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.
Next 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.
Yes I think the number of people using the accommodation is important. I can sleep 6, but often get booked by 2 persons I don't then expect to have to change all the beds but that has happened more than once. On one hand I feel there should be an additionak charge for that, on the other I feel that they are booking the whole apartment. The important bit of course is that it alters the amount of time needed for changeover.
? You should be using rule sets and additional guest charges.
Put a base fee for 2 guests. Then extra for each additional guest. Note cleary in your listing, if booked for 2, how many beds/rooms will be available!
I have a 2 br and encourage singles and couples.
I have found however when frequently booked for 2, it is not a couple (one bedroom, one large bed) as expected, but friends, brother and sister or other, so the whole place is used all 4 bed spaces for 2 people.
Up to you do describe well in your listing, make separate listing for a 1 BR property, use rule sets, use extra guest pricing<.
hello I don't ask guests why they are coming most volunteer that information I do have a peeve when guest don't know what time they will arrive or just don't communicate it .so send them a message that key will be in the mail box and where there room is located works for me .also guests who bring food and just move food I have in my refrigerator and want to do washing one recent guest did 4 washings and drying this costs money .thanks Jimmy
My guest house guidelines clearly state cellar is off limits. My washer and dryer are in the cellar! And, since they accept the house guidelines on making their request to stay it isn't an issue. I have directions to the nearest laundry mat available!
Jimmy, I would recommend to update your house rules and put all your personal limits in there.
In addition seek out all the places on your listing where you can mention the things that drive you the most crazy. For example, in "amenity limitations" put that there is no fridge for the guests. And put a big sign on you frigo that it's private.
If you see that several guests have the same mis-interpretation of your listing, then the problem is you, not them. Update your listing to make expectations super clear.
When I book some hotels there are check boxes as suggested above. In this thread there seems to be some concensus as to what we hosts need to know. I think guests making bookings could be asked for certain information by way of a mix of check boxes and questions without these having to be set up in guest information/Questions (if that is the plan since I cannot access questions anywhere currently?) . My requirements are more or less always the same
1. Where are you coming from? - Options: Domestic, International or simply, and more informative, enter the departure city (most of our guests arrive internationally and this impacts the check-in timing because they always under-estimate the time from landing to check-in. Also, it influences how we relate to them inititally and if we know they have come from a significant time difference that they are likely to be jet lagged and sleep erratically)
2. Approximately what time do you expect to check in? (and with a comment attached which we can set up in guest information or maybe just a permanant comment like "Note that many hosts rely on this time to ensure they are available to check you in so if your arrival time is to change significantly you will need to advise the hosts as soon as possible"
3. Arriving by? - Options: Car, Taxi/Shuttle, public transport (if by car we know to leave a parking space and they are likely to arrive sooner from the airport, for public transport we sometimes have to pick them up from the station)
4. Purpose of your visit" - Options: checkbox, Holiday, Education, Business, Medical, Other (not red hot for me but seems others want to know this - gives some idea if they are likely to be out and about or hanging around the property)
5. Why can't we have the names of the guests up front as a requirement when booking? When it comes to reviews it is often hard to recall the names so one simply says John and his companions were great guests. Nicer if we can say something like, John and his companions, Erika and Wei were great guests.
The answers to these questions needs to show when one opens a booking on the calendar. Currently to access this information which I have currently asked for by way of emails, I have to pretend to send a new message to the guest which throws up the in-box history and I can see what time they indicated for their check-in for example. I then cancel out of the message. This is very clumsy - maybe I just dont know a better way! Graeme
I am lucky, in my area it is required to get ID of guests.
Nothing stops you from doing this too.
Think about it, if anyone rents a bike, a kayak or anything else near you they probably have to give their ID! Here they are staying in your property how can that not be standard Airbnb policy.
It's a good step in the right direction but would be even better if you executed on the promise. Most of the time my guest don't see these questions even though I've made it a requirement...so hoping on a real fix/launch here.
I'm also curious why we as host are punished on our acceptance rate especially when s request comes in for something clearly against our rules. IE: the listing states no filming, events, parties or business to be Conducted on property. And still guest request to use the property for luncheons, events...etc. I then have to decline and it counts against my superhost stats???
Hi Patricia and Frank,
Very timely and valid observation!
How do you work around this?
Cheers from David, Ong and Jordan the Poodle
I get around the unfair punishment for declining a mismatched guest by asking them to ask for a cancellation and refund. Usually, if I explain that they will be helping me retain my superhost status, they comply and everyone is happy.
I also have done this if they want to change a reservation or method of payment. It worked beautifully.
totally agree airbnb prefers you work it out with the guest.
problem is new non refundable option people book without reading then can't get a refund on airbnb fees when you catch them, because "non refundable".
@Patricia-and-Frank0 They will see it if you put it in the right parameter - the IB booking message that they get and have to click on before instant booking; The number of characters is limites but you have enough space if you are creative to ward off the worst of the booking nightmares.