Communication-- what is your ideal?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10
246 Views

Do you prefer to chat with guests often during their stays? Or would you rather not hear a peep?

 

Should guests tell you when they arrive or when they are checked out? 

 

As a guest yourself (if you use ABB outside of hosting) do you like your host to communicate with you during your stay, or just send instructions and fade away?

 

What are your communication ideals?

8 Replies

Re: Communication-- what is your ideal?

in
Florence, Canada
Level 10

My guests are buying into an off-grid place, @Laura2592 , so I'm very cool with no communication at all while they are here. They are absolutely welcome, though, to contact me in any way that works for them (messaging, phone, text, knock on the door) if anything at all comes up. I don't have a preference about hearing peeps. I would rather know if guests are having trouble with something, of course, and I don't worry if they are silent.

No, they don't have to tell me when they arrive or when they leave. The place is all theirs from check-in time to checkout time, so no need for notification. 

As a guest, my favourite are the hosts who send clear information, which I confirm I have received, then who leave me to it. I always do tell them I have arrived (and that everything is great -- so far it always has been) and I send a thankyou when I have left. I guess I do put some stock in that, even though I don't expect it of my own guests. 

I did get frustrated with the messages of a host I once had asking every morning of a week stay whether everything was okay. That gets a bit much, but the poor thing had probably previously been broadsided by a review that complained about something she could have handled during the stay. It's not the worst, but I was working some brutal hours then and sometimes had slept only an hour or two when a "how are things today?" message would arrive. That coloured my perspective on it. 🙂

Re: Communication-- what is your ideal?

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Laura2592 Good topic 

 

My ideal communication is when guests send a friendly initial message. Then a Hello and Goodbye are always appreciated & helpful but I like it when are self-sufficient during their stay. 

 

As a guest, I want my host to communicate. I have an upcoming stay where the host has not said a word to me. No communication after I Requested to Book (only clicked accept.) I will send a message tomorrow morning asking for the check-in instructions since I haven't received them yet and I like to prepare/plan ahead. It's an uncomfortable feeling. 

Re: Communication-- what is your ideal?

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

That type of host is in all likelihood lacking a personality (aka no people skills). 

Re: Communication-- what is your ideal?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Fred13 I call those "ghost hosts."

Re: Communication-- what is your ideal?

in
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level 10

Hi @Laura2592 

We're home hosts, so ideally there's some chatting going on, on a daily basis 🙂 Saying that, our guests are on one floor and we're on another, with our own bathrooms. We tend to bump into each other in the kitchen, but if guests aren't using the kitchen, it sometimes happens that we keep missing each other. And if that goes on for a day or two – 'ships passing in the night' – it starts to feel a bit weird, so I'll make a point of sending a quick message to check that everything's OK. (Believe it or not, there've been single guests from whom I haven't heard a peep for ages and I start to wonder if they're still alive! But that's just me 😉 )

I'd definitely expect guests to tell us when they arrive (unavoidable for our situation, but same goes for others) and when they check out.

On the one occasion I was a guest, it was just for one night in an “entire place”. The host purely responded to my messages. I suppose if I'd stayed longer, it might've been nice to get a “hi, hope all is ok” kind of message. But, on the whole, not bothered. (I wonder if this is because, as a host, I feel the need to be communicative at all times, and so, when on holiday, I'd rather not?!)

PS In summary, I have no ideal; play it by ear.

Re: Communication-- what is your ideal?

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

Ideally we rather not hear peep from our guests during their stay.

Re: Communication-- what is your ideal?

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Laura2592,

 

I prefer for guests to clearly state why they are staying with us, and say who is in the traveling party.  I also want them to tell me their flight/ferry details so I can track it for delays, and have an estimated time when they should arrive.  We usually do a personal check-in at the guesthouse.  At our apartment, it's self check-in, and I ask guests to ring me after they arrived so I can do a quick five minute virtual walkthrough.  I point them to the thermostat, discuss how the dishwasher, washing machine, spin dryer, heat dryer, and alarm work.  I remind them to contact our property manager for urgent matters, but they should feel free to contact me if they need assistance.  Otherwise, I don't expect to communicate with them again unless there is an issue or scheduled maintenance (the lawn will be mowed, I see on the security camera that you've dropped your package of celery outside of your car).  If all goes as planned, the next time we message each other should be when I send them the goodbye thank you/checkout checklist the day before they are scheduled to depart, and they let me know that they've left (this doesn't always happen).  Since we frequently have single travelers, I've found that they appreciate knowing that we do have security cameras in addition to the alarm in the apartment.  So, they may think that we regularly see them and have an idea of how they are doing.

 

 

Re: Communication-- what is your ideal?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

For us, its a middle ground. 

 

We do check in before the stay-- we always send a message right after booking with either thanks or follow up questions, and usually a message a few days before the stay to ask about allergies and preferences for snacks. Then the day before they check in they get the email with codes and info. 

 

If we have not heard anything from guests when they check in (and 98% say they got in on their own) we might send a message just saying we hope they arrived okay and let us know if they have questions. Then they hear nothing from us until check out day when they get a brief email with instructions (we also have them in the house guide, but not everyone reads that) and an offer to stay a bit past check out if they seem like they have been good guests and we can swing it. 

 

Guests who communicate A LOT during stays are stressful for me as its often little complaints or things they can't find, but could find if they would just read the house guide. Some are just compliments or questions about where we got things in our space they like-- those are lovely messages. But I do confess that I feel anxious every time I see a notification of a message during a stay. 

 

As a guest I prefer to know the host is alive and responsive. The ghost host syndrome where they send one email with the door code and nothing else creeps me out a bit. I don't need to make pals with my hosts, but I do like it when I know they are real humans and not some automated message. 

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