house all day, going to the beach, or going to work all day!
Basically, each property has specific things guests should be aware of BEFORE clicking that instant book button.
I think almost every host would agree communication around the arrival time and check in process is one of the biggest and most difficult issues. I wish Airbnb would help educate guests that host's waiting up all hours of the night is not normal part of the package. It's a bonus for the properties that agree to do this but it should not be considered a "given".
So yes a longer message (but not too long) is a good idea;
I think they should add TICK BOXES that they have to tick to make sure their attention is drawn to the 1, 2, 3 or 5 most important issues about the property they are booking;
AND guests should be required to read the house rules, even if they are long!
Finally it would be nice to be able to attach a PDF welcome pack AND rental contract like you can do on Homeaway.
This is a good step forward but I do agree with others that guests need to complete the questions before a book now goes through. It would also be useful to know if a guest receives our messages. Much like WhatsApp or phone messages were we can see a tick mark that it’s been delivered and a double tick mark when they have read/ opened it.
This is useful when we ask their time of arrival and remind them of the latest they can arrive. We often sit around from 1pm till midnight because they haven’t responded or opened their Airbnb message
Yes yes yes! Need to see when the last time guest checked into his airbnb account and if he got your message.
Absolutely, thanks for that.
Unfortunately for many guests and especially newbies, I already know the answer. They click and book, then log off to go out to dinner, don't install the app on their phone, put airbnb emails to spam and don't look back on their account until 2 days before arrival.
I am do agree and really enjoyed with the airbnb so much , Before one year ago i was a good jobs with Airbnb have many guest book to stay at my place but i don't know for this year very quietly so much.. I hopefully another host strongly experience with Airbnb and company of Airbnb give me any experience for update make gust more book and good to work again.