Every host knows the importance of getting and maintaining positive guest reviews and ratings. The higher your score and the more specific your reviews, the more likely you are to have consistent bookings.
One of the best ways you can ensure positive reviews is to stay in touch with your guests. From the moment they book with you until the moment they leave, you need to ensure you’re available to answer questions and offer help.
It may feel like you’re going overboard but staying in close contact with the folks you host is one of the best ways to ensure they’re well taken care of and arrive and leave your place with no unanswered questions.
Here’s the ultimate timeline for checking in with your guests.
1. The First 48
This is such a simple thing a host can do and yet it goes ignored or forgotten all too often.
Once you receive notification of a new booking or request, send a message to your guest to thank them for choosing your place. Aim to do this within 48 hours of getting notified.
Your message doesn’t need to be long or overly personal – just long enough to show your appreciation and express your excitement for their stay.
This little gesture will go a long way.
Pro Tip: Create a canned message and keep it somewhere easy to access, like iPhone Notes or in a Google doc so you’re only updating minor details like names and dates in these messages.
2. Two Weeks Before
Reach out again just a couple of weeks before your guests are due to stay with you and express your excitement again. Take it a step further and ask what your guests want or plan to do while they’re in town.
While you may not fancy yourself a tour guide (or have any interest in being one anyway) and though you may feel it’s not your responsibility to do it, offering your guests this personalized service before their arrival speaks volumes.
If you live nearby, it should be easy for you to make some suggestions for local activities. Keep your tips to just one or two things and, as always, offer to answer any questions.
Pro Tip: Have a few “go to” suggestions that you can keep in that canned response file. These should be suitable for just about anyone so that if your guests respond that they don’t know, you’re still prepared with a helpful response.
3. The Week Of
Now is the time to reach out and confirm your guests’ stay officially. Don’t leave any check-in procedures lingering or uncertain. Things happen, of course, but do your due diligence to:
- Remind your guests of check-in time and procedures.
- Ask when you can expect them to check in.
- Offer to answer any lingering questions.
- Offer any last-minute tips to make their trip from the airport to your place a breeze.
Don’t wait too long to send this message. The closer it gets to the check-in day, the more likely it is for things to go wrong. Nip Murphy’s Law in the bud and stay on top of not-so-last-minute details.
4. The Day Before or the Day Of
You may feel like you’re sending too many messages at this point but don’t buy into this! You’re not being annoying – you’re just being thorough.
Your timing here depends on a couple of things: Whether your guests are traveling internationally to stay with you or not.
If your guest is traveling from outside of the U.S., send this message the day before their arrival. If they’re traveling domestically, you can send this message the morning of.
Offer one more time to answer any questions and confirm the arrival information you received from your guests earlier in the week. Show them you’re willing to go above and beyond other hosts and win them over before they arrive in your city. They’ll appreciate it!
5. The Day Before Check-Out
If your guests are staying only one night, this isn’t necessary but if you’ll be hosting them for multiple days, plan to remind them of your check-out procedures the day before so there’s no confusion.
Don’t be pushy but be direct. It’s best to leave some instructions written somewhere in your home and in your message, kindly remind guests where they can find the to-do list. Offer to answer questions or accommodate any special needs upon check-out if you can.
If you want great reviews, keep in touch with your guests. They’ll appreciate your attention to detail and truly feel like you care about their stay. Don’t be afraid to add some of your own personality into the correspondence. After all, guests are often looking for more personal experiences in vacation rentals than what they might otherwise get in a hotel.
By making an effort to appear to go out of your way, you’ll be raking in 5-star ratings and reviews all year long.
Need help with your turnover cleanings between guests? MaidThis! can help. You handle the guest correspondence, we’ll handle the clean-up.