What to include in your messaging templates?

Lizzie
Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

What to include in your messaging templates?

Messages templates.jpg

 

Hello everyone,

 

Good communication with a guest is essential for a great experience. We recently heard  from many of you (post) that in order to help you keep up with your bookings, you like to create templates as a base for your messages. This way you can make sure you have all the information your guest needs close to hand.

 

What do you include in your message templates? If you don’t presently use message templates, what do you think is important to include?

 

Looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Thanks,

Lizzie


--------------------


Thank you for the last 7 years, find out more in my Personal Update.


Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.

28 Replies 28
Martin3066
Level 2
London, United Kingdom

Hi - I had some automated messages set up a while ago, which would send the keysafe codes and other instructions to guest 3 days prior to checkin.  However.... I think these stopped suddenly, and I now have to manually message people using the templates, which is a chore.

 

Please can someone explain why the automated messaging was removed - is it so that we have to pay to use an affiliated messaging service?!  The automated message service is still running on Booking.com

 

Thanks

Martin Read

Ian438
Level 2
London, United Kingdom

I use the pre-made template on Hosts & Homes, they contain message templates for initial enquiries and nudging your guests for a review.

https://hostsandhomes.com/airbnb-message-templates-to-help-you-save-time/

 

 

Andy418
Level 2
Centennial, CO

Hi,

I am a new host. When sending out the Saved Message to the guest, I found myself having to type-in guest name and other bits of information which is already there on the messaging page, https://www.airbnb.com/z/q/.

 

Being a developer I wrote an extension for Chrome browser, AirMessage, https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/airbnb-message-template/nalpdinkhhepeeoofajlcdgmlhmikkgf

 

To use AirMessage, you would add the templated fields to your Saved Message such as {{firstname}}, {{checkindate}}. The extension will substitute those fields with the associated value. You can also define your own templated fields; the Chrome extension page has detailed instruction.

 

If you decide to give AirMessage a try, navigate to Chrome Store using above URL; then click the blue button "Add To Chrome". I would really appreciate any feedback you can give me to help improve this little tool.

 

Thanks,

Andy

Heather133
Level 10
Stowe, VT

I love the templates. They save me a ton of time. Great ideas here. Here are some of mine:

 

*Thanks for booking

*Arrival information - includes a sentence at the end that asks them to confirm they've received the instructions. If they don't confirm I know I need to send it again.

*Post check-in message to make sure they are finding everything okay

*Rainy day activities suggestions

*Busy dates - a message encouraging guests to make reservations ahead of time for dining out when they've booked dates that are very popular here

*Fireplace instructions - for guests who are having difficulty getting a chimney to draw (usually because of inexperience)

*Wifi troubleshooting instructions

*Departure Instructions

*Thanks for being a great guest - sometimes I wonder whether guests worry they are receiving a bad review if I leave one too quickly after they leave. Hopefully this allieviates that concern and encourages them to leave one in return.

Ioannis21
Level 4
Artemida, Greece

Hi Lizzie and all, 

We use message  templates  from the day of initial contact  as it saves a lot of time, they can be used from mobile devices (cellphone tablet) give us the advantage to answer immediately and guest understands that he is dealing with an organised host. 

Template categories 

A - Initial contact - Preaproval - Approval - Decline 

We use different messages depending guest;s approach we always thank them for contacting, we answer any initial questions they have. As we dont have instant booking ON, we encourage them to book and promise to make their stay as comfortable as possible.

During acceptance phase we send them a Thank you message .

We always ask for team synthesis and check in and check out times 

We honestly decline when we understand that our house is not a good fix for them or the guest/s are not a good guest for us.

B - Pre arrival stage 

We send them

finding the address details with links for Google maps and GPS systems - Here we request confirmation that they have tried the links and work. 

Transportation options and costs to reach us 

We have pleanty of suggestions in Getting around section of our listing and we encourage them to read it  and make the most of it. 

and we request from them the following :

Flight details, ship name and arrival times at ports 

Transportation decisions (taxi, public transport own car)

If they use roaming and Prefered way of communication during their arrival (Voice calls/SMS/Viber/Whatsapp)

If they fave some special diatary needs or allergies 

2-3 days before arrival we send them : 

House rules

Registration form (for tax authorities)

Contact phones 

Instructions how will meet them at house port airport meeting point

Weather forecast in their language 

Driving tips if they arrive by car 

On the arrival day we are in touch via the preferred way of communication 

C- AFTER ARRIVAL 

Welcome and is everything OK ?  message to all hosts.VERY IMPORTANT from day 1 only 

If they stay longer this is repeated every 2-3 days 

Link to the closest beach to our house. 

D- Check out process 

Your taxi service is confirmed reminder , 

Good Bye  message on their way from home to airport. In this message we include a polite review reminder.

Review reminder after 5 days if they have not written a review

2nd review reminder

 

If they have left behind anything we take a photo of it and ask them if they want us to send it to them via Post service. 

 

 

We always use the airbnb messaging system and if anything is sent outside of it we copy paste our answers to the platform as well .

 

If anyone needs some specific message suggestion , fell free to ask. We will share 🙂

 

Yiannis Irene 

 

 

Dora2
Level 4
Hveragerði, Iceland

Hi everyone-

I use the templates alot.. !

I have a "thank you for your inquiry"- "thank you for booking" - "this week is your arrival date at our house" - "as the guest has arrived, is everything ok?" and a "night before departure, check out time- manual and thank you for choosing our house"

 

In every template I enclude info for every occasion.

House rules and manual for the house is in the reservation details as well as directions.

I have the box to tick in that guests must agree to the rules of the house before they can book.

 

But occasionally some guests are completely out there !!...ask about everything that is detailed in the listing as well in their reservation details 🙂 

One thing I would like to have as an option in listing amenites is : the septic  and the unlimited hot water source.... for my house is an old renovated farm.

 

🙂

 

Sheree22
Level 2
Canyon, TX

Hi, just curious where the box Is to check for the guests agreeing to the rules of the house?


@Dora2 wrote:

Hi everyone-

I use the templates alot.. !

I have a "thank you for your inquiry"- "thank you for booking" - "this week is your arrival date at our house" - "as the guest has arrived, is everything ok?" and a "night before departure, check out time- manual and thank you for choosing our house"

 

In every template I enclude info for every occasion.

House rules and manual for the house is in the reservation details as well as directions.

I have the box to tick in that guests must agree to the rules of the house before they can book.

 

But occasionally some guests are completely out there !!...ask about everything that is detailed in the listing as well in their reservation details 🙂 

One thing I would like to have as an option in listing amenites is : the septic  and the unlimited hot water source.... for my house is an old renovated farm.

 

🙂

 


 

Cathie19
Level 10
Darwin, Australia

Hi @Lizzie. Like the others, I use similar commentary that is customised. I do not have any Airbnb saved templates, but keep guest responses in an Airbnb folder with sub folders. 

If I need to alter one, I copy and paste into the new guests folder, then make the changes or additions, then copy and paste to the message site.very quick as I’m working off iPads etc.

 

This works well for me; and is doable with a singular listing. With “guest” folders established, it allows me to add information that may come from conversation, so it assists with “knowing” the guest better. Especially if they contact even two years later! 

 

However, unlike the other hosts, I never share the WiFi details electronically.

 

They can be found in an instant when they enter the space, right next to their personal welcome card. In fact I have WiFi slips available in each room, so if they are adding an extra device, they have it nearby.

 

🙂

Cathie

John1080
Level 10
Westcliffe, CO

I use several templates, including my 'pre-approval message', my 'pre-check in message' and my pre-check out message. 

 

In my pre approval message, I reiterate the rules more extensively and include information on how to operate the wood stove, reminders about the fact that we use a septic tank, the fact that hot water is not unlimited, what I expect before checking out, etc. I ask guests to respond to this message, notifiying me that they agree to everything. 

 

In my pre-arrival message, I send the door code, wifi code, detailed directions and reiterate my rules and policies one more time as a gentle reminder. 

 

Lasty, in my pre-check out message, I remind guests about the check out requirements of closing and locking all windows and doors, putting trash in the trash cans, doing their dishes, etc. 

 

So far the system seems to have worked well. 

Lizzie
Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

This is great @John1080. Do you find this saves you a lot of time and that you guests react well to having all this information?


--------------------


Thank you for the last 7 years, find out more in my Personal Update.


Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.

John1080
Level 10
Westcliffe, CO

@Lizzie, yes, it saves me a ton of time. I usually edit the first few sentences to personalize it a bit for each guest, particularly if the guest has asked a specific question in their inquiry. 

 

So far, all guests have reacted well and seem to like having all the info up front.

I can't imagine hosting without using templates. I use Airbnb automation software that helps me to create the templates, so it really doesn't take a lot of time. I send quite a few templates. One that I have found quite helpful is the one I send the day before departure to remind my guests of the checkout time.

Wayne92
Level 2
Roanoke, VA

Very cool. What's this software that you're using. Im trying to improve my communication with guests

 

I'm currently using AirGMS. Overall, it works well. 

Communication is one of the parameters of judgment in the reviews, although to me the purpose was never to earn one more star: the ultimate goal was just to make the guest feel welcome and happy, if I received a good review, all the better!

 

It took me a while to realise that a careful handling of the answers could determine the success of my proposal and, above all, help me to avoid unpleasant surprises.

 

Since the first contact through the portal I clarified that I was neither a Bed & Breakfast nor a hotel, but that I rented my house to tourists, therefore, the guest should not expect from me Sheraton hotel services, daily cleaning of rooms or meals (eg breakfast), expressly prohibited by the law of my region. That was  the whole point!

 

In this message I also included the first requests for information about his trip, immediate or delayed:  this was useful when I had to prepare my summary table.

 

Dear John,

Thank you for confirming your reservation.

Do you happen to know what time you will arrive?

If you need directions to reach my home or some advice about Milan do not hesitate to ask me, I will do my best to help you.

Have a nice day, see you in September.

Emily

 

In order to make my life easier, I created an e-mail address dedicated to my home.  Instead of using the temporary AIRBNB e-mail address - after the first approaches with the guest and the confirmation of the reservation - I sent him my official address and I attached a document with all the information about my house, how to reach it from the airport and the railway station, my phone number, the rules of my house, the emergency phone contact numbers (eg loss of keys), the electrical panel is located ..., the central water tap is located ..., restaurants, exhibitions, museums, fairs etc. Nothing was to be left to accident.

 

In this way, I provide all the materials that could serve the guest during his stay and this solution saved me a lot of time and breath.

 

Shortly before his arrival, I sent the guest a control message: I reminded him all the basic things. The exact address. The telephone number. The confirmation of times. The check for any doubts. Greetings, hugs and kisses from Emily.

Wayne92
Level 2
Roanoke, VA

@Emily352 what about after they arrive? Do you have something outlined that gives them additional information about the area and your home?

@Wayne92

 

The manual of the house that contained all the information on my house was my main ally:

 

° Emily house’s rules. First rule. living in my house is not the same as staying in a hotel. Second rule: any damage should be reported immediately and I would like to assist you. Third rule: additional guests are not allowed. Fourth rule: close any window an turn off the lights when you're not in. Fifth rule: Always lock the main door.

° my phone number

° the wi-fi password

° a list of TV channels

° the equipment of the house: everything that guests could find and use (iron and table for ironing and vacuum cleaner in the wardrobe, sewing kit in the bathroom cabinet, mop and bucket in the bathroom etc.)

° instructions on household appliances (air conditioner, heating boiler, washing machine, oven, coffee machine, etc.)

° the location of water and electricity systems

° home security (first aid kit, fire extinguisher, gas leak detector, etc.)

° useful addresses in case of emergency

° what to do if you want to take a ride in the park

° typical Italian recipes

° public transport in Milan (I left 2-3 bus tickets, a map of underground lines, cabs etc.)

° the parking rules in the district: the area reserved for residents, the nearest garage

° main monuments or points of attraction (e.g. “The last supper” by Leonardo da Vinci)

° useful addresses (pharmacies, restaurants, bars, supermarkets, banks, pizzerias, food express and take away, wine bar & happy hour, shops, tobacconists, hair dressers, italian emergency nubers etc.)

° where toys for children are located

° the rules for waste separation

° the actions planned for my personal check-out. Remember the first rule? My house is not a hotel and has to be ready to welcome other guests, so get rid of the garbage bags for a start, put the furniture back in the same position where you found them, put sheets and towels in the basket, close the air conditioning and the gas tap, close doors and windows, turn off the lights, clean the dirty dishes, check the drawers and the cupboards so as not to forget passports, glasses, medicines, etc.

 

I also left a guestbook at the disposal of the guests on which I invited them to leave comments and suggestions: a way to create a more authentic relationship with them.

 

A few days after their arrival, even if for a while I lived with my guests (we didn’t meet often) I used to send them an e-mail to greet them and ask if things went all right and to know if they needed something: a simple way to make them feel not abandoned, but beware! Pick up the verbal cues that the guest sends you and adjust your level of participation without being too pushy.

 

In this regard, there are no rules: there is only personal sensitivity and the relationship with your guest will be different every time and every time it will be invented. This is the great wealth of hosting that I still carry inside of me.

Sally4
Level 6
Snoqualmie Pass, WA

I love the templates and use them all the time.  

When a guest first makes a contact I send them a 

"Thank you for booking" Message.  That way they know I got their request. (Especially nice for first timers)

If they mention an activity, I may even include a second template, such as

"Great hikes in the area"

or 

"Good places to eat, on the way"

or

"What Marathon Runners want to know"

or

"Wedding guest" 

A couple of days before they arrive I send them the

"summer directions"

or

"winter directions" ( I know, they seem like they should be the same, the house doesn't move.  Trouble is, too many people didn't realize that their would be snow on the road to a ski cabin.)

 

The day of I might send them a 

"Keyless Entry" reminder.

 

I also use Templates for the people that are asking me to make an exception for thier dog or child.  These responses have to be worded delicately, respectfully, and clearly.  We have thought these rules through, and  we have come to the decision to not host young children or dogs, So the answers are the same... So when someone asks you to make an exception for them, you don't have to think about it, or feel guilty, you just click the 

"I am sorry, for the well being of your child, we are unable to host young famlies" Template

or 

"I am sorry, our dog is male, and we do not want there to be any problems between our dog and another guest's dog" Template

 

I even have templates for Cancellations

"We are so sorry you have had to cancel your reservation.  We hope that you will have an opportunity to visit us another time, as your schedule arrives."

 

Yeah, love those templates...

 

 

 

Lizzie
Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Wow @Sally4, this is amazing. It sounds like you have put a lot of thought in to all the different reasons your guests might be coming and how you can make them feel special. 

 

Do you find having these templates, saves you a lot of time? How often do you revise these and add additional ones?


--------------------


Thank you for the last 7 years, find out more in my Personal Update.


Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.

Sally4
Level 6
Snoqualmie Pass, WA

 

Templates save me a lot of time, they prevent me from forgetting some key bit of information, and allow me the time to create a well-crafted response, one that has been well proofread, is crystal clear, and, if appropriate, especially sensitive to our guest's needs.

 

For example, when a guest asks to bring a small child, my refusal has been worded in such a way as to sound friendly, express our love of children, and our overarching concern for their child's safety, and well-being.  I also mention that we could be a welcome adult for the parents at a future date.  

 

I may insert a template and then make minor modifications.  

For example, on my keyless entry template I put in...

"Your entry code is the last for digits of your cell phone number           "

Most of the time, if I can harvest that number quickly, I will actually insert the last for digits of their cell in the opening I have intentionally left. (Guests forget which cell they used, can't remember whose cell they used, or are generally a bit tired and overwhelmed. It is just easier to give them their number.)

 

I put more time into my templates in the beginning, but still occasionally add more, as the need arises. 

For example:

Our community now has Boston Marathon Qualifying Races, so I have a template that addresses this group.

We now offer a ski and stay package, with a significant discount.  If our guest mentions their intent is to ski, we send that informational template. 

 

I would suggest that hosts start with a basic set of templates

Thank you for booking (Upon booking)

Do you have any needs? (Week before)

How to get to the house/in the house. (Day or two before)

Reminder of key code and check in time (Day of)

Did you sleep well? (First morning) (If you are a remote host this might be helpful.  I usually welcome our guest to the breakfast table with that greeting.)

 

I know, Air BnB has all this information available to our guests, but if our guests are not seasoned Air BnB travelers, they may not know where to find the information. They are often anxious, and the assurances make them feel welcome.

 

I understand that some people may think that this takes time, and it would, if I didn’t have templates.  

 

Did I mention how much I love my templates?  I just wish I could organize them.  I would even love to see them simply organized in alphabetical order.  Currently, they appear in a random order...

 

Yes, I have a lot of templates. Yeah, Love ‘Em…

 

Explore Resource Center articles

Making your home ready for guests
Tips from Airbnb plus hosts: How to add thoughtful touches
Supporting guests during their stay