Airbnb Industry Insights

How to Put a Personalized Airbnb Experience on Auto-Pilot

February 24, 2016 |

Personalized guest experiences are important. Typically, guests expect a certain level and manner of service when staying at an Airbnb or another short-term rental accommodation. And as they should. Often, guests choose to stay at vacation rentals rather than at mainstream hotels in order to see travel through a more holistic and immersive lens. They want to feel welcomed, they want to feel local, and they want to feel at home.

Similarly, many vacation rental hosts enjoy and take pride in personalizing their guests’ stays. But, while it’s both crucial for the guests and gratifying for the hosts, creating each personalized experience takes work. A lot of work. And, as business scales, it can begin to seem like a standard that is somewhat impossible to maintain.

At that point, many short-term rental hosts begin to toy with the question of implementing some sort of automation in their business. The fear, however, is the loss of a vital organ in their body of operations. The fear is the loss of a categorically personal experience.

Contrary to this common fear is that automation doesn’t necessarily have to create a fork in the road; hosts don’t necessarily have to choose between adopting a scaleable automated solution and providing an individualized hospitality service. Instead, they can merge these paths: they can save time and effort, without losing that special human touch. Personalized automation systems and services are powerful tools, and perhaps even mark the road to greater hosting success.

Personally Welcome Your Guests With Open, Automated Arms

Consider using a tech system or software to streamline your check-in process for your many, many guests.  You’d probably be in favor of this system, since it’s mechanized and therefore it’s always reliable and effective.  Now, consider slapping a smile on that system. Now your check-in process is reliable, effective, and friendly. Seems pretty ideal, right?

These efficient check-in service representatives exist. Their job is to ensure (reliability) a seamless check-in for your guests (effectivity) while maintaining a positive level of service (friendliness). And they’re great at their jobs.

It’s simple to begin automating your check-in process with a key concierge service. For one, in a booking confirmation message or when sending directions to your guests, you can include relevant information for the closest participating KeyCafe along with the venue’s opening hours. KeyCafe is a convenient and secure pick-up and drop-off key exchange service designed to ease the effort required of Airbnb hosts at check-in.  As a host, you simply attach the provided, trackable fob to your keyset (a one-time job), then allow the KeyCafe professionals to manage each of your new guests’ entry from then on.  As long as you keep your guests in the loop about the key exchange middleman (and about their instructions for pickup), this automated check-in process will stay in play. Effective for guests, effortless for hosts.

Once you’ve done your part, each of your guests will be set up to have a personalized welcome at the time that they arrive. KeyCafe and other specialty vacation rental key pickup services delivers a uniquely humanized – yet standardized – check-in experience for your guests. In other words, your key exchange will be automated for you, while including a personal quality for your guests. As your Airbnb or other short-term rental business expands, relying on a systematic welcoming solution is necessary. In a growing hosting business, it is next to impossible to hold only yourself (or your co-hosts) accountable for checking in each and every guest with efficiency and timeliness.  With the employment of key concierge services and the expectation of personalized check-ins, you can have your cake and eat it too.

The Messages Heard Around The World (But Only Written Once)

If you can automate your check-in procedure, then there’s no reason that you shouldn’t be able to automate the instructions for your check-in procedure, too. While I can imagine that the thought of implementing automating messaging can seem iffy for a host who strives provide a uniquely personal service to each guest, maybe automation is more personal than you’d think.

Actually, it is. Guesty – a 24/7 receptionist service and management software – features an advanced technology has created the middle path between automated communication and personalized messaging. These personalized automatic messages are called “hooks”.

The automatic aspect of hooks is that hosts can write and schedule these messages to be delivered only when a certain trigger sets them off (such as booking confirmation or check-out date and time). This saves hosts from the constant need to be available for correspondence.

On top of when they’re sent, hosts can also automate to whom they’re sent. This is where the personal aspect of hooks comes in. To personalize outgoing messages, hosts can use dynamic variables. The role of these dynamic variables is to automatically fill in relevant information each time the hook is sent. For instance, instead of “Dear Jerry” you can input “Dear {{guest_first}}”. And, if you only want to send a certain message to, say, bookings with a payout over $1,000, filters allow you to personalize that too.

The result of this middle path between automation and personalization? Hosts can deliver any kind of information to any kind of recipient, be it to deliver key exchange instructions to a guest at the instant that the booking is confirmed, or to send scheduling reminders to a cleaner 2 hours before check-out. The host only writes a message once, but the guest receives a personal message every time. Nirvana, indeed.  

Personalized Service, On Autopilot

With the introduction of customizable automated experiences, your vacation rental business can meet some new room to grow, while remaining loyal to your current level of service. It’s a simple solution for hosts, a satisfying solution for guests, and a scaleable solution for your business.

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