Hosts are always surprised by the amount of time they spend coordinating stays and communicating with guests, but it’s an absolutely crucial part of the home-sharing experience. The key is to communicate clearly, honestly and frequently.
It’s all in the detail…
Guests may be used to staying in hotels, where room service and a concierge are available at the touch of a button, so any extra detail you can communicate to make their stay more comfortable is a bonus – they’re on holiday, after all! Make sure to let them know which restaurants to try (and which ones to avoid), instructions for the wifi and other electronics, how get to the apartment (this one’s crucial!) and any useful local transport links.
…and the frequency
It’s not just about how you communicate, but also how often. Send guests an email a few days before they arrive to answer any questions they may have and put them at ease. Emailing them after they check out to see if there’s anything you could have done to improve their experience will not only make you look super helpful, but – as most issues are actually fairly easy to resolve – it might nip any complaints in the bud before they’re aired online.
Speed is of the essence
Never underestimate the importance of a speedy response. Not only can it mean the difference between a full home and an empty one, but it can also mean the difference between a great review and a very average one! Aim to respond within three to four hours, and prepare for emails, calls and texts to arrive at all times of the day and night. (…it’s worth it, we promise!).
Honesty is always the best policy
Be open and transparent from the get-go. Be upfront about additional costs and small print (ie cleaning) in your profile, and set realistic expectations. No one’s idea of “walking distance” to the town centre is an hour-long hike up a hill. Photos are great way to give guests an idea of the size, layout and style of your home. Read more about this here.
Nobody likes a robot (or a 3am call)
Home-sharing is an incredibly personal experience, and this should be reflected in your communication. Be polite, helpful and conciliatory, but – above all – be friendly. Read your guest’s profile and previous reviews to pre-empt any questions they might have. Do they have children? Do they need wheelchair access? Note their location and the time difference – no one appreciates a 3am call, no matter how friendly you’re being.