By The Hospitable Team
Communication with guests is one of the most important aspects of being successful for STR hosts who list their properties on Vrbo, an international vacation rental marketplace. But responding to travelers’ inquiries and communicating with guests who have booked their stays is very time-consuming.
Moreover, most Vrbo guests and guests on other platforms that are Vrbo alternatives expect vacation rental hosts always to respond immediately. That can be overwhelming, and a late response may result in negative reviews.
Automating communication with guests helps make this process more efficient, saves time, and improves the overall guest experience. There are some possibilities to automate communications on Airbnb. But is there any Vrbo automated messages functionality as well? Let’s take a closer look at what this rental listing platform offers to hosts.
Vrbo Automated Messages: What Options Are There for Hosts?
Busy vacation rental hosts have a lot on their plate, and what you expect to be a side hustle can quickly look and feel like a full-time job. That’s why many savvy hosts prefer to use vacation rental software like Hospitable.com to streamline their business operations. With Hospitable, you can automate most of your routine tasks, including communication with guests, managing cleaners, syncing calendars and prices on different channels, review management, and more.
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The automated messaging system typically includes at least sending messages on specific events. For example, it may include sending reminders, thank you letters, scheduled messages before and after booking, and check-in and check-out messages.
Although Vrbo provides some automated messaging functionality, it’s not what you can expect from a fully automated system. The platform offers mediated communication between potential guests who want to book a vacation rental property and the host. The goal is to prevent sharing unnecessary information between the Vrbo host and guest before a booking is confirmed.
When answering booking requests through Vrbo, hosts can take advantage of two templates. If the vacation rental property is available upon the guest’s request, the “Available Template” is used automatically. If you can’t accept the request, the “Non-available Template” is applied.
Both templates contain plain texts that can be edited, but hosts cannot add any email addresses, phone numbers, images, logos, or HTML code. If you try to use such content, it will be automatically removed from the message.
Writing the same messages to guests repeatedly can get tedious, so Vrbo hosts can create custom email templates from their Inboxes. That makes sending messages easier and saves time. You can name each template as you like, categorize templates by type, and add attachments to them, for example, your Vrbo check-in instructions. You can also personalize your message templates with tags, such as guest and host names, property ID, and relevant dates.
Are There Any Vrbo Scheduled Messages?
Scheduled messages work well for sharing routine information about your rental space. They save you time and ensure that guests always know how to check in, use your amenities, or contact you when a problem arises. So can you create scheduled messages on Vrbo and send them to guests automatically?
Vrbo sends an automated message with the welcome guide information seven days before check-in to enhance the guest experience. This is the only Vrbo scheduled message sent via email, and it includes all the information guests should know about their stay.
So, hosts don’t have to take care of sending welcome letters for every booking they receive from Vrbo. The information included in a welcome guide is also accessible through the Vrbo app and the web, and it is sent only to those guests who have confirmed their reservations.
Hosts can prepare a welcome message for each of their Vrbo properties. It should include information such as the property’s direction and location, the host’s contact details, instructions for parking, check-in and check-out, house rules, and a guide on using amenities.
As you see, automated messaging offered by Vrbo is very basic, and it’s not enough to provide a perfect guest experience and make a host’s life easier. But you can automate all your Vrbo messages using vacation rental management software like Hospitable and keep your guests informed from booking through to check-out and review requests.
Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.
With Hospitable, you’ll be able to take advantage of our preloaded message templates and use 50+ short-codes and different conditions and triggers to personalize your messages. Our system allows hosts to create three types of messaging rules to generate automatic and scheduled messages:
- Event messaging rules—to automate messages that quickly respond to certain events, for example, when you get a new inquiry, a new request to book, or a new reservation.
- Scheduled message rules—to send messages based on timing, for example, one day after a reservation is made, a few hours before check-in and check-out time, or a day of the week. These typically are check-in and check-out instructions, follow-up messages, reminders, and review requests.
- Question rules—to reply to a question from a guest that a system detects in a conversation. Our system uses AI to recognize questions on more than 20 common topics and instantly creates a response to it using your pre-written answer.
Hospitable also launched an integration with ChatGPT, which can access information about the guest, listing, and booking on your booking channels, including Vrbo. Our ChatGPT integration can generate a draft response to your guest, considering relevant context, and help you quickly provide an accurate and personalized answer to their message.
Vrbo doesn’t provide any fully automated messaging system, just a limited automated welcome message functionality and the possibility to create and edit your email templates. But using tools like Hospitable that have advanced guest experience messaging features, you can fully automate your conversations with Vrbo guests from a booking inquiry to check-out.
Hospitable.com’s integration with ChatGPT combines Hospitable’s existing intuitive Inbox tools with ChatGPT’s advanced natural language processing capabilities to streamline your hosting process.
A Vrbo welcome guide is essential to creating a great guest experience and presenting you as a caring and thoughtful host. A welcome guide is a perfect place to answer common questions to help guests navigate your home or apartment and treat it the right way. In this post, you’ll find some tips on adding your guide to your listing and what details to include to impress your guests.
Airbnb and Vrbo are among the best international vacation rental platforms that have gained popularity among travelers and property owners. Choosing which one would best fit your rental property, or whether you should list it on both, could seem tricky at first. This post will help you get started.