Had a few of these. I always encourage my guests to use Airbnb messaging but some text me directly despite this. One guest told me that "hosts prefer this." Is there a reason I am missing that hosts might prefer a direct text message outside the Airbnb system? It just gets confusing to see all these numbers I don't recognize pop up.
@Laura2592 I sometimes have bugs in the airbnb app, and notifications are not always immediately visible. In whatsApp this is always visible instantly, so I can understand the guest who is trying to write to me directly, sometimes it is faster and more convenient.
Airbnb also requires more Internet speed, and for those who are in roaming (this is in the era BEFORE covid), it was important to take the bus from the airport and write to me that they will be coming soon, whatsApp or telegram instantly sends such messages even with weak free Internet.
But as a host, I try to keep the correspondence on the airbnb platform in order to avoid any possible misunderstandings. ))
@Laura2592 For North American guests during their stay texting is easier and faster especially since the airbnb app is often glitchy. If there is anything of note in a text exchange I always memorialize it later on the airbnb platform. Also, many guests are simply more responsive to texts than the app during their stay.
@Laura2592 while I always leave my cell phone number for the guests on the welcome note, I hate when they text me. I mainly do it for the purpose of appearing accessible or if there is an emergency. I much prefer airbnb messaging. I am used to listening to the ding and always respond to it immediatly vs a text which to me has very low urgency level. Also my family knows the ding and I do not get the "mom, you are on your phone again" wining. Kids know its work. Another major reason: pre-covid I had more than one property and if they texted me directly, I did not know who it was. I would have to ask them questions to figure out who they were, where they were staying and when. When a message comes from airbnb, I have all the details.
I always leave my cell phone number on everything (welcome note, info binder, helpful notices, etc) but guests usually keep everything on Airbnb messenger. I find the ones who text me are the ones who lack communication through the messager in the first place so maybe they don't have the app downloaded or it is just so much easier to text. I will say though that I breathe a sigh of relief when a guest who is looking for an immediate response sends me a text. Since I don't have a smartphone my messages on Airbnb are usually delayed.
For my Atlanta apartment, I tell guests to send me messages on Airbnb, because I may not respond quickly to texts. I also tell them to call me or my property manager directly for urgent matters. Since the majority of the St. Lucia guesthouse guests are international, I do tell them that the best way to contact me is via Whatsapp, text or call. Like @Anna9170, I send recaps via Airbnb for any important matters.
@Laura2592 Same as Kelly, I communicate with guests before arrival via Airbnb messaging, and sometimes through email, if I'm sending the map and directions ( I understand we can now add attachments to an Airbnb message). If a guest were to want to text instead, regardless of whether they said "hosts prefer it" (what an odd thing to say as a blanket statement, just because they may have had a few experiences like that), I would encourage the messaging.
I think a lot of people are just so used to texting or Whatsapp, that it's simply their preferred method of communicating. Just like a lot of young people refuse to answer the phone and only respond to texts.
I don't have any issue with texting or phoning once they have arrived, if it's just them letting me know they are getting the bus and will be here in an hour, and I even ask my single female guests to text or phone me if they are out past dark and are heading home, so I know when to expect them, or whether to be concerned for their welfare (they do appreciate this). But if it was a guest texting or phoning during the stay with complaints or something that could prove contentious, I would want to bring that back to the messaging system.
I have never travelled as a Airbnb guest myself, but if I did, I would want to text the host my arrival ETA and also get replies via text if I was in transit, because I don't "do" apps. Typing on a cell phone screen is far too aggravating for my working fingers.
@Charles224 Thanks for the vote of confidence. I travelled a great deal when I was young, but really don't have a travel bug anymore. More of a homebody.
I usually go to Canada for a month or slightly more in the summer to visit family and friends, but I stay with them, so don't need to find a place to stay. (couldn't do that this year due to COVID)
It's also hard to get away easily because I have a large dog and my property requires constant yard work and maintenance, which I do myself. So if I leave, I have to find a competent house and dog sitter.
But I'm determined not to let my next Superhost bonus go to waste, as all the past ones have, and will likely book something not too far away that I can drive to, just for a break from the normal routine.
Sarah, this is typical of what you can do in the message stream now that the ABB personal email option has been dumped.....
You can insert pictures and saved messages and the great thing about it is you have it all in your message stream.....you don't have to search for it.
I am sure you will find this much better than the sanitized email that you have had to deal with.
Stay safe Sarah, talk soon....
@Robin4 Thanks for that screen shot. It'll definitely save me some time and a couple of steps, but I don't know how well it will work for my guests. When I email them the map to my place, they can then print it out or save it outside their email (so they don't need a phone connection to access it). If it's in an Airbnb message, wouldn't they need to be able to call it up on the app when they arrive? They would need Wifi data for that, no? Not all my guests come here with phones that are set up to work in Mexico, and I know the app can also be glitchy.
I don't really understand all this tech/app/smart phone stuff, as you can tell.
If you don't have smart a phone, or patchy internet, or expired phone credit you can't read more than their opening line without going to the computer to read the rest. Also less potential delay, Airbnb messages are not as immediate.
The Airbnb App is super glitchy. Often I don't get notifications, they are delayed or it takes ages to load messages (even when every other App works fine on my WiFi). Also, I recently discovered, the notifications are automatically turned off as default, which would explain why so many guests have told me they don't get notifications at all.
Add to that the annoyance of having yet another App/channel of communication to deal with on top of the ones you already regularly use, and I totally get why guests would rather WhatsApp or text me.
So, like @Sarah977 , I try to keep all communication prior to the check in date on Airbnb. After that, I'm fine with texts, WhatsApp etc. if it's just minor stuff like, "Sorry, I'm running 20 minutes late," etc. However, anything important, I'll reiterate on the Airbnb messaging system. I think it's also a good idea to always send a message on there a day or two after the guest checks in to ask if all is well with their stay, because you then have it in writing that it is, in case the guest later tries to scam for a discount/lie about the listing being not as described etc.