With the vacation rental market getting more competitive by the day, hosts have a lot on their plate. It’s no wonder that in order to cope with the workload many of them are considering automation.
Though, some falsely believe that it is for large companies only. Even if you manage only one property, at times it gets extremely overwhelming. So, automating your business can give you a second wind and even help to grow your revenue. In fact, as an Airbnb host, there are a number of ways how you can automate your vacation rental management.
Airbnb automation is the process of optimizing recurring tasks to increase efficiency and minimize costs. This includes answering emails, adjusting property pricing, coordinating cleanings, and more. Automation allows you to organize many of your daily operations so that you no longer need to do them yourself.
Here are the 6 steps to Airbnb automation that will help you maximize efficiency.
Guest communication is one of the key elements of your success on the Airbnb platform. Airbnb always takes into account the response rate when granting Superhost status. Besides, prompt responses are capable of winning more bookings for your property.
At the same time, guest communication is one of the most time-consuming tasks for property managers. Replying to your current and potential guests can take up to 75% of your time. So, guest communication is the first process you need to automate to get more time for other important activities.
There are several options for automating the messaging process with your guests. Let’s take a closer look at three of them:
Usually, responses to your guests will correspond to the major stages of the booking process (upon inquiry, booking confirmation, etc.). Try to create a list of your standard replies and save them as a Google Doc or Spreadsheet for quick and easy access.
Most email service providers offer auto-response features. You can set up automated messages to provide quick responses to your guests for more efficient Airbnb management. In fact, it is best to have a separate email address.
Fast responses improve your customer service. In addition, your autoresponder can include all of the important information that you send to guests once they book your property. Include information, such as key exchange instructions, directions to your property, Wi-Fi passwords, check-in, and checkout policies, and more.
For example: “Hello, thanks for deciding to stay at My Awesome Airbnb home. I am currently unavailable to reply to your request but I will get back to you within 24 hours. In the meantime, please review some of the most frequently asked questions I get about My Awesome Airbnb home…”
A simple personalized message does wonder to show guests that you are a professional host.
Vacation rental software with the messaging automation feature can be a lifesaver for busy hosts. Usually, they provide hosts with a great scope of helpful features, and messaging automation is one of the most important ones.
For example, iGMS, one of the leading vacation rental software solutions, can take your guest communication to a whole new level.
Here is a quick overview of what you can take advantage of once you opt for iGMS:
By hiring a concierge service, you can ensure 24/7 support for your guests. A professional concierge service will always be there for your guests to answer their questions.
One of them is AirComms, a professional concierge service that will enhance the guest experience by ensuring flawless communication at any hour of the day. AirComms is integrated into the iGMS system which means that you can see all of your interactions with guests via one dashboard. To get 10% off AirComms services for 12 months, just send an email with this promo code: iGMS10 to this address.
Automating your check-in process will make things easier for your guests and dramatically reduce the amount of time that you spend on the key exchange. Here are several options that you can use to your advantage:
If you’re looking for a no-frills option, consider using a lockbox that you can buy from any hardware store. Tell your Airbnb guests where to find the lockbox and provide them with the necessary code combination. Make sure to let them know how to return the keys upon checkout – and you’re all set.
Electronic locks are a second option that eliminates the hassle of dealing with keys. You can also set entry codes so that you can generate a unique code for each guest.
The newest option for entry to your property is the smart lock. These locks take electronic locks to the next level. They offer better security by allowing access to the property when it receives a wireless signal from a verified smartphone.
Unlike keys and electronic locks, smart locks allow you to manage exactly who can gain entry to your property. However, there are some disadvantages given that a smart lock requires that guests have smartphones and sufficient battery power. They also only work on a single point of access. So, if there is a locked gate in front of your home, you’ll also need to install a smart lock there.
Another great option for key exchange is using a service like Keycafe. You can let somebody into your home remotely from work or the beach since key storage locations are nearby cafes. Your guests may pick up keys anytime during opening hours.
Regardless of the option that you choose, an automated key exchange ensures that guests can get access to your rental at any time on arrival day.
Busy hosts don’t usually have much time for leaving reviews for their guests. At the same time, guests also feel reluctant to write reviews unless something extraordinary happens during their stay.
While leaving a review may seem like a daunting task for you, it is essential to get as many positive reviews as possible from your guests. Curious why it’s so important to grow the number of your reviews? The answer is plain to see – it helps you to rank higher on Airbnb and attract more guests! There are certain techniques that can get you on track to growing the number of your reviews.
One of the most foolproof techniques is to automate your guest reviews.
To save you time with regards to writing guest reviews from scratch, you can compile a document with the most standard reviews you usually post for your guests. Save some great examples for 5 and 4-star reviews, as well as for negative ones. If you feel you are not good enough at writing reviews yourself, check out what other hosts write or google examples.
Some vacation rental management software tools offer a special feature allowing hosts to automate their guest reviews.
By taking advantage of such tools, you’ll be able to build reviews using templates with predefined elements. What’s more, the reviews will be sent automatically. It means that you don’t have to log in and out of your multiple accounts to leave a review for your guest.
Hosts have 14 days after their guests’ checkout to leave a review on Airbnb. Though, if you manage more than one property, you can easily forget to write one. Vacation rental software tools will send you a reminder so you’ll know how many days you have left to publish a review. Also, you’ll get notified once your guest leaves a review for you. By having access to various review templates, it won’t take you long to respond.
One of the first things to think about when you are starting out your Airbnb business is how to automate cleanings. It is unlikely that you are going to clean it yourself as guests expect hotel-quality cleanliness. Moreover, making your rental look spotless can be extremely time-consuming. Luckily, you can automate cleanings and be sure that your guests arrive at immaculate accommodation.
There are several options to choose from:
Hiring a subcontractor is one of the most affordable options for your business. An individual cleaner charges less than a whole team of cleaners. If your property is small or medium-sized, the quality will still make your guests happy.
However, this option has a significant downside – relying on one person is a bit risky. Just in case, create a list of subcontractors who can come to help in unexpected situations.
A team of professional Airbnb cleaners will make your property look spotless from top to bottom in a couple of hours.
Professional Airbnb cleaning teams are usually well-equipped and can handle difficult cleaning challenges. In addition, they are able to clean your place faster and more efficiently. You won’t have to rely on one person and can rest assured that your cleaning won’t be canceled if someone becomes ill.
The only downside that you can face is the cost of their services. Keep in mind that by opting for a higher cleaning fee, you can scare off price-sensitive guests. Though, on the other hand, immaculate cleanliness of your property can generate you a bunch of five-star reviews.
Opting for a vacation rental software solution with tasks automation will allow you to enjoy hands-free cleaning management. You’ll be able to create automated cleaning schedules — cleanings will be scheduled after every guest checks out. Then, a cleaner will be notified automatically by email and/or text message.
You won’t have to spend your time arranging cleanings and can be sure that they will be performed without any hassle. Moreover, your cleaners will notify you using the software once the cleaning has been completed.
The secret to successful hosting is going beyond the basics. You should be ready to go the extra mile not only when it comes to communication or cleaning, but also when it comes to your amenities.
As millennials and Gen Z are the driving forces of the travel industry, making a vacation rental “smart” is more than just a trend. While the competition is getting more fierce, adding smart amenities to your rental can offer you a solid competitive advantage.
As a host, you’ll need to ensure that your vacation rental property is always maintained at a comfortable temperature for your guests. Home temperature automation units, like Nest, automate cooling and heating for your property.
Installing a smart thermostat allows you to keep the right temperature at your property. You can check it at any time easily via your smartphone. In addition, you never have to worry about guests injuring themselves or damaging your property while trying to adjust the temperature themselves.
In addition to temperature control units, consider installing sensors to help automate routine activities at your property. For example, a motion sensor can turn lights off when not in use helping you to save on the electric bill. Other sensors, such as a water leak or carbon monoxide sensor, can alert you about problems that can jeopardize your guests’ safety.
Sensors can also be integrated with automation software, such as SmartThings and IFTTT. This will allow you to create rules on how you want home automation devices to respond when a sensor detects an event. For example, you can set up a rule that stops the HVAC from running while the front door is open to save energy.
Google Wi-Fi is a router which can help your smart home devices to stay connected. Other benefits include the remote management of your internet connection and access permission.
You can also create restrictions on the devices that are available to guests. This ensures that you have complete control over your property and your smart home devices when you’re not physically there.
The essence of Airbnb automation is to let hosts spend less time on routine tasks and help grow their business. In addition to cleanings and communication, hosts confess that calendars and bookings synchronization is one of their major challenges.
If you have your properties listed on multiple platforms, property management can turn into a real headache. The risk to make a double-booking or miss a cleaning increases as do the hosts’ levels of anxiety.
Automating each and every aspect of your hosting routine is possible with a touch of technology. Vacation rental software solutions such as iGMS can put your business on autopilot by:
The most important advantage is that you won’t have to log in and out of your multiple accounts to manage your properties. You can complete all the necessary actions via a single dashboard.
By opting for Airbnb automation, you can eliminate the number of repetitive tasks and focus on more important aspects of your business. Once you put your business on autopilot, you’ll be able to scale it faster and more efficiently.
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