8 ways to automate your Airbnb

Speed up your success with vacation rental automation.

Any experienced Airbnb host will tell you—managing your home solo can feel like a second job. There will always be inquiries to respond to, rooms to clean, guests to keep happy, rates to set, issues to repair, marketing to handle, and so on.

The good news is there are plenty of ways to shrink that to-do list. Simplifying your procedures and streamlining those repetitive tasks—in other words, automating your Airbnb—can pay off. Here’s what you can expect with vacation rental automation:

  • More time to focus on tasks that bring more revenue, like marketing and driving bookings
  • Faster replies to booking requests and guests’ questions
  • A sped-up booking process
  • The ability to manage your vacation home from anywhere in the world
  • More free time
  • Less stress

At Vacasa, we’ve been making things easier for vacation home owners and Airbnb hosts since 2009. Here are the vital areas of your Airbnb business that you can automate.

1. Communicating with guests

Once a potential guest reaches out with questions or a request to stay, the clock starts ticking. Airbnb rewards hosts who respond quickly. Quick response times factor into your status as an Airbnb Superhost and can help boost your ranking in Airbnb search results. But, typing out individual replies and emails can eat up a lot of your day. Here are some ways to automate guest communication:

  1. Set up an autoresponder to guest inquiries. Reassure them that you got the message and you’ll reply within 24 hours. Then provide answers to frequently asked questions in the meantime.
  2. Preschedule messages (email or text) for various booking stages, including:
    • After guests book to confirm their reservation
    • A day before guests arrive to offer tips for their upcoming stay
    • After check-in to see if they have any questions
    • Before check-out to remind them of check-out procedures
    • After check-out to ask guests to leave you a review

At Vacasa, we automatically send pre- and post-stay emails to guests providing all the information they’ll need for a seamless arrival, stay, and departure. For instance, we’ll share what weather to expect during their visit, provide the WiFi password, and give them any smart lock codes.

2. Setting rates to maximize revenue

Pricing your Airbnb just right is no easy feat. The key to making the most revenue on every stay is to base your rates on market data, which changes minute-by-minute. While that knowledge may come easy to a data scientist, most vacation home owners don’t have time to chase down data points.

One solution is to purchase dynamic pricing software. Or, work with a vacation rental management company that includes dynamic pricing technology in their management fee—like Vacasa.

At Vacasa, we’ll monitor all the stats that impact your rate, such as:

  • Demand
  • Competition
  • Events
  • Weather
  • Recent trends

Then, we’ll set your rates accordingly—every day. This ensures you’ll be in the position to make the most money from every booking.

3. Check-in and check-out

Thanks to smart locks (or keyless locks), you can say goodbye to handing off house keys in person. Contactless check-in and check-out is a stress-free way to start and end a guest’s stay. With smart locks, you can assign a unique code to each guest that is valid only during their booking. No more lost keys or making key copies. Bonus: You can also assign key codes for vendors, such as housekeepers and repair technicians.

In some markets, Vacasa will outfit vacation homes with keyless locks as part of our full-service management. We’ll generate unique door codes for each stay (or home care visit), ensuring no one else can enter your property outside the specified time.

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4. Noise monitoring

Parties are a big concern for Airbnb hosts and their neighbors. Instead of secretly driving by your home to check on things or recruiting a friend to do so, consider a noise monitor. These devices will monitor noise levels (but not record or transmit audio) at your property. A noise monitoring system is included (certain markets only) with Vacasa’s full-service vacation rental management. Our devices will identify any excessive noise issues and automatically notify your local team.

5. Replies to guest reviews

Responding to guest feedback—whether good or bad—will show potential guests that you’re engaged in each stay and willing to create an exceptional experience.

Replying to positive guest reviews

Instead of always writing replies from scratch, put together a document with a few templated responses. Some examples:

  • “Thanks for staying with us! You were a great guest and we’d love to see you again.”
  • “It was a pleasure to host you. We’d be happy to have you back sometime. Hope you had a great time in <City Name>.

Replying to negative guest reviews

Responding to negative guest reviews takes a lot more finesse and customization. But, there are still ways to streamline the process. Some things to try:

  • Follow a consistent format. No matter what the guest is complaining about, thank them for their feedback. Then, outline what you’re going to do to fix the issues they mentioned. (Potential guests will want to see how you try to make things right.)
  • Write a few standard replies to common complaints. For instance, if you receive many complaints about the outside street noise, one templated response could be: We’re sorry that the street noise kept you up and didn’t allow you to get a good night’s rest. We’re serious about making our guests comfortable, so we’ll soon offer complimentary ear plugs and install noise reducing curtains in all the bedrooms. Thank you for sharing your feedback.”

Want Vacasa to manage your vacation home? Then, writing responses to guest reviews is something you don’t have to worry about—we’ll do that for you. Our reputation management team will thank your guests for their feedback, then defuse any doubt that potential guests would have in booking a stay.

6. Leaving reviews for your guests

Airbnb reviews work as two-way feedback. Just as you rely on guests to leave reviews on your home, your guests also need reviews so they can continue to easily book Airbnbs.

Like your review responses, put together a document with several good-spirited options to leave as reviews for your guests. Take a cue from Vacasa’s own replies:

“Thanks for being a great guest, <Name>. You’re welcome back anytime!”

“We’d be happy to host <Name> again soon. Thanks for staying with us!”

7. Housekeeping

Yes, even house cleaning can be streamlined and automated. This is especially important when you’re managing housekeepers remotely. Forgo scrambling to clean your own vacation home after every stay or searching for house cleaners every time a guest checks out. Here are some ways to save time and effort on your Airbnb housekeeping:

  • Ask your housekeepers to use a vacation rental cleaning checklist to make sure every room is clean consistently.
  • Work with a professional house cleaning company, especially one experienced in vacation rentals. These companies will usually have several employees (so no fear of no-shows) and are likely bonded and insured.
  • Lean on a full-service vacation rental management company like Vacasa. We vet, train, and schedule all house cleaners for you, as well as conduct quality checks.

8. Juggling multiple calendars

To reach an even wider audience of travelers, consider posting your home on many other channels, such as Booking.com and Vrbo. However, all that visibility and opportunity for more bookings comes with a downside—the possibility of double booking.

Double bookings can seem inevitable. After all, posting on other channels means different websites, different log-ins, different rules, different rates, and most importantly, different calendars.

One way to sync all of your calendars is to invest in a vacation rental channel management software.

The even better option? Work with Vacasa’s expert channel management team (included with our full-service vacation rental management). In addition to syncing all of your calendars, we:

  • Build out and optimize all of your channel listings on the world’s top vacation rental booking sites
  • Maintain consistent information and rates
  • Have exclusive relationships with sites like Airbnb and Vrbo, giving Vacasa homeowners prime visibility on those platforms and guaranteed, dedicated support

By automating your Airbnb, you can streamline (or in some cases, eliminate) any repetitive and time-consuming tasks. This gives you more time to focus on generating more revenue and driving more bookings. Use this guide to help you put your Airbnb on autopilot and earn more, faster.

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California DRE #01523013

Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.