What is “Response Time”?
Answer: A host’s response rate is the number of inquiries to which a host has responded divided by the total number of inquiries a host has received in the past 90 days.
An inquiry is considered the initial message from a guest about prospective dates, not any following messages from the same guest. So the most important thing for response rate and response time is that first message!
Communication is the most important aspect of the Airbnb universe. Hosts with FAST response times get bookings and positive reviews. Similar to the topic of keeping a home clean and laundered, you are now in the hospitality and customer service industries and need to be ready to have quick response times to attract guests to stay at your Airbnb.
Another reason it’s important to respond as quickly as possible to inquiries is the Airbnb culture. Since the experience for guests is not the same as booking a hotel, there is some uncertainty (anxiety) to Airbnb which can lead guests to contact more than one listing owner at once, and making multiple inquiries in hopes that at least one of their bookings will go through.
This means the first host who responds will be the person to get the booking. Even after your initial back and forth texts, guests will continue to search for more listings and responses. This is where responding quickly makes a big difference. It’s a race among all the hosts in your area. Be sensitive to your guests anxiety and respond quickly!
Does Your Response Rate Affect Your Search Placement?
Yes! Because Airbnb is in the business to be a business the platform rewards hosts who are successful at making Airbnb money. It is as simple as that. If you respond quick enough, Airbnb considers you to be a good host and rewards you with higher ranking. This leads to you showing up higher in search results, so you’ve got a better chance of receiving a booking.
While Airbnb isn’t 100% percent transparent with their search algorithms, they do say that response rate plays a part in how high your listing comes up in search results. Don’t take any chances, respond to inquiries right away, it doesn’t matter if you accept or reject them!