For hosts and guests, alike, it’s incredibly important to feel comfortable about every booking on Airbnb. And a lot of the trust that hosts and guests develop comes from the messages they share: from requesting a reservation, to confirming it, to discussing check-in plans. These conversations aren’t simply logistical, they’re a chance for people to show their personalities and develop a rapport. And because making travel plans can be complicated or time-sensitive, responses need to be dependable and quick.
That’s why we calculate response rates and response times and show them on listing pages. We want guests to know what to expect when they reach out to a host. And we ask hosts to stay focused on swift, reliable communication, because we know it will help them confirm more bookings.
We want to make sure the meaning of these metrics is clear so that hosts know how to stand out.
Response rate measures the percentage of new inquiries and reservation requests, received in the past 30 days, that have received a response from the host within 24 hours.
Response time is the average amount of time it took for a host to respond to all the new message threads they received in the past 30 days.
You can find a more detailed explanation of how we calculate response metrics in our Help Center.
When we’re calculating response rate and response time, we consider a response to be one of the following:
- Accepting or declining a reservation request
- Sending a message back to a guest who has submitted a reservation request
- Pre-approving or declining a trip described in a booking inquiry
- Sending a message back to a guest who has sent a booking inquiry
It’s also important to understand these metrics because we’re going to be proactive in helping hosts maintain their response rate when they struggle to keep up with their inbox. If a host fails to respond within 24 hours to five consecutive reservation requests or booking inquiries, we will temporarily deactivate their account. This will prevent hosts from receiving more inquiries when they are unable to respond, and having their response rate go down further. Hosts can reactivate their listings immediately, once they’re ready to maintain timely correspondence with guests.
Staying responsive is a powerful way for hosts to confirm more bookings. We’ve found that hosts who respond to guest inquiries in less than 12 hours get twice as many bookings per month! Here’s what you need to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining welcoming correspondence and strong response metrics:
- Whenever you receive a reservation request or booking inquiry, be sure to respond to it quickly.
- It’s always better to decline a reservation request than to let it expire—this will preserve your response rate and help guests make their travel plans.
- Once you’ve started a conversation with a guest, let it flow naturally—you don’t need to have the last word to maintain your response rate.
- Keep your calendar up to date to make sure you’re not receiving reservation requests and booking inquiries for dates that you can’t accommodate.
- Download our mobile app to make sure you don’t accidentally miss it when a guest reaches out.