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Guest Communication Tips in a COVID World (Ep367)

Guest communication has changed in the COVID era. Travelers have more anxiety right now, and there is a strong need for STR hosts to communicate clearly and be responsive to our guests’ questions and concerns. So, what can we do to build a personal connection with our guests in a socially-distanced world and make them feel comfortable staying with us?

David Jacoby is the Cofounder and President of Hostfully, a platform designed to help short-term rental hosts provide five-star hospitality through beautiful digital guidebooks and a full-scale property management system. Prior to Hostfully, David served as the COO of WellCall, Inc., a health coaching and corporate wellness program that was acquired by Health Advocate in 2012. He is also a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

On this episode of Get Paid for Your Pad, David joins me to discuss the importance of guest communication in a COVID world, explaining what questions travelers are asking right now and how their habits have changed through the pandemic. He shares his top tips for communicating clearly with guests, describing how hosts are incorporating video in their guidebooks and what we can do to balance personalization and email automation. Listen in for the top takeaways from Hostfully’s 2020 Hospitality Report and get David’s insight on building a personal connection with guests—even in the midst of a pandemic.

Click on the video below to watch and listen to this podcast episode:

Topics Covered

Why guest communication is more important now than ever

  • Demonstrates professionalism
  • More difficult to find accurate info online

David’s insight around STR trends in the COVID era

  • Choose repeat or familiar destinations
  • Properties with amenities, close to nature
  • Look for flexible cancellation policy
  • Concerns about cleanliness of property

What questions guests are asking in a COVID world

  • What’s open in area
  • Safe things to do (outdoor activities)
  • How to use amenities

The most recent updates to the Hostfully product suite

  • Ability to embed videos in guidebook
  • Tools to enhance brand, promote direct booking

How hosts are incorporating video in their guidebooks

  • Welcome message
  • How-to videos
  • Home tours
  • Videos of area (i.e.: shopping district, local park)

David’s hack for balancing scale with personalization

  • Send automated confirmation email with booking
  • Ask question in automated welcome email
  • Send personal note in response to question
  • Resend welcome email five hours prior to arrival
  • Check in with automated message one day into trip

The top takeaways from Hostfully’s 2020 Hospitality Report

  • Use of digital guidebooks more than doubled
  • 55% of hosts expect less revenue than 2019
  • Direct bookings up by more than 25%
  • Top challenges = technology, pricing and cleaning

What upsells property managers are offering their guests

  • Early check-in and late checkout
  • Mid-stay cleanings
  • Spa services
  • Groceries pre-arrival
  • Concierge services (e.g.: set up tours, activities)

Connect with David

Hostfully [Discount Code PAD]

David on LinkedIn

Email david@hostfully.com


Hostfully’s 2020 Hospitality Report


Andrew Kitchell

Eric Moeller

Get Paid for Your Pad on YouTube

Email jasper@getpaidforyourpad.com