Automate AirBnB Checkin with 3 Simple Steps

October 3, 2018

Why automate your checkin process?

Checkin can be one of the most expensive parts of your short term rental operation. Constantly having someone on call to meet guests and hand them the keys is difficult, unpredictable and expensive. Flight delays happen, guests turn up late and plans change. All of this costs a small business money. Automating your checkin process can be done simply and efficiently with tech enabled tools such as BnBChatbot.

Step 1 – Figure out what works for your property

Every property is different and means that check in processes need to be made uniquely for each property you have. One of the properties we manage in Bangkok requires 2 key card swipes to gain access to the front door. Properties such as that make it super difficult to automate because the guest needs the key before they even arrive. Have no fear though, with a little creativity it is possible!

One of the best ways to automate checkin is to empower those in your local community. After all, sites like AirBnB should benefit the local community and take the power away from the hotels and big chains. Do you have a cafe nearby? Talk to them! Chances are they operate at key hours for your business and for a small fee you can make a deal for them to hold keys for you. It is good for them as they get more foot traffic and it is good for you because you save time of someone waiting.

Of course, smart locks is another thing which can work. Guests need to be able to get direct access to the door of the property for this to be effective though – the reason why I favor the cafe approach is because this direct access is hard for a lot of properties in Southeast Asia. A smart lock is an easy solution if this direct access is easy to come by, you can simply give the guest a code and they enter it when they arrive.

Once you have settled on the method to automate your check in, the next thing to think about is how to automate that messaging and ensure that the guest has the right information. I can think of a tool which would be great for this.. I will give you a clue it is a chatbot!

Step 2 – Setup the Checkin Messaging Flow

A few tricks can come in handy here to ensure that your guests get the message that they need to go to a cafe / enter a code to enter the property. The great thing is, once a guest has interacted with your BnBChatbot – you can send them further messages later down the road. One of the key strengths of having a bot on Facebook Messenger is that it is a place where people check their messages. Email may have a 10% open rate whereas Messenger has an 85% engagement rate.

We always encourage a check in instructions setting to your property dashboard when we create your BnBChatbot. In this section it is super simple to give details of a cafe or to give a specific code. If you tie the code to the confirmation of the booking, it is not difficult for us to ensure the variable code is given for each guest making it completely unique.

That makes things super simple. Your guest can now access the check in details and check in without having to meet someone in person. You have managed to save a lot of time on messaging back and forth and the in-person meeting costs. How sweet is that! Well we may have one more little nugget of treasure to share which makes this even better…

Step 3 – Preemptive Message Configuration

Once a guest has engaged with your bot – it is possible to send them messages in the future. One of the simple workflows we set up for our own properties is to send a reminder message 3 days before the check in. This gives guests the chance to review the checkin information or ask further questions if they want to.

You can set up other preemptive messages such as asking for feedback or any other condition based on the checkin and checkout dates. Super simple, super effective and an easy to way to automate your guest checkin experience!

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