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3 vacation rental auto-responder examples for booking inquiries

An auto-responder is an automatically generated email that is sent to a potential guest or renter immediately after they inquire about your property. But why is having an auto-responder so important? 

In a crowded field of vacation rentals, the relationship between host and guest is more important than ever, and guests want to be confident that the host of the property they choose will be responsive to their questions and needs. Sending a response right away sets that relationship off on the right foot. In fact, you’re seven times more likely to get a booking if you follow up on an inquiry within one hour. Therefore, even if you’re diligent about replying to requests within a few hours, setting up an automated reply helps differentiate you from the competition and increases your bookings.

write a successful vacation rental automatic response

How to write a successful vacation rental automatic response

Because an inquiry response is your first touchpoint with a potential guest, it’s important to make it as customized as possible. Use this message to thank the renter for getting in touch, and to let them know you care about their inquiry. You can also provide the following information in your auto-responder:

  • Timeframe for response. Adding a timeframe for when your guest can expect a personal response helps set expectations. This is especially useful because it may keep a guest from moving onto another property if they don’t hear back from you right away. Make sure you’re able to commit to the timeframe you provide, and take global travel into consideration. So for example, you may want to write, “I respond to all inquiries within 24 hours,” or “I am able to respond to messages between 8am and 8pm local time.”
  • Property highlights. Inquiries can come from a variety of sources, including online travel agents, your own website, or through word of mouth. Because you can’t know how much information the potential renter already has, use your auto-response message as an opportunity to market your property and highlight things such as location, amenities, or overall vibe, and include a link to your website or photo gallery if you have one.
  • FAQs. Frequently asked questions often get hidden at the bottom of your listing’s page, but the information they provide may be exactly what your potential guest is looking for. Including them in your auto-responder message may preemptively answer the questions they may have and lead to a booking before you’ve even seen their message.

auto-responder for your vacation rental business

How to set up an auto-responder for your vacation rental business

How you set up your auto-responder messages depends on where your messages are coming from. If you’re receiving messages directly to a specific email account, such as Gmail, you can create  a vacation reply message to automatically respond to emails.

Some online travel agencies or distribution channels also provide the option for guests to contact hosts with inquiries prior to booking. You can manage your inbox individually on each of these sites to set up an auto-response message to inquiries.

If you use property management software (PMS) such as Guesty to help manage your properties across multiple channels, it’s simple to automate messages and reply to all inquiries received through your website, mobile website, and connected listing site accounts with the same template.
While an auto-responder is always a good idea, your PMS can also help you provide faster personalized responses. For example, Guesty’s 24/7 Guest Communication Services also provides live responses from communication experts who have been onboarded to the specifics of your property, and who can answer on your behalf during off-hours.

Automated response examples

If you’re having trouble thinking of the perfect message to send potential guests, here are a few automated response examples to get you started:

  1. Quick “Thank you” message

Subject: {{property_name}} – Thanks for your inquiry

Thanks for inquiring about {{property_name}}. This is an automated response, but I try to respond to all inquiries within 3 hours. In the meantime, please visit our website to view detailed information about this home, including an extensive library of photos. I will be in touch shortly.

Website: {{website_url}}


  1. Highlight of Key Features

Subject: Thanks for your message!

Hi there!

Thanks for inquiring about my rental. I try to respond to inquiries quickly, but since I can’t always do so immediately, I set up this auto-responder to make sure you have a link to my home’s website at {{website_url}} where there are lots of photos and information. I’ll send you a personal response within 24 hours.

Don’t miss the garage that we’ve converted into a kid’s playroom, complete with a ball pit, extensive board game collection, and Nintendo Wii system. We also have a large collection of family-friendly movies and a projector for movie night. Be sure to also check out the ‘Local Info’ tab, where I have a lot of information on local restaurants and events.

Please note that this property has a 14-day minimum stay and there is no smoking and no pets.

Talk to you shortly!


  1. Frequently Asked Questions

Subject: Thanks for your message about {{property_name}}!


Thank you for inquiring about our vacation home. We are able to respond to messages between 8am and 8pm local time, and will be in touch as soon as possible. In the meantime, please visit our website at {{website_url}} for more information about the property. Be sure to also check out our frequently asked questions below, in case they’re able to provide the answer you need!

Q. What are your check-in and check-out times?
A. Check-in is after 2:00pm, check-out is before 11:00am.

Q. How close is the home to the beach?
A. The beach is about a 20 minute walk or 5 minute car ride away. There is free parking at the beach.

Q. How will I get the keys?
A. We provide keyless self-check-in for guests. A code will be provided to you upon final payment.

Q. Are linens and towels provided?
A. Yes! Fresh linens and towels, including beach towels, will be provided at the beginning of your stay.

Q. Is there a stocked kitchen?
A. Our kitchen is stocked with cooking and dining essentials – pots, pans, plates, cutlery, etc. – as well as pantry staples such as salt, oil, and spices. We replace perishable goods like milk and butter before each new guest arrives. Our town also has many great restaurants to choose from if you don’t feel like cooking!

Q. Is there internet access?
A. Yes, we have high speed wireless internet throughout our entire house. 

Q. Do you allow pets?
A. Pets are allowed, however there is a nonrefundable pet fee of $200 per pet.

Q. Is there daily housekeeping service?
A. There is not a daily housekeeping service. However, if you are interested, this can be provided at an additional fee.

We’ll be in touch with you shortly!

Thank you,



Whether you keep your message short and sweet, or use it to provide robust information about your property, setting up an auto-responder email for your vacation rental will help strengthen the relationship you have with potential guests, increase your bookings, and create a positive first impression.

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