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Courteous Contact: How I Communicate With My STR Guests


If you’re looking to get into the hospitality business without having to talk to (and be pleasant with) people, this may not be the business for you. There are countless communication strategies you could adopt for staying in touch with your guests, but in this post I will talk about mine.

End-to-End Hospitality

If you think of the traditional “sales cycle” of business trying to nurture a relationship with a customer, you’ll likely remind yourself that the communication starts before the potential guest even finalizes their reservation. Rather, the relationship begins when the person is just looking at the offerings and trying to choose how they will fill their need. This is how you should think of your short-term rental operation as well. You will communicate with your guests before they even become guests and you should continue the conversation after they have left.

I will walk through each of my touchpoints with my guests – First giving a high-level label of the interaction and then listing the main intentions and topics of the message.

My Communication Touchpoints, In Order

Keep in mind that all of these messages are sent via the booking sites’ messaging systems. With contactless check-in, I never actually meet my guests in person.

Note: The following list is NOT extensive. There are always other communication points that happen between myself and guests. There are payment issues, cancelations, and unique questions that arise. You need to be available to respond to all of these possibilities. The following is just a high-level timeline of communication that occurs between myself and my guests. Your roadmap may look completely different! Don’t take this as a prescription for guest communication. Rather, use it as a mental exercise to make sure you are ready to nurture your customer and provide them all of the information they need.

Contact Point #1: New Booking Inquiry

Timing: When a potential guest sends an inquiry for a stay (but has not booked)


Contact Point #2: New Pre-Approval

Timing: When a potential guest has been preapproved to book my home for a stay


Contact Point #3: New Reservation

Timing: When a reservation is confirmed!


Contact Point #4: Check-In Instructions

Timing: 1-3 days before check-in


Contact Point #5: First Morning

Timing: 18 hours after check-in


Contact Point #6: Check-Out Instructions

Timing: 18 hours before checkout


Contact Point #7: Requesting a Review

Timing: 24 hours after checkout


Summing It All Up

As stated, the list of touchpoints you just read are things that I decided to implement in my operations. Yours may look completely different and that is great. Tailor your communication strategy to your style and your guests’ needs. Regardless, I hope this gave you some ideas and made you think about the type of relationship you are trying to build between yourself and your guests.

Happy hosting!

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