As a host, you are always looking for ways to simplify things and save time, and Airbnb automation can help you do just that. In fact, automating your Airbnb business can save up to 70% of your time on your routine operations. Use these handy tips to manage your Airbnb business more effectively.
With the vacation rental market getting more competitive by the day, Airbnb hosts and property managers have a lot on their plate. It’s no wonder that in order to cope with the workload many of them are considering automation.
However, some falsely believe that it is for large companies only. Even if you manage only one property on a single platform, 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 you can automate your short-term rental management and save up to 70% of your time on daily tasks and operations.
Here are the 7 steps to Airbnb automation that will help you maximize efficiency.
What Is Airbnb Automation?
Airbnb automation is the process of streamlining daily and recurring tasks to increase efficiency and minimize costs. These include responding to guest messages, adjusting rental pricing, updating booking calendars, writing guest reviews, coordinating cleanings, and more. Automation functionality takes care of running many of your daily operations so that you no longer need to do them yourself.
Why Use Automation as an Airbnb Host?
There is a multitude of benefits to automating your Airbnb business, including:
- Saving time on routine tasks — With the help of automation, you don’t need to spend as much time focusing on routine undertakings, allowing you to allocate more time for other important business aspects.
- Increasing your occupancy rate and revenue — Automation enables faster replies to responses and booking requests, which can increase your occupancy rate and overall revenue.
- Increasing productivity — With automation at the wheel, you can rest assured that all your business needs are met simultaneously, increasing your output and productivity.
- Accelerating your business growth — Ultimately, utilizing automation helps to accelerate your business growth by streamlining all your principal business activities, allowing you to spend valuable time on business development and scaling.
How Can I Automate My Airbnb Management?
To optimize efficiency and capitalize on bookings, hosts can automate their businesses using Proptech. There are many tools and software solutions available that can automate every management function. These include guest messaging, calendars synchronization, creating cleaning tasks, and producing reports.
1. Automate Your Guest Communication
Excellent 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 reservations.
On top of that, if you have a business website that you use for receiving direct bookings, chances are you also have a blog on your website. If so, you also need to make sure either you or someone is available to reply to any questions or comments on your blog posts, as they could turn into reservations.
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, drafting replies is the first process you need to streamline to get more time for other important activities.
There are several options for automating your messages. Let’s take a closer look at three of them:
Usually, your responses to messages 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.
Airbnb Email Autoresponder
Most email service providers offer auto-response features. You can set up automated messages to provide quick responses for more efficient Airbnb management. In fact, it is best to have a separate email address for your business activities.
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 with you. 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 wonders to show that you are a caring Airbnb host.
Vacation Rental Software with the Messaging Automation Feature
Vacation rental software that can streamline your messages can be a lifesaver for busy Airbnb hosts. Usually, they offer a great scope of helpful features, and messaging automation is one of the most important ones.
For instance, iGMS, one of the leading vacation rental software solutions, can take your guest messaging to a whole new level.
Here is a quick overview of what you can take advantage of once you opt to join iGMS:
- Unified Inbox – allowing you to organize dialogues from multiple platforms into a unified feed.
- Templates – enabling you to create and save message templates. Using smart elements and variables ensures a high level of personalization.
- Automated triggered messaging – allowing you to keep your guests updated by sending messages on preset dates and times.
- PROtrack (Guest communication productivity tracking) – a unique to the market add-on functionality that takes your guest communication to a new level with an exclusive suite of features that includes productivity monitoring of your support agents, automatic ticket assignment, a customizable ticketing system, and reporting on these results.
As a host, you don’t always have the time to reply instantly to inquiries. By hiring a concierge service, you can ensure 24/7 support for your guests. A professional concierge service will always be there to answer any questions they might have.
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.
2. Automate Your Pricing Management by Using Dynamic Pricing Tools
Being savvy with your pricing strategy is key if you want to grow your business revenue. It’s not a good idea to set your rates lower than your competitors’ and hope that it will attract more reservations. Even if it does, you may still end up earning less net revenue than your competitors.
The best solution to drive revenue growth while remaining competitive is to employ a dynamic pricing strategy based on market-related data. While this is the best strategy to use, analyzing relevant market metrics is no easy feat. You’ll either have to tackle this task, which is free but time-consuming, or you’ll need to hire a data scientist, which can cost a lot of money. Fortunately, there’s a third option that doesn’t require you to do either: dynamic pricing tools!
Dynamic pricing tools take all the analysis required to generate optimal prices and turn into seconds of work using in-built algorithms. These algorithms analyze the most important criteria and use them to auto-generate a new suggested price every 24 hours.
The most popular dynamic pricing tools are ones that can integrate with a variety of software solutions. For example, iGMS has direct integrations with both PriceLabs and DPGO, two well-established pricing tools on the market.
3. Provide an Automated Airbnb Check-in (Key Exchange)
Automating your check-in process will make things easier for you as a host and your guests. It will also dramatically reduce the amount of time that you spend on the key exchange process. 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 in your settings to auto-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 for your Airbnb by allowing access 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 Airbnb. However, there are some disadvantages given that this lock requires that guests have smartphones and sufficient battery power. They also only work on one point of access. So, if there is a locked gate in front of your home, you’ll also need to install a lock there.
Key exchange service
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 gain access to your rental at any time on arrival day.
4. Grow the Number of Your Reviews with Airbnb Automation
Being a busy host, you probably don’t have much time for leaving reviews for your guests, who might also feel reluctant to write you back unless something happens during their stay.
While leaving a review may seem like a daunting task, it is essential to get as many positive reviews as possible. Curious as to why it’s so important? 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 grow your collection.
One of the most foolproof techniques is to automate your reviews.
To save you time with regards to writing reviews from scratch, you can compile a document with the most standard reviews you usually post. Record 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 them yourself, check out what other Airbnb hosts write or Google examples.
Vacation Rental Software with a Reviews Automation Feature
Some management software solutions offer a special feature allowing hosts to streamline their reviews.
By taking advantage of such tools, you’ll be able to build reviews using templates with predefined elements. What’s more, they will be sent automatically. It means that you don’t have to log in and out of your multiple accounts to leave a review.
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 management tools will send you an auto-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 pre-written examples, it won’t take you long to respond.
5. Automate Cleanings
One of the first things to think about when you are starting out your Airbnb business is how to automate your cleanings. It is unlikely that you are going to clean it yourself as guests expect hotel-quality cleanliness. Moreover, making your place look spotless can be extremely time-consuming. Luckily, you can pre-set cleanings and be sure that your accommodation is in immaculate condition for when your guests arrive.
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 money than a group or team of cleaners. If your Airbnb 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.
Airbnb Cleaning Service
A professional cleaning company will make your property look spotless from top to bottom in a couple of hours.
Automation for Airbnb hosts
Professional Airbnb cleaning teams are usually well-equipped and can handle 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 price of their services. Keep in mind that by opting for a higher cleaning fee, you can scare off money-conscious guests. Though, on the other hand, immaculate cleanliness of your property can generate a bunch of five-star reviews.
Opting for a vacation rental software solution with task 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 once it has been completed.
6. Use Smart Amenities for an Enhanced Guest Experience
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 messaging 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 modern is more than just a trend. While the competition is getting more fierce, adding smart amenities to your rental that are free to use can offer you a solid competitive advantage.
Home Temperature Automation Units
As an Airbnb host, you’ll need to ensure that your vacation rental property is always maintained at a comfortable temperature for maximum comfort. 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 your 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 programs, 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 instance, 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 that can help your 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.
7. Use Vacation Rental Software
The essence of Airbnb automation is to let hosts spend less time on routine operations and help grow their business. In addition to cleanings and maintenance, hosts confess that calendars and bookings synchronization is one of their major challenges.
Airbnb automation for hosts
If you have your properties listed on more than one platform, property management can turn into a real headache. The risk of making a double-booking or missing 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:
- Managing multiple accounts and listings on the top vacation rental platforms from a single dashboard;
- Synchronizing your calendars across multiple platforms to prevent double bookings;
- Using the unified inbox to organize your messages into a single feed;
- Automating your guest communication and the process of leaving reviews for your guests;
- Creating cleaning tasks and tracking these tasks to completion;
- Managing direct bookings via a direct booking management toolset;
- Creating essential reports on your business performance.
- Receiving payouts and generating invoices by connecting your Stripe account to iGMS
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.