How to Send Airbnb Check-In Instructions Via Automated SMS

As an Airbnb host or property manager, you might have an endless list of responsibilities. This may range from caring for your home, marketing it, engaging with visitors to cleaning, maintenance, and, perhaps the most difficult, efficient guest-host communication.

Maintaining efficient guest communication begins with clear check-in instructions.

So, how do you offer efficient check-in instructions that make your visitors feel cared for and valued while you juggle managing your many vacation rental duties? By automating your Airbnb check-in instructions .


Automating check-in provides a tech-forward frictionless approach that prioritizes convenience, flexibility, and safety for all parties involved.

RueBaRue understands this. RueBaRue's platform provides a seamless automated SMS system that improves your guest and host communications for smooth and secure check-ins.

In this article, you’ll discover

  1. The importance of automated SMS check-ins
  2. How to use automated SMS self check-in for your own property
  3. All the essentials to include in your check-in instructions

The importance of contactless Airbnb check-in instructions

Intuitive messaging and friction-free welcomes are an essential component of every successful vacation. They help build a rapport between guest and host, create trust, and reduce misunderstandings. And comprehensive check-in instructions are crucial to that pain-free check-in experience.

After a long day of travel, clear and simple check-in instructions will help guests quickly unwind for their stay ahead. Guests will also appreciate the speed and simplicity of managing their own arrival process.

In the case of hosts and property managers, going contactless is a cost-effective and efficient way to check guests in. This is especially true for property managers who manage multiple vacation rentals remotely as it avoids them having to manually deal with repeat questions.

What’s the best way to send check-in instructions?

Check-in instructions set the tone for your guests' experience, so it's critical that you pick the best communication channel for the job. The best communication channel ensures that the information conveyed minimizes any possible confusion, reducing the chance of your message being misunderstood, dismissed, or even ignored.

Is it enough to add the check-in instructions to my Airbnb listing?

Adding your check-in instructions to your Airbnb listing isn't a complete solution as those messages can easily be missed, and guests are unlikely to have them on hand when they need them most (upon arrival).

How about sending the check-in instructions through Airbnb’s in-app messaging system?

Although you can save templates and schedule messages in Airbnb, sending the check-in instructions through Airbnb’s in-app messaging feature is limited. It's channel-specific, which means if you have listings on other platforms like Vrbo or—or if you have your own website—you'll need to set up automated messaging for guests who book via those sites as well.

So, what’s the best way to send self check-in instructions?

A dedicated messaging service for vacation rental property managers and hosts that utilizes SMS messaging is the best solution for sharing self check-in instructions. Below, we take you through exactly why.

Why is SMS the most effective tool for sending self-check-in instructions?

Many businesses use text messaging to communicate with their clients. According to a Harvard Business Review study, mobile text messaging outperforms other types of communication because it:

1. Creates a direct marketing channel

SMS is more widely available than many messaging apps. Unlike an app, it doesn’t need to be downloaded or updated. It’s available to everyone with a mobile phone. This means you aren’t excluding any person. RuebaRue’s messaging system is channel-agnostic. You can send guests check-in instructions regardless of where your property is booked, whether it’s Airbnb, Vrbo, your own website, or any other app.

2. Improves customer engagement

While many vacation property managers or hosts opt for using emails or apps to send check-in instructions, it's more likely that guests will engage with SMS. This is due to the fact that many app and email alerts and notifications aren't always instantly available. SMS is instantly delivered to guests via their primary messaging app, which means the alert appears on their phone's main screen.

3. No network connection is needed

Visitors may be traveling great distances and may not always have access to a reliable connection. SMS allows travelers to receive and easily have on-hand check-in instructions.

4. Improves efficiency with automation

A messaging platform like RueBaRue delivers messages to guests at exactly the right time. With RueBaRue, you can send a welcome letter that includes a link to a digital guidebook. This guidebook has all the check-in information your guest needs to begin relaxing at their newfound stay.

I’m sold! So, how do I automate my check-in SMS?

RueBaRue is much more than just a messaging platform. We offer a service that allows you to design and personalize welcome books with all the information needed for check-in and more. From local area guides and house rules to safety instructions and more, our guestbooks have everything you need to make your guests feel right at home.

RueBaRue also allows you to send guestbooks by text message at the time and date you specify.

Furthermore, Airbnb doesn’t share guest contact information with hosts, so you won’t have access to visitor email addresses. But, with RueBaRue’s solution, you can send guests a survey that captures their email addresses for your future marketing purposes.

Best of all, because RueBaRue is so simple to understand, you can start it in under 30 minutes. Whatever dedicated guest-messaging app you use, it should be easy to automate and personalize, and simple to use.

Other beneficial features of RBR’s SMS check-in instructions

  • Dedicated local SMS Number so you don't need to use your personal or business phone number
  • Tags to organize your automation and send scheduled messages to guests at specific properties
  • Message logs so every text message you send and receive is recorded
  • Analytics so you can see detailed reports of automated SMS and email messages sent
  • Customizable templates to modify messaging as needed for pre-arrival and actual arrival
  • Utilize macros to personalize messages using booking or property information

What should your check-in instructions include?

Great communication begins with a great welcome letter, which is an amazing opportunity to establish a connection with your guests. Your welcome letter should include check-in instructions that are highly detailed, informative, and helpful.

There are various rental SMS templates you can use for welcoming your guests. However, all check-in instructions must include the following:

  • Booking details confirmation
  • Check-in date and time
  • Detailed directions to the property
  • Parking instructions
  • Instructions on how to gain access to the property
  • Wi-Fi name and password
  • Your contact information

What else should you be mindful of when writing check-in instructions?

1. Tone

  • Be empathetic—understand your guests’ needs, values, and interests. How do you want them to feel?
  • Be proactive—consider what your guests will require ahead of time. What will they want to do when they arrive?
  • Be clear—what ideas are you trying to convey? What do you want them to understand?

2. Personalization

  • Use the guest’s name—ensure that you’ve used the correct spelling
  • Include personal booking details—this means property, name, and location
  • Doesn’t seem computer-generated—write welcome messages that have personality (never forget the human touch!)

3. Visual elements

Prepare images and videos of the interior and exterior of your property. Keep the order of the photographs in mind when arranging them. You can also consider using a voiceover for your videos.

Here is an example of a sample welcome book created using RuebaRue that takes many of these tips into consideration.

Vacation Rental Welcome Book Sample

Sample welcome message and check-in instructions

Are you ready to take on the task on your own? Below is a welcome check-in template for you to use at your own discretion.

Airbnb check-in instructions template one

Hello, [Name of guest/guests]. Welcome to [property name]! We hope you have an enjoyable and memorable stay.

Check-in is at [check-in time and date]. The most convenient way to reach our apartment is [Give very precise and clear instructions. Be as descriptive as possible and include landmarks, travel options, and prices].

[You can also include photos and videos to make it as clear as possible]

Please ensure to park [include Parking Instructions]. To enter the apartment, you will need to [include specific instructions on how to enter the unit].

Our Wi-Fi name is [include name and password. Remember, this is case-sensitive].

If you have any questions, please feel free to text or call our Guest Services Team at [include phone number and email if applicable].

Template one example

Hello, Mark and Annie. Welcome to Martha’s Getaway! We hope you have an enjoyable and memorable stay.

Check-In Is at 1 pm and goes until 3 pm, on March 19th, 2022. The most convenient way to reach our apartment is by taxi, which takes 30 minutes from Grantley International Airport. The taxi fare ranges from $30-$40.

Alternatively, you may take Bus 75 from Grantley international airport to Queens Avenue, which departs every hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM. The bus fare is $15 and the entire journey takes approximately 1 hour.

Our apartment complex is a green and brown building opposite a coffee and sandwich bookstore called Powell’s.

*You could possibly insert your photos here*

Please ensure to park in Lot #5. The code to enter your apartment (apartment 5, first floor, directly across from the main entrance}is 549.

Our Wi-Fi Name is: TooManyBooks and Password: NotEnoughTime

If you have any questions, please feel free to text or call our Guest Services Team at 508.206.9258.

Airbnb check-in instructions template two

Thank you for choosing our property for your trip to [insert name of town]!

After [insert check-in time], you will find that [check in instructions. Detail as clearly as possible how guests should gain access to the property.]

Any difficulties, please [include contact information].

Wi-Fi details: [Insert Wi-Fi network name and password]

Take a virtual tour of the property: [Insert video]

Template Two Example

Thank you for choosing our property for your trip to California’s Temecula! I think you'll love the space and neighborhood for all its amazing restaurants and points of interest.

After 4 pm, you will find the keys and gate remote in an envelope inside the lockbox.

The lockbox is attached to the column between the two entrance gates. To open the lockbox, you will need your personal entry code. This would have been sent to you once your reservation was confirmed. Please check your name is on the envelope and on opening, you’ll see instructions on how to enter the building.

You will also find hand sanitizer in the lockbox. We ask that you sanitize your hands before entering the property.

Any difficulties, please press the ring the doorbell to the left of the lockbox to call one of our local host representatives.

Wi-Fi details

Wi-Fi network name: Profile123 Wi-Fi password: ABC%456

Take a virtual tour of the property: *Insert video*

With RBR's handbook, you have an extensive amount of flexibility. So utilize the examples above, explore, fine-tune, and figure out what works best for you.

Are you ready to get started? Allow us to demonstrate how to include check-in instructions in your guidebook.

How do you add check-in instructions to your RueBaRue guidebook?

  1. Log into your RueBaRue account, then hover over the “Automate” tab.

Figure 3: Step One Of Adding Check-In Instructions. Click Automate

Showing How To Log In. Automate Is In The Top Tab, Fourth Option

  1. From the drop-down menu, select “Message Templates”.
From Automate, select 5th option 'Message Templates'

Figure 4: Step Two Of Adding Check-In Instruction. Select Message Templates.

  1. Select 'Add A Message Template' once you've arrived at this page.

Select Add A Message Template. The Red Button At The Top Of Page

Figure 5: Step Three Of Adding Check-In Instructions. Select ‘Add A Message Template’.

  1. Fill In the field details with the appropriate information. Select “Save”.
  2. Head back to the header tab and click “Scheduler”.

Figure 6: Step Five Of Adding Check-In Instructions. Select ‘Scheduler’.

Select 'Scheduler'. The first option under 'Automate'

  1. From here, you’ll see the option to “Schedule A Message”. Click on it.
    Select 'Schedule A Message'. The Red Button at the top of the page

Figure 7: Step Three Of Adding Check-In Instructions. Select ‘Schedule A Message’.

  1. Fill in the reference fields and write your welcome message! You can even use Macros and tags to personalize. Then Click Save!

RueBaRue: The efficient and cost-effective method to automate your check-in

A well-thought-out communication strategy may be the difference between a four and a five-star rating. It could also be the difference between a full night’s sleep and desperate calls from guests at 2 am. That's why it’s crucial to have an efficient communication channel for your check-in instructions.

Automating your check-in SMS instructions is a win-win situation for both guests and hosts. It provides a much simpler check-in process that saves time while lowering operational costs. It also helps your visitors' vacations to get off to a good start, increasing their chances of rebooking.

RueBaRue's platform provides a seamless automated SMS system that streamlines your check-ins for a smooth and secure process. It’s simple, efficient, and gives peace of mind to all parties involved.

Frequently Asked Questions About Automated Check-In

Does Airbnb automatically send check-in instructions?

Airbnb does in fact have a tool that allows you to send automated check-in instructions. However, from needing a network connection to being confined to a single platform, it's not the best location to conduct successful communication. Luckily, you can use specialized guest communication tools like RueBaRue to take care of all your guest messaging and send automated emails and text messages from a single, easy-to-use platform.

What property management systems does RueBaRue integrate with?

RueBaRue connects with many major vacation rental software tools to produce personalized guestbooks and tailored local area guides. This integration allows you to pull your property and booking data from your Property Management System, so you can create personalized messages and property-specific guidebooks in minutes. Some of our integration partners range from Airbnb, Guesty, and Hostaway to OwnerRez, RealTimeRental, andEscapia. Visit us here to see all of our integration partners.

What about using automated emails for self-check-in?

Using emails for check-in is also a great way to streamline the process. RueBaRue contains vacation rental email templates as well as suggested emails you can send. And, much like sending SMS messages, it's simple to do! Find outhow to get started here.

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