21st September 2020
How to Give Guests More Certainty When Booking
Following the recent Auckland lockdown, there appears to be an increase of wariness from Airbnb guests when planning new trips. Many guests want to double check refund policies with hosts in case they are unable to travel while others leave booking accommodation to the last minute to avoid needing to cancel.
With this, it is increasingly clear that Airbnb hosts need to find ways to reassure potential guests that their money will not be wasted if forced to change their plans. Providing this certainty to your Airbnb guests is a sure way to attract more bookings. Below are a couple of tips to help you do so:
You can choose to give your guests the option to pay slightly more for a fully refundable reservation. If you select this option, guests can have free cancellation when they pay the full base rate or for 10% lower, guests will be given a non-refundable option. If you would prefer guests to pay 10% higher than the usual nightly rate for free cancellation, then you can always adjust the base to begin with. Enabling this option on your listing allows guests to take responsibility for ensuring their own refund if things do not go to plan for them.
Allowing guests to change their dates rather than cancel if they are unable to travel to your Airbnb can be another option that will give your guests more certainty. You might choose to add this into your listing so potential guests are aware of this option before booking.
Make sure that the information you are giving guests is consistent across your listing settings and messaging. If you have a Strict cancellation policy but find yourself manually refunding guests due to Covid-19 related cancellations then it may be a good idea to select a more lenient policy to begin with. This would show potential guests right away that there are options for them if they need to cancel, which would increase bookings as well as save you time.
If you have not set up a method for contactless check-in yet then I would recommend doing so as soon as possible. Even if you can meet guests in person, there may be guests who prefer a self-check-in option and if a lockdown occurs again you would be set up to keep operating safely.
Above are just a few ways to provide more certainty for your guests but dealing with each situation with empathy and understanding will be sure to work out in both yours and your guest’s favour.