The main concern that most people have about Airbnb is that they will not be welcomed appropriately upon arrival. Guests are fraught with innumerable concerns and questions.
Will my host be on site when I arrive? Will he answer my phone calls? Will he be thoroughly prepared for my stay?
Truth be told, these fears are completely understandable. Why? Because most travelers are accustomed to staying at corporate style accommodations, i.e. hotels.
When you stay at a hotel, you know that a solid infrastructure exists to guarantee that your needs are met. There will always be somebody at the front desk to let you into your room. There will always be someone at the front desk if you have a problem. There will always be someone in the kitchen in case you get hungry during your stay.
With Airbnb, these assurances do not exist. There is simply one independent homeowner who is providing access to his space. A traveler’s worst nightmare is to show up at an accommodation to find a locked door and an unresponsive host.
So how can hosts pre-empt this fear? The answer is communication. This starts the moment the potential guest makes an inquiry. Respond quickly and politely. Once the booking is made, send your guest a welcome email. Ask your guests what time they want to check-in and how they will get to your apartment. My welcome email is as follows:
Thank you for your booking! I’m looking forward to hosting you and I’m sure you will have an unforgettable time in Amsterdam.
I will send you all the information you need to ensure a perfect stay, including:
• Details on how to get to my apartment
• Instructions on how to use the electronics and appliances
• A local guide with plenty of insider recommendations for hot spots in my neighborhood
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. The best way to reach me is by email (email address) or by phone (phone number).
Lastly, if you have already made travel arrangements, please let me know your (1) arrival time and (2) local means of transport. For example, if you plan to arrive by plane, please include your airline and flight number. This will enable me to prepare a timely and proper welcome! Safe travels.
One of the key components of my message is to let my guests know that someone will be on site to welcome them. Additionally, you should give your guests plenty of options to get in touch with you in case of issues. I always provide my phone number, Whatsapp, Skype, and email.
By communicating effectively and consistently, it will send one overarching message of the utmost importance: you are a professional. Professionalism, as you might guess, is a sure fire way to build a supply of positive reviews and ratings, and ultimately a thriving Airbnb business.
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